Or teen. Or athlete. Or…whomever!
I will let you gaze on this overflowing plate of vegan deliciousness for just a moment.
And now I turn your attention to this:
Oh dear. Oh no. It’s the Swanson “Hungry Man” frozen dinner!
I was raised at a time when frozen dinners and other convenience foods were just coming into vogue, and while I never had a Swanson dinner (Hungry Man or any other kind) I’ve eaten my share of frozen pizza and even a Hot Pocket or two. And I remember the advertising for the Hungry Man dinner–a big portion for the “hungry man” in your life. While this makes me chuckle (gag?) now, I’ve spoken to enough women about veganism lately to know that there is a perception that feeding ourselves might be one thing (well, if it was just “me” I’d do it) but feeding hungry husbands or teens or children or whomever can feel more difficult. Well I get that.
Before I started cooking vegan food, I envisioned a vegan diet being pretty much raw or steamed vegetables with maybe some rice or beans thrown in. There’s nothing wrong with any of that, it just wasn’t what I pictured myself eating. And I have plenty of “hungry men” in my life. David is a big guy and we have four young adult sons who can pack it away. I know that what satisfies my appetite (I’m 5’4″ and of average weight) might not be enough for them. So I understand this concern. Nutritionally I know that it’s possible to get all the nutrients we need from a plant-based diet and there are books that talk about that (Vegan for Life, by Jack Norris, RD and Virginia Messina, MPH, RD is one good example), but I’m talking about creating meals that are nutritionally sound, filling and satisfying.
The photo up top was David’s dinner last night. Mine was the same without the potato. Continuing my love affair with the vegan “loaf” I prepared an apple, sage and fennel loaf (recipe here) that was full of lentils, vegetables, apple and oats. Here’s a look at our loaf just out of the oven:
And here’s a look at all the goodies inside:
In order to make the meal a bit more hearty for David I made a simple oven-baked sweet potato. Lots of nutrients and very filling. And the salad full of dark leafy greens is a dinner staple for us. It was all delicious, and only I was grazing in the kitchen later in the evening (I should’ve had more of that potato!).
This is just one example of a “hungry man” style meal but others abound. In truth, what makes a great vegan family meal is no different than what makes a great family meal in general—taste, variety and enough for seconds :).