With Earth Day right around the corner, I’m making a conscious effort to think about my impact on this amazing earth of ours. I grew up in a family who recycled religiously, reused sour cream containers (and sugar bags for lunch bags – which was SO embarrassing!) and even composted. So at a young age, it was instilled in me that leaving as little of footprint as possible was of the utmost importance.

These days, I make the best effort I can to reuse, reduce and recycle. (And I’m proud that I’ve almost kicked my plastic water bottle habit!) But there is always room for improvement and that’s what is important to look at. In the coming months, my goal is to buy more local food – preferably straight from the source through a CSA membership or more frequent visits to the farmer’s market.

So why the plant-based recipes? It seems that every spring, I’m drawn to more plant-based foods and less meat. The term ‘plant-based eating’ has been growing in popularity but the phrase is a bit confusing – and I think that’s the idea. The short explanation is that it’s a vegan diet (while some may consume a limited amount of animal products like eggs or dairy) and it seems to me that it’s a vegan diet without the vegan junk food and without the (sometimes polarizing) vegan label. It’s real, whole, unprocessed food – full of plants – and most of the time it’s beautiful. (Learn more about plant-based diets here.)

But it’s not just about me. (Wait, what?!) A diet with more plants and less meat helps to reduce our ecological footprint (animal products require a lot of land, water and resources). As Mr. Pollan so wisely tells us, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” And also? It’s delicious. Here are 5 plant-based (ok, vegan!) recipes that are so tasty and gorgeous that even the most stubborn of carnivores won’t miss the meat.

 

5 Plant-Based (Vegan) Recipes

5 Plant-Based (Vegan) Recipes | A Nutritionist Eats

1. This Vegan Green Chili Mac and Cheese has been on my list of recipes to make since…the first time I laid eyes on it. And while we typically think of mac and cheese falling into the junk food category, this cheese, made with cashews, is anything but. (image & recipe via Minimalist Baker)

5 Plant-Based (Vegan) Recipes | A Nutritionist Eats

2. I know. I’m craving tofu now too. This Crispy Baked Salt & Pepper Tofu is much easier than it seems – simply toss and bake – and enjoy. (image & recipe via Heartbeet Kitchen)

5 Plant-Based (Vegan) Recipes | A Nutritionist Eats

3. Herby, Peanutty, Noodly Salad is just that. This colorful salad is filled with fresh veggies and nutritious buckwheat noodles for a meal that screams spring to me. This post also gives some great insight on not giving yourself a vegan label and I pretty much love it.  (image & recipe via Eating for England)

5 Plant-Based (Vegan) Recipes | A Nutritionist Eats

4.  These Not-So-Sloppy Tempeh Joes made such a satisfying lunch, I’ve got to make them again soon. Don’t be put-off by the steps and ingredients, it’s worth it! In fact, I’d recommend doubling the recipe. (image & recipe via Chickypea)

5 Plant-Based (Vegan) Recipes | A Nutritionist Eats

5. No matter the label, almost all of us love dessert and I think that Banana Split Ice Cream Pie is the perfect way to end things. (Both a meal and this post.) I mean, bananas are roasted and then turned into banana ice cream which is laid into an almond flour crust and topped with coconut whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Come on! (image & recipe via The First Mess)

What is your favorite plant-based recipe or meal?

What Nutritionists Eat | A Nutritionist Eats

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Not to be all, “I’m so busy!” because everyone is, but what a crazy few weeks it’s been. After our trip to Mexico, we had Richie’s parents visiting (which kind of was like being on vacation in LA – and tons of fun!), my brother was here for a few days and now we’re getting ready

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Guinness Lamb Stew | A Nutritionist Eats

guinness lamb stew

St. Patrick’s Day recipes aren’t complete without some Guinness, am I right? And it turns out to be a pretty versatile ingredient, as evidenced by desserts like Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes. My Guinness recipe – Guinness lamb stew – came from a hybrid of lamb stew and shepards pie. Ground lamb is combined with a few

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how this nutritionist really eats | A Nutritionist Eats

daily eats: 2.19.14

Hi All! How was Valentine’s Day? We spent the evening drinking my favorite wine (Evolution) and celebrating a birthday at a bar called Mickey’s in our neighborhood. Lots of fun and lots of boys in underwear.  It was also a great weekend (aren’t all three day weekends?) – we saw Gravity (I hated it!), hung

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turkey burgers with caper aioli | a nutritionist eats

turkey burgers with caper aioli

I’m not normally a turkey burger person. But this one, served with a bright aioli, is good. And it’s healthy. And it’s still January, so everyone wants “light/lean/skinny/healthy/paleo” recipes. So here we are. First a salad and now a turkey burger. Could I be anymore predictable? Sigh. How did I – the self-proclaimed non-turkey burger

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leftover stuffing quiche

I’m back for more Thanksgiving chat. But this time around it’s all about leftovers. How do you feel about them? Love them? Too soon to talk about them? Personally, I have a lot more fun with the leftovers than the actual meal. Last year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, we picked up a whole turkey

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thanksgiving drinks, menu, dessert, table and leftovers!

In the two weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, it seems to be impossible to talk about anything else. Obviously I’m guilty. Next Thursday can’t come soon enough! And as much as I love our LA Thanksgivings, I have to admit that I’m also really missing our annual “Pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving” with friends this year. Things would

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