What the heck do you eat?
Kelly brings us some delicious meal ideas in this post! We love the grilled wraps and vegan chili. You can customize these dishes and make them your own based on flavors and food that appeal to you. For instance, do you and your family like black beans but don’t care for kidney beans? Try a black bean and lime chili. You could also make it extra thick and use it as a filling in tortillas to make burritos. Be creative and let us know what you make!
“Sooooooo, if you don’t eat meat, what the heck do you eat?”
Oh my gosh, do I get that question a lot. But honestly, I thought the same thing when we first started. What the heck are we going to eat????? No more chicken, fish, steak, burgers, chili, spaghetti, lasagna, tacos, or pot roast???? What about my favorite meal of all time, Thanksgiving?????? Oh, man, this is going to suck.
But here I am, years down the road, and I’m still alive!
Seriously though, what do you eat when you don’t eat animal products? There is cheese or milk or egg in almost anything we eat at restaurants or on the shelves at stores nowadays. It is so hard to eat out or eat at a party without some sort of animal product in a meal. But you just start small. Try to take a little extra time at the grocery store to read labels. Or, when you go out to eat, order that salad with no cheese, and hold the meat. You can ask, hey, can I get extra veggies on this? Or, are there any black beans you could add to it? When you’re at a restaurant, you ask questions. I ask to hold the meat, or a lot of times, I’ll get a meal made from just the sides.
Like I tell my 6 year old…Sometimes we eat food that’s good for our bodies and sometimes we eat food that’s good for our mouths. Haha. But when it is good for our body and mouth– now that’s a wonderful thing!
When it comes to dinners or home cooked meals, that’s the time when you can really make a masterpiece. It was really hard for me at first. I wasn’t a good cook. I actually hated cooking. The planning, the shopping, the prep and clean up. It is exhausting. But I started like I was researching a subject for a report at school. I bought cook books that were geared for families like mine (young children at home). I went online and searched recipes, printed them out and bookmarked some great web pages. And I asked tons of questions. (Mostly calling Chickpea and Bean.) They were always there for me.
I’ll never forget the day my husband came home from work one day and came into the kitchen to see what smelled so good. I had already made three meals in a row that week and he was excited to see what I had that day. After he tasted it, he said, “Wow, that’s delicious Kelly! And we’ve had a home cooked meal every day this week! This is great honey! Where have you been all these years??”
I wanted to slap him and hug him at the same time!!
But I have to admit. It takes extra time and effort to make a meal like this. Most of our dinners are completely made from whole foods and plant based. I don’t put the fake meat or fake cheese in every meal. I whip avocado with seasoning to replace sour cream on some meals.
Now I’m not a nutritionist and I’m always learning more, but I plan my family’s dinners to have a protein, grain and several veggies each time.
So a bean or legume at every dinner, with a grain like rice, quinoa, pasta, or couscous and finish it with sautéed or fresh veggies or sometimes a fruit for the kids.
This is what we had for dinner last week (I didn’t know that I was going to share it in my blog this week, so it’s not the fanciest meal plan):
Sunday- Lemon Lentil soup with Crusty bread (Carrots and Celery in the soup also)
Monday – Vegan Chili topped with avocado, cilantro and lime (click here for Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili recipe)
Tuesday – Grilled wraps (hummus and vegan cheese on a whole wheat wrap) and Coconut rice
Wednesday- Spinach salad topped with strawberry, cucumber, red onion and balsamic vinegar paired with leftover rice and fresh made wraps from Tuesday
Thursday – Pinto Bean and Corn crock pot tacos with Spanish quinoa (tomatoes in the quinoa)
Friday – Tex Mex casserole (peppers, onions, tons of spices, corn, brown rice, tomatoes, black beans, vegan cheese and topped with tortilla chips) lime and avocado on top
Now, I’m going to be honest, some weeks are better or worse than this. Some days my 6 year old has a vegan hot dog and grapes for dinner if he doesn’t like the meal or he only has corn on the cob and rice. But he has a healthy snack before bed like sliced banana with chia seed and unsweetened shredded coconut sprinkled on top. And my high schooler is very busy in her clubs after school and eats out with her friends, but she has these healthy options to snack on when she gets home. Ultimately, we are trying our best and we are better because of the effort we are taking.
I look forward to sharing more ideas with you.
Have a great week, and don’t stop trying!!!!!