I often get asked what I eat in a day.
Since starting the broccoli chick, I get several emails a week about what I eat, if I can give examples of what I eat, if I have suggestions for what a vegan can eat, and so on.
Starting a new lifestyle can be confusing and if you are eating in a completely different way, its easy to get lost in all the vegan recipes on Pinterest, not to mention going to the grocery store for the first time.
I get a lot of questions on what I eat from people who aren’t trying to become vegan, but just can’t wrap their minds around what a vegan eats. People are curious about lifestyles they aren’t familiar with. I get asked quite often what I actually eat if I don’t eat meat, dairy, and eggs.
Animal products have become such a large part of the American diet that its hard to even imagine a meal without them for a lot of people.
When I mention the foods that I eat, I get the same question. But what do you actually eat?
Between people in my life and those emailing me, everyone seems to want the exact meals I would eat. They are often surprised that I eat a lot of the same foods, but I make vegan substitutions. I eat tacos every week, but instead of meat, I sub in beans.
In this post, I will give a typical day of what I would eat, plus what I would order if I was going out to dinner.
This changes for me depending on what time of day I work. My schedule varies daily so sometimes I have time in the morning for a meal at home and sometimes I have to pack one to go.
I always have a glass or two of green tea in the morning. Green tea has some really great health benefits and it has a small amount of caffeine that is enough to get my day started without giving me the jitters.
If I am eating at home, these are some of the foods I would make.
Breakfast scramble: potatoes, kale, tomatoes, and broccoli.
Rice cake with peanut butter or almond butter and banana.
Oatmeal with strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries or
Oatmeal with apples and cinnamon.
If I am heading to work early, I usually take my tea to go and grab a granola bar.
My favorite granola bars are these by the minimalist baker:
5 Ingredient granola bars by the minimalist baker
I tend to be really hungry in the morning, so I need a midmorning snack. I try to stick with foods that travels well and wont mess with my sensitive stomach.
Some of the foods I will grab are:
Apples, banana, oranges, any fruit that travels well.
Nuts: Almonds, peanuts, cashews, pistachios, or walnuts.
I might have a granola bar.
Steamed broccoli, raw carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes, hummus and pretzels.
For lunch, I like to eat a big salad. I like to eat one huge salad every day. There are so many great and nutritious qualities to a nice leafy green salad.
Don’t let those puny little salads you get at restaurants fool you into thinking that you can’t feel full when you eat a salad for lunch. If you are eating the right foods and in the right quantities, you will not be feeling hungry right after you leave the table.
Some of my favorite salad combos are:
Romaine lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, and a nice Greek dressing.
Baby lettuces, field greens, black beans, pico de galo, and a cilantro lime dressing.
Field greens, kale, cucumbers, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, and an avocado dressing.
If I really am not feeling a salad, I would substitute with a sandwich or wrap.
I put hummus, tomato, cucumber, avocado, romaine lettuce, and kale on my wraps and sandwiches.
The one thing I have noticed being vegan is that I eat a lot more small meals than huge meals, so I tend to need 2-3 snacks every day.
Most plant based vegan foods are low in calories, so make sure you are monitoring how many calories you are taking in. You may need to add in an extra snack you aren’t used to if you are falling below recommended daily calorie intake.
I usually eat snacks similar to my morning snack, but sometimes I need a sugar boost. My blood sugar tends to dip in the afternoon.
I will either add in a mixed bowl of berries, an apple and peanut butter, or an orange.
My afternoon snack is usually ruled by my mood, so it varies quite a bit day to day.
Dinner is the most fun meal for me to plan. I tend to be a lot more creative with my dinners than I am with the rest of my meals. I don’t have to worry about my dinner being able to travel to work.
I have been in the habit of adding a bunch of different ingredients I happen to have of hand together to create different meals every night.
Some of my go to meals are:
Stir fries with either brown rice or pad Thai rice pasta. I usually use what I have available, but ideally my stir fries have broccoli, snap peas, bok choy, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, onions, peppers, and edamame. For my dressing, I use tamari, gluten free soy sauce, water, garlic powder, and a little cornstarch for thickener.
I am a little obsessed with tacos at the moment. I just love how you can make so many different variations with simple ingredients.
My favorite right now is corn tortillas lightly toasted, with black beans, onions, cilantro, avocado, and salsa verde.
For a super quick meal, I will boil up some pasta, gluten free if you need it, add a good jar of marinara, and steam some broccoli for the side.
Or with the same pasta, instead of the marinara, I will add in some steamed asparagus, some sundried tomatoes with a little of the oil (just enough to coat the pasta), chopped basil, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
I do a lot of soups for dinner and eat the leftovers for lunch. I like a good minestrone, vegetable soup, cabbage soup, 12 bean soup, and pumpkin soup.
Along with soups, chili is a great filling and easy to make dinner. Some great ones to try are white bean and quinoa chili, classic three bean chili with kidney beans, pinto beans, and black beans.
Here is my recipe for white bean and quinoa chili:
2 cloves garlic
1 medium onion
1 can chickpeas
1 can white beans, cannelloni or great northern
1 cup quinoa
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup salsa verde
½-1 tsp chili powder
1 TBSP cumin
Salt and pepper
Avocado and green onions for garnish
Heat one TBSP olive oil in pan. Add in 2 cloves garlic, minced and one onion, chopped, and cook until translucent. Add 1 can chickpeas, drained, and 1 can white beans, drained. Add 1 cup quinoa and 4 cups vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until quinoa is cooked. Reduce heat and add in 1 cup salsa verde, ½-1 tsp chili powder, add more or less depending on taste level, ½- 1 TBSP cumin depending on taste, 1 tsp salt and ¼ tsp black pepper.
Top with green onions and avocado.
Hope this helped with planning out a vegan day. I tend to keep my eating simple and as close to being made from whole foods as possible. Being vegan doesn’t have to be complicated and can definitely be super delicious. Enjoy.