Easy Plant-Based Recipes to Make at Home - SantaFe.com
Try a plant-based recipe for a tofu, spinach, and mushroom bowl.

If you’ve been wondering what all the buzz is about plant-based diets, this is a great time to try some plant-based recipes at home. A plant-based diet consists of foods that come exclusively from plants such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, plant-based oils, nuts, and seeds. No meat or animal products are included in the diet. The emphasis is on whole foods that have undergone a minimal amount of processing. A plant-based or vegan diet differs from a vegetarian diet in that vegetarians may include dairy products, eggs, and honey in their diet. In addition, a true vegan avoids using animal products of any kind, such as leather shoes or shampoos made with animal products. One of the main reasons that people switch to a plant-based diet is to have a healthier lifestyle, and the benefits of this way of eating are well documented.

plant-based recipes bean bowl

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine advocates a plant-based diet to reduce the onset of conditions such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. The American College of Cardiology reports a plant-based diet can lower the risk of coronary heart disease. A study by the Journal of the American Heart Association concluded that a diet that is higher in plant-based foods is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

It’s easy to meet the daily requirements of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals on a plant-based diet because of the healthy ingredients that make up this diet. Research has shown that diets high in legumes, such as beans, lentils, and garbanzos lower the risk of high blood pressure, obesity, and high cholesterol. Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and romaine lettuce are low in calories and provide important minerals and vitamins for plant-based recipes.

Examples of whole grains include brown or red rice, barley, farro, quinoa, oats, and cracked wheat. Most Americans don’t eat enough whole grains. If you fall in that category, try substituting brown rice for white rice or try out some new-to-you grains like farro or quinoa.

As with any food that you purchase, check the labels. Make sure that canned foods have a short list of ingredients and that salad dressings don’t contain too much sugar or highly processed oils — or whip up your own from scratch. Also, if you want your plant-based recipes completely plant-based, check to be sure that prepared foods don’t contain dairy products, eggs, or honey.

Delicious and easy plant-based recipes

If you think preparing plant-based recipes might be too difficult or time-consuming, check out these easy recipes. You’ll find a variety of fresh vegetables, proteins in the form of beans or grains, leafy greens, and plenty of flavor. These recipes are free from meat and animal products, making them suitable for a vegan diet or anybody ready to try a delicious meatless meal. Each of these plant-based recipes serves two, so double or triple the ingredients as needed.

Pinto Bean Rice Grain Bowls

2 cups cooked brown rice
1 (15.5-ounce) can pinto beans
2 cups fresh lettuce or greens
Your favorite fresh vegetables
Vegan dressing

1. Prepare the brown rice according to the package instructions.
2. Rinse and drain the pinto beans.
3. Put the lettuce on the bottom of each bowl, then add the rice, beans, and veggies.
4. Add a little dressing and serve.

Avocado Quinoa Salad

avocado quinoa salad plant-based recipes

2 cups cooked quinoa
1 large Hass avocado
½ cup sliced tomatoes
½ cup frozen corn
3 tablespoons herb vinaigrette

1. Use the package instructions to cook the quinoa ahead of time.
2. Let the quinoa cool before adding the other ingredients.
3. Slice the avocado.
4. Put the frozen corn in a sieve or colander and run warm water over it to thaw it.
5. Combine the ingredients.

Add the vinaigrette before serving.

Tofu Mushroom Fried Brown Rice

2 cups cooked brown rice
½ pound extra-firm tofu
1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
2 cups bagged baby spinach
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons light oil

1. Prepare the brown rice according to the package instructions.
2. Rinse and drain the tofu, then cut it into cubes.
3. Press the cubes between paper towels to remove excess moisture.
4. Slice the mushrooms and mince the garlic.
5. Put the oil in a large skillet and set the heat to medium.
6. Add the tofu pieces to the skillet and cook them for 3 – 5 minutes.
7. Remove the tofu and set it aside.
8. Add the mushrooms and garlic to the skillet and cook until the mushrooms are brown.
9. Put in the cooked brown rice, cooked tofu, and spinach.
10. Stir until warm throughout.
11. (Optional) Add a few drops of soy sauce for seasoning.

soba noodles plant-based recipes

Soba Noodle Edamame Bowls

1 3-ounce package soba noodles
1 cup frozen edamame
½ cup sprouted mung beans
6 Brussels sprouts
½ cup matchstick carrots
Vegan Asian-style dressing to taste

1. Boil the soba noodles according to the package instructions.
2. Cut the Brussels sprouts into two pieces and steam them with the edamame for 5 – 7 minutes.
3. Drain the soba noodles and add them to the bowls.
4. Arrange the steamed Brussels sprouts and other ingredients on top of the noodles.
5. (Optional) Sprinkle on black sesame seeds for color and add dressing.

Black Bean Salad

1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans
½ cup frozen corn
½ cup red bell pepper
(Optional) 2 tablespoons chopped
cilantro leaves
¼ cup red onion

1. Using a colander or sieve, drain and rinse the black beans.
2. Run warm water over the frozen corn to thaw it, then drain the excess water.
3. Add the beans and corn to a mixing bowl.
4. Chop the bell pepper and cilantro.
5. Either cut the red onion into rings or dice it.
6. Add the bell pepper, cilantro, and red onion to the bean and corn mixture.
7. Add a light vinaigrette dressing and stir all ingredients until well coated.

See more recipes on Julia’s blog at cookneasy.com.

Check out more healthy recipes to help lower inflammation here.


Story and photography by Julia Osgood
Originally published in Neighbors magazine

This article was posted by Olivia

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