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Priti’s Plantiful Pantry

I am blessed to have a wonderful group of friends that I was able to reach out to and engage with last year. There were many positive unintended consequences of the 2020 public health emergency, and this was one of them. I admittedly have been guilty of prioritizing work over life and this was a chance to revisit my true priorities. Our Sunday “Health Trek’s” became an every other week activity that I so look forward to. During the summer and fall it was a chance to get outside, walk and explore new parts of KC. We laughed, almost cried, ranted, got lost and every now and then we sat down to eat 😊

Several of us in the group eat predominantly plant based and I wanted to share some of their collective wisdom during Veganuary 2021. While our goal is to encourage eating whole-food plant based, we all acknowledge that there are times when a guy/gal needs to have items in their pantry to help support good nutrition decisions which might be a little more processed or refined. That is ok! I wanted to share a few of the items in Dr. Priti’s Pantry that you might want to purchase as staples or your own.

Lupini beans are popular in the Mediterranean where they are used as a snack or meat substitute. The packaged beans are lightly pickled and come plain or flavored. They support a variety of lifestyles (Mediterranean, vegetarian, keto, paleo, gluten-free, etc.). Lupini beans are high in plant-based protein, low in carbs and a good source of fiber. Dr. Priti uses Brami beans as a snack that is great for keeping in the office or storing in her suitcase while traveling. Brami has a growing line of delicious snacks that you might want to explore. I have not yet tried the Lupini Bean Hummus but look forward to giving it a try sometime this year.

When I shared some with my Italian friends and family, they were delighted. They actually had a memory of their grandmothers keeping a large jar in the refrigerator in olive oil which they pulled out and dressed with fresh parsley. Yum! At 26 grams of protein per serving, they pack a great protein punch! Move over Edamame, Lupini is here! ~ PL

Prior to adopting a plant-based diet I do not think I knew what soy curls were. Now, I use soy curls and crumbles in a variety of dishes as a “meat” substitute. Soy curls are great for making “Chik’n Soup”, “Pulled Pork Sandwiches” and Tacos. There is a variety of recipes on the Butler Foods website and I will post my Pulled Pork Sandwich recipe (a hit!!) when time permits. Dr. Priti keeps Butler Soy Curls in the pantry as a go-to item for a quick and tasty plant-based meal.

I love them because as now any recipe that calls for chicken is no longer off limits to me! I can make all things chicken and remain vegan! ~ PL

In the past when we were true Road Warriors, I traveled with jerky in my bags in order to have a quick and healthy meal option when running through airports across the world. When I adopted a plant-based diet I tried many (many, many, many….) meatless jerky products before finding Primal Strips from Primal Spirit Foods. Primal’s meatless vegan jerky products are made from soy, seitan and/or shitake mushrooms. They have no cholesterol, no preservatives, or artificial colors. Yes, like most jerky products they are high I sodium, so you need to eat them in moderation, but they are so tasty and satisfying that it is easy to eat just one.

I still cannot take out my bag of chia seeds without thinking about the Chia Pet! Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein, and calcium. I love adding them to oatmeal and smoothies. You can purchase chia seeds at most grocery stores, Target, Walmart and online (Thrive Market or Bob’s Red Mill are my go-to sites). Dr. Priti and I have been chatting about the use of chia seeds as an egg replacer. It has been a great way to allow her to continue to make wonderful plant-based breads, cookies and other products that traditionally required an egg as a binder.

Chia Egg Replacer for Baking: For 1 whole egg, mix 1 tablespoon of whole chia seeds or 2 teaspoons ground chia seeds with 3 tablespoons water. Allow to sit for at least 5 minutes or until the mixture thickens to the consistency of a raw scrambled egg. Add to your recipe as indicated.

Remember, Veganuary is an opportunity for you to educate, engage and empower yourself, your family and/or your friends to take charge of your health. Adding more plants to your plate is a great outcome and hopefully one that is sustained long term. Should you choose to eliminate animal products from your diet there are so many resources that you have access to, and we look forward to sharing more over the months ahead.

Be well,


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