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Tips For Preparing Vegan/Vegetarian Meals!


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Ok. Standing is exhausting for us some days more than others. I am a flexitarian which means eats animal products many days, some days go veggie or even vegan.

I can NOT do Soy or gluten stuff like Seitan or veggie patties. I DO eat Sunshine burgers for short cuts sometimes but PRICY (sunflower seed based, no soy no gluten)

I can eat gluten, just not concentrated forms. I can eat white bread ...OR that expensive sprouted flourless bread.

HOW do you vegan eat basic, whole foods when PREP time is our enemy?

If you are bed bound, some days, live alone, what do YOU EAT that is vegan/vegetarian or macrobiotic based?

I don't do the frozen pre paid meals. too expensive and I want to make my own stuff. Start soaking my own almonds to make almond milk and make them easier to eat.

I know this is possible to do but HOW to do it daily and get in the habit. To be so organized that thinking a day/week ahead comes naturally.

I am not talking making bread from scratch stuff but basic meals. I don't want to eat beans daily (should only be 10% of one's diet anyway) but vegan cookbooks don't have pictures of foods I am not familiar with nor tips for gravity challenged.

Any help would be appreciated. If this has been brought up before, please post link. Or DM me if you have links that DINET does not allow here.

I read many vegan blogs but Mama Mia they are labor intensive. Like Indian cooking lots of ingredients, washing prep time. I don't have kids to help and house mate works 60-70 hours a week. So I'm on my own a lot.

Cooking may not SEEM like Dysautonomia issue but we have to EAT and if standing in the kitchen is a challenge we need to share. I can make things the way I eat NOW in steps. Mix up salsa steps at a time, marinades for meats, etc, or cookies step at a time. i. e mix dry ingredients...rest a bit add rest of ingredients. make a few cookies, refrigerate rest or freeze.

But BASIC vegan meals or vegetarian are ok...but leaning towards going vegan more days in my Flexitarianism. :)

Sorry if repeating myself. Tired.

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Lentils are easy- no pre-soaking. I make a quick soup that a Greek friend of mine passed along. I saute garlic, chopped onions and carrots in olive oil in a stock pot, then add chicken broth (veggie broth or water is fine too), dump in a bag (16oz) of washed lentils and a large can or two of chopped tomatoes Salt and pepper to taste. It's ready in 45 mins. but can simmer all day- no fuss, no muss and it makes a ton of soup. I use a stool when I cut my veggies if it's a bad day. Great as a soup on day one. On day two, I mix it with brown rice & dallop plain greek yogurt as a garnish- just to change it up.

I know what you mean about all the veggie stuff being so labor intensive :blink: . I have taken to buying a lot of produce (asparagus, 6 peppers in a bag, box of tomatoes on the vine, 5 avocados in a bag, sweet onions, artisan lettuce, etc.) at Sam's Club to save money. Then, if I feel well enough (often the next day :rolleyes: ), I prep EVERYTHING for the next week or 10 days. I chop all of my peppers, several onions, tomatoes, wash & rip lettuce & store them in tupperware. I oven roast the huge bunch of asparagus with a splash of olive oil & salt that same day & refigerate them in tupperware as well. I usually have chick peas, black beans, and feta also in containers. I also cook up a box or 2 of quinoa pasta. It is easy to throw together delicious meals with all of that prep work done. I will admit, it is a JOB. I feel like a pioneer and that's almost all that I do that day- exhausting, but the rest of the week is so much easier. My kitchen gets really dirty ONCE as opposed to cooking & cutting all week. (Avocados are the exception as they will oxidize and turn a funky color.)

I'd love to hear some other ideas. I struggle with this too. Processed food definitely makes my symptoms much worse.

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I am the same way--can't stand in the one spot long enough to prep/cook. Lately, my husband and I have been doing the cooking on Sundays. Of course, he does most of it, but I help and kind of "orchestrate" what needs to be done. That gives us a good portion of meals for the week. He works alot, too, so Sunday afternoons are about the only time he can do that. Also, I know they make alot of veggies pre-cut and bagged now, so it might save time using them.

And then there are those nights we just don't have anything ready to eat or the time, and just make do with healthiest of our local, small restaurants, usually the most vegetable-based meal we can get.

Julie's soup sounds good! We made a gumbo in our slow cooker a couple of weeks ago. That was a first for us--and it turned out really good.

I have looked into vegan eating, as it seems like how I would like to eat. However, I find I get more run-down feeling and can't control my blood sugar as well if I don't take in moderate amounts of protein. And, with my stomach bloating and not moving, beans ARE NOT going to pass these lips! :P

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bean tip.

Incorporate slowly. do NOT eat more than 1/2 cup first few times you eat it. Add FAT to the beans to help digest easier. ALSO I take ginger root capsules BEFORE eating beans. 15-30 minutes ahead with water. Then take 1 after meal and or couple of activated charcoal. That's helped me adapt. Otherwise made me ill.

I've not made lentil soup in ages & will do that in colder weater.

I made quinoa tonight first time. Ugh, mushy. will use less water next time. I got the q that is no rinse. Followed directions but read online you can use less water. vert Bland & will season veggies/quinoa (pronounced KEEN Wah) next time MUCH more.

THanks for the feed back so far. WE MUST do this to help cook more basic, less processes. Don't have to be vegan/vegetarian FULL TIME. Just cut back when you can if you feel better eating this way. I eat small servings so don't get huge impact of lots of carbs. I detest the mega food industry and feel better eating this way. Personal decision but any food prep for BASIC, wholesome, sustainable food ways I welcome.

Honestly, this washing & cutting is exhausting.

p.s. Good way to keep Cilanto/Parsley fresh in fridge. Treat like flowers. Trim ends, & put in water covering stems in small glass jar OR I use coffee mug. Cover with small paper bag. Change water DAILY. I kept Cilantro 8 days before it turned a bit yellow, lost scent/taste. FABULOUS way to keep it from getting soggy. I just use a little at a time. Parsley I hear works for this as do OTHER fresh herbs. I just discovered for Cilantro. Works. & nice to add fresh green for garnish for visual appeal, too :)

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A few things I've done: If you can eat cabbage.... I buy coleslaw mixes - or angel hair shredded cabbage in bags in the produce department. With it - well I dump it in a tomato based soup for a cabbage vegetable soup. I mix it with a favorite salad dressing and eat like a huge salad. I top soft shell taco's with it, I have even subbed it out in carrot cake for 3/4's of the carrots believe it or not. I've 'extended' foods with it - I've sauteed it and added it to anything from mashed potatoes - or have used it as a substitute for pasta - with bolognese sauce over the top. I know it sounds weird - but it's already prepped so I go for it.

I boil/simmer half brown rice and half wild rice in seasoned water so it's good to go ahead of time for a reheat.

I use spinach in the bags. Or the box frozen & thawed. Spinach for a salad or I take leaves of cabbage either slightly boiled or frozen to make them pliable - and stuff them full of spinach that's been mixed with the rice, some cheddar, a bit of ch. onion and an egg - for a vegetarian cabbage roll pan - tomato sauce over the top. For frozen spinach thawed and drained I add ricotta, parm, basil -- layer with no boil pasta sheets, mozz and jarred marinara.

I will buy the big bags of broccoli florets, stalks of brussels sprouts, haricot vert at Costco - to just dump into a steamer till barely done - shock in water sometimes and then store...they are whole and require no chopping. A big head of cauliflower can be whacked into four planks and roasted with olive oil salt and balsamic.

Easy cut veg like summer squash requires just a couple knife moves - and can be put into a pan with whole cherry tomatoes, whole mushrooms, a slice or two of cut onion - maybe a few rounds of eggplant a dab of store bought pesto - and you have a simmered ratatouille - to eat plain or serve with favorite starch of choice.

Whole vegetables such as sweet potatoes, white potatoes....either small baby potatoes or the idahos - baked ahead of time - can be nuked till warm for serving after pre-baked. Also whole squashes like butternut and acorn are nice to have - once baked off are easy to cut and use for soup or a puree or to stuff.

If you pierce eggplants ahead of baking they can be baked whole as well - and the insides then used for an eggplant and roasted red pepper soup - or a dip like baba ganoush. You can make hummus with virtually no chopping or buy it too and serve with pre-cut crudite' from the market.

You can sometimes let your food processor do the work for you if you find it's worth the cleaning of it afterward....Giving you bags of sliced or shredded carrots, celery, onion, peppers, potatoes, any harder vegetable that's difficult to cut.

Dried fruits can be simmered on the stove top with cinnamon stick and clove etc...for a warm fruit compote, steel cut oats can be cooked off a head of time - as can grits. Polenta is a quick fix whole grain food - the instant takes no time at all - use instead of mashed potatoes for stews, gravies and marinara sauce.

I guess you can always just cook vegetables as close to their natural shape and form as they are grown and then cut them after when they are softer to deal with and speedier?

Cooking whole tomatoes into a sauce is delicious -- Having a hand-blender makes prep a snap. If you made ahead as someone mentioned your mirepoix - or carrots celery and onion or fennel.... When it's time for a soothing soup -- what you do is simmer the mirepoix with the 'flavor' of the soup item and then puree. So for a butternut squash soup - it's the carrots, celery and onion (can be chopped into pretty huge pieces for ease since you zap it anyway) and add the cooked whole squash interior, carrot soup you add the shredded carrots from the food processor, for tomato soup you add the canned or whole tomatoes from the garden, for eggplant soup you add the roasted eggplant flesh, for mushroom soup you add the mushrooms, for roasted red pepper soup you add the peppers (pre roasted at home or bought jarred at the dollar store), broccoli soup add the florets.......and you simmer this in your favorite stock in a box .... or water --- then zap it with the blender. Season to taste. All soups basically start with the mirepoix, water and the 'flavor' item.

You can soak tofu in some strong stock or 'better than boullion' -- then slap it into a very hot pan with olive oil in it - crisp it well and at the last minute add a splash of soy sauce -- it'll sizzle like crazy and create a nice savory, salty - bacony like flavor -- Eat as a burger or plain as is...

Berries are healthful and can be added to about anything - or simmered slowly with a wee bit of water and vanilla or sugar for a nice thick topping for french toast, pancakes, bread pudding. Good in salads - good because they can be eaten whole...salads, cereal, plain

If you want to extend a fast food healthy meal - you can go to Subway and order a salad -- have them load that salad up with tons of your favorite shredded vegetables - the peppers, onions, tomatoes, olives etc... If you take that home you can jazz up home-made submarine sandwiches....your own lean turkey and the toppings are already sliced and a done deal....One large salad could top several sandwiches for the family. On the same note -- take out healthy food grocery stores have salad bars with some nice items all good to go ... pricey yes.... but if you are selective you can buy the things you know you are getting a bargain on by weight...so if they charge seven bucks a pound -- buy a bag of lettuce but get the prep intensive items and a few luxury items and assemble at home as a salad or use a boboli crust and make a fancy pizza. A good one is crust, olive oil, garlic of some kind and a half bag of spinach, a layer of shredded mozz, the other half bag of spinach, more mozz and top with sliced tomatoes - bake till done.

Frozen vegetables are super healthy and good as well - Mix edamame and corn - toss with herbs, mayo, lemon juice --

I guess if you shift to thinking whole foods as more than the one meaning of close to the natural state - to also cooking them "whole" - there's less chopping involved. And when you do - once cooked they are easier to deal with. The hand blender does a great job of chopping everything to a puree' very quickly once they are simmered till soft again for soups and dips.

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Thanks, nowwhat. I find food processors a CHORE to clean and lent mine to my sister who thought her old one broke but it was from making a raw foods snack that just slowed it down. (Vegan Raw Balls-gross name- which is Carob balls made with almond butter, ground dates, maple syrup, almonds, carob rolled in coconut. LOVE THESE; She got it from somebody that got it from that Alicia Silverstone Kindness Diet Book)

I'd like to find a modern chopper...preferably one who looks like George Clooney, just kidding...not really but I digress)

I need to go to Costco and get some frozen veggies for sure. Rarely get there but will take note.

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I'm a gluten-free soy-free vegetarian, and my favorite dish is quinoa. You can cook it in a rice cooker (no standing, no stirring!), and it's a grain so I personally find it easier to digest than things with lots of fiber or fat, AND it's high in protein. And you can cook a lot of it at once and then heat it up later as necessary.

I often cook a big pot of quinoa and a few different steamed vegetables on Sunday. Then all week I eat quinoa and veggies heated up in the microwave. I have a vegetable steamer and a rice cooker, so all in all it's pretty easy. And it's not nearly as expensive as buying frozen dinners or "special" vegetarian/GF food.

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I made quinoa for first time. Turned out very mushy. ugh. No rinse, pre washed brand so it would be easier (standing & rinsing sounded tiring)

I followed directions 1 cup Q to 2 cups liquid. I DID substitute 1/2 cup tomato juice from can of diced tomatoes so don't know if that was bad sub for 1/2 c of water or what. Later read online many use LESS water than directions call for by 1/3 to 1/2 cup per instructions. Could be like rice & vary depending on how old package is...I'd just opened it but of course, never know how long in a warehouse. I made myself eat a serving due to veggies I'd added.

Ancient Harvest brand. Will try again with more seasoning & LESS water. My sister gave this to me..she's out of state or I would call & ask her what I did wrong.


Brown rice & black beans are a fave.

I also like the pre boxed Zatarain's Red Beans & Rice. Just add water & butter or oil & cook, stirring occassionally for 25 minutes. :)

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I love green smoothies - quick, easy, raw and vegan. I use a banana (frozen is good - peel before freezing), a pear (use any fruit you like), a bunch of romaine or spinach or kale, some flax seed, a couple of dates, maybe some celery...whatever you like, 1 -2 cups of water and blend away! Goes down easy and you get your fruit and veggies for the day. Lots of green smoothie recipes on line.

I too can't eat soy and have a vegetarian and vegan in the house so often cook it for them but cant eat it! This week I stuffed acorn squash with a mix of sauted veggies and apples and quinoa - so yummy. Prep is super hard when you can't stand on your feet - I bring a stool to the counter and try to do my prep in the morning when I am less potsy.

Always make enough for a day or two - lefts overs are a big help.

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Thanks, nowwhat. I find food processors a CHORE to clean and lent mine to my sister who thought her old one broke but it was from making a raw foods snack that just slowed it down. (Vegan Raw Balls-gross name- which is Carob balls made with almond butter, ground dates, maple syrup, almonds, carob rolled in coconut. LOVE THESE; She got it from somebody that got it from that Alicia Silverstone Kindness Diet Book)

I'd like to find a modern chopper...preferably one who looks like George Clooney, just kidding...not really but I digress)

I need to go to Costco and get some frozen veggies for sure. Rarely get there but will take note.

I know what you mean -- I'm still looking for that 'dishwasher' -- 'bout 6'2" -- blue or dark-eyed wonder.... 6pak abs --- All I know is that I haven't found the dishwasher at my local Sears.... & soon I'll be moving.... So maybe... 'jus maybe.... I'll get that dream dishwasher after all in the new relocation spot.... Till then I scrub and slosh -- watch raw food videos on utube -- and wonder.... Who ever thought of raw foods as a lifestyle must have an awful lot of time on their hands (or a personal chopper extraordinaire with a dishwasher to boot!)

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