Friday, December 14, 2012

30 day cooking, no animal protein style!

Well I’m back at it, cooking with no animal protein, I mean.  What’s that, basically no meat or dairy products, similar to vegan cooking.  We’re done this before in our family and never left it entirely although the last 6-9 months we had strayed far.  My husband is back on this diet along with my son who never left it and so here I am cooking completely NAP (no animal protein) again.

My favorite way to run my house is to have all our meals planned and in the freezer, typically one month at a time.  I’ve been doing this for years but once we went to the NAP cooking it was more challenging.  Now after having 5 or so years’ experience with this style of cooking I think I’m ready to live life with 30 days of prepared meals NAP style!  Yippee!

What’s different?  Well the major difference is the prep work.  With regular 30 day cooking you may prep some of your food by browning all your ground beef for instance or chopping 5-6 cups of onion etc…  With NAP 30 day cooking you still may want to pre-chop some onions but you actually have to create all your “meats”.  I think by doing your meats the day before you plan to put your 30 days of meals together will make this as simple as regular 30 day cooking.

Most of the things on our menu are favorite recipes that I simply converted to NAP.  The key to these is using satisfactory meat substitutes that are fairly inexpensive to make.

For an incredible sausage try this:
Italian Sausage, the recipe is there along with a video to show you how.   I will say I’ve never used the chickpea flour, I just use regular all purpose and for chicken seasoning I use the vegan chicken bouillon powder sold at Apple Valley, McKays I think.  I also increase the steam time to 35-40 minute.  Instead of leaving them in sausage shape I grind them into ground sausage with my food processor.

Best ground beef stand in that I’ve found was a recipe given to me by a friend so I don’t have any idea where to credit it to but it works well.
Bulgur Meat
2 cups Bulgur  (course ground)
1qt canned tomatoes
finished Bulgur "meat"
½ onion cut in pieces
2 tsp. salt
1 T. Molasses
Blend all ingredients except bulgur in blender.  Place all ingredients including Bulgar in sauce pan and simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.  Spread out into jelly roll pan and bake at 200 for an hour stirring occasionally.  Use in casserole type recipes as you would ground beef.
Using these two “meats”, great northern, black and chili beans as my main ingredients I made the following meals for our freezer.  Just find your favorite recipes in your files to do similar.

Ziti (“sausage” and prepared spaghetti sauce)
White Bean Pesto Stew
Taco Chili
Mushroom Barley soup
Lo Mein
Black Beans and Rice
Sloppy Joe Buns
Ribz (using vital gluten)

Most of the above recipes were tripled.  

I also have on the menu Seitan Roast which is easy to stick in the crockpot and Fettuccini Alfredo which is a quick throw together meal as long as I have the noodles and non-dairy cream cheese on hand.

Seitan roasts are so easy but if you’ve never done one here’s a link to one, that is similar to what I do.

Once I have all the meals made I like to put them on a calendar and put it on the refrigerator so everyone knows what's for dinner and I don't forget to take out whatever I've assigned to the day in the morning.  Here's a great editable calendar I found.

So what better way to save time in the kitchen but do it all in one day and then be freed up each day to enjoy the holiday festivities!  Happy cooking.

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