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Eating a Vegan Diet

What is a Vegan Diet?

A vegan diet is a way of eating that excludes all animal products. This type of diet omits red meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, eggs, and honey. Those who eat vegan do so for health, ethics, and/or environmental concerns.

Vegan Diet Foods List

If you eat (or plan to become) vegan, you’ll want to avoid all animal-based products or animal byproducts and focus exclusively on plant-based foods.

Healthy Vegan Foods To Eat

You can find many vegan food items on the market, but like any diet, the healthiest options are fresh, organic, minimally processed, whole foods. 

They include:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Soy
  • Legumes
  • Nuts
  • Nut butters
  • Plant-based dairy alternatives (such as coconut milk)
  • Sprouted or fermented plant foods
  • Whole grains

Vegan Diet Foods to Avoid

Vegan diets exclude these foods:

  • Eggs
  • Dairy (which includes milk, cheese, butter, milk-based yogurt, etc.)
  • Red meat
  • Poultry
  • Seafood 
  • Honey
  • Animal-based ingredients, including whey, casein, egg white albumen, gelatin, etc.

“The Pickled Beet has been able to accommodate my strict diet (vegan low FODMAP) …”

“Chef Liz has been cooking for us for about 6+ months, and the food has been amazing! The Pickled Beet has been able to accommodate my strict diet (vegan low FODMAP), without even repeating a recipe during that time. They make dinners so easy now. I’m happy to have found a professional chef and company like The Pickled Beet!”

– Brooke E. in Downtown Miami

VEGAN MEAL IDEAS

Listed below are a few meal ideas – all of which are favorites our talented chefs have made for our vegan clients in the Miami and Fort Lauderdale areas:

BREAKFAST

  • Breakfast Parfait with Cashew Yogurt – organic berries layered with yogurt and honey, and topped with toasted pecans, vegan chocolate nibs, and dried goji berries
  • Pumpkin Oatmeal Squares – soft and muffin-like in texture, these oil-free pumpkin oatmeal bars are light enough for breakfast and all your snacking needs
  • Tofu Scramble – a delicious vegan breakfast that’s loaded with plant-based protein and vegetables
  • Lentil Sausage Patties – this lentil sausage is hearty and wildly delicious! It’s smokey, savory, salty, a bit spicy, fresh, tender, hearty, herb-a-licious, and packed with plant-based protein

LUNCH

  • Mushroom Quinoa Burger – you won’t miss the meat in these tasty burgers; served in a lettuce wrap with chipotle aioli and tomato slices
  • Broccoli Tots with Lemon Aioli – “cheesy” oven baked broccoli bites
  • Vegetable Soup Provencal with Pistou – a hearty soup made with our house made stock featuring organic green beans, carrots, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, and red bell peppers finished with a tomato garlic basil pistou
  • Vegan Caesar Salad – this Caesar salad has all the flavor you crave including garlicky, umami-packed dressing and crunchy, scratch-made croutons.

SNACK

  • Crispy Kale Leaves
  • Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

DINNER

  • Thai Red Curry Noodles with Stir-Fried Vegetables – this high-protein dish features brown rice noodles tossed with stir-fried broccoli, carrots, onions, and cauliflower
  • Crunchy Asian Salad – this slaw-like salad combines red and green cabbage with a ginger dressing
  • Hearts of Palm ‘Crabless’ Cakes – this innovative dish features hearts of palm, celery, bell pepper, and shallots in a pan-roasted patty served with housemade Old Bay aioli
  • Roasted Asparagus With Crispy Leeks and Capers asparagus stalks and thinly sliced leeks are glossed with olive oil and covered in salty capers; capers also make an appearance in the mustard sauce served alongside, which adds a tangy, mayonnaise-like richness

DESSERT

  • Decadent Chocolate Brownies – gooey chocolate brownies scratch-made in our kitchen
  • Baked Apple Crumble – organic apples baked with a crunchy topping

 

SEE A SAMPLE VEGAN MENU PLAN FROM THE PICKLED BEET

Benefits of A Vegan Diet

A well-rounded vegan diet can provide health benefits that include:

  • Reduced Risk of Heart Disease, Diabetes, and Cancer: Studies suggest a vegan diet may help lower the risk of heart disease and may also help protect against type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, like colon cancer.
  • Better Weight Management: For many, vegan diets tend to be lower in calories and fat, and higher in fiber, which can aid in weight loss or weight management.
  • Increased Energy Levels: Eating a balanced vegan diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help sustain energy levels.

Eating a balanced vegan diet is important to ensure you get all the nutrients your body needs. Talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian for personalized advice, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.

Possible Downsides

Unlike many special diets we work with, someone can adhere faithfully to a vegan diet and yet wind up with unwanted and unexpected issues. 

The most common potential pitfalls include:

  • Nutrient deficiencies (B12, iron, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids)
  • Over-reliance on simple carbs
  • Over-reliance on processed foods
  • Limited food options at social gatherings or restaurants 
  • Repetitive meals (getting stuck in a food rut)
  • Increased grocery costs 
  • Those with certain health conditions may need to exercise caution or vigilant planning when adopting a vegan diet (consult your doctor or a registered dietitian in these cases)

“I am vegetarian and my husband is not …”

“I am vegetarian and my husband is not, so it is very convenient to have The Pickled Beet prepare a variety of delicious, healthful meals exactly to our individual tastes and preferences.”

– Edrea K.

Tips for Success

When eating a vegan diet – especially if you’re newly vegan – it’s important to remember that not all vegan diets are created equal. To avoid the vegan pitfalls and reap the diet’s health benefits, focus on whole-food ingredients and nutrient-dense meals.

Some tips for success include:

  • Read labels. Just because a packaged food is labeled as VEGAN doesn’t mean it’s healthy (read the ingredient list and do your research).
  • Plan ahead. A vegan diet requires more planning and knowledge to ensure you’re getting all the essential nutrients. Consulting a registered dietitian can be helpful.
  • Embrace variety. Eating the rainbow and trying new dishes will not only make it more enjoyable to eat vegan, but it will also help ensure you’re eating a balanced, healthy, sustainable diet.
  • If you’re a vegan diet beginner, consider easing into it. We have found that those who are new to eating vegan often try to switch “cold turkey” to this new way of eating/living, only to realize they like very few fruits or vegetables, don’t know what to cook instead of meat, or aren’t yet willing to fully give up dairy products. Allowing yourself time and resources to research, plan, and try new foods and meatless, dairy-free meals could make the difference between success and giving up prematurely.

LOOKING FOR VEGAN CHEF-PREPARED MEALS?

How The Pickled Beet Can Help You Adopt a Vegan Diet

We know it can be challenging to adopt (and stick with) a vegan diet, especially if you’re brand new to it! Shopping, preparing meals, and eating out can become time-consuming and frustrating. Your meals can become repetitive and boring. It can be tempting to lean too heavily on favorite carbs or pre-packaged, processed vegan snacks and entrees.

This is where we come in! 

Our services include:

  • Personalized Chef-Prepared Meals – creative, custom, scratch-made meals, prepared just for you, according to your specific diet and taste preferences, then delivered fresh directly from our Miami kitchen to you; if your household has a mix of dietary needs (such as vegans and omnivores, no problem – we can prepare different menus and meals for you)
  • Optional Nutrition Consulting Services with our Registered Dietician – an add-on service for our weekly personal chef clients; helpful if you are concerned about proper nutrition on a vegan diet
  • Vegan Cateringaccommodating you and your guests’ food preferences and allergies

    “… the food is better than restaurant quality. Love it!”

    “EVERYTHING is delicious. We’re so happy we’re working with The Pickled Beet! Meticulously detailed for food restrictions, delivery is easy, and the food is better than restaurant quality. Love it!”

    – Dave H.

    How It Works: Fresh Vegan Meal Delivery in Miami and Fort Lauderdale

    CONSULT

    Our process starts with you filling gout our food questionnaire and scheduling a consultation call.

    PLAN

    Based on your consult, we will design your personalized menu plan and present it to you fro review.

    Private Aviation Catering - Miami, FL

    COOK

    Our chefs will cook for you 2-3 times per week in our kitchen and deliver fresh meals on scheduled days.

    Step 1: We Get to Know You 

    First, we’ll get to know you. Every new weekly personal chef service client fills out a detailed food questionnaire, and then we schedule a 15-minute phone consultation to ask questions, answer your questions, and learn more. 

    The food questionnaire and short phone meeting do not obligate you, and you will not be required to sign a contract. You can pause and resume your weekly meals as needed for vacations, summers spent in your second home, business travel, etc.

    Step 2: We Plan Your Menus and Meals

    If you decide to move forward as a client, then each week, we’ll create a customized menu just for you/your household. You will get to review, provide any feedback, and approve each weekly menu before we shop for or order your groceries.

    Step 3: We Cook and Deliver Your Freshly Prepared Vegan Meals

    We’ll craft your fresh, custom, scratch-made vegan meals, preparing them according to your unique menu plan, taste preferences, and dietary needs. 

    Finally, we hand-deliver your fresh vegan meals straight from our Miami kitchen to you. 

    Sample Vegan Meals Our Chefs Prepare

    For our vegan clients, our professional chefs prepare nutrient-dense meals utilizing whole, organic produce, good fats, and healthy cooking methods, so you can rest assured that you’re consuming clean meals. 

    We have many innovative and delicious vegan dishes, so you don’t have to rely heavily on the same old salad and pasta. And if you prefer to ease into a vegan diet, we can start with a few vegan meals each week and work with you to transition at your pace.

    Some favorite vegan meals our clients rave about include:

    • Pizza (with our housemade gluten-free focaccia bread)
    • Hearts of Palm “Crabless” Crab Cakes
    • Spring Green Gazpacho with Coconut Swirl 
    • Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
    • Mushroom Quinoa Burger with Zucchini Tots
    • Black Bean Chili with Vegan Cornbread
    • Vegan Cream of Tomato Soup
    • African Coconut Curry Stew
    • Thai Vegetable Curry
    • More

    Clients’ favorite vegan desserts include:

    • Decadent Chocolate Brownies
    • Blueberry Pie Bars with Oatmeal Crumble 
    • Organic Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
    • Paleo Apple Crisp
    • Chocolate Avocado Pudding
    • Mini Twix Cups
    • Baked Peach Crumble

    ENJOY VEGAN MEALS MADE JUST FOR YOU

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What’s the difference between a vegetarian and a vegan diet?

    A vegetarian diet excludes all meat, poultry, and seafood but allows for dairy products and eggs. A vegan diet goes beyond a vegetarian diet to also exclude animal-based products and byproducts, including dairy, eggs, and honey.

    What’s the difference between a vegan diet and a whole-food, plant-based diet?

    A vegan and a whole-food plant-based diet are quite similar, and sometimes these terms are used interchangeably. However, a vegan diet excludes all animal products and is often an ethical or philosophical stance and can include processed vegan foods. A whole-food, plant-based (WFPB) diet prioritizes the health benefits of unprocessed plant foods but may occasionally include some animal products (such as eggs or dairy). Some vegans also choose to follow a WFPB approach.

    What are some health conditions that may benefit from eating vegan?

    Some health conditions that may see potential benefits from a well-planned vegan diet, include:

    • Heart Disease
    • Type 2 Diabetes
    • High Blood Pressure
    • Obesity
    • Colon Cancer
    • Kidney Disease

    Consulting a healthcare professional is always recommended before making significant dietary changes, especially for those with underlying health conditions.

    Do you have a sample vegan diet menu?

    Yes, although please keep in mind that we prepare a new, unique, individualized menu and meals every week for each personal chef client, so this is just one sample. 

    What if I eat vegan but other household members do not? Can your chefs still cook for us?

    Yes, not a problem! We specialize in accommodating special dietary needs and can create a menu that accommodates your family members’ food allergies, diet protocols, and flavor preferences. Need a mixture of vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, and gluten-free menu options, for example? We can do that! Contact us – we welcome any kind of customization needed.

    What if I need all my meals to be 100% vegan?

    No problem. Our professional chefs are experienced in preparing delicious, nutrient-dense, gourmet vegan dishes you will enjoy! Get started by filling out our food questionnaire, and then booking a 15-minute consultation with us. 

    What If I Need Gluten-Free Vegan or Vegan Low FODMAP meals?

    Again, no problem. The Pickled Beet operates a gluten-free personal chef kitchen – the only one in the Miami area – and specializes in cooking for all types of special dietary needs. No matter the diet, our menus and meals are innovative, creative, and delicious. You will enjoy every single morsel. 

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