Hey, it’s Mic here, and today I’m gonna kick off the first video in a Veganuary mini-series to help people go vegan with what could be your first three meals on a vegan diet. So over the 7 or so years that I’ve been vegan, I’ve helped quite a few people go vegan and I’ve learned what their challenges were and I’ve come up with 3 meals that I view as pretty healthy, not the healthiest possible in the world but also very easy to prepare and made out of really widely available ingredients that hopefully you can get no matter where you are in the world, and I will say the world is changing. It’s easier to be vegan than ever. You could go and get a vegan cheese pizza at Pizza Hut in the UK if you live there or just go to any Chipotle and get a vegan burrito. I mean we have Ben and Jerry’s vegan ice cream now, and you could just go home and cook everything you normally cook but replace the animal products with super delicious new vegan alternatives. But those aren’t necessarily the cheapest options or always the healthiest options as they tend to be quite processed, and perhaps most important of all, those are not necessarily available to everybody, so I’ve come up with a trio of meals that are super easy, widely available and way on the healthier spectrum, so let’s go—vegan. I bet you didn’t know being vegan could be this cheesy. Unsubscribed. And if you’re a seasoned vegan, feel free to stay tuned because this is, in a sense, an intro to the InstaPot, but if you don’t have an InstaPot, don’t worry because we’ll talk about the alternative way to cook everything we’re gonna cook, and the 3 meals that we are going to cook is a choice between a hot and cold cereal with a bunch of amazing toppings and then the lunch is going to be a roasted potato based bowl of deliciousness, and then dinner is going to be a pasta-based meal. And so let’s get started. OK, the first step would be shopping. You’ve got to make sure you have all these ingredients, and it really helps to do the shopping the day before you’re doing the cooking when you’re doing a big shift like this, so if you’re starting on a Monday, do the shopping on a Sunday. And I will have the complete ingredients list for all three of these recipes in the description below. And here is the shopping list for our first meal before we get started. As you can see, there’s a little bit of variation. You can choose all of those toppings. So, meal number one. OK, let’s start with our first meal of the day, which is a breakfast. It’s going to the hot or cold cereal, your choice. I often mention oatmeal and people go, “Oh, that’s so gross,” so if you’re just going vegan is just about finding a cereal that doesn’t have animal products in it, so you could go and find a cold cereal and just look on the back of the label and make sure it doesn’t contain any milk, eggs, meat,—who knows?—or other animal products, but I’m going to show you how I have been preparing oatmeal in the morning lately, and you can just do the same thing with your cold cereal, add the same things I’m adding if you would like to. So there are two ways of doing oatmeal that I’m going to talk about. One is simply cooking it the normal stovetop way, which varies anywhere between a two to one to a four to one ratio of water to oats cooked on medium for about 10 minutes on your stovetop. But I like to cook my oats while I’m sleeping. How do I do that, you might ask? I do that with my trusty Instant Pot, which I’ve had for a while and have not really talked very much about because it is a somewhat higher ticket item. It’s about 70 dollars for this 6-in-1, which has been great so far. and you can program it to start cooking in the future, so at night we’ll just throw on some oats and some water. I do 3/4 of a cup of steel-cut oats with about one and a half cups of water— so it’s a two to one water to oat ratio—at night, and then I go ahead and program it to cook in about 10 hours, so I wake up and my oatmeal is done. But a couple quick things worth mentioning about oats. I really prefer steel-cut oats, which are essentially the whole oat groat that is just cut in half. I really like the consistency of those, but I am just gonna cook some classic normal rolled oats today. And it is the new year, and I think that it’s great to take this opportunity to change your habits. And so instead of going to the bulk pan and grabbing a plastic bag, I totally implore you to use a reusable container. Just go and have the store tare it. This one is 0.27 pounds, and so they’ll just take that off the weight, and that way you’re not using plastic every time. All right, let’s make some oats. I know you can do it on the stove top. Ten minutes of cooking and stirring, you can do it. But I want to quickly show how this thing works. OK, here is my one and a half cups of water. Just crank those in there. And then I’m going to take my quarter cup and do three scoops of oats for three-quarters of a cup. Once again, two to one ratio between water and oats. Now I usually cook my steel-cut oats on manual for 13 minutes, and that will certainly cover these rolled oats, so let’s just say that’s about right. And it takes a little bit of time for this to get up to pressure, and so we want to add a few minutes for that. So let’s say it takes 20 minutes to cook total, so we need to take that into consideration, so if it’s 10 p.m. and we want this stuff to be done at 8:00 in the morning, that is 10 hours minus 20 minutes, so that is 9 hours and 40 minutes. So we’re gonna go to…Damn it. I’m just gonna have to restart it. So we go to timer. Starts on the hour. We’re gonna crank that up to 9 hours—and then press “Timer” again for minutes—and 40 minutes. If you’re not going to be able to get it right away, you want to press the manual again to make sure it doesn’t continue warming because it might burn. And just let it go, and you’re ready to eat tomorrow. OK, so while this is cooking, let’s talk a little bit about toppings and more about breakfast. So if you’re just going vegan, you’re just trying to not eat animal products. That’s great, but if you’re trying to, say, follow the advice of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn to reverse heart disease, you’re also gonna be, of course, dodging oil and a lot of refined foods, and he might even tell you to eat a handful of steamed leafy greens with breakfast. And that’s because of the nitrates which help clear out arteries, but for me I just like to eat a healthy vegan diet that prevents disease hopefully. And one rule I like to follow is eating enough antioxidants to offset the calorie intake. Yes, no matter how healthy you are eating, you are still burning calories, which lead to metabolic byproducts that cause oxidative stress, which you can buffer with antioxidants. And so things like blueberries are awesome to the extent that you can afford them. Frozen is cheaper. And if you really want to micromanage it, there actually is an equation of how many antioxidant units you should eat to match your calorie intake, and that deserves a whole nother video. But the oatmeal is done so let’s get some toppings going. Time to depressurize it. All right. BAM. There’s the oatmeal. Since this is super hot and the frozen blueberries are super cold, I like to add my blueberries now. And I don’t go that hard. A few. And to make it extra creamy, if you want, you can add some almond milk. I’m just adding some unsweetened almond milk. And I have a video about how to make that if you want to get crazy at some point. Now I’m gonna pop it in this bowl. OK, now whether you went with hot cereal or cold cereal, toppings are pretty key, in my opinion, and that just totally depends on what you like. And I always go with cinnamon, and I always do a little apple every day, and I actually like to throw maybe a chopped fig or so, and if I have bananas around, I’ll do a banana. And a lot of vegans like to wait until they’re basically black. I just like to eat them when they’re just starting to get some spots, a decent amount of spots but not too crazy. And the final one would be ground flax which is a great source of omega 3s. I’ve been criticized in the past for recommending super expensive chia seeds, and these are a way cheaper alternative, so let’s chop some ingredients. I am all about efficiency and I want breakfast to take zero time in the morning, so I like to cut my apples like this. I make sort of a spiral with maybe like a quarter of an inch, half inch sort of distance apart. And then once that spiral is complete, I sort of do some vertical cuts just so you have maybe half inch cubes here. And then once you’re done with that, you can kind of come down from the top to the bottom. Could have probably cut a little bit deeper there, but now you’ve got a ton of apple pieces. Fig, I go really small because this is sort of like my maple syrup. Banana Okay, so we’ve officially gotten way fancier than you need to get, but at least you’re getting some ideas. So I’m just gonna go ahead and throw it all in there. And this is where I fail as a food stylist. And then I’m going to finish off with about a tablespoon of ground flax. And you can’t forget your cinnamon. Okay, final word on breakfast, I went with cereals because they’re super cheap, pretty widely available, and just pretty easy to make as well. But there are so many other vegan breakfasts you can do in my cookbook. For example, I have a vegan breakfast burrito, and then also chia french toast, which is super delicious. And there’s just infinite possibilities on any scale of junkiness to healthiness that you can think of. But after being vegan for about seven years, this is what I end up eating most of the time because it is super delicious, super easy for me to make, and I just love it. All right, on to the next meal. And here’s the shopping list for lunch for meal number two, and again there is a bit of variation, a bit of choice in there. OK, now for lunch some of you may be familiar with the cover-your-ass bowl that I did with Mr. Vegan of Mr. & Mrs. Vegan a while back. And we’re gonna do a spin-off of that that is the laziest possible thing I can think of so that there are no excuses. If you want the totally nutritionally complete, amazing one, go ahead and watch that video— It’s gonna involve the full steaming of the fresh vegetables and all that jazz.— But we are going to use an Instant Pot and some frozen veggies and do the easiest possible way. So I’m going to go ahead and wash some potatoes and drain these beans, and the awesome thing about Instant Pots is that you can do dried beans super easily. You don’t have to be eating from a can if you don’t like doing that. And so, let’s go. In my experience, four medium potatoes seems to be a good rule of thumb, but rarely do you have perfect medium potatoes, so this was my approximation. Two pretty chubby potatoes and then one small potato per person I’m gonna be cooking for two people. So let’s get chopping. Okay, so the awesome thing about an Instant Pot is that I can essentially cut these guys in half and they will still steam properly, so I’m gonna go the laziest possible way and just cut these in giant chunks and remove any weird nasty parts Okay, so for one person, it’s gonna look like about that much. And I’ve gone ahead and filled my Instant Pot with water, and I’ve got my little grate down there and I can just—woo! I can just throw these guys in there. And you could go ahead and throw veggies in there, but we’re doing super lazy frozen veggies for people that are steaming this normally, in which case you would chop these a little smaller, obviously. OK. OK, now I’m gonna go ahead and cook these on the manual setting on high pressure for about eight minutes. OK, manual. Manual for eight minutes, which it’s already on. Just wait a second and it goes. All right, so that nobody can complain that eating vegetables is too expensive or too difficult, I have chosen the cheapest frozen veggies that I could find. They are from Costco. And we’re gonna cook them, aka warm them up. OK, I’m just gonna place the veggies on my allegedly non-toxic nonstick pan. That’s one cup. I think I’m gonna do three cups total. Two cups, and three cups. This is for two people, so about a cup and a half should do the job per person. Then I am just gonna put them on medium heat and cover them, not adding any water because there’s plenty of moisture there. I like to drain and rinse these beans just because I’m not a fan of the goopy wateriness. All right. OK, it’s been about five or six minutes, and these guys are thoroughly defrosted. All right, it looks like the potatoes are just about done, so I’m going to go ahead and vent these. Woo! Olla Express. Choo choo! So when the potatoes are done steaming, the meal is basically done, but if you have more time, you can go one step further, so we’re gonna do that. We’re gonna go ahead and broil these, get a nice golden-brown texture. Let’s do it. So if you know me, you know I’m a huge fan of silicon baking mats, but I was testing out the ones from Amazon to see if they were worth recommending and they’re not. They lasted a couple months and then they got all sort of cracked and crumbly, so until I get new ones in the mail It’s back to parchment paper. Papier parchemin. Not very eco. Okay, ripped off a piece and at this point I like to take my giant chunks and just sort of break them up with my knife, and that way I can get some more surface area. All right, these are ready to go in the oven. So I am just gonna broil on low. All right, there are the potatoes. They go right in like that. So I’m gonna go ahead and leave them in here for about four minutes and then rotate them so they get a more even browning and then cook them for another three or four minutes. Four minutes have gone by, and since the ones on the outside are not cooked, I’m moving them to the center and cooking for another three minutes. All right, so here is the end result. Yummy, golden brown. And if you want a fancier, tastier version of this, check out the sriracha fries recipe in my eBook. All right, now time to throw it all into a bowl. There is one bowl of potatoes and then about half a can per person of black beans and then, once again, half of the veggies. Boom. Lazy healthiness. Okay, so at this point you can go and put whatever sauce you want on this; Mr. Vegan and I proposed barbecue sauce. You can also do ketchup, which I really like. You know, we’re just going quick and lazy here. You could use some more advanced sauces at another time. I also like to throw a dollop of hummus on these, and there’s so many so many options here. But that’s it for lunch. And here’s a shopping list for meal number three, the pasta, and again, there are some alternates. You can choose between the type of pasta or whether you want to do tofu or a mock meat. OK, now it’s time to make dinner, which is going to be pasta. I have a bunch of different pasta options here. I’ve got what I’m gonna eat, which is whole wheat penne rigate. And then I also have a couple just examples of gluten-free ones that you’re probably already familiar with in the sense that this is brown rice pasta… This one’s actually a chickpea and brown rice pasta, which is interesting, but it’s actually quite good. And then in terms of sauce, I like to make my own sauce out of either tomato paste from a can or preferably some whole strained tomatoes in a glass jar, which I then add spices and stuff. But for your first day vegan, you probably just want to go to the store and buy some vegan marinara sauce. And this is where label reading comes in and simply you’re just looking for no animal products. Underneath, if you are in the US, it should say “contains milk” if there’s milk in it, “contains eggs” if there are eggs, and of course, go through the ingredients anyway and make sure. One thing I will say about this, and we don’t need to have the conversation about oil because I don’t believe oil is a health food, but if you look at the back of this label You can see that about 40% of the calories in here are fat, which means there is a ton of oil in the sauce, especially when you consider that tomatoes are less than 10% of calories from fat, so that’s something to consider later. So then, in terms of veggies, we can be super boring again and used the same frozen veggies that we used at lunch. I’m gonna go ahead and also add some frozen spinach. You can, of course, go the more difficult route and actually cook fresh vegetables, which would be awesome, but I’m going for the laziest possible way here so there’s no excuses. Now I’m gonna present two options for cooking. One is the one-pot-pasta technique, which is ridiculously easy. It just is throwing the dry pasta, the sauce, even raw, fresh veggies if you have them and then add water, and after seven minutes of high pressure, this thing will be totally cooked. But since you probably don’t have an Instant Pot, I’m gonna show you the laziest possible way to cook this on a pan. And then the final thing I will be cooking is a tempeh which is just a fermented soy, and you could also be doing tofu, you could also choose your favorite mock meat if you want to have that meatlike texture on your first day of being a vegan. I’m actually gonna go ahead and cook this in maple syrup, why not? With a box of whole wheat pasta like this, I typically eat about half of it, maybe a little bit less, which is now 5 or 6 ounces or about 150, 170 grams. And if you’re doing that in the Instant Pot, you’re gonna want to do about one and a half cups of water along with everything else. So you throw that dry pasta in. You throw that water in there. You throw whatever veggies you want, and then you would close it up and cook it on high pressure for seven to nine minutes is what has worked for me. But let’s go and cook on the stovetop. I’m gonna boil four cups of water. OK, so while that water is boiling, it’s a good time to cut your veggies if you’re doing fresh veggies or to cut your tempeh if you’re doing tempeh. Again, I’m going to do half a block and just go ahead and cut that into about quarter-inch strips. I don’t know how many millimeters that is. Six? Or…? OK OK. OK, our water has begun to boil, so I’m gonna go ahead and add the pasta And let’s start grilling that tempeh. OK, I’ve got my trusty non-stick pan here, and I’m just gonna lay these guys down like that and drizzle just a little bit of maple syrup on them because I’m not trying to go too hard, just enough so that they can get some light caramelization. You could add some chili powder to this or just go buckwild and pour some sriracha right on this, but this is good enough for me right now. So I’m just gonna keep cooking this on a sort of medium low until they get golden brown and then flip them. OK, that was only about a minute or two later, but I think we’re getting there. Yeah, that looks looks good enough for me. Boom. Check it out. OK, now I’m just gonna set those aside on a plate, and for sheer laziness and efficiency purposes, I am going to cook the sauce—heat up the sauce—and the veggies in this same pan. OK, now you do want to wait a bit and let this pot cool down a little bit because quick, extreme changes in temperature are bad for nonstick pots, and I’m gonna start by adding a quarter cup of water to account for any evaporation, then I’m gonna do a half a cup of sauce, a heaping half cup of sauce to start with. I might add a little bit. And then I’ve got my spinach here, and I’m gonna go ahead and add a third of this package, which is, you know, about three ounces or 100 grams. And finally, about another cup of veggies, aka I’m grabbing some veggies with my hand. Now I’m gonna cook this on a medium low just to thaw everything out and let it absorb the flavor. If you have fresh veggies, you could also be covering and steaming them at the same time. And I’m just gonna wait until the water evaporates off this until it’s more saucy and everything is heated evenly. OK, so that looks pretty good to me. And then don’t forget about your pasta. The box says that it needs 10 minutes to cook and it’s been about 10 minutes, and I tested it and it’s just about done, so I am going to drain it. OK, so pasta has been drained. Bam. Now for the sauce and veggies. And the finishing touch, tempeh. …, two,… And I’m just gonna eat this one. I ate another piece, but who cares. Yum. At this point you might be thinking, “Do I have to cook this much when I go vegan? “I don’t think I can do it if I have to cook this much.” Well, the simple answer is no, you do not. You can always do meal prep or batch cooking, which is essentially cooking for yourself in the future. It’s a little bit of an art, so I’m gonna do a video on it in the future. So feel free to subscribe for that one; Hit the notification bell so you don’t miss it. And if you guys want, I can also do one on how to eat at restaurants, perhaps in a healthier manner. All right, really quickly I want to say super thanks to everybody that bought my ebook Mic’s Whole Vegan Cookbook, which is on my website. I had a couple questions about it I want to answer though, and the first of which was, “Are these recipes super hard? Are they gonna be too hard for me?” And they do vary in difficulty. Some of them are more involved like the shepherd’s pie, when others are way simpler, like have two ingredients, for example. So it’s totally doable. And again, these three meals are just what I have found to be the most successful for people who are just trying to go vegan. There are so many, a million amazing vegan meals out there. You can always go and check out Forks Over Knives, which is a great resource for people shifting to a vegan diet. There’s other YouTube channels, like Cheap Lazy Vegan who shows how to cook food along the same lines, very easy to prepare stuff. Anyway, that’s it for today. I hope you got something out of this even if you are already a vegan, so feel free to like the video, share it with anybody who’s thinking about going vegan, and I will see you in the next video. Thanks for watching.