Eating Well and Living Mindfully

No more meat?! To some, this might sound like a foreign idea or one that doesn’t appeal to you, but incorporating just one or two more plant-based meals into your menu for the week can have a big impact.

And planning more plant-based meals into your diet doesn’t just have health benefits; it’s better for the environment and good for your wallet too.

So if you’re considering prioritizing your health by bringing more plant-based meals into your life (or maybe even going all-in to make it a lifestyle!), here’s some information from ForksOverKnives.com that will help make your meal prep and cooking experiences easier.

Below are a few handy shortcuts that will help your produce stay fresher longer and save you time in the kitchen.

Happy cooking!  

Pre-cooking tips:

  • Plan ahead and prep on the weekends. The time you take to prepare food on the weekends will significantly reduce time spent in the kitchen on weeknights when you want quick and easy meals.
  • Alwaysread the recipe all the way through before you start cooking. This will help ensure that you won’t miss steps and understand which parts of the recipe you may have already prepared during Weekend Prep.
  • You’ll find that it’s even easier to prepare the meal if you use a “mise en place” technique. This means having your ingredients organized before you start, so that the meal comes together quickly and effortlessly. To do this, assemble all of the bowls, utensils, ingredients, and spices you’ll need. Then chop and prepare each of the vegetables (or pull out what you’ve already prepared through Weekend Prep), so that when it’s time to cook, you can simply throw everything together. 
  • Every ingredient includes the accompanying prep beneath it, so simply work down the list, chopping and dicing each ingredient in turn. It’s a great way to get your “mise en place” all set up, and means you won’t have to scroll back-and-forth in the recipe if you’re cooking from your mobile device.
  • Since many meals appear in the week’s plan twice (in order to save time), be sure to follow the storage and reheating tips provided in the instructions. 

Storage tips:

  • While you can keep produce in the crisper drawer of the fridge, we highly recommend using Rubbermaid Freshworks ContainersBluapples, or Vejibags. While they are an investment, they will help keep your produce crisp and fresh muchlonger than if they were in plastic bags or on a tray. This will reduce waste and trips to the grocery store.
  • If your greens are starting to wilt, you can place them in the freezer in resealable freezer bags and add them to smoothies later.
  • Save money by keeping knobs of ginger in the freezer. You can grate the ginger into dishes when needed and it retains the fresh flavor!
  • Fresh herbs can be expensive, so a great tip is to freeze the ones you are not using. They will retain their potency while frozen. Try this with herbs such as basil, mint, rosemary, thyme, oregano, cilantro, and parsley. Simply wash the herbs and allow them to dry fully. Then trim the leaves, place in a resealable freezer bag, and freeze.

Want some plant-based recipe ideas? Here are some to get you started, including yummy twice-baked sweet potatoes and Asian veggie wraps: https://www.forksoverknives.com/recipes/