Veganism has gained a lot of attention in the media in recent years. Social media has allowed for more information to be spread about the importance of adopting a plant-based diet. Influencers on all platforms have obtained views by posting about their vegan recipes and lifestyles. Leading a vegan lifestyle is the biggest way an individual can reduce their carbon footprint. Animal agriculture is directly responsible for massive amounts of carbon emissions as well as the destruction of forests and the waste of many resources worldwide. On top of the massive environmental impact, consuming animal-based products supports the abuse and slaughter of many innocent animals. If that isn’t enough, there are numerous reported positive health benefits to eating a plant-based diet. However, it is important to acknowledge that not everyone is able to live in this way due to personal health, financial reasons, or other circumstances. Another reason many people refrain from going vegan is due to the fact that it is a major lifestyle change. Altering something as important as the food we put into our bodies can be quite intimidating. If you are interested in transitioning to a vegan lifestyle or just want to work more plants into your diet, these options are easy to make and contain ingredients that you probably already have in your cabinets.
1. Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a delicious and nutritious vegan favorite. Simply pierce the skin of the potato all over with a fork and pop it in the oven to bake. While it is cooking, sautée up your favorite veggies. My go-to includes black beans, corn, tomatoes, and spinach. Once your potato is done, split it in half and fill it up with your veggies. This hearty meal will fill you up and is perfect for customization with your favorite veggies.
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2. Burrito Bowls
You can never go wrong with a burrito in any form. Again, this one is easy to customize to your tastes. Start with a layer of rice and top with sautéed peppers and onions as well as beans or chickpeas for protein. This can also be a great meal to try out a replacement meat! Of course, don’t forget to top it off with some avocado or guac!
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3. Pasta Salad
When you have a free afternoon, use the time to cook up a big batch of pasta salad for the week. Simply boil a large box of pasta, rinse, and combine in a bowl with finely chopped celery, red peppers, olives, cucumbers, and any other additions of your choice. Top with a generous amount of Italian dressing and leave in the fridge to marinate overnight.
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Okay, hear me out. Oatmeal sounds like a bland meal but it can actually be perfect on a cold morning. Cooking up a serving of old fashioned oats is quick and easy and you can top it off with whatever fruit you like. Personally, I like a little brown sugar and a sliced banana. Not only is it yummy and quick but it will keep you full all day!