If you have never consciously tried to make your meals vegetarian, the task can seem quite daunting. More Than Broccoli helps you to plan this change.
More Than Broccoli has been designed to make it as easy as possible to cook and eat vegetarian more often, giving you tried- and tested recipes, introducing delicious meat replacements, a monthly meal plan, and starting with familiar flavours and dishes. But the fact remains that we are creatures of habit. It is not easy to make a shift in the way you eat, even if it’s “only” once a week.
As explained in our story, it took me a couple of years to fully switch to a vegetarian diet. Along the way, I adopted new habits that helped her make the shift and plan for more vegetarian meals. Here are my three tips on how to eat vegetarian more often.
1: Plan ahead
Planning your meals not only saves you time during the week, it also makes it easier to make a slight change. More Than Broccoli publishes a new recipe every Friday morning. So, try to identify one day in the following week where you have time to try a new recipe. Pick a day where you don’t have any commitments yet in the evening (like sports) and/or where your day is not as busy.
Second, make sure you have all the ingredients at home to start cooking. This removes another barrier to trying something new. Make sure that the day you picked to try the new recipe is after you do groceries. If that means you’re slightly out of schedule with More Than Broccoli because you do groceries in the middle of the week rather than the weekend, don’t worry about it.
The key is to decide in advance on what day of the week you are cooking vegetarian. You can keep your current way of cooking on other days and buying groceries the same. This way you are using your existing habits to create a new one, which is a technique called ‘habit stacking’.
2: Start a collection
Once you have created time to try something new, you will need instructions. More Than Broccoli gives you weekly recipes to try. But you may want to try something else instead or in addition. The idea is to plan for cooking more vegetarian by collecting recipes that inspire you.
Why? It helps with motivation. When I am in the mood of trying something new, I go through my collection to see what I fancy trying that week. I also often get reminded of meals that I haven’t prepared in a while but that I really enjoyed.
Think about it: how often have you come across a meal or recipe online that you thought looked very tasty? And how often did you save this? Now think about all the times that you are trying to come up with meals for the week or day ahead. Starting a collection, whether that is a digital or physical one, will make it easier to decide what to cook. You won’t forget about that tasty meal you saw on Instagram. And it will make it easier to choose a vegetarian meal.
Having a collection can also help you learn about new ingredients to try or how to prepare something. My collection includes new recipes and favourites, but also articles with tips on seasonal vegetables, and explanations on different products.
3: Rethink your favourite meal
I save all the meals and recipes that I like the look of, whether they are vegetarian or not. The reason is simple: there are enough tasty meat replacements on the market to make most meals vegetarian these days — you can even make a delicious burger!
So think about your favourite meal: can you replace the meat with a meat replacements? Or can you even take out meal completely, and add another high protein ingredient instead?
To help with this, I’d recommend browsing through the vegetarian isle at your local supermarket. Knowing what is available is half the job.