Except for salad dressings, I use few recipes. (And even those, I take liberties with!) The first few years in your journey to a whole-foods, plant-based diet, you follow a lot of recipes. (Longtime raw foodies call this “transitional eating.”) It’s normal. In fact, it’s an important phase. It’s instructive, as you experiment with whole foods and ingredients.
You spend a lot of time. Then eating starts to get much easier and simpler. You have many tricks up your sleeve. You are resourceful. Missing an ingredient or two is no problem.
The key to my method is, don’t stress about it. You can’t mess this up! Eating this way is cheap, and it’s also a great way to use a hodgepodge of random plant foods or leftovers in your fridge.
Be inventive and never get stuck in a rut–anything in the produce section fits in this way of eating. I virtually never add salt (even sea salt) to my food. Many of these fillings and sauces have so much flavor, you won’t miss added salt.
Start with a base, add one or more toppings or fillings, and play with sauces or spices. I hope this helps you enjoy the magical world of eating greens, vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, and nuts and seeds–the nutrient-dense plant kingdom of food!
Bowl: brown or wild rice, quinoa, millet, lentils, split peas
Salad: romaine, spring greens, bean sprouts, or other sprouts
Wrap: sprouted grain tortilla, collard leaf, organic corn tortillas, nori (seaweed for sushi)
Noodles: spiralized yellow squash or zucchini, gluten-free whole-grain pasta, kelp noodles
Choose one or more of the following that you have on hand:
Lentils (with taco seasoning), any beans (seasoned however you like), or split peas (thick, day-old split pea soup is good!)
Brown rice, wild rice, quinoa (seasoned however you like
Hummus or baba ganoush (eggplant) spread
Sautéed vegetables (with fajita seasoning): think peppers, onions, tomatoes, parsnips, carrots, turnips
Raw vegetables: think jicama, tomatoes, any sprouts, matchstick carrots or other root vegetables, scallions
Olives of any kind, or olive tapenade
Tahini (sesame seed paste)
Avocados, sliced or mashed
Pumpkin, sunflower, or sesame seeds
Walnuts, pine nuts, sliced almonds, or chopped walnuts or pecans
Any salad dressing at all from Ch. 3 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods! They all work! Mix and match, at will!
Salsa of any kind
Pesto sauce (see 12 Steps recipe)
Mustard or Vegannaise
Sauces for Chinese, Thai, Mexican foods (avoid MSG, corn syrup, and other chemical ingredients–these are very inferior to all Ch. 3 dressings)
Have Indian, Italian, Thai, and Mexican organic spice blends on hand.
Always have ginger, turmeric, chili pepper, cayenne, dried parsley, and garlic powder, too. (I avoid pepper, as it is a gastrointestinal irritant.)A few dashes of whatever you feel like, to any of the above, and you’ve completely changed the flavor of the meal, plus added some nutrition!
You can toss into your fillings raw apple cider vinegar or miso (non-GMO) for flavoring.