FOODS FROM THE DIRT
HOW-TO SHOP FOR NATURAL + WHOLE PLANT-BASED FOODS
Many individuals who are starting their transition into plant-based eating and lifestyle find it difficult to shop in the most common stores, especially here in the US.
Standing in the grocery stores, we find that almost 75% of the foods on the shelves are not suitable for consumption. The outer walls are usually where the meats, dairy products and frozen foods are. So this cuts down a large portion of foods in which we are able to consume within a plant-based lifestyle.
The inner aisles are packaged foods, which are filled with additives, preservatives, heavy chemicals and processed salt and sugars. Typically there is an entire aisle dedicated to candy, cereals, chips, sodas and cookies. These items are found in abundance and are easily located. This is why this shopping list is so important. To guide others on how to find the foods of nutrient value, hidden in the chaos.
First things first: It is imperative that every single item you pick up off the shelf you READ THE INGREDIENTS AND LABELS!! Be aware of what it is that you are consuming. Get into the details and if you cant pronounce it, you shouldn't consume it.
A number one culprit in the additive ingredients has become "natural flavors". Over the years, this has become a topic of discussion as to what EXACTLY does "natural flavors" derive from. The term is broadly used and often times to disguise the use of animals and animal by products such as meat, dairy, eggs, honey, dye from beetle juice and grind up animal bones, etc used for flavoring.
Next, strive for fresh whole foods such as all whole fruits, all vegetables, all seeds, all beans, all grains, and plant-base seasonings (with just plants). What is great about transitioning into plant-based eating, is intaking more whole, real foods that DO NOT have labels and require a ingredient list.
So here is a example list that you can copy and take with you on your shopping trips. It's not about perfection. It is about STARTING!
Aim for the produce section and everything in it!
- All fresh fruits and vegetables of the produce section in a variety.
- Bag of potatoes are a must and go a long way
- Frozen fruits and vegetables are good for quick days. Also good to add into blender for smoothies and easy to add into crockpot and easy soups
- Can vegetables are good to have on hand. Again, check ingredients and find a brand that uses less to no salt and no preservatives
- Brown, red, jasmine, black and wild rice.
- Quinoa (all colors)
- Oatmeal and cream of wheat (all of these plain with out extra flavors.)
- Dry beans (all kind)
- All dry pasta (wheat and multi-colored)
- Tortillas (wheat, corn & flour)
- Pita Bread
- Peanut Butter (include all nut butters)
- Wheat Flour (other grains where available)
Be sure that the ingredients DO NOT include additives, preservatives or chemicals. Also, be careful with condiments as they always include salt. Limit your use and the less ingredients, the better. Be sure to check out our recipe for tomato sauce that can be used in a variety of ways.
- Soy Sauce
- Bar B Que Sauce
- Hot Sauce
- 100% Coffee (No flavor additives)
- Tea bags (No Flavors)
- Cane and brown sugar
- Coconut, grapeseed, avocado, vegetable and olive oil
- All spices (No preservatives)
- 100% Pure Cocoa
Careful of the new vegan products that are hitting the shelves as of recent. Many of them are marketed towards the popularity of people wanting more vegan options. Reading ingredients are KEY.
This is our number 1 go to sauce! We use it or dipping our fried cauliflower and potatoes. For our soups and even as our spaghetti sauce. It is a universal sauce that you can not go wrong with. You will find that it will substitute your most popular condiment.
- Can of pure tomato paste
- Your select spices such as garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, basil, thyme, parsley, chili powder, cayenne, paprika, black pepper (any combination will do)
- Apple cider vinegar
- Olive Oil (or vegetable oil)
- Water, and Cane Sugar
Empty the can of tomato into a empty jar. Fill the empty can with half apple cider vinegar and your choice of oil. Using the empty can is the best measurement that we have found to use. Empty the mix into the jar with tomato paste. Now, fill the empty can again all the way with just water and empty that into the jar. Next add your desired amount of Sugar and spices. Again, you can use your judgement. Mostly a dash of each is enough.
Stir the contents of your sauce thoroughly until well mixed. Keep cool and refrigerated and use within 3-5 days.
BLACK BEAN PATTIES
These are our number one go to black bean patties. We have tried many recipes and found that getting the ingredients to stick like a patty was the challenge. This recipe is basic for the patty itself and you can add veggies on the side.
- 2 cans of no salt black beans
- 1 cup of cooked rice
- 1/4 cup Flaxseed
- Your choice of seasoning
- 1/2 cup of flour
After cooked rice has cooled, add drained black beans to bowl. Add flaxseed, seasonings and mix together well. For a better mixture, smash the black beans so that all is blended together smoothly. Keep a thick consistency so that you are able to form the patty to your liking. Heat oil in cast iron skillet on low. Form the mixture into patties. Take each one and coat in flour and place in skillet. Fry each side about 4 minutes until brown. Sautee' your choice of veggies on the side.
Side note: You can also choose NOT to coat with flour and fry in oil. You can simply drop patties in the skillet and brown each side. You can also chop onions, peppers, tomatoes real finely and add to patty mixture. Be sure to mix them in good with mixture.
Many people are looking for alternatives for their common meat choices that they are used to. Fried cauliflower is one of them!! Once you master this recipe, you will be HOOKED!
- Whole cauliflower
- 1 Cup of wheat flour (use more when needed)
- Select spices for batter
- Cup of water for batter
- Flaxseed to thicken batter
- Vegetable oil
Use a cast iron skillet. Fill with vegetable oil and heat on low setting. Cut the cauliflower into smaller chunks to be fried.
Set flour in one bowl. In another bowl, create a wet batter, using select spices (black pepper, chili powder, garlic and onion powder), flaxseed and a few tablespoons of water as needed.
Take cut up pieces of cauliflower and toss them in the wet batter. Once covered in wet batter, roll each piece in the flour until coated. Drop cauliflower in hot oil and fry until crispy. Drain on paper towel.
- 1 can of choice bean
- 1 can of corn
- 1 cup of cooked rice
- Pack or tortillas
- Chopped onion, peppers, tomatoes
- Homemade tomato sauce
Set cooked rice to the side. Add can of beans and corn to cooked rice. Add chopped veggies and mix well together. Heat small amount of oil in cast iron skillet. Spoon in mixture into tortilla and wrap. Fry in skillet until brown.
VEGGIE STIR FRY
Veggie stir-fry is a VERY versatile, easy dish that you can literally use whatever ingredients that you have. There is no right or wrong way to create a delicious stir-fry. Feel free to use your favorite sauce such as soy, thai and curry sauces.
- Bag of frozen vegetables (your choice) OR a variety of fresh vegetables, (onions, carrots, cabbage, peppers, tomatoes, peas, and mushrooms) chopped and diced
- Choice of rice or noodles
- Your favorite sauce (soy, thai or curry)
- Olive oil
Cook your choice of rice or noodles and set to aside. Sautee' vegetables in skillet with light olive oil and seasonings until brown. Once done, add your sauce to the mix and simmer on low for about 10 minutes. Serve over the rice or noodles.