Exactly What Is A Vegan Meal?

Exactly What Is A Vegan Meal?

Though it’s been a buzzword swirling around for years, the principles behind a vegan diet are far from a new fad. Here’s a helpful primer on what it means to eat vegan – and some ideas for what a meal might look like that is vegan to the core.

In the latter half of the 20th century, the diet of the modern world tilted toward mass, in every sense of the word. Mass production techniques helped to enable massive caloric intake, which – especially for the more developed nations – has led to a populace with a little too much, well, mass.

That diet has been heavy on meat, dairy, eggs, and plenty of processed foods. It left much to be desired in the way of health and a balanced, nutrient-rich lifestyle – to say nothing of the ethical concerns or the detrimental effects to the environment.

But today, more and more people are being exposed to – and finding it easy to stick with – a vegan diet, that strives to eliminate any animal-derived ingredients in favor of those that are all-natural, and right from the earth.

And while it’s easy to consider what a vegan meal would exclude, some struggle to rattle off what kinds of food a vegan would whole-heartedly embrace. Believe it or not, that list is exceptionally long – and with some practice and commitment, is likely to include many of your soon-to-be favorites.

Certainly this list includes the vast and diverse rainbow of fruits and vegetables. Their benefits are widely-known – offering the vitamins and minerals your body requires, the fiber to kickstart your day, and a lowering of heart disease risk, to name just a few. But in the hands of the right culinary practitioners, these superfoods become super ingredients that add vivid tastes and crisp textures to any meal.

Then add your grains, beans and legumes. These versatile foods form the base for innumerable meals – teaming with protein and fiber. And taken in combination with fruits and vegetables, you have the makings of hundreds or even thousands of unique, taste-packed, nutritiously-satisfying meals.

What holds some back as they approach the vegan diet for the first time, is the selection and preparation of meals on a regular basis. Because of the freshness of the ingredients and the lack of preservatives, stocking a ripe supply of foods can require some forethought and organization.

This is where the convenience factor of a service like Fresh n’ Lean’s vegan meal delivery kicks in. A wide variety of meal plans that combine so many of these healthy ingredients have been structured which can cater to your particular needs or focus (such as gluten-free, or low-carb, or even gourmet).

To get a sense of the individual meals that can arrive at your doorstep, a quick look at a recent week’s menu shows the array of choices:

  • Cumin lentils with brown rice and sweet onions
  • Raisin and berry oatmeal
  • Penne primavera
  • Roasted sunflower seed and balsamic cabbage rice
  • Chickpea and splitpea spiced medley
  • Italian vegetable rice pilaf
  • Curry quinoa vegetable bowl

As you can see, vegan meals aren’t locked in a single culinary heritage – you’ll find Asian, South American, or Mediterranean-inspired dishes. That kind of variety means you’ll have options to suit your taste – all the while delivering the nutritional value you need, and from a 100% plant-based diet.

We know what a vegan meal is not, and now we have a better sense of what it is. But the only way to participate in all the benefits of a vegan diet is to actually begin establishing the behavior, and turning it into a routine. There’s a vegan meal out there that will be your all-time favorite, and plenty of close contenders as well. Now you just have to find them!


Harvard School of Public Health

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