Did you know that infusing more plant-based foods into your diet means you don’t have to acquire a love for daily salads?
Vegans mostly eat salads, right? While you’re not alone in this thought, lucky for you, it simply isn’t true. Don’t miss this quick guide to fun (and easy) ideas for transforming your favourite dishes into delicious plant-based creations.
1. Replace Pasta Noodles with Veggie Noodles.
Ditch the carb-loaded processed pasta you’re used to and opt for nutrient-rich veggie noodles instead. Veggie noodles are essentially fresh vegetables (like zucchini or spaghetti squash) that are spiralized or shredded to form noodles which you can top with pasta sauce and so on. You can find many veggie noodle options prepackaged in your local grocery store. You could also invest in an inexpensive spiralizer and make them quickly at home yourself.
2. Use Shredded Jackfruit (Instead of Meat).
You may know jackfruit as the giant, spiky green ball in the produce section of your grocery store, but fret not, it is also available in a can. Stored in brine, canned jackfruit shreds easily with a fork to resemble barbecue meat and becomes a vessel for tons of flavorful sauces. Cook it and add to tacos, sandwiches, vegan enchiladas, you name it!
3. Add Beans to Practically Everything.
Soups, stews, salads, burritos, pasta sauces, vegetarian chilis, and burgers – beans pair perfectly with so many different dishes. Myriad legumes and pulses are readily accessible in most grocery stores in dried, frozen, and canned varieties. Beans generate tons of protein and fiber and offer a hearty consistency to dishes that you can appreciate. An easy addition to any diet.
4. Cream Cashews.
Have you heard of the latest vegan cooking trick? Pour near boiling water over cashews and soak for a half hour and then blend in a high-power blender or food processor. Add mixers like olive oil, lemon juice, dijon mustard, even miso paste and turn your cashews into a creamy, light sauce that’s pairs wonderfully with pasta, soups, dips, and more.
5. Sweeten Desserts With Dates.
Not only do Medjool dates add a rich sweetness to desserts like cookies and cakes; they also offer loads of vitamins and minerals like fiber, potassium, Vitamin B-6, and even a little iron. Remove their pits and pulse dates in a food processor with oats, almonds or walnuts to create a crumbly base for vegan desserts like these no-bake peanut butter cookies.
6. Add More Veggies to Your Pizza.
If you think green peppers, onions, and olives are the extent of what vegetables work on pizza, think again. Start with shredding carrots into your marinara sauce. Or sautee cabbage, capers, and garlic and bake on a pizza with smoked mozzarella. Or construct a savory Greek explosion with kalamata olives, spinach, and purple onions. When it comes to eating more plant-based foods, homemade pizza is a great way to get creative with your diet.
7. Beef up Your Breakfast Diet with Nuts and Seeds.
Whether it’s a yogurt parfait, smoothie bowl, granola, or even oatmeal, breakfast can always be pumped up with an additional sprinkling of health-boosting nuts and seeds like slivered almonds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pecans, or even pumpkin seeds (pepitas). Nuts and seeds are great sources of nutrients including protein, fiber, zinc, iron, magnesium, and omega-3’s.
8. Utilize Avocado.
Avocados are good for so much more than guacamole, and their relatively mild flavor makes them suitable for both savory and sweet dishes. You can also add an avocado to your morning smoothie instead of milk or yogurt. Additionally, you can blend it with a banana, cocoa powder, and honey to make a quick pudding. As well as, spread it on a piece of whole grain toast in place of butter and top with tomato slices and a sprinkle of salt for a healthy (and filling) snack.
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