The recent heightened community quarantine has all of us mommas thinking…
“Anong next na lulutuin?”
Whether you’re a mom or a dad or just simply someone who’s in charge of preparing meals for yourself or for your family, I’m pretty sure you know what I mean.
If the daily challenge to come up with an acceptable meal is already challenging for you, how much more if you’re given limited access to ingredients?
Would it be “pa-deliver nalang!”? Or “team de-lata”?
While there’s really nothing wrong with that, it’s still nice to note that now is actually the best time to load up with vitamins and minerals to boost your immune system. The fact that the main reason the community quarantine was implemented in the first place is because of a communicable virus should already be logical for you to choose wholesome food over these highly processed fast-food.
Which is why if you’re like me, who’s recently been obsessing about healthy and easy food recipes, you should go ahead and read on.
Whether you’re completely unaware of what vegan means or you’ve already encountered this term, let me share this excerpt from The Vegan Society where they defined in perfect detail what the word means. It goes by saying that vegan is…
“[…] a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.“
To put it simply for this article, a food is considered vegan if no animal or animal-derived ingredient was used to create or to cook that particular meal — and yes, including dairy milk, eggs, honey, butter — anything that came from an animal.
You might be wondering,
“Parehas lang ba yan sa vegetarian?”
Well, it isn’t. For a better understanding of the difference between these so-called “diets,” here’s a chart I figured you’d find helpful.
Now that you’re familiar with the term, the next question I’m certain that you’re dying to ask is ‘why?’
Why vegan? Why should I choose the vegan diet?
There are a lot of reasons, actually. But for the sake of this article, let’s concentrate on the dietary aspect of veganism.
Most studies show that a vegan diet is healthier and has been linked to various health benefits — from weight loss, reduced risk to certain types of cancer and even lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
Considering our current situation, where people who are prone to getting sick are at a higher risk of being infected, isn’t it now is the time you should finally prioritize your health?
And if those things aren’t convincing enough for you to consider switching to a vegan diet, here are a few other health benefits backed by science according to Healthline:
Still not sold on a vegan diet? (Really?) Before I tell you the number 1 reason why you should, I’d love to bust a myth first, which I’m sure has been running in your head ever since the idea of not consuming any animal meat was mentioned…
“There’s not enough protein in a vegan diet!”
Did I just read your mind? I wish I could but nope, I didn’t! It’s really a very common misconception about the vegan diet.
A lot of people assume that vegans only consume fruits and vegetables, just like how they think that milk is the only great source of calcium. Fact of the matter is, there are TONS of calcium-rich food that are plant-based and did not come from cows.
Here’s a list to prove you that.
Okay, enough of calcium. Now for the real thing. Protein.
How much protein does one really need in a day?
Ideally, the RDI (recommended daily intake) for men aged 19-70 years old is 0.84 grams per kilo (0.84g/kg) of body mass, while women aged 19-70 years old need 0.75g per kilo (0.75g/kg) daily.
It gets confusing by the number, I know. But put it this way mommies: if you choose to eat a cup of black beans instead of meat, you get around 15g of protein (from that alone, yes) compared to a chicken drumstick. ‘Di mo yun alam, ‘no?
So remember there’s protein in plants, okay? 2Ps! Protein = Plants!
But really, all of these nutritional benefits and information are nothing compared to the realest reason why you should switch to a vegan diet immediately. Like, now.
It’s because of the obvious fact that the COVID19, the reason behind the current pandemic and why we’re all under community quarantine, was said to have been originated from the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market where even other animals including bats and snakes are being sold for human consumption.
But don’t take my word for it. While there is no known evidence that it came directly from animals, USA Today mentioned that conditions in such a marketplace creates a huge risk for humans to get infected by the said virus.
That being said, it is safe to say that the most effective way to lower that risk is to lessen human contact with animals and — yes, you’re right — reducing meat intake.
But the best way is to totally ditch meat.
It may be quite hard to most people, especially because since we were little or even nung panahon pa ni Mahoma, we were trained to eat meat. That was the norm back then, right?
But times have changed. It’s 2020!
Now is actually a great time to be vegan. With new vegan options and alternatives coming out, it’s not even really that challenging to eat vegan foods nowadays.
I know you’re dying to see the recipes I’ll be sharing with you so without further ado, here are the top 5 super easy vegan recipes to finally kickstart your vegan journey.
Steamed Broccoli with Pan-fried Potatoes and Vegan Bacon From Stef dela Cruz
NOTE: Vegan bacon is available in vegan specialty grocers. You can easily replace this with fried tofu.
From Jeffrey M. de Luna
Stir-fried Broccoli and Carrots with Fried Tofu From Gen Fernandez
Apple & Broccoli Salad with Homemade Sauce From Thea Frances
For the sauce:
Tofu & Kangkong Adobo From Gertrude A. Abarentos
Since most households in our country usually have at least one malunggay (moringa) tree, I’ll share this quick snack recipe I create when I feel I just need something to munch on. This is nutritious and if you’re a huge fan of sweet and spicy dilis, then you definitely should try this! What’s even better is that this one’s made out of malunggay.
*make sure to use tomato ketchup because some banana ketchup brands have dairy milk in them
Switching to a vegan diet nowadays isn’t as hard as you think! Maybe you’re unaware but some of the home-cooked dishes you’re actually used to preparing may be vegan: your plain fried tofu is vegan (cover it with Crispy Fry Breading Mix for a crunchier texture!), your fried eggplant is vegan, and even your sauteed vegetable dishes, which you can simply remove any unnecessary animal by-product, are actually vegan too.
Now, more than ever, is the perfect time to explore around your kitchen and experiment with different plant-based ingredients because it can help you have an easier transition to a vegan diet.
It’s also important to note that as moms and dads, ours and our children’s health is our top priority, no matter the situation. As we’re just a few weeks in on this Enhanced Community Quarantine and as the number of positive cases are far from slowing down, we need to take part in helping flatten the curve. And we can do that not only by staying at home but also by boosting our immunity.
What better (and more enjoyable) way to do that than eating healthier food?
So go ahead and try these recipes.
Make them with your little chikitings and tweak them as you like!
If you’re interested to learn more about veganism and for more Pinoy homemade vegan recipes, you can join our Facebook group, Manila Vegans, by clicking this link.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Before starting her own vegan business, Chelsea spent two years as a Sales & Marketing Events Specialist and Corporate Communications Associate for a Japanese car company where she frequented travelling to different cities and provinces nationwide. After a successful career in events management, she now helps health and wellness brands increase their sales through email copywriting and handles her own online enterprise. When not hard at work, Chelsea enjoys travelling, binge-watching, and looking for budget airline tickets. On some days, she experiments in the kitchen and volunteers in charity programs. You can see more about her and her work through this link.