Updated: Aug 4, 2018
The number one question I get from clients and friends who are trying to make vegetables more of a main in their diet is, "where do I start?" I get it; the typical American diet is meat-centric. Our plates are built around the main and that main is almost always meat. When you are thinking about making vegetable, grain, or fruit the main feature of your dish, it may feel like something is missing. I would suggest thinking of a plant-based protein alternative to help! Maybe beef meatloaf becomes chickpea-loaf (recipe below!), or bolognese is made with lentils. This may help the transition as you get used to thinking about our plate as more of a home for vegetables than an animal protein feature.
When we began our plant-based journey, my fiance and I had some creativity problems. And then, when we had mastered pinteresting vegetable recipes, it was the execution that eluded us. We can follow a recipe but being creative AND learning how to cook vegetables was a bit too much. Our savior came in the form of a meal delivery box. You may have seen these advertisements on your FB feed or pop up on a television commercial - there are so many now! Blue Apron, Purple Carrot, Green Chef, Home Fresh, etc. etc. etc. We started subscribing and found that they, not only taught us how to prepare and cook vegetables but, also how to think creatively about recipes. I highly recommend starting with a company that provides vegetarian or vegan (they may even have a plant-based option) box. We ended up sticking with Green Chef since their recipes are a good combination of flavor and balanced calories. We found that some companies relied on dousing the vegetables in heavy cashew creme sauces, or used a lot of sweetened sauces to jazz it up. This feels lazy to me. Sure, those taste good but it isn't useful for our health goals! Finding a balanced option takes work and I appreciate that Green Chef thinks outside the box (no pun intended). I do find that we have to review the weekly selections to make sure we don't get an ingredient we avoid (capers, or olive based dishes are tough for our palates) but, if you're starting off, I recommend being open and accepting that some dishes aren't going to be winners for you. Keep trying!
You can try a free week of Green Chef through our link here: http://greenchef.com/invite/n7p7ma
Disclaimer: if you stick with an order after the free week, we do get a small reward of $25 off our subscription but that's just a nice maybe and we encourage you to try as many of the companies as you want until you find one you like.