Trying out Plant-Based Eating This Veganuary? Here are some great resources to get you on your way

Photo by Dragne Marius / Unsplash

Howdy!  We are so excited about your plant-based January experiment!

Before sharing our go-to recipes, we wanted to share a couple resources if you're interested specifically in the health aspects of plant based eating.

Things to Watch:

The first resource is a film called Forks Over Knives (available to stream .  It’s a great movie that talks specifically about the health benefits that whole-foods/plant-based eating provides (and how it has the potential to reverse major health problems like heart disease).

The second is a talk by Dr. Michael Gregor - a big proponent of data-driven food studies regarding health.  In this one, he specifically discusses some great points about weight loss and how all calories are not the same, especially when considering volume and timing of ingestion.  He’s also got a great app for the “Daily Dozen” where you can track how much of what thing you’ve eaten, with suggestions for how/what forms those things might come in.  Really useful, actionable stuff from this guy.  And he has a YouTube Channel with ton of helpful data-driven studies and suggestions about what foods might help with certain ailments (inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis,  Crohn’s disease, etc.)

As for our go-to recipes:

1 - Minimalist Baker Southwest Tofu Scramble - One of our favorites for breakfast!  Our only suggestion to change is for the sauce to double all of the spices except for the salt.  It’s not the same thing as scrambled eggs, but with a little bit of hot sauce, it’s a pretty nice replacement.

2 - Giada De Laurentis’ Marinara Sauce - This is so easy to make, and so much better than sauce from a jar!  We usually have it with penne/rotini pasta, and we try to have it with a Caesar salad and some kind of bread (see next in the list).

3 - Oh She Glows Caesar Salad - This was the salad that made me start loving salads.  The prep takes a little bit longer if you make the chickpea croutons (I’ve learned to make them a day ahead to cut down on cooking time day-of).  The only other time-consuming part is soaking the cashews, but there are less time-consuming ways to do that too.

4 - Easy Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls - The only tricky part here is when she references “1 egg replacer,” she’s not specific.  We use a flax egg which is: 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed (you can get flax meal, but we grind it in our coffee grinder) mixed with 2 tablespoons of hot (not boiling) water, left to sit for a minute or so.  When the hot water and flax meal sit, they gain the consistency of an egg and work as a binder in baked goods.  Plus you’re getting flax which is really good for you!

5 - 30 Minute Chickpea Curry - Very easy, lots of healthy spices, really filling and tasty!  We sometimes put tofu in instead of chickpeas.  We usually have it with our Instant Pot Yellow Rice.

6 - Vegan Cajun Tofu with Creamy Grits and Greens - Very easy recipe.  Cooks quickly and if you make the spice rub ahead of time, prep is very short!

7 - Grilled Portobello Salad with Avocado, Lime, and Grilled Corn - If you’re cooking out, there’s no better way to start off than with this recipe.  The marinade, the mushrooms, the grilled onions, the corn.  It’s absolutely delicious!  I need lots of help with Ms. GVaGH on this though because of all the moving parts and I’m not a great multitasker.

8 - Black Bean Burger - (adapted from The Everything Vegan Cookbook) - Super simple!  Just throw the parts in the food processor, then add the flour a little bit at a time.  Really easy (but it does have that acquired-taste squishy veggie burger texture).

9 - Crispy Peanut Tofu -  (adapted from the Minimalist Baker - She’s changed the sauce recipe and it’s not as good, so I'm sticking closer to the original).  This goes really great with bok choy or spinach, but we most often steam broccoli and serve it on the side.  And instead of the “cauliflower rice,” we usually eat it our Instant Pot Yellow Rice.

10 - Instant Pot Yellow Rice  - (adapted from Budget Bytes recipe)  This is a very simple, deliciously-flavored yellow rice that goes great with stir-fries or curries.  Just remember that if you’re using white rice, use 2 cups of broth/water; but if you’re using brown rice, use 2.5 cups broth/water.

11 - GVaGH's World-Famous Homemade Chili - (Adapted from Ambitious Kitchen)  Probably the recipe we cook the most!  Very easy prep, delicious seasonings, and makes a lot for leftovers.  But the key ingredient is FRITOOOOS!  It’s good without them, but Fritos really bring it all together.

We hope these bring you as much joy and health as they have brought us!