Recreating Family Favorites the Plant-Based/Vegan Way!
- You’ve decided to take the plunge into vegan/plant-based eating. Congratulations on your healthy, ethical choice. Now what?
- You might know what you want to eat; but what about all of the other hungry mouths you need to feed? Will they be okay with this change? Will you need to turn your kitchen into a fast-food diner and cook a different meal for everyone?
- You finally found a recipe that looks interesting. You are at the grocery store with that recipe in hand. But what about all of these crazy ingredients you’ve never heard of? What are they? And where are you supposed to find them?
- Speaking of these many ingredients, just how many hours is this recipe going to take? You don’t have hours each night. You have a family. You have a life.
- You shove the recipe deep into your pocket and grab the closest vegan convenience food from your grocer’s freezer section. You don’t even read the ingredients or the nutrition information on the label because honestly, at this point you’d rather not know.
Life was less complicated before, you think, as you throw yet another frozen veggie burger on the table in front of your family.
Sister, I see you…. Because not too many years ago, that was me. I was a young momma, wanting to follow my ethics, and wanting to do what was best for my family. More than anything, I wanted my sweet loved ones to look at me with big grateful smiles on their faces and say “thanks mom for the yummy food!”
I See You and I Can Help
What if you had the confidence and the skills to cook real food without relying on the convenient vegan “fun foods” as the standard for your nightly meals?
- Imagine learning to make easy substitutions in your cooking so that you could prepare delicious plant-based meals that your family would love? They’ll never question what’s in it, they’ll be so busy eating it.
- Imagine building a staple of new and hard to source pantry ingredients that you could easily pull from to use in your plant-based cooking?
- Imagine having the skills, recipes, and confidence to meal prep once or twice a week so that you could get the heck out of the kitchen on the other days? You just reach into the fridge, pull out tonight’s meal, heat and eat. No more stressing about daily shopping, chopping, and cooking.
- Imagine the feeling of pride and accomplishment when you put a meal on the table that you know is healthy, nutritious, and delicious.
About Cindy and The Story of the Mushy Tofu
Not too many years ago, I was a young mother feeling a shift in my ethics and wanting to do what was best for my family. Unfortunately, there just weren’t a lot of resources at the time.
Pinterest was by invite only and there were few vegan recipe options out there anyway. We had The Vegetarian Times magazine, a handful of cookbooks, and word of mouth. That was the extent of available resources for this wannabee vegan mamma.
So I bought tofu because that’s what vegans eat…right? And it sat in my fridge for a couple of weeks during which I occasionally opened the door and stared at that whitish, quivering, mysterious, rectangular block – wondering what to do with it.
Finally, I got brave enough to cube and stir-fry the tofu with some vegetables and served it over plain brown rice. I proudly set it on the table without saying a word and watched with excited anticipation while my children took their first bites. I’m sure you can guess the outcome of this one. Yes, my tofu dish was mushy and flavorless and yuck. And my kids wouldn’t touch it. I cried.
Some of my vegetarian friends clued me into freezing, pressing, and flavoring my tofu. But the damage had been done. No one in my family, including me, was willing to brave a tofu dish again for a very long time. So we went back to chicken and mac and cheese.
Fast forward a couple of years, new dedication, recipes, and experimentations. Things were a little better.
- I learned about ingredient substitutions.
- I learned that vegetable-based dishes can be the star of the show – not just a side.
- I learned that meat itself doesn’t really have flavor – it’s all the other ingredients you add to it which you can easily add to plant-based food. And yes, my friends, it’s a long list of ingredients often accompanied by a long list of complicated steps.
Then soccer happened, and ballet, and the full-time job. And once again I caved and the convenience of fast-food became this frazzled mom’s best friend.
When I Finally Figured it Out
Finally, after years of frustrating starts and stops, I rededicated myself to plant-based cooking. I devoted myself to figuring out how to make things work in the kitchen – and all without losing my mind, spending every available moment of free time in the kitchen.
- I took online courses that focused on plant-based cooking.
- I experimented with flavor substitutions.
- I discovered the freedom of meal prep – imagine pulling tonight’s dinner out of the fridge; you eat, wash a few dishes, the rest of the evening is yours!
- I tried every available vegan food product I could get my hands on. I tried…I failed…I tried again until I found a core set of plant-based pantry items that I knew I could count on when I was ready to pull a meal together.
- I said heck no to devoting an entire Sunday to meal prep and created shortcuts and routines to save time. This is veggie “fun” kitchen – not veggie work all day in the kitchen!
Times Have Changed!
It’s a different world now. There is an abundance of information on veganism and plant-based eating available. Recipes can be googled with the touch of a few keys. There are whole sections of your grocery store dedicated to vegan food. Vegan options are becoming mainstream at most restaurants and even at many fast-food joints.
Yet, I know you want to do better than that. You understand the value of a nutritious, delicious, home-cooked meal. Yes, vegan cooking can be complicated. But it doesn’t have to be. I’m here to help you with that.
Stick with me and we will create some wholesome delicious food together! You are welcome to email me anytime via my contact form or find me on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram, or leave a comment on any recipe’s comments section. I’ll answer because I’m here for you!
When I’m not busy recreating recipes the plant-based way or cooking for a crowd, you might find me teaching in my 1st-grade classroom, or going on adventures, enjoying all Southern California has to offer…
…or taking care of these two crazy pups!
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