Plant-based living has officially evolved. It's the best culinary culture shift of the decade and I'm SO down with it.
First off, let me say that up until 2015 I ate a steak dinner for my birthday every single year since I’ve had teeth (Midwest, what up??). When I was in high school I referred to myself as a carnivore and was your typical fitness addicted, protein packed college girl. Why I really went vegan is a story for another day, but regardless of my reasons one major factor in being able to sustain this lifestyle choice is the FOOD.
I'm not kidding you guys, good vegan food is hands down the best food I've ever had (I'll reiterate GOOD vegan food, I've had some bad vegan food before too) and I've also eaten amazing non-vegan food in the past. Science shows that a plant-rich diet is immensely better for your health and for the environment. So here is just a glimpse at why your diet should dabble on the plant-side.
Vegan is no longer just tofu and lentils.
Chefs around the world are proving that global and cultural challenges can be overcome with creativity and risk. Going vegan was one of the biggest trends in 2018 and anyone who's had good vegan food can understand why. Take a look at some of your vegan food options that make plant-based living easy and delicious!
What is it about grilling that just makes food taste so damn good? With plant-rich dieting the key is in the spices. Using lot's of fresh herbs, seasonings and spices will help elevate your veggies to their most delicious state. Using fresh ingredients is key to getting the most out of your flavors. My A-team of spices that I always use are cumin, garlic, smoked paprika, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. I also have a major obsession with rosemary and basil.
Thai curries, Indian curries, all the curries, all the time. Curry is such a great dish that is fairly simple to make if you get your hands on the right curry pastes and spices. My go-to meal is roasted or sautéd veggies, add spoon full of red Thai curry paste and a can of coconut milk. Let simmer, serve with jasmine rice and enjoy every savory morsel! Check out this simple recipe. Beauty about curries is that you can use any veggies you have on hand and they make GREAT leftovers.
BURGERS and yes they can have cheese!
Plant-based patties are taking over grocery stores around the globe. They can be made from just about any kind of veggie or grain from beet burgers to black bean patties. However, NOT ALL VEGAN BURGERS ARE CREATED EQUALLY. It would be like comparing a burger from McDonalds to a burger at a 5 star restaurant, there are different levels to this! Shop around and find the plant-based patty that speaks to your pallet. Personally, I prefer the Impossible Burger or Foodies. Vegan cheeses are just as diverse so check out the options at your local market!
Going plant-based does not mean only eating light leafy greens or giving up all of your favorite guilty pleasures. Now I'm not telling you that you can have a healthy plant-rich diet that comes out of the deep fryer, BUT you can still indulge from time to time. Some of my favorite vegan junk foods are french fries, zucchini fries, fried pickles, vegan nachos and of course desserts.
From tropical fruit smoothies to rich dark chocolate cakes, vegan desserts are far from boring. There is a vegan rendition for almost every kind of dessert you can think of and the options are growing everyday. My favorite go-to's are smoothie bowls, dark chocolate and vegan ice creams that you can even purchase at your local supermarket.
EAT MORE PLANTS, you might love it.