Convenience is key when living a busy lifestyle. It is vital to plan and prep your meals ahead of time to be most successful in the kitchen. I like to wash and cut my veggies and fruits shortly after purchasing so they are ready at any time for meal prep. After you wash and cut them, it is important to store them in an airtight container or submerge them in water. Some vegetables that I recommend leaving in water include carrots and celery. This will make them last longer without drying out. This seems like a small step, but it will be a huge time saver for you in the kitchen. Here are some other great tips to make your fruits and vegetables last longer after prepping.
There are a few fruits and veggies that you cannot prep and store ahead of time because they will turn brown. A few include potatoes, lettuce, avocados, apples, bananas, pears, and apricots.
Becoming vegan doesn’t mean you have to skip eating your favorite foods like yogurt, cheese, and milk. There are so many new dairy-free products in the market that taste just like its dairy counterpart and are equally healthy and maybe even tastier. One of my favorite brands is Forager Project, an organic, plant-based creamery based in California.
You can start by stocking up your refrigerator and pantry with essential items. This will not only maximize your trip to your grocery store but will save you time. Here’s a great starter list that you can adjust once you figure out your favorites.
Vegan Pantry Essentials
Shopping at your local farmers markets for fruits and vegetables is a great way to buy produce. Unlike grocery stores, food straight from farms is given time to fully ripen and arrives at the stand faster which generally keeps everything fresh. Some markets will have pesticide free options which is a huge bonus, but make sure to ask the seller because this is not always available.
You will find prices are very reasonable when shopping at farmers markets. Not only will you save money, but you will be supporting your community. That’s tough to beat in my book! If you don’t know where your nearest farmers market is, you can find it on this website by entering your zip code.
Vegan Dinner Recipes
Substitutions are great when modifying recipes. I often use substitutions as an alternative to my favorite recipes. The list of vegan substitutions are endless. The list below are the substitutes I use the most.
Keep it simple! None of us have the time to cook a complex 40 ingredient dinner every night. There are a multitude of tasty recipes that include minimal ingredients that will get the job done. Here’s a few to get you started that have 10 ingredients or less.
Leftovers don’t always have to be a late night movie snack, you can turn them into great dinners or lunches. Keep this in mind and you’ll cut food waste down. There are many reasons why reducing food waste is a good thing, but did you realize how much of an impact it has on the environment?
You can double your vegan dinner recipes when cooking to make sure you will have leftovers for the rest of the week. Just divide those leftovers in a food storage container before you eat dinner to save for later. Putting the extra food away before eating dinner will also ensure that you do not overeat.
I hope you found this guide to be a useful tool in supporting your vegan journey. Please feel free to share these simple tips and tricks with others that may be interested in joining our community.
Michele L. Seattle, WA
Judy H. Marblehead, MA