What do you see when you look at the picture, side dishes or main meals? Before I transitioned to a plant-based diet, my meal planning revolved around what kind of meat I was cooking that night. Fruit, vegetables, beans and grains were all an afterthought that completed the meal. Once I went plant-based, I started seeing meal planning in a different light.
Since a plant-based diet focuses on adding more whole plant foods into your diet, that’s where I start. The picture shows some of the vegetables I bought on my recent trip to the store. Look closer. See the leeks? They will become Potato Leek soup served with a salad of leafy greens. I will roast the beets, asparagus and some sweet potato, cook some Farro and add it all to a hearty salad with a few chickpeas. The leftover asparagus will go into a lemony pasta dish. The cauliflower will be part of a savory chickpea cauliflower curry. The broccoli, zucchini and red pepper will join some onion, mushrooms and baked tofu in Pad Thai. The rest of the broccoli and tofu will make a nice red curry over brown rice. I haven’t decided about the Brussels Sprouts yet. I could roast and glaze them, or I might slice and use them raw to add some crunch to some black bean tacos. So many choices!
Not ready to give up meat yet? That’s okay. Just don’t make it the star of the show! Instead of thinking about giving up meat, think about adding in more whole plant foods. Any of the above meals are satisfying on their own, so you might find that you don’t miss the meat. Then try adding a few plant-based meals to your rotation and see how you feel. Getting healthy is easier and more delicious than you think! If you need ideas, you can find resources on my website: Eat4healthLLC