I had the pleasure of being interviewed by The Laziest Vegans in the World about my favorite convenience foods this week. This fun website is “a tribute to vegan pre-packaged food.” I’m glad that these foods exist, especially for those who are reluctant to try veganism because they think it’s too hard or that there are no options for treats. And some of these packaged foods are actually healthy.
But, I don’t eat a whole lot of convenience foods myself and my choices in the interview are for things that are occasional treats or for those days when I don’t have time to cook and the refrigerator is bare.
So what do I usually eat? It’s one of the most frequent questions I get from readers of this blog. People especially want to know if I eat according to my own food guide the Plant Plate.
I do, for the most part. I’m able to sum up my diet pretty easily because it doesn’t vary a great deal from day to day (although some of the details, like which veggies I eat at dinner, do vary). I do bulk cooking—preparing big bowls of the “basics” over the weekend so that there are always cooked beans, grains, and sauces in my fridge, ready to be pulled together into a meal.
This is a typical day’s menu for me:
-Tofu or tempeh with mushrooms and onions, usually topped with a little nutritional yeast or some peanut or tahini sauce. (edited to add: I usually saute the tofu in a tiny bit of coconut or olive oil)
-Sweet or white potatoes or quinoa mixed with corn
-Calcium-fortified orange juice—about ½ cup
-Black coffee (which I actually have well before breakfast and then again in mid-morning—2 cups per day)
-Raw rolled oats soaked in a mix of soy yogurt and soy milk with blueberries, banana, and a couple tablespoons of chopped nuts.
-A very large salad with mixed greens and other raw veggies, beans (almost always chickpeas), chopped nuts, mandarin orange segments or diced apples, and a light vinaigrette (usually a mix of olive and walnut oils plus balsamic vinegar)
-A cup or so of some type of bean and veggie soup—most often, lentil or white beans with spinach and tomatoes. (edited to add: sometimes with some sliced Tofurky or Field Roast sausages or Soy Curl bacon)
-Lots of veggies—most often collards, kale, cabbage or broccoli
-Small serving of quinoa or rice or potatoes
-Peanut or tofu-cashew sauce
OR a black bean burrito with avocado and lots of spicy salsa, atop of bed of greens. (I keep a huge stash of homemade black bean burritos in my freezer.)
-Red wine (not always, but usually)
Treats: Once or twice a week, I’ll have a chocolate cup cake from my food co-op (it’s the only vegan baked product they sell) or a Tofutti cutie, or a little Coconut Bliss topped with berries and walnuts.
These are the supplements I take:
-300 mg of calcium citrate. There are definitely days when I don’t need it, but I’m not into micromanaging my diet on a daily basis by tracking my nutrient intake. So I figure the 300 mg will cover my needs and if I get a little extra, that’s okay, too.
-1000 IUs of vitamin D (I live in the Pacific Northwest, and when the sun does come out, I avoid it like the plague. So I take vitamin D religiously.)
-100 ug of vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) daily
-300 mg of vegan DHA/EPA daily
-And I use iodized salt on my food—not much, but enough to give my iodine intake a little boost.
Things you might notice about my eating pattern are that I favor legumes over grains, and veggies over fruits. That’s personal preference in part, but it’s also based on my ideas about healthy eating. More about those issues in some upcoming posts.