How to eat a more plant-based diet | Gourmand and Gourmet

How to eat a more plant-based diet

  • Food & Booze
  • Brisbane
  • Dinner
  • Everything in Between
  • Lunch
  • Mains
  • Winter/Hearty

Because the best lifestyle changes are the ones you grow into, right?

Whether you’re flirting with veganism or simply want to eat less meat, incorporating more plant-based eats in your diet is a worthwhile pursuit that every foodie should try!

Ready to live a life of plant-itude? Here are some tips to help you out!

THERE’S A SUBSTITUTE FOR EVERYTHING

If you’ve read the section about aquafaba in our recent DIY cocktail article, then you’ll know about the G&G’s newfound obsession with finding plant-based substitutes (at the expense of our actual houseplants… #plantmums, please send help) for any and every animal product under the sun.

Some of our favourite and easiest plant-based swap-outs? We suggest starting off simple by tackling the dairy products in your fridge first, and switching them for the endless amount of plant-based alternatives currently on the market! Those who love their coffee will already be familiar with nut and soy-based milks such as Bonsoy, but did you know there are alternatives such as rice, oat, and even hemp milk also up for grabs?

Swap butter for olive oil-based margarines such as Nuttelex (or applesauce if you’re using it for baking purposes!), dairy cheeses for nut cheeses, and—while not strictly substitutes—keeping your pantry stocked full of yummy plant-based staples such as peanut butter, coconut oil, agave nectar, and hummus is sure to keep any future dairy cravings at bay. 

Speaking of stocking up…

BULK BUYING IS YOUR BEST FRIEND

One of the biggest misconceptions that stop people from trying the plant-based lifestyle is that it’s expensive… when in fact, staples of the diet such as beans, wholegrains, fruits, and veggies are often the cheapest things at the grocery store and farmers market!

For those going plant-based on a budget, however, bulk-buying is your best friend. This is because (as a general rule of thumb) the bigger a packaged item, the cheaper it’s likely to be per 100 grams! Furthermore, unlike with meat and dairy products, it makes sense to buy staples such as grains, beans, nut milks and vegan cheeses in bulk because their shelf-lives ensure they stay fresh for ages. 

The added bonus to all of this bulk buying? You’ll never have to worry about an empty fridge or pantry again!

GET FRIENDLY WITH YOUR LOCALS

As for the lazy gourmands out there that seem to store everything BUT food in their kitchen (guilty!), we’ve done the hard yards and found not one, but two delicious restaurants in Brisbane that can cater to all your plant-based cravings!

El Planta, a meatless Mexican restaurant is set to plant roots within South Brisbane’s Fish Lane soon. These guys have already made waves in the vegan community with their plant-based meals such as DIY plant-based tacos and vegan frijole con puerco that you can order at the start of the week, and then pick up or get it delivered the following Friday (just in time for the weekend)! Find out more about how you can pre-order here.

But what if I’m hungry now, god dammit? 

Well, the brilliant Nodo locations throughout Brisbane are stocked with all sorts of tasty plant-based treats that are sure to satisfy! We’re talking passionfruit vegan slices, moreish mushroom lasagne, fresh falafel bowls and more available every day of the week! 

In even better news, if you purchase $50 worth (i.e. a normal breakfast intake for you and an iso mate), Nodo will even deliver to those within their radius for a flat rate of just $5 – sign us up!

After even more vegan restaurants that are cheap, sweet, or fancy as well as close to home? We have you covered.  

A RECIPE TO GET YOU STARTED: MAC & (VEGAN) CHEESE  

Thought veganising the classic mac ‘n’ cheese recipe was impastable? Think again, Brisbane! 

For those sick of making banana bread, our tried and tested vegan mac ‘n’ cheese is the perfect DIY recipe to sauce up your kitchen this weekend… and it doesn’t contain any hard-to-find ingredients either (because, really, does anyone know what deactivated yeast is?). 

SERVES 6

INGREDIENTS 

½ cup nut milk

1 cup water

1 tbsp olive oil

1 carrot

2 cloves garlic

½ white onion

¼ cup cashews (soaked for at least 1 hour)

¼ cup cauliflower

¼ tsp mustard powder

Nutmeg to taste

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

¼ cup vegan cheese of your choice (shredded)

2 cups water

1 cup macaroni (most store-bought packets are egg-free)

METHOD

  1. Finely chop the garlic and onion and saute with olive oil in a small pan until the onion is transparent.
  2. Dice your carrot and cauliflower and boil or steam them until cooked through.
  3. Transfer the garlic, onion, cauliflower, and carrot into a blender. Add all other ingredients (except for the macaroni, vegan cheese, and 2 remaining cups of water) and blend until smooth.
  4. Boil your macaroni in a small pan on the stovetop until *almost* al dente. 
  5. Transfer the macaroni into a larger pan, sprinkle on the vegan cheese, and pour the contents of the blender on top. Stir until all the macaroni is covered and cheese is melted.
  6. Plate up and enjoy!

 

Happy eating foodies, and let the good times vegan.  

Words by Jacqueline Pon
- the gourmand to blame for bulk buying all the almond milk at Woolies.