Once you are convinced that a diet rich in whole plant-based foods makes perfect sense for your own health, the welfare of animals and the future of our planet you have to start making a plan for the week ahead and put together a shopping list. The problem is: How can you shop for groceries within your budget and making meal preparation easy and delicious at the same time? |
It can be easier than you think. By using a few clever strategies you might be surprised that you can eat more delectable than ever on a very modest budget.
How to select ingredients within your budget.
You have to look at eating plant-based on a budget in two ways. How to get the most nutrition for your dollar and how to get more satisfaction from your nutrition. Ask yourself: 1. Which plant-based foods are loaded with micro nutrients per calorie and per pound? 2. Which foods will help you to create the healthiest and most satisfying meals, per serving and per dollar?
The solution can be found in a meal made with both greens and starches. Since greens provide the most nutrients per calorie, they're ideal to complement a meal based on satisfying, fiber-rich whole grains, beans and starchy vegetables.
How to Budget and shop smart
When you have prepared your list of plant-based grocery items, make copies to use each week.
* Try to spend at least 50% of your grocery budget on vegetables and fruits and make sure everything looks fresh, enticing and delicious
* Plan to spend up to 20% on important staples, like grains, beans and canned tomatoes.You can keep these items a long time in your pantry, this way you don't have to spend this amount each week, once you have a good supply.
* Use up to 10% for organic tofu, tempeh,or nondairy milks
* This leaves about 20% for discretionary items, like small amounts of nuts, seeds, spices, dried fruit or kitchen items and utensils.
Fruit: Look for quality and value, like apples, pears, oranges and bananas. Salad Greens: Check out all varieties. Try romaine or leaf lettuce, baby spinach, mixed spring greens, arugala or baby kale. Leafy Greens: Select one or two bunches of greens to steam or dry saute, such as collard greens, kale, or Swiss chard. Go through the produce section and select the freshest greens available. Often the abundant greens are the best value. Also experiment with less well known varieties. Make it a priority to buy and eat plenty of fibeer-rich greens. Cruciferous vegetables: Look for the best value in cruciferous vegetables to add to your grocery cart, like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage. If you don't fancy those, give them another try anyway and include them in your diet. Potatoes and sweet potatoes:There are endless varieties, from fingerlings to russets, to Japanese sweet potatoes. Buying in bulk is more economic. Soups and stews: Include celery, carrots, garlic and onions. Herbs and spices: Cilantro, basil, parsley, and other herbs add lots of flavor to your recipes. It is also verysatisfying to grow herbs at home.
When you feel more comfortable, explore lots of new vegetables and fruits in the coming weeks. * Try to choose organic fruits and vegetables when possible.
How to make a satisfying meal from your Healthy Ingredients
Which foods are both health-promoting and extremely satisfying? The answer is: starches, like whole grains,beans, and starchy vegetables. They are not only good for you but they are also the perfect energy source for humans. The fact that they are among the least expensive foods is a special bonus.
It's good to have a stock of rice, beans, potatoes, oats, barley and other marvelous starchy vegetables. Starches are a great way to watch the pennies as they are satisfying and affordable. They can help you to stretch healthy ingredients into nutritious, delicious meals. May be whole plant starch-based foods are already your favorites, familiar and comforting as they are. This is great news, since tis catagory includes whole grains: barley, brown rice, quinoa, oats and bulgur wheat; legumes: chickpeas, black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, and lenttils starchy vegetables: potatoes, sweat potatoes, sweat peas, corn, and butternut squash.
This Easy Buddha Bowl is one great way to put together an easy lunch full of nutritious greens and satisfying starches.
Easy Buddha Bowl
Start by placing a bed of fresh colorful salad greens atd the bottom of a bowl. Add as many raw and/or steamed vegetables as you like over it.
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