Hello! Namaste! I am excited to share recipes with friends, family, and anyone looking for simple vegan recipes (or more likely, what I consider is vegan).
My recipes will be concise. My story is not (see below).
Rest assured, my recipes will never contain a long story.
I care about health, longevity, and sustainability.
That is the summary of all that follows.
That is all you need to know.
Feel free to skip to the recipes now.
There are so many incredible food blogs, many of which I rely on for inspiration, quick recipes, and advice on vegan substitutions. I am not an expert on a vegan diet or lifestyle. All I can offer is my experience from growing up vegetarian, then experiencing travel in a pre-plantbasedrevolution world in which I started eating poultry ‘to survive’ and then coming full circle back to vegetarianism and then slowly shedding the eggs/dairy and entering veganism ‘to survive’.
I learned how to cook the year before I started medical school and it is the best thing I did. I was able to feed myself no matter what ingredients I had or how much money I had. I was mostly healthy but mostly just trying to survive and keep enough glucose going to my brain during late night study sessions.
Then, in intern year, I relied heavily on what the hospital offered and what free food was offered at our various lectures. Then, my hair started falling out. In clumps. It wasn’t just the stress of intern year but the lack of fruits and vegetables served at the lectures for all the doctors in training. The irony. Proof that dietary education is lacking everywhere – even in medical schools and hospitals. I started making green smoothies every morning so I would at least have some fruits and vegetables fueling my day. I later added protein shakes so I could make it through my workouts at the end of the day. I started taking homemade meals and snacks so I could at least eat something if I didn’t make it to the cafeteria for several hours.
I finally graduated residency and had more time (and money) to invest in my diet and fresh foods and also had more time to research my diet and lifestyle as a whole. I was then smacked with one surprise after another. I remember when my jaw dropped open watching the various documentaries on Netflix about the meat industry, sustainability, plant-based diets, plant-based athletes, etc. I had recently started working with a trainer at my local gym and his advice was always “eat more” so of course like any other person in the weight room (or so I presumed), I piled on more meat onto my plate (salmon, to be specific). I never did eat red meat so the most protein-dense meat that I would willingly consume was salmon. Lots of salmon. I was falling asleep at the table. I felt so stuffed and lethargic after meals..and when I woke..and during the day. After I watched those documentaries, I made a decision to go back to being a vegetarian. I had already finished all the salmon in the fridge and freezer and just didn’t buy anymore. No more poultry and no more seafood. Of course, I would not be vegan because that would be crazy to cut out all the nutrients provided by eggs and dairy!
Later on down the road, I felt compelled to educate myself on dairy, its necessity, and the dairy industry. I knew I was ignoring some facts selfishly so I could carry on eating eggs and consuming dairy. I also was loading up on lots of unhealthy fats eating eggs and cheese, often multiple times a day…
Now, it’s oat milk, cheeze, fruits and veggies. I’m not even a fan of the cheeze so much. I am shocked by how little I miss cheese. I tried some queso recently, which I used to love (forgive me, I am not quite a strict vegan yet, it’s still new to me), and my new microbiome just cannot digest it anymore.. Also, my taste buds have changed drastically. Since medical school, I have cooked most days if not everyday. I have always tried new recipes and created my own healthy spin. However, it’s easy to cheat by just considering a piece of chicken or fish the main nutrient source of a meal. Now, it has become more of a challenge by incorporating as many different vegetables and grains as possible. The analytical and medical side of me was worried about the nutrient aspect, so I tracked my food, macros, and calories for two years on a vegetarian diet and six months of a vegan diet to ensure I was getting enough of everything. I have now learned to just eat a well rounded meal with a plate piled with plants and combined with a mixture of carbs, proteins, and fats, and to just trust that it’s enough. Now, I have more energy, more time (plants cook faster, period), and all the hair back on my head. I can confidently live on my current diet and hopefully help others do the same without doing all the unnecessary math.
This is the longest story I tell, I promise. When I search for a recipe, I do not want to read about somebody’s vacation to Cape Cod or their scuba diving adventures or any other unrelated long story that precedes a recipe (which I can never seem to find when scrolling down). I commend people who are able to be so open with their lives and so illustrative with their storytelling..I’m just not interested in hearing about it when I am trying to cook. I look for recipes when I have a craving and all I want is the ingredients and the steps to get food into my belly. I suffer from hanger that hits hard and I just cannot focus on a story through those hangry eyes. I may share stories intermittently but they will be standalone. I also do not have unicorn horns or fairy dust or any other obsolete ingredients stored as staples in my pantry. So while a three-ingredient recipe is enticing, it is not really helpful when the three ingredients are each only obtainable in three remote corners of the earth, during a full moon, on the longest day of the year, only on a leap year. My goal is to present recipes as I would create them…from foods readily available that I have purchased at the beginning of my week. “My week” meaning the start of my week off from work or the start of my work week when I meal prep. Either way, I will list my shopping list, or what is in my fridge or pantry, and then we can go from there. At some point, I hope this will turn into a cookbook that will be more organized than what this might devolve into.. This should at least serve as some sort of simple guide to creating your own recipes without the stress of feeling like you have any missing ingredients or “not enough protein” or whatever else people are accustomed to worry about. I cook for myself and so it only has to taste good to me, so I do not feel obliged to use all ingredients in any recipe because if I don’t mind then it doesn’t matter. Please adjust to your own taste. So if you do not have cumin or turmeric or chili powder… then buy some…seriously. I consider those essentials. Actually, you don’t necessarily need the turmeric to make the majority of the meals, but your skin and body would thank you if you did. However, if you do not have agave or saffron or jackfruit…don’t worry, neither do I. Maybe I have more learning to do and one day I will have all those ingredients, but for now, I will keep it simple. I have decided to link to as many products as possible especially for any gadgets or cookware I have as I know how difficult it is to decide on the appropriate kitchen tools and ingredients when starting out and especially when learning to be vegan – Note that these are affiliate links so I do get a commission if you purchase through the Amazon links, although I highly recommend researching for the best prices and locally available products rather than strictly online purchases especially to ensure the freshest ingredients. Enjoy!