The gorgeous Melanie Beak has been plantstrong since October 2016!
As a wife and mum, Melanie is always thinking of ways to make delicious food for her family, without the use of any “animal products!”
How does she do it??
Let’s find out!
(VIVO): Thanks so much for taking the time to chat to us Melanie. Why did you and your family start on a plant based diet?
Melanie: Initially, my family and I chose to eliminate meat and dairy products for ethical reasons, as our awareness grew it became very much about our health too. We have followed a plant based diet for just shy of three years and have never felt better. Our children eat completely plant based (at home) ... but we have found the need to be a little flexible when dining out as most pastries and little treats contain butter or dairy milk. I am positive this will become less of an issue as the years pass and more people become increasingly aware of not only the health benefits of eating plant based but of the beautiful plant based alternatives that are available to us.
(VIVO): What have you found to be some of the most challenging aspects of a plant based diet when it comes to feeding and looking after your family? And also has been the benefits you and your family has experienced?
Melanie: The greatest challenge has been dining out. Though there are often meals that can be modified, it is a rare and special treat to be able to order directly from the menu. When plant based meals are so easy to make, I can’t understand why vegan options are not commonly present on most menus. Vegetarian options are easy - so why not replace the dairy with an alternative too? Super easy! :)))
(VIVO): Lastly, can you share you and your family’s favourite plant based dishes for breakfast, lunch, dinner or anytime snacks?
Melanie: We love it all! I make lasagne, pizza, pasta, stir frys, tacos, burgers, marinated tofu, crispy tempeh and nachos regularly but my personal favourite would be stuffed mushrooms with a side of grilled asparagus and creamy sweet potato/potato mash stuffed mushrooms: flat or portobello mushrooms (stems removed). Add tomato paste and then top with your favourite toppings (olives, cherry tomatoes, capsicum, red onion, baby spinach, steamed pumpkin etc). Top with some Italian herbs and dairy free cheese ... bake (I like to put a small amount of dairy free butter around the mushrooms before adding to the baking dish as it helps them to soften while cooking) This is always a favourite on the dinner table.