WHY BE VEGAN, AND HOW TO START
VEGAN NUTRITION RESOURCES AND INFO; TRANSITIONAL PLANS; VEGAN MENUS, AND MORE!
A FEW FAUX FISH PRODUCTS:
THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO BECOME A VEGAN
Some people like the step-by-step approach, or gradual approach (some people give up red meat, then poultry, then fish and seafood last), but others go "cold turkey" overnight. There are no ill-effects from that, as long as you eat a balanced diet.
MAKING THE TRANSITION TO A VEGAN DIET
You may be worried that, despite your good reasons for becoming vegan, the food will be so dull that you won’t be able to stick it out. Fortunately, there are so many wonderful vegan foods out there that a lifetime is not enough time to sample all the possibile combinations! It’s a challenge, there is no doubt, but give yourself time to change your “cooking mind set”, as I call it, to vegan ingredients and vegan meal-planning—it took me a year to be really comfortable. Don’t beat up on yourself if you mistakenly eat an animal food at first—just tuck away your new knowledge about that food, and keep on eating vegan!
It’s a lot easier to eat vegan than it was 10 years ago. There are fabulous vegan frozen entrees, dairy substitutes, meat substitutes, canned soups, cookies, chocolates—the list goes on and on! These can be expensive, however, so you will probably want to cook a lot of your own foods. .
Health food stores have a lot of the products you will be using, but many supermarkets are branching out and are good sources of nondairy milks, organic produce and bulk items, and even meat substitutes, so shop around. Asian markets have a lot of interesting items, including frozen vegetarian “mock meats” and “mock seafoods” that are fabulous and that you can get nowhere else! (There is a long tradition of Buddhist vegetarian “meats” in Asia-- visit a Chinese or Vietnamese Buddhist vegetarian restaurant if you can, and you will be amazed at the fabulous food and long menus!)
If you have a local vegetarian society or EarthSave chapter, join it—you’ll be able to participate in potlucks where you can sample vegan dishes and swap recipes.
You probably have some vegan recipes in your reperetoire already, and you don’t even think of themas vegan—four-bean salad; meatless spaghetti sauce; lentil soup; etc.. Often, recipes need just a little “tweaking” to become vegan-- for example, substituting soymillk for milk, or vegetarian “hamburger crumbles” for the ground beef.
For support in continuing your vegan lifestyle, despite opposition from friends and family, you might also like to read "Living Among Meat-Eaters" by Carol J. Adams.
Anyone who eats a varied diet and enough calories to maintain their body weight and energy level is getting enough protein (perhaps more than enough), and as long as you eat a variety of foods, you don’t need to worry about combining proteins (eating beans and grains at the same meal, etc.). The majority of North Americans eat two to three times more protein than they actually need. The American Dietetic Association’s position paper on vegetarian nutrition states, “Plant sources of protein alone can provide adequate amounts of essential amino acids [the “building blocks” of protein. BCG] if a variety of plant foods and energy needs are met.”
All known nutrients (with the possible exceptions of vitamin B12 and vitamin D) are adequately supplied by a varied diet of any whole, vegetarian foods which supplies you with enough calories for good health. You can meet your requirement for vitamin B12 by taking 25 micrograms each week in pill form, or eating nutritional yeast flakes that have B12 added (Red Star Vegetarian Nutritional Support Formula). If you expose your face and arms to the sun (even when it’s cloudy) for 10 to 15 minutes a day, your body will naturally produce enough vitamin D. This amount of exposure will be sufficient if you live in the southern areas of the U.S. I recommend that you take some vitamin D from a vegetable source during the winter if you live in a northern climate or are nursing or pregnant.
Over-consumption of protein and salt, NOT under-consumption of calcium, may be the most important factors contributing to osteoporosis. World health statistics show that the disease is most common in countries where dairy products are consumed in large quantities. Good vegetarian sources of calcium are kale, dried legumes, sesame meal, blackstrap molasses, leafy green vegetables, carob, soy flour, tofu made with calcium salts (most commercial tofu iscurded with this), dried fruit, nutritional yeast, corn tortillas and masa harina, acorn squash, and sea vegetables. If you are still concerned about calcium, take calcium carbonate, the cheapest, most concentrated, and easily absorbed form. Get plenty of exercise, avoid alcohol and tobacco, and reduce your consumption of caffeine and soft drinks.
You do not need to eat red meat for iron. Some excellent vegetarian sources of iron are sea vegetables, prunes and other dried fruits, prune juice, nutritional yeast, blackstrap molasses, beans, soyfoods, whole grains, potatoes, tahini, and fresh peas. Dairy products lack iron and overconsumption of them can even block iron absorption. Your iron absorption is increased by eating plenty of foods rich in vitamin C, such as fruits and vegetables, not drinking caffeinated beverages (including tea) with meals, and by cooking in cast iron pots. The Chinese have excellent iron levels despite high levels of fiber* and low levels of red meat in their diet.
*(Vegetarians and vegans eat, on average, more fiber than most North Americans. Some people will warn you that there are indigestile carbohydrates and other compounds, particularly phytic acid and oxalic acid, in high-fiber foods that can actually reduce your intake of nutrients. However, this has been proven to be nothing to worry about. Studies compating the availability of zinc in white and wholewheat bread, for instance, found that, though zinc was less available in the wholewheat bread, the net zinc absorption was greater with wholewheat than white simply because there was much more zinc present in the whole grain! Some of these acids are destroyed by fermentation, sprouting, and cooking, in any case. Fermentation of foods in the bowel [promoted bythe presence of dietary fiber] also helps the body absorb minerals.)
If you are pregnant, nursing, ill, or under stress, you will need to include more concentrated proteins (tofu, tempeh, textured vegetable protein, other soyfoods, and seitan). If you are expending large amounts of energy, you will need more whole grains, fruits, and high-carbohydrate vegetables.
Remember this-- eat a variety of whole foods in as close to their natural state as possible.
A" must read" is the highly-recommended nutrition book, "Becoming Vegan" (Book Publishing Co.) by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina, both vegan RDs.
Another excellent book is “The Vegetarian Way” by vegan registered dietician Virginia Messina. She has an excellent website and blog, and you can read her answers to people’s questions in archives of over 100 entries from her older website (click "parent directory" when you get there).
IDEAS FOR PLANNING A BETTER VEGAN DIET
Here are some ideas for planning a better diet written by Virginia Messina, RD (registered dietician):
Protein-rich tofu dish with sundried tomatoes
DO YOU NEED TO WORRY ABOUT PROTEIN?
Here are some articles on protein and the vegetarian diet that can enlighten you:
This is a really great article with a comprehensive list of vegan foods and protein counts. Go to:
Must read! http://www.nealhendrickson.com/mcdougall/031200puprotein.htm
BRYANNA’S LIST OF Good Nondairy Sources of Calcium
From my book “Soyfoods Cooking for a Positive Menopause”.
Here's an excerpt about calcium and the vegan diet:
Several brands of soymilk and orange juice are fortified with calcium, vitamin D, and other nutrients. Check the labels for more information. Some ready-to-eat cold breakfast cereals are also fortified with calcium.
Seeds, such as sesame, also provide calcium, but they are so high in fat that I would not depend on them as a regular source of calcium, so I have not listed them here. However, for children, they can be a good source, since they need more fat. 2 T. whole unhulled (brown) sesame seeds, which contains 218 mgs! However, you won’t ingest any of this if the seeds are not very finely ground.
Seaweed is often touted as a good calcium source, but you have to eat so much of some of them that I don’t think it’s practical for most people. For instance, 2 strips of kombu contains 13 mg and a sheet of nori has about 7.5 mgs. However, two less common varieties have respectable amounts of calcium, if you like sea vegetables. About 7.8 g (approx. 1/4 cup) dried arame contains 67 mg; and the same amount of hijiki contains about 60 mg. (wakame only contains about 12 mg for the same amount).
I also have not listed high-oxalate foods such as almonds, spinach, chard, beets, beet greens, parsley, and rhubarb. Although these are high in calcium, the oxalates prevent much of it from being available to the body. There is no need to avoid these foods, since they are high in other nutrients, but don’t depend on them for calcium.
CALCIUM AMOUNT AND TYPE OF FOOD
753 mG 3 ounces pressed or extra-firm tofu curdled with nigari and calcium sulphate
683 mg 3 ounces firm tofu curdled with calcium sulphate
377 mg 3 ounces pressed or extra-firm tofu made with nigari
357 mg 1 cup cooked collard greens
350 mg 3 ounces medium-firm tofu curdled with calcium suphate
280 mg 2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
258 mg 1/2 cup (4 ounces) firm tofu made with nigari
252 mg 1 cup cooked turnip greens
232 mg 1/2 cup dry-roasted soybeans
206 mg 1 cup cooked kale
205 mg 3 ounces firm tofu curdled with magnesium chloride
200-300 mg 1 teaspoon baking powder
196 mg 2 corn tortillas or 16 baked tortilla chips
193 mg 1 cup cooked mustard greens
179 mg 7-inch waffle (made with baking powder),
176 mg 1 cup cooked okra
78 mg 1 cup cooked broccoli
158 mg 1 cup cooked bok choy
145 mg 3 ounces boiled green soybeans
115 mg 1/2 cup masa harina (the special corn flour used to make tortillas)
108 mg 1 cup baked acorn squash
125 mg 1/2 (12.3-ounce) package silken tofu
105 mg 3 ounces medium-firm tofu curdled with magnesium chloride
102 mg 1 ounce soy protein isolate powder
100 mg 4 ounces soy tempeh
100 mg 1 cup cooked chick-peas, white beans, or pinto beans
88 mg 1/2 cup cooked dried soybeans
83 mg 1/2 cup carrot juice
68 mg 1/4 cup dry textured soy protein (1/2 cup reconstituted)
62 mg 1 cup cooked green beans
56 mg 1 cup cooked potato
49 mg 1/2 cup okara (soybean pulp from making tofu or soymilk)
45 mg 1 tablespoon naturally fermented soy sauce
There is good information from vegan registered dieticians Vesanto Melina and Brenda Davis in this article.
IRON IN VEGETARIAN FOODS
Contrary to what you may have been told, you do not need to eat red meat for iron! Some excellent vegetarian sources of iron are sea vegetables; prunes and other dried fruits; prune juice; nutritional yeast; beans and legumes; soyfoods; whole grains; potatoes; tahini; fresh peas; and leafy greens like kale, collards, mustard and turnip greens, or any green in the brassica (cabbage) family. Nuts, seeds and wheat germ also have some iron. Blackstrap molasses is one of the best sources! Dairy products lack iron and, actually, over- consumption of them can even block iron absorption.
Your iron absorption is increased by eating plenty of foods rich in vitamin C, such as fruits and vegetables, not drinking caffeinated beverages (including tea) along with your meals, and by cooking in cast iron pots. (Yes! This is true-- some of the iron, which is bioavailable, leaches into the food during cooking, especially if the food is acid, such as tomato sauce.) The Chinese have excellent iron levels despite high levels of fiber (*see footnote on fiber below) and low levels of red meat in their diet.
Here's an excerpt from the Position of the American Dietetic Association: Vegetarian Diets:
"Adequate iron nutriture depends on both the amount of dietary iron consumed and the amount absorbed. Inhibitors and enhancers affect the absorption of nonheme iron, the form of iron found in plants. However, inhibitors and enhancers can offset each other when a variety of foods is consumed. Vegetarians are not at greater risk of iron deficiency than non-vegetarians, but Western vegetarians generally have better iron status than those in developing countries. Western vegetarians generally have an adequate intake of iron from plant products. They also consume greater amounts of ascorbic acid, an important enhancer of nonheme iron absorption. In contrast, vegetarians in developing countries rely on food staples that are low in iron; consume less ascorbic acid; and consume more tea, which contains tannin, an inhibitor of iron absorption. "
Here's a good article on iron in vegetarian diets:
*FOOTNOTE ON FIBER AND IRON: Vegetarians and vegans eat, on average, more fiber than most North Americans. Some people will warn you that there are indigestible carbohydrates and other compounds, particularly phytic acid and oxalic acid, in high-fiber foods that can actually reduce your intake of nutrients. However, this has been proven to be nothing to worry about. Studies comparing the availability of zinc in white and wholewheat bread, for instance, found that, though zinc was less available in the wholewheat bread, the net zinc absorption was greater with wholewheat than white simply because there was much more zinc present in the whole grain! Some of these acids are destroyed by fermentation, sprouting, and cooking, in any case. Fermentation of foods in the bowel [promoted by the presence of dietary fiber] also helps the body absorb minerals.
You don't really need special recipes-- just use the foods that are recommended above (beans, greens, whole grains, nuts, dried fruits, blackstrap molasses, etc.).
VITAMIN D FOR VEGANS
VITAMIN D FOR DULL DAYS
by vegan registered dieticians Vesanto Melina and Brenda Davis, authors of "Becoming Vegan" at http://www.aquarianonline.com/Wellness/bones.html
When we expose our hands or face to warm sunlight, even for just a few minutes, our skin cells form vitamin D. Vitamin D is also added to two types of foods: milks (dairy and fortified plant milks) and margarine. The only significant natural dietary source is oily fish (about 300 international units [IU] per 100 gram serving) and fish liver oil. Eggs (25 IU each) and liver (30 IU per serving) also contribute a small amount. If our bodies have too little vitamin D, the skeleton will be inadequately mineralized, leading to a condition called rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.
To get enough vitamin D from sun exposure, a general guideline for North Americans is an average of ten to fifteen minutes daily, mid-morning to late afternoon, on the face and hands, for light-skinned people. Darker-skinned people need more (thirty minutes to three hours daily, depending on skin colour). Because overexposure can increase risk of skin cancer; moderate sun exposure seems the wisest course.
In Canada, infants and children cannot depend on adequate skin exposure to sunlight for vitamin D synthesis due to our northern latitudes, especially between November and March. All breast-fed babies and toddlers should receive vitamin D drops (available at pharmacies), especially if, while pregnant, you did not get adequate vitamin D from dietary sources or from a prenatal supplement, or if you wore sunscreen whenever you were outside.
Guidelines set in 1998 advise that if we do not have adequate exposure to sunlight, our intake should be 5 micrograms (200 IU) of vitamin D per day up to the age of fifty-one, and then double that amount until the age of seventy-one when it increases again by 50 percent. Requirements increase as we get older because our skin production drops. Vitamin D supplementation has proven to be effective in preventing bone loss and is deemed especially necessary after seventy years of age. Labels on supplements may list vitamin D in micrograms (also listed as mcg or ?) or as international units or IU (I mcg is equivalent to 40 IU).
There are two forms of vitamin D, vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol, generally made from yeast) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol, from the skins of sheep, cows, and pigs, and from sheep's wool). Our bodies can use either form. Researchers have found vitamin D2 to be about 60 percent as effective as vitamin D3 in raising serum vitamin D levels. It makes sense for vegetarians who prefer to use the form that is not of animal origin (vitamin D2) to increase their intakes accordingly (multiply by 1.7).
V.M. and B.D
The excellent book "Becoming Vegan", by registered dieticians Vesanto Melina and Brenda Davis, has a great section on zinc and a two-page chart of foods with zinc counts. They state that vegans with low caloric intake tend to be the ones with low zinc intake (mostly women), probably because they tend to restrict the zinc-rich foods of the plant kingdom-- grains, nuts, seeds, and even legumes. They suggest using zinc-rich foods like tahini, pumpkin seeds and other nuts and seeds, legumes, soyfoods, sprouts, fermented foods like miso and tempeh, and also state that many meat analogs are zinc-fortified.
Here is a good explanation of omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids. We must distinguish between the two polyunsaturated fatty acids which are termed essential because they can not be made in the body and therefore must be present in the diet. They are linoleic acid (LA), an omega 6 fat, which is widely available in a vegetarian diet, being present in large quantities in most oils and other vegetable based fatty foods, and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega 3 fat, which is not so widely available in a vegetarian diet, and is generally considered to be the more beneficial of the two EFAs [essential fatty acids].
RICH PLANT SOURCES OF OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS:
(Note: many foods other than flax and hemp have smaller, but useful, amounts of omega-3’s which also add to your diet—green leafy vegetables, herbs like mint and oregano, mustard seeds, ground cloves, cooked dried beans and other legumes, summer squash, orange winter squash, wheat germ, oat bran, and berries, to name a few.)
You can use the chart below to get the recommended amount of omega 3's every day (see below chart), whatever your dietary needs or problems, likes or dislikes. Obviously, adding 2 tsp. of raw flax oil to your diet every day gives you the most omega 3's for your calories, but you may prefer to use a variety of these foods for taste and nutrient value.
I used the following sources below to make the chart, which you can use to make sure you get omega-3 fatty acids in your diet:
(Amount of omega 3 fatty acids in g [gram] amounts)
OILS: (oils are generally about 120 calories per T.):
Flaxseed oil, 2 tsp.= 4.4 g
Hemp seed oil, 1 T.= 3 g
(Keep flax, hemp, and walnut oil refrigerated or frozen; keep canola and other oils in a cool dark place in a tightly-covered container.)
NUTS AND SEEDS (keep refrigerated or frozen):
NOTE: If you like your nuts and seeds roasted, do so gently--in a 160-170 degree oven for 15-20 minutes--to preserve the omega-3 fats.
Flaxseeds, raw ground, 2 T.= 3.2 g (120 calories)
Hemp seeds, shelled, 2 T.= 2 g (160 calories)
Walnuts, 2 T.= 1.15 g (80 calories)
Pumpkin seeds, 2 T.= 1 g (93 calories)
Cooked soybeans, 1 c.= 1.1 g (160 calories)
Tofu, firm, 1/2 c.= 0.7 g (139 calories)
Tofu, medium-firm, 1 c.= 0.8 g (194 calories)
Soymilk, 2 c.= 0.8 g (about 180 calories, total, depending on brand)
What are current public health recommendations for omega 3 fatty acids?
To date, the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences has not yet issued any Dietary Reference Intakes for omega 3 fats. Recently, however, the National Institutes of Health recommended that people consume at least 2% of their total daily calories as omega 3 fats.
To meet this recommendation, a person consuming 2000 calories per day should eat at least 4 grams of omega 3 fats.
By combining one-quarter cup of walnuts with a tablespoon of flaxseeds you will add close to the recommended 4 grams of omega 3 fats to your diet. If you don't like flax, you can get over 4 g by eating the following in a day: 1/2 c. firm tofu; 2 c. soymilk, 2 T. walnuts, 2 T. pumpkin seeds and 1 tsp. canola oil.
Or, you could just munch on a mixture of 1/4 c. pumpkin seeds and 1/4 c. walnuts, if you don't mind the calories (1/4 c. walnuts is about 160 calories, and 1/4 c. pumpkin seeds is about 186 calories-- but you get all kinds of healthful benefits from these two food).
"...What we do know is that vegans can process DHA, but whether or not the amount they process is optimal for human health is the big question. Vegans generally have significantly lower levels of DHA than nonvegetarians (well under half in most cases), and while dietary modification can improve DHA levels, it doesn't bring it up to nonvegetarian levels unless a direct source of DHA is consumed. The actual conversion rate from LNA to DHA is approximately 2-5% (or less). To maximize conversion of DHA:
1.) Reduce intake of omega-6 fatty acids (these come mainly from processed foods and omega-6-rich oils such as sunflower oil, safflower oil, corn oil, soy oil and grapeseed oil).
2.) Limit intake of saturated fats and trans fatty acids (these reduce conversion).
3.) Make most of your fat intake monounsaturated fats (olives, olive oil, canola oil, avocados, nuts and nut oils).
4.) Include sufficient omega-3 fatty acids in the daily diet (flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, hempseed and hempseed oil, canola oil, walnuts, green leafy vegetables). For most adults 3-4 grams per day is a reasonable intake.
5.) Eat a nutritious diet - poor intakes of energy, protein and certain vitamins and minerals can reduce conversion.
HEMP OR FLAX?
I put this question to Brenda Davis. She pointed out that there are two important considerations:
1.) Getting a good balance between omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids - 2:1-4:1 is reasonable.
2. ) Getting enough omega 3 fatty acids (for most vegetarians, about 3-5 g is recommended)
She told me that we certainly need to keep a lid on omega 6 intake, and that we can get enough omega 3 in a variety of ways. One way would be simply to eat a fairly low fat diet and include hempseeds and hempseed oil (if you use oil). Hemp has an omega 6:omega 3 ratio of 2:1 – pretty much perfect.
However, if you use a fair amount of omega 6-rich foods (which includes soy products, polyunsaturated oils, and many processed foods) the perfect ratio would tip in the favor of omega 6 quickly if hemp is your primary source of omega 3. Flax is has a ratio of 0.28:1 so it can help to balance out excess omega 6 quite more rapidly.
If your diet contains more omega 6, flax is a good choice.
Here is what both Brenda and I do:
1. Do not use omega 6 rich oils (sunflower, safflower, grapeseed, corn, soy, etc) as a primary source of fat.
2. Use sources of mono-rich foods for additional fat – avocado, olives, nuts, etc., and small amounts of olive oil for culinary purposes.
3. Use seeds that contain omega 6 in moderation, such as sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds.
4. Use several sources of omega 3 fatty acids – hemp seeds, hemp seed oil, flaxseeds (usually ground on morning cereal), flaxseed oil, walnuts, canola oil, dark leafy greens, etc. . Small amounts of hemp seed oil or flaxseed oil can be used in salad dressings, or even in smoothies.
SO, ARE SOYFOODS GOOD OR BAD FOR BALANCED EFA'S?
Aside from soy oil, soy products such as tofu, soybeans, and soymilk can make a signifiicant contribution to total ALA (alpha-linolenic acid, an omega 3 fat) intake, and the omega-6 can be balanced out with a small amount of flax oil or seeds.
Serving size ALA ALA LA n-6:n-3(ratio of omega-6 to omega -3)
Soybeans, 1 cup cooked (172 g) 7 1.0 50 7:1
Tofu, firm, 1/2 cup (4.5 oz; 126 g) 7 0.7 50 7:1
OMEGA 3’S ON A VERY LOWFAT DIET:
The lowest calorie way to get 4 g a day of reliable omega 3’s is to use 2 tsp. of RAW flaxseed oil on your food every day (80 calories). 2 T. raw flaxseed (ground) plus 1/2 c. firm tofu will give you just about 4 g for 260 calories.
Greens contain only small amounts of omega 3's and, of course, you must eat more volume of raw greens, so you would have to eat quite alot of these greens to get the amount of omega 3 daily that is recommended by many experts-- 4 g a day.
I think it would be difficult to get all of your omega 3's on a very low-fat diet from greens alone.
A scholarly article:
This is a good, practical article (skip the fish!):
This page has a short list of foods and amounts of omega 3’s.
This page has a more complete list:
Here is an article about omega-3 fatty acids in wild plants, nuts and seeds:
about interesting research re fish vs. plant oil sources.
THE IMPACT OF COOKING ON FLAXSEEDS AND FLAXSEED OIL:
The above is a reprint from the Flax Council of Canada website, basically showing that the essential fatty acids in ground flax seed are stable under baking conditions.
Homemade vegan "cheeze" -- a good source of B12 (if you use nutritional yeast with B12)!
Read this article by vegan registered dietician Virginia Messina for some good information.
My comment: The only thing that is missing from this article is emphasis on the fact that we cannot get B12 through natural source anymore because we are too clean! When tempeh first became available in this country it was touted as a vitamin B12 source. In fact, it is in Indonesia, where it originated. This is because they grow it on banana leaves out in the open. But in North America that wouldn't be legal. It has to be grown under sterile conditions, so there is no B12 on ours! B12 grows on rotting things, ie meat, dirt, sometimes even the dirt on our teeth! That's why she says: "It is also true that plant foods can be contaminated with B12 if they are not cleaned before eating. But this is a risky way to get B12 since unclean food can harbor a lot more than B12. And it is simply not a reliable way to get adequate vitamin B12." We clean everything well before eating it-- our ancestors and people in third world countries often could not.
So, to those people who think it's not "natural", I tell them that I would rather get B12 in a pill or in cereal or nutritional yeast, than on rotting flesh (better known as "well-aged meat")!
7 Days of Sample Vegan Menus
I didn't add dessert or beverages (except as snacks)-- you can add as you like. I tried not to repeat too many things, just so you can see that there is alot of variety, even with simple menus, and noted that you can use purchased as well as homemade items, like soups ,etc.. Although I generally make homemade items, this menu demonstrates that you can eat well even if you don’t have a lot of time or inclination to cook. BCG
Oatmeal cooked with
sprinkled with ground flax seed
served with soymilk
Bean and vegetable soup (canned or homemade)
a mandarin orange
A shake made with soymilk, frozen banana, berries, a little ground flaxseed and a spoonful of soy protein
Spaghetti with chunky tomato sauce (purchased or homemade)
Optional: Yves veggie "meatballs” or "meatballs" made from Lightlife ground meat or sausage substitute
steamed broccoli with a sprinkle of roasted sesame oil
Popcorn with a little olive oil or melted margarine and nutritional yeast
2 wholegrain vegan toaster waffles with low-sugar jam
hot cocoa made with soymilk
1/2 a grapefruit
Hummous (could be purchased) spread on a wholewheat flour tortilla with vegetables of choice as a "wrap"
tabbouleh salad (bulgur and parsley) (could be purchased)
raw veggies with
tofu-onion soup dip (Fantastic Foods)
Grilled extra-firm tofu with bottled barbecue or Asian Sauce
steamed brown basmati rice
stir-fried veggies (could be a frozen combo)
wholegrain cinnamon toast and tea
Sunny Boy, Red River, or other wholegrain hot cereal
Sandwich of wholegrain bread, low-fat mayo, veggie "deli slices" and lettuce or sprouts
bowl of light soup (could be a canned vegetarian pea soup, or canned tomato made with soymilk, etc.)
baked tortilla chips and
raw veggies with
veggie refried bean dip
Stir-fried veggies with
reconstituted textured soy protein chunks, sliced seitan, or strips of any veggie "chicken"
(Note: Make enough for some for lunch tomorrow)
Snack: a handful of nuts
wholegrain cold cereal with
fresh fruit and
Leftovers from last night's dinner
1/2 a bagel with some
tofu cream cheese and
strips of sundried tomatoes in oil
piece of fruit
Shepherd's pie made from veggie "hamburger crumbles",
frozen peas and carrots, sauteed onions and mushrooms, veg gravy (can use a mix),
and topped with mashed potatoes made from organic mix
hot chocolate made with soymilk
Hash brown potatoes (frozen or from previously cooked potatoes) with
Lentil soup with
crusty bread and
Fruit shake (as above)
Tofu hot dogs or veggie sausages boiled, chunked and browned with
sauteed bell peppers and onions, in a bit of canned Italian tomato sauce
Serve on split crusty Italian rolls
Carrot and cabbage slaw
a small piece of vegan chocolate
Muesli cereal with
Burger made with a frozen veggie burger on a
cabbage and carrot slaw from night before
wholegrain crackers with
homemade or purchased veggie pate
Stuffed potatoes made with
vegan white sauce and soy parmesan
fruit and nuts
wholegrain pancakes with maple syrup
pizza (vegan, can be purchased or made with pita breads as crust)
large mixed salad
Chocolate milkshake, made with soymilk, tofu, frozen banana and chocolate syrup
Vegetarian Chile (canned or homemade)
sauteed summer squash and corn
baked corn chips and salsa
More Sample Menus and Ideas:
Vegetarian meal-planning ideas
2 vegan menus from PETA
A week of menus and how to plan menus
An article from vegan registered dietician Virginia Messina, with two menus.