Whether for my clients or for my family, I hear the same question almost every day: “What’s for dinner?”
A plant-based diet offers so many choices and possible combinations, answering this query can leave my head spinning. So, I’ve come up with a method for putting together delicious, creative, nutritionally balanced vegan meals with enough variety to please everyone!
I think of the meal as a construction project and I visualize it from the ground up. Consulting my menu builder blueprint, I start with the foundation.
- The base. I like to include grains, pasta, potatoes, steamed greens, raw or roasted veggies in this group.
- The protein. I choose a hearty bean or pulse, a soy product such as edamame, tofu or tempeh; seitan (a product made from wheat gluten) or a pea protein-based meat analog such as Gardein.
- The sauce. This category can make the difference between a boring meal and an amazing one. This component should not be overlooked. Here is where the real creativity happens. I decide whether I want a light or hearty sauce, whether I am looking for spicy, sweet, savory and/or zesty flavors. The variety is endless.
- The veggies. This category speaks for itself and basically I choose those that go best with the sauce and flavors I am introducing (example: for an Italian-inspired dish I would choose mushrooms, onion, peppers, tomatoes).
This structure serves as a guideline-a jumping off point for inspiration to create recipe variations as limitless as the imagination!
In upcoming posts, I will share my tried and true components and techniques for creating the meals I serve to my clients and my family throughout the week.