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Eating more vegetables: my favorite plant-based recipes

Eating more vegetables: my favorite plant-based recipes

Inspired by the last post to eat more plants but don’t know where to start?  I find it can be hard when I want to make changes and the biggest struggle is figuring out where to begin.  Today I’m sharing some of my favorite plant-based recipes to help you get started.  For each meal I am providing two recommendations.  Including a mix of some of my all-time favorite recipes that have previously been on the blog, but also some new quick and easy meals.

Kicking off the day with vegetables for breakfast
For breakfast, I recommend starting off with a Savory Grain Bowl or Green Eggs, No Ham.  Both recipes combine eggs along with vegetables, because I think it’s never too early in the day to begin eating vegetables.  In addition, and they both offer a nice balance between carbohydrate, protein and fat which will help with keeping you fueled up longer during the day.

Refueling at midday
Next, for lunch I am sharing two delicious new recipes. The first is a grain bowl which features bulgur, a form of wheat common in Middle Eastern foods. Bulgur offers some great health benefits and is one of my favorite grains to use.  Bulgur is made from wheat that is first steamed, then dried and finally crushed.  I like to use it in salads because it is so easy to prepare but also provides a tender, yet chewy texture that I find really nice.

Greek Grain Bowl with Chickpeas

July 26, 2018
: 2
: 20 min
: 20 min
: Easy

Chewy, tender bulgur combined with crunchy fresh vegetables and chickpeas and seasoned with classic greek flavors of extra-virgin olive oil and dried oregano.

By:

Ingredients
  • 2 cups bulgur, cooked and cooled
  • 1 cup chickpeas, cooked
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 ea green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup red onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to Taste
  • 2 oz feta cheese
  • 10 ea large kalamata olives
Directions
  • Step 1 Place all ingredients up through red onion into bowl and fold a few times to mix ingredients. Sprinkle with oregano and salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Split into two bowls and top with feta cheese and olives.

Another lunch suggestion is super easy to prepare and very tasty.  I just recently discovered it by combining a few ingredients I had on-hand in my kitchen.  I took my first bite and wow was I shocked at how yummy it was.  It’s basically a spin-off on a vegetarian tuna salad which replaces the tuna with cooked chickpeas that are slightly mashed.  Combined with a bit of avocado, mayo and seasoning and you’re ready to go.

Mashed Chickpea and Avocado Sandwich

July 26, 2018
: 2
: 10 min
: 10 min
: Easy

Protein rich chickpeas sub for tuna in this vegetarian version of a tuna salad sandwich.

By:

Ingredients
  • 4 slices whole wheat bread
  • 1 cup chickpeas, cooked or canned
  • 1/2 ea avocado
  • garlic salt, to taste
  • 1/2 ea medium tomato, sliced
  • 1/4 ea medium cucumber, sliced
  • 2 pcs leaf lettuce
Directions
  • Step 1 Place cooked chickpeas and avocado and mash lightly. Sprinkle with garlic salt. Spread mixture on two slices of bread and top with sliced tomato, cucumber and lettuce leaf. Place other two slices of bread on top.

Ending the day with a latin flair
For dinner, I thought I’d share two of my go-to meals for dinner.  I think if given the chance I could eat tacos every single day.  I love them that much.  So, of course I felt like I had to include the recipe for Crispy Tofu Tacos.  This recipe will give you the chance to experiment with tofu and see how you like it, that is if you aren’t already familiar with it. Also, the crunchy coating on the tofu really changes the texture and adds a lot of flavor in this dish.

The second recipe is Creamy Black Beans with Brown Rice. In my opinion, black beans are always easy to prepare and generally well-liked by everyone when I serve them up for dinner.  The recipe is fairly simple, and it can be prepared using a slow cooker if you aren’t home for an extended period of time to cook the beans.  In a pinch, you could use canned beans, but I generally prefer to the flavor that comes from cooking the beans for an extended period of time in the house.

Snack ideas for when you get the munchies during the day
Of course, the day just wouldn’t be complete without some healthy snacks that you can use throughout the day.  For a chocolate and semi-sweet option, I recommend trying the Chocolate Oat Parfait with Raspberries for a snack.  The cacao nibs on top add a nice crunch and a more intense chocolate flavor to the dish.

I love hummus as a snack option.  Mainly because you can make it on the weekend and use it throughout the week as a snack, the base of a sandwich or an addition to a salad for either lunch or dinner.  Here I am providing a recipe for a Classic version of hummus which has been adapted from Mark Bittman’s recipe.  The second one is a Southwestern spin on the hummus that adds cilantro, jalapeño and lime juice to spice it up.  Both dips can be served with pita bread, vegetables or homemade tortilla chips.

Classic Hummus

July 26, 2018
: 8
: 20 min
: 30 min
: 50 min
: Easy

Creamy blend of chickpeas flavored with garlic, tahini, cumin and lemon juice.

By:

Ingredients
  • 2 cups chickpeas, cooked or canned with liquid reserved
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, optional
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ea lemon, juiced
Directions
  • Step 1 Place all ingredients, except reserved liquid, in food processor or blender. Pulse and blend until mixture is smooth. If consistency is a bit thick, you can add some of the reserved liquid to it in small amounts until the consistency is how you prefer. Taste and be sure to adjust the seasoning for your palate. I like to add a little extra lemon and pepper for a little extra kick.

Recipe Notes

NOTE:   Serve with your choice of pita bread, fresh vegetables such as cucumber slices, carrot sticks, bell pepper strips, cauliflower strips. (cucumber slices, carrot sticks, bell pepper strips, cauliflower florets)

Jalapeno Cilantro Hummus

July 26, 2018
: 8
: 20 min
: 30 min
: 50 min
: Easy

Creamy hummus spiced up with jalapeno, cilantro and fresh lime juice.

By:

Ingredients
  • 2 cups chickpeas, cooked or canned with liquid reserved
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 ea jalapeno, seeded
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, lightly chopped
  • 1 ea lime, juice of
  • 16 ea fresh corn tortillas
Directions
  • Step 1 Place all ingredients, except reserved liquid, in food processor or blender. Pulse and blend until mixture is smooth. If consistency is a bit thick, you can add some of the reserved liquid to it in small amounts until the consistency is how you prefer. Taste and be sure to adjust the seasoning for your palate. It may need a bit more olive oil, cilantro or lime juice to get the flavor you prefer.
  • Step 2 Place four of the tortillas together on a cutting board. Cut in half through the middle, turn 90 degrees and cut in half again. Now you will have four large triangles. Cut each set of triangles into half again. This should result in 8 wedge shaped triangles.
  • Step 3 Place the tortilla onto a sheet pan in a single layer. Top with a bit of olive oil spray, salt. Toast in a 400-degree oven for 5-10 minutes. They are ready when lightly brown and crispy. After cooking for 5 minutes, be sure to check frequently as they will burn very quickly.

Of course, the possibilities are endless when you are trying to eat more plant-based meals.  All it takes the willingness to be a bit adventurous and try out new things.  I hope you have fun trying out some new more vegetable centered meals, and will take the time to come back and tell me what you liked or didn’t like.  Buen provecho!

 



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