How do you make a complete meal out of plants?   Leave a comment

I eat plants, mostly. This is a reflection of that.

When meal planning I like to use a few guidelines from The Physician’s Council for Responsible Medicine and the Harvard School of Nutrition. Basically split your plate into fourths and fill each quarter with legumes, grains, fruits, and vegetables.
I sort of made my own template bearing that in mind.

Half of meals (Lunch and Dinner)-
1/2 c legumes* (black beans, split peas, lentils, pinto beans, soy beans, navy beans, adzuki)
1/2 c grains* (barley, rice, wheat berries, quinoa, cous cous, polenta, millet, corn)
1/2 – 1 c steamed green vegetable (collard greens, broccoli, turnip greens, chard, asparagus)
1/2 c steamed or raw fruits or vegetables
2 tbs oil (olive, sesame, peanut, coconut, safflower, sunflower)
2 tsp herbs/spices (if dry), 2 tbs herbs (if fresh)
Dash of acid (lemon juice, red wine, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, orange juice)
salt and pepper to taste

Quarter of meals (L/D)-
1 serving legume/nut/seed/grain product (tofu, pasta, can of soup, whole wheat bread, almond yogurt, bean burgers, peanut butter)
1 serving complimentary legume/nut/seed/grain side* (if you’ve chosen tofu, pick a nut like cashew, or a grain like rice to eat it with.)
1/2 c green fruit or vegetable
1/2 c other fruit or vegetable
1-2 tbs oil
2 tsp dried herbs/spices
Dash of acid

Quarter of meals (L/D)-
1 serving of food that’s too processed, expensive, or both to eat on a more regular basis (white bread, seitan, TVP, Gardein meats, Tofurkey sausages, Field Roast deli slices, restaurant food (pizza, thai, Green Restaurant, Cornish Pasty Co.)
1 c fruits and vegetables
Condiments (Catsup, Mustard, Vegan Mayo)

Snacks – 2 per day – 1 snack is equal to one serving of A plus one serving of B or A + B = snack
You might not need snacks. If you find that you are hungry in between meals, try one of these combinations. Snacks are most important for people who are making sure to get enough of a certain molecule in their diet, people trying to gain weight, and athletes. But snacks are really for anyone who is hungry.
A – 1/4 c of nuts or seeds, or 2 tbl nut or seed butter
Peanut butter, cashews, filberts, sunflower seeds, pepitas, Brazil nuts, popcorn, almonds,

B – 1 serving
Apple slices, celery, dried cranberries, figs, papaya, berries, raisins, peach, plum, pear

Desserts are snacks, or breakfast.

Some cheap sources of calcium are chia seeds, tofu, molasses, and sesame seeds.

Mix it up. Eat a variety of foods, prepared a variety of ways. 

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Posted December 24, 2012 by deeats

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