I love food! Really good, really healthy, beautiful, whole food.
My top priorities to meal planning:
- Real food (plant based and un-refined, not highly processed)
- Delicious and attractive
- Simple to prepare
The hard part is, food cooked from scratch takes much longer to prepare than something from a package. It does not, however, take longer to eat. A discouraging reality for the home chef.
Simple food is not always simple to prepare.
I've compiled a list of books and resources that have been helpful to us over the years. I hope to post that here eventually.
In the meantime, here's an email I sent to a friend recently after she sent this text: "I'm trying to down-play my meat centric heritage when it comes to meals and wondered if I could ask if you have any go-to cookbooks or websites? I need more plants in my life."
I’ve been thinking over the question you sent me about getting more plants into your meals. When I looked at my cookbook shelf I realized that very few of my cookbooks are specifically vegetarian. Rather, I have the habit of checking out books from the library, finding one or two recipes I like and then adding them to my notebook of favorites. Many of our main meals are comprised of rice, quinoa, pasta or potatoes with variations of lentils, black beans or chickpeas, and a pile of veggies. (fruit or a bite of chocolate for a treat afterward, sometimes).
So my first question for you is, what vegetables do you like? That would be a starting point. You could find new ways to prepare a veggie that you already like. Last year, we discovered roasted cauliflower, after I read Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook It’s All Good. There’s also a great falafel recipe in that book (that I’ve adapted to baking not frying). My favorite Kale Salad comes from Andrew Weil’s book True Food. I have some selections from Vegetarian Everyday by David Frenkiel. This author also has a super website with a full recipe section, videos, and two cookbook apps. http://www.greenkitchenstories.com For me, simple food is best. Many of the Paleo style cookbooks have great vegetable side dishes that are just basic and delicious. Look at the Nom Nom Paleo book and website. http://nomnompaleo.com (there’s also an iPad app for this one).
Some of our other favorite veggies:
sautéed spinach (with olive oil, butter and garlic, salt & pepper - so easy!)
roasted eggplant [also roasted zucchini, peppers, onions, root vegetables]
spinach crepes with apple filling
hummus with raw veggies to dip
we often add a veggie to complement the fruit in our smoothies (beets, spinach, kale, edamame...)
snacks are fruit (fresh/frozen/dried), nuts, seeds
This is probably enough info to get your started. But if I think of other suggestions, I’ll send them along.