YOUR GUIDE TO A MEAT-FREE KITCHEN
Start your vego journey to better health in five simple steps.
1 Know your plant-based proteins
We know what you’re thinking … what about protein? “The biggest myth about vegetarian diets is that you can’t get enough protein,” says Radd. “In Australia, we eat plenty of protein — too much even. But a diet that includes a variety of plant foods, including legumes, nuts and seeds, makes it easy to get enough protein, but not too much.”
Plant-based proteins tend to have a better nutrient package than animal proteins. Plant protein is packed with fibre, healthy fats, vitamins and antioxidants. Here’s how to get your protein fix. SOY MILK, TOFU & SOY MINCE are made from the humble soy bean. Silken tofu can be used to make sauces and dips, while the firm variety is perfect for stir-fries, grills and curries. Include calcium-fortified soy milk in drinks and porridge. NUTS & NUT BUTTERS provide healthy fats, protein and a host of vitamins and minerals. Eating 30g of nuts a day (a handful) has been shown to lower your risk of developing heart disease by 30–50 per cent, and improve longevity. LEGUMES such as chickpeas, beans and lentils provide good-quality protein and fibre, and have a low-glycaemic index, which explains why they’re so filling! Aussies don’t eat enough legumes. In fact, we need to increase our intake by 470 per cent to meet dietary guidelines. If flatulence is an issue, try soaking dried legumes in water for at least 18 hours before cooking them.
2 Overhaul your pantry
Did you know that most of us make 250 food-related decisions every day? So that it’s a whole lot easier to make healthy choices at home, fill your pantry with wholesome foods that you can easily transform into delicious meals. Start with these meat-free must-haves:
3Get ahead on your prep
Studies show that more time spent at home preparing meals is an indicator of healthy eating. But, that doesn’t mean you have to be a slave to the kitchen. Some basic food prep on the weekend will save you loads of time during the week, so you have more time to sit and eat together as a family — win-win!
These five time-saving hacks will give you a head start.
1 Cook a big batch of legumes, brown rice or any other whole grain on the stove top, or in a pressure cooker or rice cooker. Divide into smaller portions and freeze until ready to reheat and add to meals. 2 Roast vegetables, such as sweet potato, pumpkin, red capsicum and eggplant until tender, then toss through salads or bake into frittatas. 3 Make a tomato-based sauce from fresh or canned tomatoes, passata, onions, garlic and herbs. Freeze into smaller portions to use in stews, curries, pasta dishes or soups. 4 Whip up a batch of vegie fritters, then store in the fridge for lunches over several days. For recipe inspiration, go to healthyfoodguide.com.au 5 Pre-chop vegies such as cucumber and carrots and store in containers in the fridge for an easy, healthy snack. It’s a great way to get in more raw veg while waiting for dinner! Turn to p90 for your 7-day vegetarian meal plan.
on Centre meals & soy nuts, legumes