Desperate for some sense of convience.. - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 11-03-2016, 01:22 PM
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Desperate for some sense of convience..

I am the only one out of 5 people who I live with that doesnt eat animal products.. to be honest, I dont know any other vegans in real life that live in CO. Ive been struggling with keeping up with a healthy Lifestyle because stress is not healthy and boy.. do I have alot. I'm trying tom find a way to maybe cook soups and stuff in bulk to last me anywhere from a week (min) to a month and either can, jar, or freeze it. I want to be in charge of all of my own food and eventually grow it all too.. I already have alot growing.. its just hard to get home from a 10 hour day of work with my two bum ankles, smell my moms home cooking and somehow make myself dinner, not to mention the other meals. oatmeal is my morning go to, im sick of it but honestly dont even care anymore. breakfast doesnt matter, im usually too tired to taste anyways. so lunch, dinners...and snacks.. going to attempt stuffed grape leaves and maybe fallafel for for a snacks.. i like pickles alot so thats easy.. I just dont know where or how to start!! i just want to be healthy and not consume all the crap that I cant find food without.. im so desperate. have any of you figured anything out along these lines? I'm a single 25 year old how literally had to throw his social life and all his friends away just to be able to cook for myself..
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#2 Old 11-03-2016, 02:30 PM
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I don't know what kind of "crap" you're trying to avoid in food but... Don't be so hard on yourself when it comes to eating healthy. It's good to eat healthy, but when you're avoiding so many foods that it puts stress on you that's too much.

Looking up recipes helps a lot. Try googling "quick vegan recipes". Rice and pasta take about 20 minutes to cook, so not that long.
For snacks, you can try fruit, nuts, crackers with hummus.

"We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form." - William Ralphe Inge

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#3 Old 11-03-2016, 02:53 PM
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If you can set aside a couple hours, one day out of the week, to cook some things in bulk that you can eat throughout the week: chili, soups, veggie patties, salad dressing, lentil taco filling etc... and maybe a batch of baked tofu cubes or beans to sprinkle on your salads, you can put together a nice quick meal with little effort after a long day of work. You can even make a batch of veggie stock, pasta sauce, etc to freeze - whatever you think will make your life easier! It's true, you'll need to invest some time initially but it saves a lot of headache when you're tired at the end of the work day and need it most I also always keep some vegan convenience foods in the freezer, like Gardein meats and burger patties, as well as a few cans of Amy's soups... because it never hurts to be prepared - and honestly those kinds of things are really not that unhealthy in moderation.

As for on-the-go snacks, I usually always keep nuts, trail mixes, Lara bars, etc. in my bag. For weekday breakfasts, I almost always have toast and peanut butter because it's quick and I can take it with me, and most coffee places have almond or soy milk nowadays so you can get a coffee on the go and get a bit of extra protein as a bonus ^_^

The only thing you might have to contend with is that your family might be so enticed by the delicious smells of your vegan food cooking they will secretly start eating it themselves! ^_^
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#4 Old 11-03-2016, 03:27 PM
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Some easy foods to get through a week--cheaply--

Chili-Either from dry beans or canned. Put together with a can of diced tomatos and chilis, small can of tomato paste and all the veggies you like. Add whatever spices you like. Great as is, over rice or pasta, in a taco salad, as a sloppy joe

Hummus. Easy if you have a food processor, or cheap to buy
Mash a can of chickpeas, add vegan mayo (Just Mayo is cheap at Target or Walmart) pickle relish, onions--what you'd add to egg, tuna or chicken salad

I make this often when low on food and/or cash-
https://www.veggieboards.com/forum/21...p.html--number 4

I often make rice, or other grains, in morning. I find I can time it perfectly and love the smell. I'll add frozen veggies, and a scoop of beans for an easy lunch.

You may really like a rice cooker.

Grains freeze well
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#5 Old 11-03-2016, 05:35 PM
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Colorado is one of THE most vegan friendly states in the U.S.! Check out these links:

http://www.veganlifecolorado.org/

https://www.meetup.com/VeganLifeColorado/

http://www.meetup.com/ColoradoSpringsVeg/

https://www.happycow.net/north_america/usa/colorado/

http://www.veggiedate.org/state/Colorado.cfm

http://www.csindy.com/coloradospring...nt?oid=2851122

https://www.vegantravel.com/destinat...ates/colorado/

Man, the number of vegan members in some of those Meetup groups blows me away! We have 86 members in my group and only five or six of us that regularly attend events. I only WISH we had that kind of membership here!

I am also one who is gone from the house from 6am to 5pm daily Monday - Friday and usually all day Saturdays (hiking, cycling etc). Sunday I take two hours to make lunches for the week and to prepare long cooking types of foods ahead that I plan to make for dinners. Some examples are brown rice, dried beans, homemade bread, homemade seitan. All of that stuff will keep all week ready to go in the refrigerator, or in the freezer. Sometimes I make energy bars and freeze them and they usually thaw within a half hour of leaving them out or driving around with them in a bag. Here is a great formula for making your own energy bars:

http://www.nomeatathlete.com/homemad...gy-bar-recipe/

Homemade muffins can be made quite healthy by leaving out sugar and adding in things like wheat germ, ground flaxseeds, chopped apple, fresh berries (in place of sweetener), whole wheat flour or buckwheat flour etc. Muffins are a great snack on the go. Bran muffins with some peanut butter spread on them is a filling snack if you need more substance. Whole nuts are great for a snack if you don't go too crazy with them. Fresh fruit is very easy to eat on the go. Or dried fruit like dates or mango.

Call me anal, but once per week I sit down and come up with a menu for the next week for breakfast, lunches, and dinner. My lunches are all the same for the work week so it is easy to make them in one big batch ahead. My breakfast are usually two items I rotate through the week, and dinners are all different but leave room for leftovers (especially if you eat just for yourself). Saturdays are my laid back breakfast day where I might make pancakes and tempeh "bacon" or some other longer cooking dish. Most of my breakfasts are very simple...beans on toast; chickpea flour omelets; smoothies; oatmeal or wild rice with berries and sometimes seeds; sauteed tempeh or black beans with fresh pineapple and leafy greens (just lightly sauteed in water in a skillet for less than five minutes to get it warm and soft and add spices). Lunches are soups, salads, casseroles, sandwiches, energy bars or fresh fruit or single serve plant milks and vegan yogurt.

Every once in a great while I will keep commercial veggie burgers in the freezer for a quick burger with a salad. Bocca, Gardein, Beyond Meat, Tofurky (franks) are all common vegan brand names for burgers and other vegan "meats". Or I will keep on hand an Amy's frozen vegan burrito. Heck they even have a gluten free vegan frozen burrito.

Invest in a simple steamer basket and pot and that will save a ton of time. I steam potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, and other foods in minutes. A large sweet potato takes about fifteen minutes tops to steam. I'll then add it to a skillet with chopped kale and a can of black beans and add a little plant milk and spices (ginger, curry powder, garlic) for a quick and nourishing meal. Another one is to chop some potatoes (don't even bother to peel them, leave the skin on) and add to a nonstick skillet along with a can of chickpeas and some chopped celery and peppers. "Scramble" for fifteen minutes and add any spices you like...garlic powder, basil leaves, black pepper. It takes twenty minutes tops to make this.

I'd suggest getting familiar with how to stock a vegan kitchen, what staples to keep on hand, and find some simple vegan cookbooks to get some ideas. Plan some of those meals for the week and prepare ingredients on your day off. In the beginning it will take a little more planning, but soon it will become second nature! And by all means, check out some of those links I shared for vegan friendly restaurants. Many restaurants will veganize a menu item for you at your request as well!

Best wishes!
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#6 Old 11-03-2016, 06:22 PM
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I do flexible meal planning--I make a list of stuff I could do every weekend (based on what I have on hand and will buy at the store), and then every night decide what the next day's food will be.

For times I don't want to really cook, here are my quickest, easiest suggestions.
  • The aforementioned hummus with pita chips/crackers and cut veggies (baby carrots and cucumber slices are good)
  • A veggie burger cooked in the toaster oven with some tater tots or oven fries--by the time you've got your veggies and condiments on the bread, the burger and potatoes are usually ready
  • Canned baked beans with a microwave-baked sweet potato and a quick green salad
  • Frozen vegan TV dinners--I like Annie's, but keep in mind some of their stuff has dairy in it
  • Make ahead quinoa salad--very easy; just make a batch in an hour or so on the weekend (Google for tons of recipes)
  • Veggie sandwich with a crunchy side (like potato chips or carrot sticks)--I like the veggie-based cold cuts for this
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#7 Old 11-03-2016, 06:48 PM
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And I can't believe I forgot:
  • Bean burritos with chips and salsa (get canned refried beans and spread them on a tortilla; I like Goya's rancheros beans for this)
  • Vegetable soup with bread or crackers (canned soup is fine, but avoid mystery "natural flavors," as that might be meat)
  • Vegetarian chili with cornbread (ditto above with soup)
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#8 Old 11-04-2016, 08:16 AM
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Can I ask your Mom to make something vegetarian 1 day per week. Also, can you just take the animal products out of her cooking and eat what's left, e.g. if it's meat, chips and veg can you eat chips and veg (not ideal, but not too bad for the odd occassion when you really can't be bothered and are very tired)? Can you cook one product to replace meat (like a soy burger or some beans) quickly while she's cooking, and substitute it? Or ask her to do that? These could help a bit with convenience when you really haven't got round to cooking/preparing food.
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#9 Old 11-10-2016, 07:34 AM
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I feel your pain! My husband is very supportive of me being vegan, but at the same time, his tummy just can't handle eating beans every night. I worry about him getting enough protein, so I try to make one big chicken casserole for him (even though I am not super comfortable cooking meat anymore) at the beginning of each week, and he eats from that on nights when he just can't stomach whatever I am eating. I know a lot of people would not be comfortable with this idea. I only recently went vegan, so I'm still in the transitional stage and it doesn't bother me TOO much.

I have a blog with lots of vegan recipes, and a section I call "5-ingredient, 15-minute" recipes. You can try it out if you like. I usually spend about half an hour on supper each night, so most of my recipes are about that long to make.
You can find me at honeyandcardamom.com
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#10 Old 01-08-2017, 10:14 AM
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On my day off I cook all day, then I have food for the whole week and I only have to clean the kitchen once! I also love having friends over for dinner! If you feel cooking is taking up all of your time perhaps you find it's just not worth it for one. I get so much more joy out of cooking when I can share it. Perhaps also you are putting too much on yourself at one time. great that you are growing food and making all of these changes. But don't try to do it all at once! Expand your garden over a series of several years, as you get the hang of growing one thing begin learning to grow something else. Things you can make ahead and freeze in individual portions: soups, burritos, pizzas, casseroles. Also the CROCK POT is the best invention, throw ingredients in and you will come home to a house that smells like YOUR DINNER and nothing to do but eat ! You would also be surprised to find your local library may have some vegetarian or vegan cookbooks. we live in a very small town and ours does. Good Luck!
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