BGVebruary Guidelines for Planning Vegan Meals

Guidelines for Planning Vegan Meals

When planning vegan meals or menus, the goal is to make them not only tasty but:

  • Rich in essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals
  • Not too high in fat, salt and sugar
  • Rich in fiber and other beneficial plant components
  • Filling and providing sustained energy
  • Calorie intake should be appropriate for your age, gender, weight, and activity level

The following guidelines will help achieve these goals for you and your family during the BGVebruary 28 Day Vegan Challenge:

1. Aim to include the following in every main meal:

Green vegetables – preferably fresh e.g. broccoli, bok choy, green beans, organic peas (frozen are fine), spinach, kale, collard and mustard greens, zucchini, celery, brussels sprouts, etc. Amount: at least one cup per person

Red/orange/yellow vegetables – preferably fresh e.g. carrots, pumpkin, organic non-GMO corn, tomatoes, yellow squash, sweet potato, butternut squash, etc. Amount: at least 1/2 cup per person

Note: Boosting vegetable intake by serving a side salad with your main meals is a good idea.

A source of vegetable protein, such as legumes (beans, lentils, chick peas) or soy products or nuts/seeds or occasionally a processed vegetable protein food such as a meat alternative. Amount: 1/2 – 1 cup of cooked legumes or 4 oz. organic tofu or tempeh, or one vegeburger patty, or 1-2 vegan sausages

A source of complex carbohydrate, such as potato, rice, pasta/noodles, couscous, whole grain bread, corn tortillas, etc. Amount: Vary depending on how hungry and how physically active you are. Eg. For inactive or small people, 1/2 cup rice is a good serving size, whereas a more active or larger person could eat two cups or more.

2. Add variety and flavour to meals by including other optional ingredients such as:

Additional vegetables – eg. mushrooms, eggplant, beetroot, onions, seaweed, sprouts, bamboo shoots etc.
Herbs and spices – fresh or dried such as basil, oregano, coriander, garlic, ginger, chilli, pepper, mustard seeds etc. Use herbs and spices liberally.
Tomato paste or tomato puree.
Fruit / juices – such as pineapple, lemon or pomegranate juice.
Non-dairy milk for making white sauces (Eg. organic soy or almond milk).
Vegan butter such as Earth Balance
Salt – it is recommended that if salt is used, try Himalayan pink salt, and use it sparingly to prevent bloating or a rise in blood pressure if you are sodium sensitive. Stock cubes, soy sauce and other sauces are also sources of sodium, and if used, should be used in moderation or use the low-sodium varieties.

Oils – use sparingly. Olive oil and non-GMO grapeseed oil are the recommended choices for vegans, due to their fatty acid profile. Flaxseed and avocado oils can be added to salads but are not suitable for cooking as they should not be heated.