What about festive occasions?
Once again, Alwill says the key is to bring a plate.
“Generally it’s something most of us do anyway, you’ll just make it with your plant-based twist!” she says.
In addition, Alwill suggests remembering “there’s a fine line between telling people about your new lifestyle and becoming the plant-based Grinch”.
“Undoubtedly people will ask you about your shift to plant-based, and that’s fine, it may not be their choice though,” Alwill adds. “Remember you’re not there to convert people to be plant-based on festive occasions, you’re there to enjoy yourself and let them do same.”
What if I’m cooking for meat eaters?
If you’re cooking for a blended household or have a meat eater coming around for dinner, a good option can be to serve a combo of meat-based meals with some plant-based alternatives that resemble the real thing. Try these simple ideas:
- Beef burger or a delicious brown rice and bean burger with all the (plant-based) trimmings.
- Tuna wrap/sandwich or mashed chickpea and mayonnaise “tuna” with plenty of leafy greens.
- Traditional pancakes with egg or a quick and easy Mt Elephant Almond Buckwheat Pancake Mix topped with your favourite berries and Mt Elephant Hemp & Oak Milk.
It’s easy being green
Follow Alwill’s tricks to mastering the menu
- Hunt down great restaurants and cafes renowned for their veg-based dishes.
- Ask for a simple swap with your meal. For instance, you could say, “Rather than the chicken or steak on the salad, do you have a substantial veg option you can pop on there instead?” This is only a small tweak for a busy kitchen.
- Suggest getting shared plates of plant-based meals with your friends. This offers variety not only to you but to others at the table.
- Entrées can offer more plant-based options so consider ordering two entrées for your main if it works better for you.
- Prepare to be flexible and open.
Balance is key
If you’re going vego, it’s a good idea to see a nutritionist or dietitian to make sure you’re eating a rounded diet.
“Ensure there’s plenty of variety in your day,” Alwilll advises. “Crowd your plate with a diverse range of ingredients [like] fruits, veg, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes and wholegrains.”