Taking the meat off your plate

Making a meal that’s not centered around meat is a bit like Joey from ‘Friends’ not knowing where to put his furniture without a TV to point it at. What do I nuzzle up next to my potato and carrots?

Many of us were raised on meals such as these. If there was not meat on the plate there was most certainly an egg-based dish or a cheese sandwich. It’s the bit that gives us the protein right?

Heck yes and some!

It’s worth noting that we don’t need as much protein as is commonly believed and there is such as thing as too much. A varied plant-based diet gives us all the protein we need (including those essential amino acids) without the fat and cholesterol.

So what do we point our potato at?

Taking years of this style of food preparation and transforming it into a health-giving plant-based diet can be challenging. For many folk starting out, cooking up soy sausages and the like bring great comfort and familiarity. I’m not going to bag them entirely but recommend you treat them as occassional foods – they are highly processed and have ingredients lists as long as your arm.

Start with the starch.

Hunger is not an option on a plant-based diet and starch is what is going to fill you up and keep you dancing. Build your meals around potatoes, rice, quinoa, millet, couscous, bulger wheat, legumes and beans. Millions of folk around the world eat this way and have superior health.

So whilst you may become a dab hand at tofu cutlets or lentil burgers to fill the gap on your plate, it’s probably time to light that creative fire in the kitchen and try something new. Start with an Indian dhal and rice, or chilli beans over quinoa with guacamole on top; baked potato and mushroom gravy with your favourite side dishes. Have more of the vegetable dishes that you love, know that you are fully nourished, and if it comes back to your potatoes and carrots – mash em up, top with toasted sunflower seeds and serve with a big green salad.

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