Making Your Resolutions Last: Recipes and Resources from Oh My Veggies
By Kiersten | Last Updated: January 13, 2015
It’s mid-January, so by this time, we’ve burned ourselves out on all the cleanses and detoxes and vows to never even look at a carb ever again. Those aren’t real resolutions! Now it’s time to get to the nitty-gritty and make some lifestyle changes that will stick. These four resolutions, from eating more veggies to cooking at home more often, are completely achievable in the long-term, especially with resources and recipe ideas from Oh My Veggies to get you started.
Eat More Vegetables
Is this ever not a good idea? Most of us can stand to do a little bit better in the veggie eating department — it was one of the 5 simple ways to be healthier in the New Year that Katie wrote about last week. Here are some ideas to get you started on this goal:
Judging by your comments and by a reader survey we did a while back, most of you aren’t strict vegetarians, but you’re looking to cut back on the amount of meat you eat. Maybe this year, you’re looking to take the plunge into cutting meat out of your diet entirely. We can help!
Learn to create some of your favorite restaurant dishes at home, minus the meat. Like Indian food? Try our Tofu Vindaloo. Missing Thai food now that you don’t eat fish sauce? We’ve got a Veggie Pad Thai recipe that’s fish sauce-free. And Chinese takeout is no match for our meatless General Tso’s Veggie Bowl.
Don’t rely too much on convenience foods, but don’t rule them out entirely either — they can be a great time saver when you need them and there are some healthier, less-processed options out there. Here are my favorite frozen veggie burgers.
“I would go vegetarian, but: bacon.” Sound familiar? While there are bacon substitutes on the market (we love bacon tempeh and seitan), you can make your own with coconut flakes! Use it in this Strawberry Salad or on our Chocolate Coconut Bacon Doughnuts.
Why more protein? And how much should you eat? We’ve got a whole post with questions and answers about protein and vegetarian diets. A lot of people wonder about how vegetarians get enough protein, but the good news is, there are lots of meatless sources of protein out there — but you do have to be mindful that you’re eating at least some of them daily! Here’s how:
Incorporate a few different sources of protein in the same dish. These Peanutty Quinoa Bowls have peanut butter, quinoa and tofu in them; this Cuban Fried Quinoa includes quinoa, smoky tempeh and black beans.
Incorporate some protein into your snacks too. Fresh veggies with Basil White Bean Dip or Edamame Hummus, a handful of nuts or an apple with a few slices of cheddar are all satisfying snacks with a healthy amount of protein.
When you cook your own meals, you know what’s in your food and you have the added bonus of saving money. So why wouldn’t you cook at home? Well, there’s the time factor — no one wants to spend hours cooking after work! And maybe you’re not the most confident cook yet and you want to find recipes that are easy to make, without a lot of steps or ingredients. Here are some ideas:
Meal planning is probably the best way to keep yourself in check when it comes to cooking at home — if you have all the ingredients for a recipe sitting in the fridge, you can’t let them go to waste! If you don’t want to commit to a paid meal planning service, we post free vegetarian meal plans every Friday.
If you don’t want to dedicate time to freezer cooking, think about freezing your leftovers or doubling recipes and freezing half for later. You’re already cooking anyway, right? Double up on these Broccoli Parmesan Meatballs and have them on hand for your next Spaghetti Night, or freeze the leftovers of these Veggie & Tempeh Sloppy Joes for when you’re too tired to cook.
If you don’t have room in the freezer, try some make-ahead meals — you’ll assemble them in advance, pop them in the fridge and cook them later. Here are 20 make-ahead meatless dinners.
Related to that last point — look for recipes with 5 ingredients or less! Yes, they do exist and fewer ingredients means shorter prep time and less time spent in the grocery store. Last year we posted a month-long list of 5-ingredient vegetarian dinners.
Or hey, don’t cook at all! That’s an option too. We also have a list of 20 no-cook vegetarian meals for those times when you just don’t want to turn on the oven. It’s okay, we’ve all been there.