Many will choose to make the switch to a plant-based diet for several reasons including cutting their climate footprint to be healthier. But how expensive is plant-based living really?
In 2020 Health For Mzansi’s favourite plant-based foodie, Dané Vermeulen, decided to embark on a plant-based journey.
“My decision to go plant-based was quite sudden and I made that decision without even knowing how expensive it would be. I just knew I had to try it and I needed to make a change in my lifestyle,” she says.
She was beaming with excitement about this new journey, and thought it would come at a cost. But with a little planning you can stretch your bucks she shares. “I was pleasantly surprised,” Vermeulen says.
Keep produce fresher for longer
Siyabonga Mngoma, founder of Abundance Wholesome Food, suggests that you keep your vegetables fresher for longer by placing them in a zip-lock bag in the fridge. “Your vegetables can last three times longer and you can reuse the bags.”
Mngoma shares three more facts about saving your fresh produce.
- The size, colour, texture and form of your organic vegetables may be different from supermarket produce. “This is a good thing, because it means that the produce is not chemically formed or grown.”
- Sometimes you may receive the produce straight out of the soil and not washed. This is a way of ensuring a longer shelf life. You will only need to wash your veg right before you cook or eat it.
- You may find an odd snail or ant in your bag of organic vegetables. Just remove these beauties – they won’t kill you.
Ever considered frozen?
Fresh is always best, unless frozen is available. There is no way around. Frozen vegetables are always a win on a busy weeknight, says McCain’s marketing manager for foodservice and retail, Catharina Bester.
“The cleaning and chopping have all been done for you, so all you need to do is take it out of your freezer, cook according to the on-pack instructions and serve.”
We all know the feeling of reaching for some veggies in the fridge, only to find that it’s expired. Or heading to the shops to get a specific ingredient and not being able to find it.
By keeping your freezer stocked with vegetables and potato products, you know you’ll have what you need, ready to go, when you need it.
Try Vermeulen’s comforting veggie curry
Vermeulen shares her go-to plant-based recipe for some spicy winter comfort, vegetable curry.
- Olive oil for cooking
- 1 medium onion (chopped)
- 1 small green pepper (chopped)
- ½ head of broccoli (chopped)
- 1 large clove garlic (diced)
- 1 heaped tablespoon of fresh ginger (chopped)
- 1 heaped tablespoon of vegetable stock
- 1 can chickpeas
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 can of chopped tomatoes
- 1 heaped tablespoon mild curry powder
- 1 tablespoon of chutney
- 1 ½ cups of basmati rice
- Coriander leaves for garnish
- Salt and pepper
- Chopped fresh chili (if you like it hot)
1. Cook your rice in a pot with double the amount of water (3 cups) on medium heat with some salt until the rice is soft and fluffy. If any water remains, strain it and set aside.
2. In a large pan, brown the onions in some olive oil on medium heat.
3. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute before adding the curry powder. Add fresh chilli if you can handle the heat, otherwise you can leave it out.
4. Stir and cook for another minute before adding the can of tomatoes.
5. Add the vegetable stock, mix it into the ingredients and bring to a simmer before adding the chickpeas and the coconut milk.
6. Mix well and let it cook for 10 minutes. Add the green peppers and broccoli and cook until soft, but crunchy. Lastly, add the chutney and mix it into the curry.
7. Dish the rice into a bowl or onto a plate. Add your plant-based curry and top it off with some fresh coriander leaves.