H_G_P

Whole30 Vegan meal ideas

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Hi there, I will be starting the Whole30 program in January (am reading the book but it's too close to Christmas) and I am sooo excited. I am a relatively clean eater but I love sugar. This will be hard! I have been vegan for 3 years so I am not willing to change that. However I know that there must be people who have had success and have recipes to share. I'm already trying to limit the processed foods so that I can be somewhat more prepared. I would love to collect some tried and true, complaint recipes for my roster. Ideally I could test them beforehand too! Any help would be wonderful; I'm excited and want to be successful. Thanks in advance!

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Dear H_G_P,

So funny to come here and see this. I finished my very vegan Whole 30 and was headed here to write a how to because when I started out I was so frustrated by the lack of ideas out there. Some general tips:

  1. Ignore all blogs claiming to have vegan Whole 30 ideas. More often than not, these simply eliminate non-compliant ingredients but fail at all other components of the program. For me, the most valuable thing I've learned has been about reproportioning my meals to be more protein-centered. Lots of the stuff out there is way too fruit-heavy and lacks the amount of protein you need to stay full til the next meal.
  2. When it comes to the actual Whole 30 literature, I had to consciously tell myself to take what I liked and leave the rest. Most of us who are ethical vegans (I have been for about 5 years and was vegetarian for about 15 before that) may find the tone with which veganism is spoken about to be quite dismissive and I just fundamentally disagree with their science. So, I simply reframed it in my mind -- if nothing else, I was cutting out processed food and sugar from my diet, and certainly nothing bad would come from that.
  3. You will cook. A lot. So ALWAYS make leftovers. Cook like 4 sweet potatoes at the beginning of the week. If you're making beans, soak and cook the entire bag and freeze half. Maybe make a double batch of soup and freeze some. It's hard enough to find a legit vegan option on a menu out, much less a compliant one. I ate a total of 4 meals that I didn't personally cook the entire month. Twice it was zoodles with raw bolognese that I ordered out. Once it was a lentil salad that I grabbed from the refrigerated case at the grocery in a food emergency. Once I went to a vegetarian buffet and stared with envy at my fiance as he had cake and I had my little bowl of fruit and hazlenuts. 
  4. Beans! You gotta do it, basically, or you will die of boredom (in my experience). Read up on proper soaking and even sprouting techniques. I've been veg forever and even I didn't know some of the science behind it!

As for recipe ideas (sorry if I missed any non-compliant ingredients! sub as necessary)

I hope this is helpful!!! This was a hard process sometimes but I promise it is doable! Please please don't hesitate to message me. 

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Wow, thank you so much for all your insight and help! I will most certainly be using these recipes and I really appreciate the tips. I agree, there is little to no chance I will be consuming meat or eggs, and I am doing this to eliminate sugar and processed foods from my diet. I am certain that my body will thank me. Your curry suggestions sound incredible. Thank you for your detailed response and I will most definitely be contacting you with questions once I begin! Great to know there are others out there who have had success as vegans :)

 

 

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I'm on Day 30 today, yay.  Completed as vegetarian so I've had a lot of eggs, which will be out for you, but there are a lot of recipes which will work with not that much adaptation if you look around.  Some of the paleo sites were fine for good veg dishes and also sites like Jamie Oliver have good bases you can use (curry sauce, tomato sauce etc).  I always cooked a big pan of roast veg on Sunday night and then had that for a couple of lunches with big salads.  lutje is so right about making double batches, it was tiring having to cook all the time, but the plus side is that we have really expanded our repertoire of recipes and I have a new respect for the versatility of cauliflower.

I cooked a Thai and an Indian veg curry most weeks with cauli rice.  I tired tempeh but just didn't take to it so used tofu instead in the currys or nuts.  I'm sure i had more nuts and fruit than i should've but that was my adjustment to doing Whole 30 as vegetarian.

I found coffee horrible without milk and sugar so just ended up without the whole time, which was surprisingly less difficult than i imagined, same with alcohol.  I've lost about 5kg (give or take) which i'm thrilled about but this was a slow starter.  Just be aware that the headaches on day 1-2 are horrible and the first week can feel like nothing is happening, so much effort for so little gain.  But then you get into a rhythm with the cooking and start to see the benefits and it really is all worthwhile.  I'm starting reintroduction tomorrow as I'm flying across the world on wed and so can't carry it on, but think that i might do another month in Feb when I'm settled back home if i need to.  It really is that good.

I got stressy about eating out and finding suitable meals but had a couple of festive outings and found that restaurants were very accommodating and also that checking the menus ahead of time meant that i knew what i was asking for and any adaptations that i wanted.  I also smuggled things in in my handbag!  And if all else fails you can usually find a baked potato somewhere (i added my own veg toppings bought from home!).  If i was in a cafe i just settled with a sparkling water or a herb tea.  I don't think it seemed odd!

I get the impression that there are less compliant sauces and emergency snack type food here in the UK than the USA so I really did have to make things from scratch and carry a days worth of food around with me.  I used the coconut aminos which was fine, but not as a stand alone flavouring for a dish.  I found an aubergine 'pesto' that was compliant and used that a lot.  I had a mixed seed butter that i was thinking of using for satays but it was disgusting, i had confused it with a nut butter which i think would have been better (but not peanut of course).

I didn't use lentils and have to say i've seen an improvement in some problem joint pain i was having.  It probably is worth keeping it out of the month if you can.  I also avoided all beans.  It was hard at first but ok as time went on.  I'm amazed i can still eat an egg without gagging but even that worked out fine.

As i'm typing this i realise i feel proud of my achievement.  It really is only for a month and you can do it.  I hope you see the successes you're looking for.

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@JoyByName SO yes on cauliflower rice. Good luck with your reintroduction. I'm on day 4 of reintroduction and my skin is furious with it. I think for now I'm going to try to stick on plan other than when I have to eat out (which will likely be more than I'd like with the holidays coming up).

Re tempeh...Oh man, tempeh. I've always liked tempeh but somewhere around day 10 I developed a PROFOUND distaste for it. Like I'd open the package and want to vomit. It was a shame because it's such a great protein source. I stepped away from it for about a week and when I worked up the nerve to revisit it, I found it much more palatable if steamed before use. I used Isa Chandra Moskowitz's method from her tempeh sausage crumble recipe -- crumble the tempeh or grind it in a food processor, put in pan, cover with water, and let it simmed about 10 minutes until almost all the water is absorbed. Then do whatever you're going to do with it. The taco "meat" and bolognese I linked to ended up being favorites!

I did a satay with almond butter and it was ok. Not the best ever but maybe give it a go next time around.

Yay veg folks! We got this!

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Lutje I shall be brave in the future and try tempeh again and def have a look at the recipe and others you've listed.  

I'm about to have some werid-y type baked beans for my first reintroduction meal and looking forward to a lentil curry tonight.  I think i can guess some of the effects of this!  I'm going to have to do the reintroduction as listed over 10 days due to my travels and getting access to to paleo type veg food while i'm away, but i can see that a slower reintroduction would give you more useable information.  I'll be so bummed if i lose the good effects for xmas but i suppose that is an incentive to keep up with clean food choices.

I'm really going to relish my first coffee.  I'm uncertain about what i'll do with bread, i bet i should give it up.  It is stranger than you think it will be to have to make food choices and not be so tightly guided by rules.

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On 12/2/2016 at 1:55 AM, lutje said:

Dear H_G_P,

So funny to come here and see this. I finished my very vegan Whole 30 and was headed here to write a how to because when I started out I was so frustrated by the lack of ideas out there. Some general tips:

  1. Ignore all blogs claiming to have vegan Whole 30 ideas. More often than not, these simply eliminate non-compliant ingredients but fail at all other components of the program. For me, the most valuable thing I've learned has been about reproportioning my meals to be more protein-centered. Lots of the stuff out there is way too fruit-heavy and lacks the amount of protein you need to stay full til the next meal.
  2. When it comes to the actual Whole 30 literature, I had to consciously tell myself to take what I liked and leave the rest. Most of us who are ethical vegans (I have been for about 5 years and was vegetarian for about 15 before that) may find the tone with which veganism is spoken about to be quite dismissive and I just fundamentally disagree with their science. So, I simply reframed it in my mind -- if nothing else, I was cutting out processed food and sugar from my diet, and certainly nothing bad would come from that.
  3. You will cook. A lot. So ALWAYS make leftovers. Cook like 4 sweet potatoes at the beginning of the week. If you're making beans, soak and cook the entire bag and freeze half. Maybe make a double batch of soup and freeze some. It's hard enough to find a legit vegan option on a menu out, much less a compliant one. I ate a total of 4 meals that I didn't personally cook the entire month. Twice it was zoodles with raw bolognese that I ordered out. Once it was a lentil salad that I grabbed from the refrigerated case at the grocery in a food emergency. Once I went to a vegetarian buffet and stared with envy at my fiance as he had cake and I had my little bowl of fruit and hazlenuts. 
  4. Beans! You gotta do it, basically, or you will die of boredom (in my experience). Read up on proper soaking and even sprouting techniques. I've been veg forever and even I didn't know some of the science behind it!

As for recipe ideas (sorry if I missed any non-compliant ingredients! sub as necessary)

I hope this is helpful!!! This was a hard process sometimes but I promise it is doable! Please please don't hesitate to message me. 

@lutje, All this info is so Awesome! Immensely helpful!!! I m a vegetarian as well and am starting in Jan, ur post gave me hope and a lot of encouragement. Thanks! 

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@lutje, Thank you for the vegetarian menu ideas.  I'm just now reading the books and trying to come up with at least a one week menu plan.  I'm willing to eat eggs and fish, but not at every meal.  I've tried to make meals that follow the meal template suggestions and I already hate having so many eggs.

I noticed that you included chickpeas and black beans.  On the Whole30 site it says "You can also include non-fermented, organic soy (like extra-firm tofu) and various legumes in rotation."  And on the shopping list for vegetarians and vegans it says "various beans (properly prepared)".  So my question is, what various beans are best?  Are black beans and chickpeas least likely to cause issues?  And did you do the long preparation process?

Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions.  I'm anxious to get started, but I want to succeed!

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