5 plant-based (vegan) recipes

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?

5 ways to get healthier

March is National Nutrition Month and while the activities on the eatright.org site leave a lot to be desired, I’m always game to talk nutrition!

Their theme this year is: Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right and I must say, it’s one that I can fully get behind. “Consumer research confirms that taste tops nutrition as the main reason why one food is purchased over another. While social, emotional and health factors also play a role, the foods people enjoy are likely the ones they eat most.” – eatright.org Ummmm, YES! Nutrition is a field based on science, but I’ve always thought that if it was strictly science, no one would be overweight or struggling with other nutrition-related diseases. We know that vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins are healthy for us, but we still love pancakes, cheeseburgers and cupcakes. Food has got to taste good (and I think look good) to be satisfying.

And thankfully, it is possible to enjoy eating right and still enjoy the fun food. Part of “eating right” (in my opinion) is adding nutrition/health/wellness – instead of always focusing on what to remove – and it’s why I came up with my five favorite ways to get healthier. Most of us, no matter how healthy we are, have room for improvement when it comes to health. I know I do! Instead of grandiose plans to completely overhaul our diet and fitness, make some small improvements every day.

Download infographic here. (Made using piktochart <– affiliate link)

ranch house salad smoothie

Ranch House Salad Smoothie | A Nutritionist Eats

I know. The title is kind of scary. But also soooooo intriguing!

I’ll be the first to say that the words ‘ranch house salad smoothie’ give reason for pause. But if you’re getting sick of salads at lunch and love the convenience of smoothies, you’ve got to give this savory smoothie a try.

Ranch House Salad Smoothie | A Nutritionist Eats

The first time I made this salad smoothie we had a friend over and after the first sip we all looked at each other with confused faces. But then we took another sip. And then another. We all decided that in a weird way, we liked it. It honestly tastes like a salad with ranch dressing. Which is always good in my opinion. :)

Health-wise, it’s a great way to eat a variety of vegetables all packaged up with some high-protein greek yogurt and healthy-fat avocado. I’d pair it with some deli turkey or a slice of toast with a slice of melted goat cheese for a perfect lunch.

Ranch House Salad Smoothie | A Nutritionist Eats

I can’t take credit for this salad smoothie idea though, I found the recipe in a book called, Green Smoothie Cleanse: Detox, Lose Weight and Restore Your Health with the World’s Most Powerful Superfoods by Lisa Sussman. I was sent the book to review and while I have no intention of going on a smoothie “cleanse” I love that this book is full of smoothie ideas and inspiration. Check it out if you’re getting sick of your standard smoothies, the recipes won’t disappoint.

nutrition facts: 456 calories, 24 grams of fat, 27 grams of protein, 42 g carbohydrates, 12 g fiber

Ranch House Salad Smoothie

by Green Smoothie Cleanse

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Keywords: blender salad gluten-free high protein low-carb vegetarian

 

Ingredients (16 oz (1 serving))

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1 cup romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2 onion (I used less)
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon chives
  • 1 teaspoon dill
  • dash of salt & pepper

Instructions

Blend until smooth.

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breakfast tacos with chipotle sour cream

Breakfast Tacos with Chipotle Sour Cream | A Nutritionist Eats

This recipe has been a long time in the making but it’s quite fitting that I’m sharing it today. Why? Because I’m on my way to Mexico and plan on eating many versions of mexican breakfasts for the next week or so. I had something similar – goat cheese breakfast tacos – at a restaurant (almost a year ago!) and while I loved the idea of the goat cheese tacos, they didn’t blow me away. I’ve been wanting to recreate them ever since.

Breakfast Tacos with Chipotle Sour Cream | A Nutritionist Eats

So I finally got around to making them and it turns out that the chipotle sour cream totally stole the show. Dare I say…it left the goat cheese totally and utterly pointless. (Which in my world is a bit shocking given my intense love for cheese.)

I made the tacos again, this time omitting the goat cheese and they tasted just as good. No point in adding calories you can’t taste, am I right?

Breakfast Tacos with Chipotle Sour Cream | A Nutritionist Eats

But back to the star. The chipotle sour cream is just…well, it left me wondering two things: why has this little can of chipotles been in my cupboard for almost two years and what else can I do with it?! (Brainstorms are in the works and chipotle chili is happening.) So all this is to say – you can’t (CAN. NOT.) leave the chipotle sour cream off. It takes a few short minutes and is so worth it.

 Breakfast Tacos with Chipotle Sour Cream | A Nutritionist Eats

The rest of the tacos? They are full of good stuff. I’m talking black beans, scrambled eggs, caramelized onions and fresh avocado slices. It’s pretty much the breakfast dreams are made of. And if you like eggs throughout the day, they would make a killer lunch or easy dinner.

nutrition facts (4 servings): 380 calories, 13 grams of fat, 20 grams of protein, 46 g carbohydrates, 10 g fiber

Breakfast Tacos with Chipotle Sour Cream

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Keywords: breakfast gluten-free high fiber high protein vegetarian eggs Mexican

 

Ingredients (4 servings)

    For the Chipotle Sour Cream

    • 1/2 cup sour cream
    • 1-1 1/2 chipotles + sauce depending on heat preference

    For the Tacos

    • 1/2 onion, caramelized
    • 6 eggs
    • 8 corn tortillas
    • 1-15 oz can of black beans
    • optional: avocado slices, chopped cilantro

    Instructions

    For the Chipotle Sour Cream

    Finely chop the chipotle peppers (you can basically mash them together)

    Mix into sour cream.

    Add some of the sauce as desired.

    For the Tacos

    Whisk eggs together in small bowl and scramble until cooked through.

    Heat tortillas in microwave until hot.

    Assemble tacos: layer beans, eggs, onions and sour cream on tortillas. Top with avocado and cilantro if desired.

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