As some of you may know, last year I received my professional plant based culinary certificate from Rouxbe. During the 6 month program I had the chance to enjoy and share with my family a wide variety of vegan, or plant based, meals and desserts. But eventually, against my hopes, we went back to our usually meat eating ways.
Well now I’m starting another course with Rouxbe, Culinary Rx. I signed up in hopes to jump start my love for plant based cooking again. But this time I’m being a little bit sneaky with keeping my family on board.
I’m not one to feel a need to “define” my diet to anyone. No I don’t usually eat wheat or beef or pork, but if I do, what’s it to you? I think it’s just ridiculous when people who don’t buy your groceries or cook for you feel the need to hold you to a certain diet. That’s one reason I like the plant based diet as opposed to vegan, which is something I’ll never consider myself.
A “whole foods plant based diet” is BASED on fruits and veggies, legumes and whole grains and minimizes OR eliminates meat and processed food. Get it – BASED. It’s not extreme but a healthier alternative. So if you’re consuming more than 50% fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains, and you only eat meat sometimes, you’re not vegetarian so quit telling people that. If you feel the need to define your diet, you would be more accurate to say you are following a plant based diet – whole foods plant based if you minimize refined and processed foods.
So in the process of getting my family to eat a more plant based diet, I started with spaghetti, an absolute favorite in my household. Since I don’t do beef or pork, it’s always been made with ground turkey. But this time I replaced 50% of the turkey with a meatless ingredient.
Mushrooms to the rescue. Not just mushrooms but sautéed until browned mushrooms. That removes a lot of the water and caramelizes them, giving them a much richer flavor. For those who don’t like mushrooms, hmm, I’ve gotta think on that. Maybe you could use some tofu crumbles, some of the meat substitute. That would work nicely also.
Anyway, we all loved it, and nobody seemed to notice there was far less meat than usual. This is how I’m gradually moving us towards a plant based diet. I’ve learned quickly how upset the household becomes when there’s no meat on the menu. One day last month we had spaghetti with marinara sauce and I still hear the groans “no meat?”. Oh my goodness, you would have thought somebody stole our car. This time, it went over much better.
You should take a look here for more details on the plant based way of eating. Have you thought of following a plant based diet? And do you have protesters on board? Let me know if you have some ideas on how to get your family to eat a bit healthier, step by step.
I start my course with Rouxbe this weekend – already a week behind. LOL! Wish me success!