It seems like everywhere you turn, there's a new study about the benefits of a plant-based diet. From improved physical health to making a positive environmental impact, eating green has its advantages.
So we compiled some great tips and recipes to help you experiment with plant-based living. But don't worry, you don't have to go full vegetarian or vegan to reap the benefits! Simply incorporating green recipes into your regular meal rotation can have a positive effect on both you and the environment.
TIP #1: PACK ON THE PROTEIN WITHOUT THE MEAT
If you’re considering a more plant-based diet, it’s important to know where to get your protein. Instead of throwing a steak on the grill, opt for high-protein foods like beans, legumes, tofu, and quinoa. You can also choose delicious meat alternatives like Gardein™ meatless meats, which are plant-based foods with the same texture and flavor as meat. Instead of hitting the drive-thru for a hamburger, try a veggie burger! You can even top your burger with some fresh veggies as extra healthy condiments.
There are a plethora of useful recipes out there for meat-free entrées, like our Roasted Eggplant Parmesan, which offers a thick meaty texture without the meat. For a flavorful meal with a kick, try a Protein-Packed Vegetable Quinoa Bowl with Spicy Peanut Sauce, a great source of complete protein with all of the amino acids you would get from chicken or beef!
For dessert, up your protein intake with a healthy but tasty recipe, like a Berry Power Protein Smoothie or decadent Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies with Protein-Packed Chickpeas. The bottom line is plant-based foods evolved to offer more flavor and heartiness than ever before.
TIP #2: EXPLORE DAIRY ALTERNATIVES
Reducing dairy in your diet can be a real challenge. Cheese, butter, yogurt, and milk help enrich many of our favorite recipes. Going dairy-free doesn't mean giving up those rich and creamy flavors and textures. There are a wide range of easy dairy-free food swaps for your favorite dairy products, with nut and soy-based alternatives that taste just like the real thing.
Additionally, companies have developed a wide range of plant-based products that you can use to replace dairy products. Butter replacements like Earth Balance® buttery spreads and buttery sticks are a delicious alternative. Instead of pouring cow's milk on your morning cereal, try soy or oat milk instead. Top your salad with croutons instead of cheese or add some mushrooms to your steak instead of butter.
Check out our flavorful dairy-free recipes like our Plant-Made Pesto and Roasted Tomato Pizza, which offers an incredible recipe for vegan Parmesan cheese. Or zest it up with Avocado Black Bean Burritos with Spicy Vegan Chipotle Dressing. The creamy vegan dressing adds just the right amount of spice.
If you're a dessert lover looking for a dairy-free alternative, look no further than Chocolate Peanut Butter Dairy-Free Nice Cream. With this creamy frozen dessert, you’ll swear it came fresh from the cow!
TIP #3: MAKE AN OMELET WITHOUT CRACKING AN EGG
There are also some great egg alternatives on the market that make for a scrumptious breakfast with the same flavor, texture, and protein of eggs, while reducing your carbon footprint.
If you like to bake, have no fear! There are several egg alternatives like applesauce, bananas, and silken tofu that work just as well. You can even create a crispy plant-based crust with this recipe for Homemade Cherry Toaster Pastries with Plant-Made Crust, or make your cake and eat it too with egg-free Vegan Lemon Cupcakes with Blueberry Frosting. If you have to use eggs, try buying cage-free and organic for a more environmentally sustainable and animal-friendly option.
Whatever your reasons for trying plant-based, it’s easier than ever to find delicious alternatives that fit within diet. With easy vegan food swaps and delectable recipes, you’re sure to find an array of recipes that nourish your body, soul, and planet!