Ideas for Plant Based Meals

We posted a plant-based shopping list last week and had an overwhelming response to it via visits and downloads. Now comes the next step: what do you do with all of the foods on our list?

This week I contemplated solutions to use in place of so many animal-based protein meals that feel easy because of their palatability and familiarity. I have been contemplating this for a while. I thought about all of the people who would be a target audience and they are really different! While some people choose to be vegetarian or vegan and they are dedicated to preparing meals and trying new things, other people struggle. Maybe they are on a medical diet or they are chefs and foodservice directions who are learning and creating new dishes? Or perhaps they are parents or consumers on a tight time and money budget with few cooking skills? Whatever the reason, there is a solution listed below! When you start to list all of the possibilities for plant-based protein and meal ideas you can have a big list!

Here is a downloadable PDF - just click and use it!

I plan to experiment with all of these so stay tuned. The first group, copycats held a big surprise! I learned three things:

  1. There are many possible stakeholders and they will all have various skills and concerns that you have to solve for the age-old plan of what do we make for dinner that is plant-based when they are used to a world that revolves around meat. Copycats are the easiest start!
  2. There are many ways to approach the culinary challenge to find delicious plant-based solutions. As I started to write them down I was surprised at my creativity. I might be tempted to add "hybrid" to this list which features animal protein as a flavoring agent rather than a whole entree or meal.
  3. The thing that surprised me was when I went online and ordered one of every plant-based "meat copycat". I had no idea you could find so many!

Here are some that I tried:

The veggie burgers are always my favorite. They can be made in 5 minutes or less! And there is never an end to the creative flavors and ingredients that can be used while there is nothing wrong with the classic ones like lettuce, tomato, onion.
Some veggie burgers are more like meat while others are like stuffing! Try them all.
The most important thing is to have a variety of plant-foods on hand like grains, beans, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Here is one example of items I used to create a bowl.
The hot air fryer comes in handy for making the plant-based nuggets very crispy very fast but it is also great for oven fries and sweet potato fries.
I can't say the nuggets were my favorite but I have a friend who swears by them because they are fast and appeal to her whole family of vegans and omnivores.
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