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Plant-based prep school

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Plant-based prep school

School is in session! And we’re not just talking about classes where the kids glue macaroni into art projects and muddle through algebra. If the start of a busy school year turns your mealtimes into a white-knuckled scramble to the finish line, pull up a seat. It’s time to learn the art of meal prep.
Often, vegan cuisine gets labeled as time consuming. Not true! At least, it’s not any more so than other types of diets are. Planning ahead is the crux of any successful diet, and a plant-based diet is no exception. Vegan meal prep doesn’t have to be a massive undertaking. Take one afternoon per week to cook, and the rest of the week is all about assembling. Once you learn how to vegan-ize recipes in a flash, which ingredients to always have on hand and a few awesome make-ahead dishes, you’re set!
You’ll learn all that in the pages ahead. But don’t feel the need to stick to these recipes as prescribed. If there’s a grain, herb, fruit, vegetable or protein that you’d like to add to either use up or spice up leftovers, employ that instead or in addition. The easy, breezy nature of this meal plan takes the fuss and precision out of vegan eating. The more inventive you are, the more likely you’ll be top of the class! (Get your vegan valedictorian speech ready.)


Hazelnut Milk Porridge with Salted Almond-Coconut Butter

Make-Ahead Salad Bar Bowls

Eggplant Burgers with Roasted Tomato Jam

Coconut, Coffee and Cacao Nib Power Batons

Grapefruit and Vanilla Coconut Yogurt with Raw Crumble

Plant-based substitutes

If you follow a plant-based diet, as social events multiply in the fall, well-meaning friends and colleagues will often ask, “Is this vegan?” or “How do I make this vegan?” Here’s a handy list of common ingredient substitutes and ratios to pass along to your inquisitive acquaintances. And if you’re a newbie to the plant-based life, this is a great list to keep for yourself!

Instead of eggs in baked goods, opt for

  • 1 Tbsp ground flax or chia seeds mixed with 3 Tbsp water, chilled (1:1)
  • equal measure of mashed banana (1:1)
  • equal measure of applesauce (1:1)
Instead of butter, use

  • vegan butter (1:1)
  • coconut oil (0.6:1)
  • organic canola oil (0.6:1)
  • grapeseed oil (0.6:1)
  • mashed avocado (1:1)
Instead of cheese, try

  • nutritional yeast (1:1)
  • nut cheese (1:1)
Instead of cream, go for

  • coconut milk (1:1, prepared)
  • cashew cream (1:1, homemade)
  • pureed silken tofu (1:1)
Instead of gelatin, thicken with

  • agar agar (1:1)
Instead of honey, drizzle in

  • maple syrup (1:1)
  • brown rice syrup (1:1)
  • agave nectar (1:1)
Instead of granulated sugar, sweeten with

  • vegan sugar (1:1)
  • date sugar (1:1)
Instead of mayonnaise, spread on

  • vegan mayonnaise (1:1)
Instead of egg whites in meringues, whip up

  • aquafaba (aka whipped canned chickpea water) (1:1)
Instead of milk, pour in

  • nut and seed milk (1:1, prepared or homemade)
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