Today I wanted to share 10 Tips from Our Plant-Based Family with you, these are tips that we have learned along this plant-based journey of ours … we’ve had lots of trial and errors over the years but one thing we’ve learned is to continue to have fun with it!! I find it so exciting when I discover a new delicious plant-based recipe … or a new way to make something, or a new substitute for dairy or meat products!!
This is also a big reason as to why Tori and I are so excited to partner up with Becel! We’re able to spend some time together having fun in the kitchen testing out fun plant-based recipes using our favourite vegan spread – Becel Vegan! It’s a great substitute for butter because it’s made from plant-based oils and it has 50% less saturated fat!
Alright, for those of you who are interested in exploring the plant-based world … here are some of our family’s tips for you!!
1. Start Slow
If you’re new to this whole plant-based eating thing, start out slow … you don’t have to go all or nothing right out of the gate. Try introducing one plant-based meal a week! You can find some of mine and Tori’s fave recipes here.
2. Don’t be Afraid to Experiment; Practice Makes Perfect!!
I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve made meals that I didn’t really like to start with but I was always determined to improve it and I would tweak and make adjustments until I LOVED it!! Some recipes will be amazing and others will flop but don’t let that deter you!
3. Use Lentils or Finely Diced Mushrooms in Replace of Ground Beef
Seems crazy right?! Give it a try!! I promise you won’t be disappointed! Lentils and finely diced mushrooms have a similar texture to ground beef and you can season them just as you would your meat!! We did this in our delicious Vegan Mushroom Wellington recipe. It’s made with Becel Vegan and is a definite crowd-pleaser.
4. Sub Nutritional Yeast for Cheese
If you haven’t tried Nutritional Yeast yet … it’s probably for one of two reasons: you’ve probably never heard of it before, or the name scares you!! LOL! Don’t let the name fool you, it’s a delicious substitute for cheese and it’s packed full of nutrients!! You can add it to salad dressing, or even just sprinkle it on top of your favourite dishes … and on your popcorn for a delish cheesy flavour!!
5. Vegan Comfort Foods Are Delicious
That’s right, you can still have comfort foods even if you’re eating plant-based!! I think this is one of the main things that scare people away … they think if they go plant-based that they’ll have to eat salads for every meal … but that’s not the case!! You can easily achieve rich comfort foods by adding a dollop of Becel Vegan to them! I use it as a substitute for butter in my pasta sauces, soups and ALL of my comfort food recipes as it helps to make them rich and flavourful, plus, it’s a great option for a heart-healthy diet!
6. Up the Flavour
If you’re finding your plant-based meals to be bland, I would suggest adding white wine, tamari, miso paste, concentrated veggie stock, liquid smoke, herbs, garlic and a bit of good ‘ol salt and pepper to up your flavour game!! I use most of these ingredients in my cooking on a daily basis!
7. Add Flavour to Your Tofu
I’m a fan of tofu but only when it’s flavoured properly!! So I either make a point of buying flavoured tofu from the grocery store OR I marinade plain tofu in the fridge overnight!!
8. Buy in Bulk
We go through so much nutritional yeast and nuts (mostly cashews and almonds) in our home that the most affordable way to buy them is to purchase them in bulk!!
9. Swap Your Dairy Products
If you want to go plant-based but you’re not sure where to start, I would suggest swapping your dairy products first! I found this was the EASIEST place to start when we switched to a plant-based diet, replacing your milk and cream, mayo, butter, etc. with vegan options was a pretty easy transition for us! An easy first step is swapping your butter for Becel Vegan.
10. Be easy on yourself
Eating plant-based takes time so make sure to be easy on yourself and try not to overthink it!
What are some of your barriers when it comes to plant-based eating?? Share them below!!
This post was created as part of a paid partnership with Becel®.
Just found this cheese at Whole Foods today and it is delicious (https://www.zengarry.com/products.html)!! Got the garlic & fine herb cashew cheese spread and definitely will be trying the other products. I’m from Ontario, and would love to get more info from your blog about vegan cheese products and other vegan alternatives I can pick up from the grocery store. I’ve also tried Daiya but am not a huge fan of their cream cheese spread and other products…
Great article, and information. Learning how to be plant- based for my daughter. This makes research fun! Thank you♥️
Paige—(I know I’m not Jillian so I apologize but thought I could offer a suggestion or two) Are you allergic to soy? If not, then you can try soy milk, or have you tried oat milk? For protein, I mainly eat beans (alllll the beans!), tofu, and then add in other things to bump up protein like oatmeal, tempeh, seitan…there are lots of delicious options!
I find that because of all my allergies, plant based isn’t sustainable. I am allergic to all nuts, peas, corn, chickpeas and some lentils. How is a girl supposed to get protein? Almost all dairy substitutes are nut based. Any suggestions?
Thanks for sharing these tips on getting into plant-based eating. I think my biggest barrier when it comes to plant-based eating is my culture! Coming from a Ukrainian home, if there’s no meat, butter or eggs somewhere in the meal, it’s just a salad (a small part of the meal)! Also – you said it – nutritional yeast. It really does intimidate me, but after seeing several video recipes that incorporate this ingredient, I’ll make it my delayed New Years Resolution to give it a try.
Oh I TOTALLY know how you feel!! I’m Ukranian as well!! This year I had just over 20 of my Ukranian family members here and I made them a vegan Thanksgiving dinner and everyone LOVED IT!! Yes, you HAVE to try Nutritional yeast!! It’s sooooo GOOD!! XOXO
Bulk Barn just opened in my neighbourhood and I’m OBSESSED! I love making my own homemade almond milk and cashew cheese sauces!
i’ve tried the vegan becel and couldnt notice the difference at all! so good
The biggest barrier in my home is probably my husband’s nut allergy – I looove nut butter, nut milks, etc. Sometimes I can get away with coconut, and soaking sunflower seeds works in some recipes that call for soaked cashews. We still do a lot of plant-based eating anyway; I’m lucky not to have a million pairs of eyes on me when we eat meat 😉 Thanks to you and Tori for the constant inspiration and creativity!
Have you read “Plant Paradox” by Dr. Gundry?
No I haven’t!! Sounds like I might need to thought!! xo
I find I need to eat more food more often to stay feeling full which I didn’t really do when I was eating meat. It’s also tough to have a fully stocked kitchen when we go through the fresh stuff so quickly. It’s a process for sure but it is slowly getting easier.
I am so lost! I need help. I am celiac and so gluten free and am struggling to find things to eat. I have been urged to go plant based due to MS but am struggling. I have eliminated meats except for fish and am still eating eggs for now. I also have a daughter who is lactose intolerant. I don’t want to have to make more than one meal a night for my family so I am looking for alternatives that my children can enjoy, and that are easy. What are the best plant based alternatives for dairy products? Where do you shop?
Hi Jane!! I actually wrote a blog post on my fave dairy alternatives! Check it out here: https://jillianharris.com/guide-dairy-alternatives/ … also, try shopping online at vegansupply.ca XOXO
Becel contains palm oil
This is not a sustainable or responsibly harvested product
Habitat for orangutans is being destroyed to obtain this oil
There are other vegan “butter” products that do not contain palm oil
Perhaps look at and attach yourself to one of those
I am not fully plant based because I love my free range or organic meat and eggs! But butter is a but of a problem for me, haven’t had milk for 30+years but do consume hard cheese and butter, till recently. I just saw you on TV with Bevel Vegan, I haven’t been able to find out if it’s organic or GMO free? The canola oil especially would be a concern for me. Thanks!
Hi! I am hoping to start moving towards a more plant based diet. Is there a great cookbook you would recommend to someone starting out on the journey? Thanks in advance!