Have you noticed how many people are eating plants?
Even hardcore carnivores are reducing the amount of meat they consume in favor of adding more plants.
PLANT-BASED eating and the PLANT-BASED diet have become mainstream.
What is plant-based eating?
Does it mean eating only plants or does it mean eating mostly plants but sometimes dairy, meat, chicken, fish or some combination thereof.
According to a Harvard Medical School study plant-based eating focuses on foods primarily from plants. So, a plant-based diet can include occasionally consuming meat, dairy, fish like as in a semi-vegetarian, flexitarian or pescatarian ‘diet’.
I first adopted a vegetarian diet almost 40 years ago. For the last 10 years I’ve added fish, so I guess I’m now a card carrying pescatarian even though I call myself a vegetarian-who-eats-fish! I guess old habits are hard to break.
Whatever ‘eater’ classification you are the secret of satisfying plant-based eating is protein.
Where’s the protein?
For as long as I can remember people have asked me. “Where do you get your protein?” Plant based eating can conjure up ideas of eating a pile of carrot sticks or broccoli flowers. Honestly, you’d be hungry an hour later. The secret to making sure plant base eating is satisfying for you is to focus on plant-based proteins and be sure to include them in every meal.
Here are some of the top plant-based protein filled foods:
LEGUMES – lentils, split peas, black eyed peas, beans, chickpeas
GRAINS – quinoa, barley, bulgur, amaranth, millet, brown, black and wild rice
NUTS AND SEEDS – almonds, cashews, peanuts, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds
SOY – tofu, tempeh
The 10 VEGGIES with the most protein – watercress, alfalfa sprouts, spinach, mustard green, collard greens, asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower
If you make sure you’re choosing recipes that have enough plant-based protein you will be full and satiated. In the long run you’ll feel better, stronger and healthier.
Here’s a great recipe to get you started. I made it for the first-time last week and loved it. It’s packed with flavour. It’s quick to prepare and is loaded with protein from a variety of sources.
GREEN GODDESS BOWLS WITH CHIMICHURRI PESTO serves 2
1 cup brown rice
1 tsp butter
2 ½ cups of water
*I used a brown rice medley that included black barley and daikon radish seeds.
1 cup packed fresh cilantro
½ cup packed fresh plat-leaf parsley
½ cup packed fresh basil
½ medium jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup roasted, unsalted almonds
Juice of ½ a lemon
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ tsp sale
¼ tsp pepper
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 medium bunch broccolini, cut into 1-inch pieces
Salt and black pepper as needed
2 cups packed baby spinach
1 cup thinly sliced baby cucumber
1 cup packed sunflower or radish sprouts
1 medium avocado
1 green onion thinly sliced
For the pesto chimichurri
Combine the cilantro, parsley, basil, jalapeno, garlic, almonds, lemon juice, vinegar, parmesan cheese, oil, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender.
Blend until the mixture is smooth. Season with additional salt and pepper if need.
For the bowls – Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds, or until the garlic is fragrant. Add the broccolini, and a pinch of salt and black pepper and saute for 3 – 4 minutes, until the broccolini is slightly tender but still crisp.
Add the spinach and cook for 1 – 2 minutes or until it is wilted.
Season with salt and pepper.
To assemble bowls – scoop half the rice into each bowl to form a base, top with broccolini and spinach, cucumber, sprouts, avocado and green onions.
Finish with pesto chimichurri sauce and serve.
*Note – I used microgreens in place of sprouts.
Plant based…protein packed…YUM!
What’s your favourite plant based main? Please share below:)