Country singer Carrie Underwood grew up on a cattle ranch, and after seeing her parents castrate calves, she made the choice to go vegetarian. The decision to cut out dairy and eggs came later. “My veganism is based on a concern about where my food is coming from,” Underwood told SELF. “If I could raise my own cows and chickens and produce my own eggs and cheese, it would be awesome! The food would taste better because the animals would be happy.”
Plant-Based Meals for Busy People
Underwood grew up in the South and loves comfort food. Most mornings she fuels herself with a hearty tofu scramble. “I’ll make a tofu scramble with whatever I’ve got in the fridge,” she explained in her SELF interview. “Spinach, onions, peppers, maybe salsa on top.”
For lunch, she likes to have a sandwich. Plant-based deli slices made by brands like Tofurkey are a staple, and she likes to use avocado in place of mayonnaise. If she’s on the go, she relies on her knowledge of restaurants that serve plant-based options, like Subway’s Veggie Delite sub. Another trick she uses to stick to her eating plan on the go is bringing snacks with her. She also carries cereal with her constantly—Kashi is a particular favorite, for her and her son. “If I just have it in my purse then we’re always good,” she told SELF.
Most nights, she centers dinner on roasted vegetables like sweet potatoes or spaghetti squash. She wouldn’t describe herself as a gifted cook. She says, “I wish I were better at it, I wish I had more time to devote to it.” Don’t we all! For now, Underwood stockpiles dishes that are easy to prepare. In addition to big batches of roasted veggies and brown rice, she likes to make veggie “burgers” and “chicken” scaloppini. “All my food has little air quotes around it,” she jokes. One of her time-saving trick is to keep frozen plant-based protein options (like Gardein’s meatless chicken and beef products) and veggies on hand so she can pull together a simple dinner without a lot of prep work.
How to Be a “Practical Vegan”
“I want to be vegan so badly, all the way, 1,000 percent,” Underwood says, “but travelling and stuff, it just gets kind of hard.”
She describes herself as a “practical vegan,” meaning that if she orders something in a restaurant that shows up with a sprinkling of cheese on top, or she’s attending a birthday party and the cake looks extra delicious, she doesn’t restrict herself.
Her honest commentary on her approach to a plant-based lifestyle serves as a perfect example of how to work toward a goal—like being “1,000 percent vegan”— without becoming so consumed by it that you lose sight of other, equally important things.