Before my husband and I went vegetarian almost six years ago, my dad declared that he was vegan. He had just read The China Study and was trying to make healthier dietary choices. I remember his announcement like it was just yesterday.
My parents, sisters and our significant others all went on a white water rafting trip in South Carolina and we were preparing breakfast, which consisted mainly of eggs, bacon and sausage. I was completely perplexed about my dad’s decision to go vegan and was baffled about what he was going to eat for his meal. My dad wound up making some toast and slathered avocado on it, and I remember being surprised with how good it looked! Shortly after that family getaway, my husband found out about his high blood pressure and, thanks to my dad, started reading The China Study which began us on our own plant-based journey.
Even before my dad’s declaration of being vegan on that rafting trip, he had always been what was considered alternative with his dietary choices. Back in the 90’s, I remember that our fridge was stocked with soy milk and soy hot dogs among other interesting food items. What was considered odd then is now considered the norm in our household, and I have my dad to thank for instilling those healthier food choices in me when I was growing up.
Unfortunately my dad reverted back to eating meat that year after the trip, however I’m so proud to say that he’s presently back to following the plant-based lifestyle. A couple of months ago, I bought my dad Eat To Live for his birthday and now he’s encouraging others to read it and start eating nutrient-dense food!
It’s probably not that surprising to know that when my husband and I became vegan, both of my parents were incredibly supportive and have always gone out of their way to prepare vegan food for us at family get-togethers. Whenever we visit their house they make vegan feasts for us (see the picture below for the vegan Christmas dinner my parents made for us this past year).
But now, they’re cooking this way for themselves! My parents have been texting me drool-worthy pictures of vegan food they’ve been creating lately, like the ones below, and I wanted to share to show how easy it is to whip up vegan food.
My dad texted me the picture below of his breakfast. His instructions on how he made it follow.
- Soak whole oats in almond milk for 15 minutes.
- Blend cashews with almond milk and then mix in with oats.
- Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Then add walnuts, pecans, raisins, cacao nibs and a banana.
Here’s an easy 5-step recipe that my mom created. If you’re like me and you don’t use a whole lot of oil, sub it out with low-sodium vegetable broth or water.
- 1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 package of meatless crumbles (my mom used Kroger Simple Truth, but I love Beyond Meat’s crumbles)
- 1 can (15 oz.) organic low-sodium diced tomatoes
- 1/2 can chopped green chili
- 1/2 chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil (or for oil-free version, use ¼ cup low-sodium vegetable broth)
- Sauté the olive oil with the garlic and onions for about three minutes.
- Add the meatless crumbles and sauté for another minute.
- Add the green chili and continue to sauté.
- Add tomatoes, chickpeas and a quarter cup of water to the mix; continue to sauté.
- Heat for about five minutes stirring frequently.
Not only is my dad creating new and exciting meals at home, he’s also sticking to the vegan diet while traveling. Here is what he got at Root Down, located at the Denver International Airport.
Even though this is my dad’s story through the lens of my eyes, I hope it inspires others to go vegan or start incorporating more meatless meals in their diet.