If you’re looking to add more plant-based foods to your diet, you’re in luck! Being mostly vegan (I indulge in seafood once in a while), I can understand the challenges of adding more plant-based foods to your diet.
There are plenty of ways to do this without making significant changes. You can start by making minor changes to your breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.
Here are 5 easy tips for eating more plant-based foods:
1. Try a plant-based breakfast
There are several nutritious options to choose from for plant-based breakfasts. Some great options are oatmeal with fruit, whole-grain toast with avocado or peanut butter, a fruit smoothie with bananas, plant-based milk, and frozen berries.
Make a chickpea omelet using chickpea flour, flaxseeds, mixed vegetables, and plant-based milk.
Chickpeas contain protein and flax seeds which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Mixed vegetables are fiber-rich packed with antioxidants and other beneficial vitamins and minerals.
2. Start your day with a herbal tea infusion, coffee with plant-based creamer, or hot lemon and agave nectar to sweeten
Fill half your plate with vegetables. You can easily add more plant-based foods to your meals by filling half your plate with vegetables. Include a variety of colors and textures for added nutrients, flavor, and visual appeal.
Some great options are roasted veggies with quinoa, a salad with an assortment of vegetables and a homemade dressing, or veggie soup.
You can also eat your favorite slice of pizza with a large side of green vegetables such as spiced kale, seasoned broccoli, or wilted swiss chard.
Eating more vegetables will help you reach your daily recommended intake of essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.
Eating more plant-based foods can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
3. Replace your usual beef burger with a meat-free alternative
To add more plant-based foods to your diet, prepare veggie burgers.
Some ideas for plant-based burgers include black bean burgers, lentil burgers, quinoa burgers, portobello mushroom caps, or sweet potato burgers.
You can also make meat-free burgers with vital wheat gluten to prepare a homemade version of seitan, a protein-rich alternative to meat.
Serve veggie burgers on a whole wheat bun with fixings like lettuce, tomato, onion, avocado, ketchup, and mustard. You can also try them wrapped in a large lettuce leaf or enjoy them independently.
If you’re not a fan of burgers, try plant-based tacos filled with black beans, lentils, diced vegetables, or tempeh.
4. Make a meat-free pasta dish
Another easy and delicious way to eat more plant-based foods is by making a simple pasta dish with tomato sauce and adding sautéed veggies, such as zucchini, eggplant, or spinach.
5. Get creative with plant-based snacks
Fruits and vegetables make great snacks on their own, but you can also get creative with plant-based dips and spreads. Some ideas for dips and spreads include hummus, guacamole, tzatziki sauce, baba ganoush, or nut butter.
You can enjoy these dips and spreads with whole-grain crackers, pita chips, vegetable sticks, or rice cakes.
Try yogurt with fresh fruit or a trail mix made with dried fruits and nuts if you’re looking for something sweet. You can also make energy bars using dates, nuts, and seeds.
A Plant-Based Recipe To Try
Recipe: Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
Try this delicious lentil shepherd’s pie recipe. Ingredients are: ¾ cup green or brown lentils, rinsed and drained, ½ onion, diced, carrots, diced (optional), ½ teaspoon dried thyme, a bay leaf, vegetable broth or water, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste, and mashed potatoes.
Instructions are as follows:
preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Add the lentils, onion, carrots (if using), thyme, and bay leaf to a large pot. Add enough broth or water to cover the ingredients. Boil it and simmer for about 30 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf and season with salt and pepper to taste. To make the mashed potatoes, add boiled Yukon Gold potatoes to a bowl and mash with plant-based butter, milk, garlic powder, onion powder, and sea salt to taste.
Assemble the shepherd’s pie by spooning the lentil mixture into an oven-safe dish, then topping with the mashed potatoes—Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are golden brown.
This recipe is a great way to eat more plant-based foods and can easily be made ahead of time. It’s also perfect for leftovers and can be in the freezer for later.
Eating more plant-based foods is a great way to strengthen your health and well-being. There are many easy and delicious ways to include more plants in your diet, so get creative and try something new today!