Getting Started on a Plant Based Diet

Baby Steps

If you look at this as a single sweeping change, it appears monumental. Its better to make changes in smaller chunks. The author of the book Main Street Vegan   Victoria Moran, suggests removing one kind of animal from your diet at a time (“chicken and eggs are a great place to start”); being “vegan at home” to better control your food; or trying “vegetarian for now” and continuing to eat eggs and dairy.  My husband and I started withe things as we ran out of them.  This way we were able to not “starve” while finding suitable substitutes.

As long as you are moving towards the finish line, take the time and care you need to keep going.

Until I was sure of what I was doing, I didnt make it known that we had gone vegan. We needed the time to find a few choices and be comfortable with them before sharing with others.. this may help you as well.

Strength in Numbers

Many people find it beneficial to join support groups. There is, Facebook and sometimes local hospitals have plant based support groups.

You can still go out to dinner

Many restaurants have vegan options now. There are apps to help you find local restaurants and navigate menus. Experiment with new favorite foods

Don’t worry about nutrition at first.

As long as you are eating a variety of veggies, fruits, nuts and grains, you can fill in what is missing as you learn and explore

This is not about eating bland

There are many spices and vegatbles that used in a new way add a new dimension to your food. If you think about it … what do you put on meat? Spices (veggies)

Pass on the Pasta.

“Many who claim to be vegetarian or vegan are really starch-atarians filling meat voids with pasta, fries, bread,” and other non-plant substitutes, says Ashayla Patterson of the bakery Sweet Artique. Try to eat more healthy, whole foods to give your body the vital nutrients and antioxidants it needs.   – credit Readers Digest

 Your grocery list will change

This will change slowly as you explore. Grains, beans etc are inexpensive and without buying meat, most people see their grocery bill go down. ( unless you are filling with pre made products)

Have fun with new foods

Youtube is our go-to for finding great vegan recipes and being able to SEE how things come together.
Also see


Connies Rawsome Kitchen

Edgy Veg


Rice and Beans

This makes a good side dish, but we use it as burrito stuffing. If you have an instant pot or a rice cooker, that is best, if not you can cook the rice separate and cook the rest in a stew pot and combine later.

1.5 C Rice

1 20oz Can of Diced tomatos  (drained, save the water)

1 10oz can of Rotel (spiced) tomatos (drained, save the water)

1 can of dark or light kidney beans (drained, save the water)

3 Celery stalks chopped

1 med onion chopped ( we use red for color)

1 small can of corn, (drained, save the water)

1/4 C sliced black olives

1T Olive oil

Cilantro, pepper,salt to taste

2 C water (combine saved water and add fresh to 2 C)

In an instant pot, cook under pressure for 6 MIN

Once done, this can be spread on a tortilla with some refried beans and topped with lettuce, salsa, vegan sour cream.  We keep this in the fridge for fast lunches all week




Tofu Stir Fry

1 bag of frozen stir fry veggies of your choice (plain, not pre-spiced/sauced)

1 pkg of EXTRA firm tofu  (usually in produce section of any grocery store)

If your stir fry sauce is not vegan, you could premake this:

Mix the sherry and cornstarch separately – set aside

  • 2 Tablespoons Sherry (or Low-sodium Vegetable Broth)
  • 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch

In a low heat pan:

  • 1/2 cup Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Packed Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Sriracha (more Or Less To Taste)
  • 1 Tablespoon Minced Fresh Ginger (or 1/4t powder)
  • 3 Tablespoons Peanut/olive/sesame Oil
  • 2 whole Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • Sesame Seeds, these can be added now, or as a garnish.

Once fully heated, stir in the cornstarch mix and keep stirring until fully integrated and it starts to thicken … turn off heat (or put away) … will be added to veggies later.

1C white or jasmine rice  – make the usual way but with no butter! (Earth Balance is a good butter sub or veggie oil or coconut oil



Add or remove ingredients to suit your taste but here is a basic recipe


1 Small Green Cabbage, finely shredded

1/2 Small Red Cabbage, finely shredded

2 large Carrots, finely shredded




2 Tbl VEGAN Sour Cream

–Tofutti Sour Supreme available @ Piggly Wiggly in Elkhorn and many other area stores

2/3 C VEGAN Mayonnaise  (Just Mayo, Veganaise and Hellmans has one)

1-2 Tbl White (or apple cider)  Vinegar (to taste)

1 Tbl Grated Onion (squeeze the liquid out)

2 Tbl Sugar

1-2 tsp Dry Mustard

1/2 tsp Celery Seed (OPTIONAL)

Salt & Pepper, to taste

Pulled (not) Pork sandwiches


  • 1 (20-ounce) Can of Green Jackfruit in Brine

AMAZON Link – you can buy it from anywhere – make sure its YOUNG jackfruit in BRINE (not syrup – water may be ok)

  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil or ¼ Cup Water
  • 1 Small Onion, Finely Chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • ½ Cup Water
  • ¼ tsp Smoked Paprika (optional)
  • ¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • Any flavor BBQ sauce – as long as its vegan – if not sure ask me I will let you know!


  1. Drain and rinse jackfruit using a colander, cut the cores out (like you do pineapple) and shred the fruit.
  2. Heat oil or water on medium heat in a large skillet.
  3. Add onion and cook until soft, about 4 minutes.
  4. Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in jackfruit and add smoked paprika, cayenne pepper and salt, stirring to coat.
  5. Add water and barbecue sauce. Simmer, stirring until sauce thickens, for about 30 minutes.
  6. To serve, cut sandwich buns in half, top with barbecue jackfruit.

Tips and Ideas

If you can’t find canned jackfruit at your local supermarket try a local asian market, they often carry it – and at a better price too!

What else you will need

Buns/rolls of your choice, again check if its vegan, most breads are and are easy to ID. Ingredients that are common allergens are usually in BOLD (Wheat, soy, egg, milk, nuts etc so you can see if it has milk/eggs in it)

I have to do something

I have been mulling this idea around for nearly a year. So many people i know have not attempted vegan foods because they don’t want to buy something and not make it right, and it goes to waste.

Frankly if it wasn’t for my husbands past vegan experience and penchant for experimenting, I too would be resistant to a vegan diet because all that would leave me was salad and pasta… amiright?

Over the course of 3 yrs now we have made some of the basics a variety of ways and have found the best ways to cook some of the foods.

Have you ever read a recipe that said “its done when its gooey” but had no idea if it was “gooey enough” ?  or done enough?  I am hoping a couple of coaching sessions to show you how to make a few items may open up a world of possibilities for you.

Sometimes as a meat eater I sort of felt like a slave to the meat … Always had to have it on my plate. Was always looking for a good price, then making sure to use it before it went bad.  Of course fresh veggies have not changed, those too will have to be used before they go bad.. but seitan can be cooked on demand and jackfruit is in a can, not spoiling in the fridge.

Perhaps if you wanted to invite a friend over we could all hang out in the kitchen and get to know some new options for you to server your family. New, healthier and meat free.

When I think about how easy it really is… and how much suffering happens to the animals, I realize I have to do something. Even if its small.