Easy Plant Based Meal Transition Tips

Lazy Meal Ideas for the New Vegan

Are you brand new to a plant-based, vegan lifestyle?

If so, you might be overwhelmed not with the food choices themselves, but with all the cooking and preparing that is required.

It is definitely a difference when you can’t just grab anything you want from the local grocery store or convenience store, but that doesn’t mean you are spending hours a day cooking.

Take a look at these simple, low-effort meal ideas for plant-based diets.

Rice Bowl

The simplest meal you can make when you are on a plant-based diet is a rice bowl.

This is aside from a salad of course.

But when you want a warm meal, you really can’t go wrong with a bed of rice or grains topped with your favorite veggies, nuts and seeds.

There are many ways to go about this. You can make it really simple with brown rice, topped with roasted butternut squash, chickpeas, carrots, and your favorite vegan sauce.

Another option is to do a mix of rice and quinoa for even more fiber and protein, with any of your leftover mixed veggies and some black beans.

Get creative and throw all your favorite foods together.

Natto

Baked Potatoes

When you go vegan, baked potatoes take on a whole new meaning.

No longer are they the side dish to an animal protein source, but the main course!

This makes it a lot of fun since there are so many ways to top a baked potato.

If you miss your old baked potato with cheese and bacon bits, look for the vegan versions of them!

Otherwise, you can just top it with anything and everything, like hummus and veggies, beans and lentils, even fried tofu!

This is another easy meal that pretty much just uses up all your leftovers.

Chili

Chili might seem like a hassle, but when you use your slow cooker, it is incredibly easy to do.

Vegan chili is really just about adding all the ingredients and turning on your slow cooker.

When you aren’t browning meat beforehand, this is made even easier.

The only real prep work you have is measuring out spices and chopping any veggies you intend to add.

You can throw in your choice of beans, vegetables, onions, garlic, and any of your favorite chili spices.

Turn on the slow cooker and let it cook for as long as you want.

More Options

There are plenty of other vegan meal options that won’t take a lot of time and effort.

This might include putting together a vegetarian sandwich or wrap with hummus and your choice of veggies, or using a bag of frozen vegetables with your favorite vegan jarred sauce and microwave rice.

Cheap Plant-Based Meals and Snacks

Are you interested in developing a more plant-based diet, but are concerned about the costs?

If so, we are here to help!

You don’t need to spend twice as much on groceries just because you are following more of a vegan lifestyle.

Here are some meal and snack ideas that will allow you to stick to your food budget.

Get Out Your Slow Cooker

If you have a slow cooker, it is going to become your new best friend.

Not only will it allow you to make large meals with food items you purchase in bulk, but it helps to save you time on preparing food as well.

If you tend to dip into your food budget for last-minute trips to vegan-friendly restaurants near you, you will definitely save money by prepping meals beforehand.

With a slow cooker, you can easily make big batches of vegetable soup with whatever veggies are in season, or by making big pots of beans, rice, or vegan chili.

It Doesn’t Get Cheaper Than Pasta

This is such a simple and cheap way to have a meal at home.

Buy bags of vegan pasta in bulk as well as some jars of tomato sauce.

You can use the sauce right from the jar if you’re in a hurry, or add stuff to it, like seasoning and more vegetables to bulk up your meal.

Pasta and sauce is usually on the lower side of your budget, or you can make your own sauce to save even more when tomatoes are on sale.

Pasta

Inexpensive Breakfast Ideas

If you aren’t sure what to have for breakfast while on a budget, you’re in luck!

There are actually a lot of really cheap ideas available.

The first of course is to go with a child favorite – cereal with nut milk.

If you buy the big bags of vegan cereal when they are on sale, it can last quite a while, especially when you stick to just one serving for breakfast.

If that isn’t what you are interested in, why not try overnight oats?

A big container of oats doesn’t cost much considering how much you get out of it, and you can make overnight oats the night before, so that it is a convenient grab-and-go breakfast each morning.

There are many ways to prepare them, from adding cinnamon and sugar, to fruit like bananas and strawberries.

Increase the protein with some peanut butter as well.

BreakFast

Easy Tips for Traveling While on a Plant-Based Diet

One of the lifestyle changes you will need to make when you switch to a plant-based diet is related to traveling.

No longer can you just eat whatever the airplane provides or stop by any restaurant or café.

Many places offer vegan options, but many are still very limited. Here are some tips for traveling while on a plant-based diet.

Do Your Research First

Before you start traveling, do as much research as you can.

You are looking into all the cities you will be at, as well as what your airplane is going to serve, if there is food at your hotel and what kind, and what restaurants are around.

Don’t just look at restaurants near your hotel, since you are probably going to explore the city.

Look around town, near tourist spots you want to visit, and make sure you look up their menus for vegan options.

If you are going on a road trip, look at any stops along the way that have plant-based options for you.

Bring Your Own Snacks

When all else fails, having some vegan snacks with you will help with any situations that might arise.

Plus, these are great to have with you on road trips when you’re not sure where all the convenience stores are.

Some snacks that travel well include fruit like bananas, apples, and pears.

You can bring bags of your own homemade trail mix, granola, or some vegan protein bars. Bags of nuts and seeds is another excellent option.

Snacks

Tell Your Host About Your Diet

If you will be staying with family or friends, just let them know ahead of time that you are on a plant-based or vegan diet.

They don’t need to change all their meals just for you, but it does help them when meal planning to at least have a few meatless options that you will be able to enjoy.

Find Out What the Plane is Serving

This is absolutely essential if you are going on a long trip on an airplane.

If it’s just a few hour flight, you could always find something to eat at the airport or a restaurant near there.

However, longer flights require you to eat onboard, so unless you can bring enough food with you, you will need to choose from onboard menu items.

When choosing your airline, look to see which have the best food options, and always be prepared with snacks just in case the vegan options sell out.

Tips for Raising Plant-Based Kids

It is one thing to follow a plant-based diet on your own, but when you want your kids to also be plant-based, it might take a different method.

This is especially true if they have been eating meat and dairy previously, but you want to transition them more into vegan options.

Here are some easy tips for raising plant-based kids.

Feed Them Plant-Based Foods They Love

Don’t try to switch your kids to nothing but plant-based foods just yet, and don’t introduce new foods right away.

Start by giving them more of the vegan foods they already eat that they love.

This might be a selection of fresh fruits, vegetables, vegetarian chili with loads of beans and veggies, or pasta with a tomato sauce that doesn’t contain any meat in it.

You can start gradually adding more of the plant-based foods they love, with some new ones you want them to try.

Fruit Dessert

Sweeten it Up with Fruit

Kids love sweet foods, so fruit is the best thing when switching them to a plant-based diet.

Instead of candy which is not only loaded with sugar but often animal products like gelatin and dairy, you can instead give them their sweet cravings with healthy, fresh fruit.

It contains all natural sugar and is a great way to show them how yummy a vegan diet can be.

Focus on Proper Nutrients

It is really important that you make sure your kids are getting all the vitamins and minerals they need to grow big and strong.

When switching to a plant-based diet, this just means a proper balance of nutrients with each meal.

Focus on adding fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and beans and legumes.

This combination ensures their meals and snacks have all the calcium, vitamins, electrolytes, iron, protein, and zinc your kids need in their growing bodies.

Make it Fun for Them

You can take their new vegan foods and make them a lot of fun to eat.

Whether you cut their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches into fun shapes, or you add vegan cheese sauce to their pasta or veggies at dinnertime, you can make it to where they don’t even miss the meat and dairy and eggs from their favorite meals.

It is really much simpler than you think to make plant-based foods your kids will not only eat, but will actually have fun with.