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I am really trying to become a vegan. I can deal without the meat since I never was a huge fan of it. The hardest part for me now is finding simple ways to prepare meals for the whole day/week. I work full-time and have 2 small children (ages 2 and 4). I feel like I don't have alot of time to cook or even know what to prepare ahead of time. All the recipes I find seem so detailed and require a lot of ingredients. Looking for simple, low fat meals, with few steps. Can anyone help?
I am a mom of 2 girls ages 3 and 5 and here so here are some of the things that work for me.
1. Make a giant batch of brown rice and black beans on the weekend than you can have stirfry (just add veggies one night) make clean burritoes (recipe in book) for lunches at work all week.
2. Keep breakfast simple. smoothies with green tea (I still need the caffine) frozen waffle with banna or even the brown rice in microwave with raisins, a little maple syrup and some flax seed oil. You can even put rice milk in it.
3. I always have frozen whole wheat pizza dough in the fridge...the radicchio truffle oil pizza is my fav. recipe but I just use olive oil, and garlic , and add spinach to make it more affordable (no truffle oil)
So my lunches are always the burrito or miso soup you can make without a microwave from trader joes, only fruit, nuts or cruchy veggie for snack becuase it requires no prep and dinner is 1. pizza 2. stir fry 3. the squash soup (I think it only has 3 or four ingreadents 4. a whole wheat pasta with tomotos, olives, maybe some olive oil , and spinach mixed in or even a store bought tomato sauce with no extra ingreadents and 5. I make a dip and toast some tortias with in the oven to make chips. The dip is any left over rice and black beans from the week, store bought guacamole, black olives, shredded lettace, tomatos, etc. I layer everything and you can even add mexican seasoning if you want. I also sometimes add refried beans to this as well.
Hope that helps..Feel free to ask for more. I have been vegan for a while and my daughter is battling cancer so I have lots of easy recipes and tricks of the trade for mommies :)
I have two girls, ages 2 and 5, and a 6 year old boy. I also make a big batch of brown rice. My kids like things simple, they'll just eat that, but I'll take the rice and top it with canned black beans seasoned with chili powder, maybe melt some soy cheese and have greens on side. I love the tofu cream so I'll add that if available, my kids love tacos and that's easy, I'll just use beans, but my kids still like that meat so I do that for them. Pizza, is great too! I love the mushroom pizza, and radichio, but I'll let the kids have their own and add their toppings. I use whole wheat naan bread b/c it's the perfect size. My kids love rustic pasta, also the aduki bean/squash (although I use carrots) is really sweet and my little one loves that. I'm trying to use the dry beans more, but I find I forget to soak the beans so often I used canned alot. I just try to make the more simple dishes, and add in some fruit and bread for the kiddos. They also love to dip into soups and stews, so I'll make them a vegan grilled cheese for that. Good luck! I actually have very picky kids, but they seem to really eat this food really well. My girls never liked meat much, I do stll give them some meat b/c at this time, they won't eat enough beans to meet their protein requirements. Its a process and I'm working on it. My biggest challenge, however, is still the milk. My kids love their milk. I have started giving water at dinner, that's a start.
My sister JUST had a baby...3mos ago and is working part-time still..and she decided to go vegan with me. She has found that making big pots of soups work well for her. She starts with a vegetable broth or a no-chicken stock..adds lots of veggies..onion, garlic, squash, carrots, spinach and celery. Then she cooks up some barley for her grain in the soup and some lentil for her protien in the soup. She had it fully cooked in about 1-2 hrs and you have tons left over for the week ahead. Also...she always has rice cooked and ready to be created into a meal in the fridge...investing in a rice cooker is a great idea for someone who doesn't have alot of time. Imagine the possibilities of your crock pot next to the rice cooker. TOO MANY TO COUNT!! Smart Bacon by Light Life is another one of me and my sister's quick lazy night meals. We whip up BLTs in an instant with some veganaise salt and pepper mmmmmm. Sometimes...i will make 2 types of pasta and put them in the fridge and then make like 2 or 3 sauces and have them in the fridge so you can kinda mix and match pasta and sauce and use it throughout the week. Using the weekend for me or the time when the baby is sleeping or the hubby is home is the time my sister whips up her fridge creations that she will live off of the next few days. Hope this has helped.
One more thing...I would suggest the cook book: 1,000 Vegan Recipes..it is as thick as a phone book. Almost every single recipe in it has only about 6-10 ingredients and what I love best is most of the ingredients i already have. Lots of ideas.
WOW this is some great stuff! Ive been a little timid about going all the way vegan due to hefty / time consuming recipes but if you guys can do it Im sure I can ! (no kids for me, just a puppy) Thanks SO much for sharing! I havent even gotten TKL in the mail and I cant wait to get started!
Great ideas! I'm going to try some!
what about pastas, stir-frys, soups, bean stews, all very quick. there's so much you cand o with them and it doesn't take very long. That's generally what i eat, and i never plan ahead, i just make it up as i go along in about half an hour. hope that helps.
Wow!! Some really great ideas. I don't have the kids (just dogs) but I am not big on doing much cooking so alot of these ideas are fantastic. Not too labor-intensive. Perfect! Thanks, Karri, for the question and everyone else for the wonderful ideas.
Yes Some really good Ideas, Since I am a mother of two as well (6 &5), I am blessed since I don't work, but the ideas are good and I will follow them. Thanks.