The pleasure of cooking

By Glauce Fleury

I never liked cooking. I won’t lie to you only because one of the pillars of this blog is healthy food.  But when I went vegan, I found pleasure in cooking my own food. I generally look for recipes and adapt them to my taste.

The good thing about cooking is that you can mix a lot of stuff and see if it works. If it doesn’t, you can always try again. In the beginning, cooking a vegan diet is not that simple. When you cut off meat and dairy, you need to learn about the substitutes.

Where do you get your protein from? How do you get your B12? Don’t you feel hungry when you eat only veggies? These are some of the commonplace questions that every vegan is asked.

So here’s the thing: meat is not the only source of protein. B12 can be found in a variety of fortified vegan foods. And I don’t get hungry because I decline meat. I do when I don’t eat enough — no matter what I’m eating.

If you enjoy cooking, you’ll find a new world. You can cook simple dishes, but the taste of fresh food, cooked by you, and the colourful look of what’s on your plate can make a huge difference. One of these days I decided I would eat Brussels sprouts (rich in vitamin C). Here’s how:

Ingredients

  • 30 Brussels sprouts (I didn’t check the weight, so I counted to give you an idea!)
  • 4 Mushrooms
  • 1 Large carrot
  • 1 Stalk of broccoli (I had saved the stalk from a previous dish, so I used it here. Never throw the stalks away. They have as many nutrients as the head.)
  • Parsley
  • Greek seasoning
  • Onion
  • Canola oil

Directions 1

1. Boil the Brussels sprouts and carrots. Set them aside.
2. Chop the onion, parsley and mushrooms. Set them aside.

Directions 2

1. In a big pan, fry the onion until it’s golden.
2. Add the parsley, then the mushrooms and the stalk of broccoli. Stir everything.
3. Add the Brussels sprouts, then the carrot. Stir them.
4. Add Greek seasoning.
5. Keep it at a low temperature for about 15 minutes.

After you remove the mixture from the stove, add sunflower seeds and nutritional yeast. Sunflower seeds are a rich source of vitamin E (acts as an antioxidant). They also have significant amounts of vitamin B1 (helps produce energy), vitamin B6 (helps form hemoglobin) and folate (helps prevent anemia).

Fortified versions of nutritional yeast are high in B12. Since B12 is not found in a plant-based diet, keeping its recommended levels is one of the main challenges for vegans.

Always read the labels to make sure you’re buying products with the nutrients you need. Check fortified or enriched versions (they can be your best friends). Take supplements, if needed. But don’t forget to consult with a doctor, nutritionist or dietitian to know the best approach in your case.

Before ending this post, I gotta tell you that I completed my meal with beans and rice, and a glass of orange juice. According to our blogger Amanda Tesser, who is a nutritionist, drinking orange juice with iron-based meals improves the absorption of iron — did I mention that nutritional yeast also contains iron?

If you’re vegan, keep these tips in mind, and bon appétit!

Serves: 2 people, but I ate everything 🙂

Photo credit: Glauce Fleury

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