Inside Scoop: It’s easy to eat more vegetables with these delicious plant-based meals.

This post was submitted by Rebecca Smith, full-time calisthenics instructor with a diploma in nutrition.

Many people think that eating veggies takes so much effort. While it’s true that it might be easier to grab a burger or a donut to satiate your hunger, the benefits of adding fresh colorful produce in your diet is worth every effort. If you’re finding it difficult to incorporate veggies in your everyday meals, learning these simple and tasty plant-based recipes will help!

Plant-based meals are prepared without animal products, instead, they are made with vegetables, legumes, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds. And while many people don’t get excited when they hear the term “plant-based”, in reality, these veggie-packed meals can be as appetizing as dishes prepared with animal products, not to mention that they also pack a lot of health benefits.

 

BENEFITS OF A PLANT-BASED DIET

 

A plant-based diet can help you lose weight

People who focus on a diet high in whole plant-based foods could easily manage their weight because the fiber found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grain is a natural appetite suppressant and blood sugar regulator. Plant-based products like vegetables are also lower in calories, and they can fill you up.

According to a study published in 2017, a plant-based diet appears to be effective for weight loss and can be a viable option for overweight and obese individuals. This doesn’t have to mean going vegan or vegetarian, but simply focusing on filling half your plate with veggies at every meal.

 

Plant-based meals are nutrient-dense and can help fight diseases

Dishes made purely of plant products are very nutrient dense. Even if you are not entirely following a 100% plant-based diet, eating these meals can complement your current lifestyle. For example, athletes who are following a calisthenics meal plan that highlights whole foods would benefit from adding more nutritious plant-based meals.

Numerous studies have shown that eating a plant-based diet is linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

 

Eating plant-based meals can help the planet

Because of globalization, more people are becoming less interested in farming and opting for convenience instead. It’s also much easier and cheaper to mass produce food, but it hasn’t been healthier for us or the planet. If the demand for plant-based products and sustainable farming practices continues to increase,  that means that the shift towards better agricultural practices can help the environment with things like preventing soil erosion, cleaning the air, and providing sustainable jobs to people. In fact, a study published in the Nature journal suggests that a plant-based diet can help mitigate climate change. So, eat more vegetables to help save the planet!

EAT MORE VEGETABLES WITH THESE NO-SWEAT PLANT-BASED MEALS

It is somehow easy to just steam a chicken breast or pan fry a slab of salmon, but preparing plant-based meals is usually a challenge for many. A lot of people are afraid to try cooking plant-based meals because they think these dishes do not taste great, it is hard to do or it takes time to prepare. However, cooking plant-based meals does not need to be complicated!

To prove them wrong, here are some sample recipes you could try preparing even if you have a busy schedule that will help you eat more vegetables in the process.

BREAKFAST

These delicious 1 bowl zucchini breakfast cookies are the perfect treat for when you want breakfast, veggies and something quick and on-the-go all at once. Make ahead and you can literally run out the door with a breakfast cookie in the morning.

zucchini breakfast cookies
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Zucchini Bread Breakfast Cookies

Make ahead and you can literally run out the door with a breakfast cookie in the morning.
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine Healthy
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 238 kcal

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat oven 350F.
  2. Mix the first 5 ingredients (nut butter, sweetener, banana, egg, vanilla extract) in a bowl vigorously so it makes a creamy buttery texture.
  3. Add in the next 5 ingredients (oats, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt) and mix.
  4. Fold in zucchini and chia or flax seeds, mix.
  5. Then fold in add ins.
  6. Form into balls and then press them down, so they are flat like the picture. You can make small or large sized cookies depending on your preference.
  7. Spread the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  8. Bake 15-18 minutes.

Recipe Notes

*To make a flax egg mix 1 Tbsp milled flaxseeds with 3 Tbsp water, whisk and let it sit for 15 minutes in the fridge to thicken.

Nutrition Facts
Zucchini Bread Breakfast Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 238 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 18%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 20mg 7%
Sodium 158mg 7%
Potassium 357mg 10%
Total Carbohydrates 27g 9%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 12g
Protein 7g 14%
Vitamin A 1.4%
Vitamin C 4.9%
Calcium 7.4%
Iron 9.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

LUNCH

You’re going to love how light and cooling this raw vegan Pad Thai is. Take fresh, raw ingredients and to create a deliciously colourful masterpiece from them, that leaves you feeling incredibly healthy and satisfied.

raw vegan pad thai
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Raw Vegan Pad Thai Drizzled With Peanut Sauce

When the weather heats up our kitchen cools down. This Raw Vegan Pad Thai is the perfect cleansing meal.
Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine Healthy
Keyword raw vegan pad thai
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 576 kcal

Ingredients

BASE INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 zucchini large spiraled or julienned*
  • 1 carrot large, shaved or julienned
  • 1/2 head purple cabbage shredded
  • 1/2 cup edamame organic
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts
  • 3 Tbsp chives diced (about a small bunch)
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds unhulled
  • 2 tsp hemp hearts

PEANUT SAUCE INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter crunchy (the ONLY ingredient should be peanuts!)
  • 2 Tbsp tamari or coconut aminos
  • 1 tsp ginger. freshly grated
  • 2-3 Tbsp water
  • ½ Tbsp lime juiced (about ½ lime)

Directions

  1. Because of the water content of zucchini, it may be wise to use paper towel to absorb some of the excess water. You don't want soggy Pad Thai!
  2. In a large bowl, combine spiraled zucchini, carrot, cabbage, edamame and bean sprouts. Sprinkle with chives, sesame seeds and hemp hearts.
  3. In a small bowl, combine peanut butter, coconut soy sauce, ginger and lime. Stir together. Gradually add water until desired texture is achieved (you don't want it too thick or too thin - happy medium).
  4. Drizzle peanut sauce over vegetable base and toss. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Facts
Raw Vegan Pad Thai Drizzled With Peanut Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 576 Calories from Fat 342
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 38g 58%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Sodium 1392mg 58%
Potassium 1527mg 44%
Total Carbohydrates 41g 14%
Dietary Fiber 12g 48%
Sugars 20g
Protein 29g 58%
Vitamin A 157.1%
Vitamin C 179.1%
Calcium 18.9%
Iron 31.8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Dinner

Not a fan of tomato based pasta? This is a great recipe to make if you have leftover hummus in the fridge.

Pasta
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Creamy Hummus Pasta

Not a fan of tomato- based pasta? This is a great recipe to make if you have leftover hummus in the fridge.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 744 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic diced
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 cup hummus
  • 1 cup pasta water
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 8 oz. dry pasta spaghetti or linguine
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Prepare pasta according to package instructions.

  2. In a large pot, sauté on medium heat the sun-dried tomatoes, oil and garlic for 2 minutes. 

  3. Then add hummus and cooked pasta and stir to combine. 

  4. Slowly pour in the pasta water used to cook the pasta until the sauce reaches to desired consistency.

  5. Finally, add spinach until it is wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition Facts
Creamy Hummus Pasta
Amount Per Serving
Calories 744 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 32%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Sodium 561mg 23%
Potassium 1363mg 39%
Total Carbohydrates 114g 38%
Dietary Fiber 14g 56%
Sugars 8g
Protein 28g 56%
Vitamin A 115.7%
Vitamin C 29.2%
Calcium 15.6%
Iron 41.4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Pear Canapés Snack

If you’re craving for something sweet and satisfying, you don’t need to resort to a candy bar to get your fix. This dessert is so indulgent even if it’s perfectly healthy! Depending on your toppings, this dessert can give you the perfect balance of sweet, salty, creamy, and crunchy all at the same time.

  • Pears
  • Peanut or almond butter
  • Rock salt
  • Optional toppings: almonds, walnuts, hemp hearts, coconut flakes

Thinly slice the pears without the core, spread one side with peanut butter and top with rock salt. Add toppings if you desire such as almonds, walnuts, hemp hearts or coconut flakes then serve! You could also be creative by adding other toppings like flaxseed, cinnamon, and dates.

Rebecca Smith

Rebecca Smith started calisthenics at age 26 as a means to lose weight and tone her body. After completing her first successful muscle up, the amazing feeling inspired her to train further and become a full-time calisthenics instructor. Rebecca also holds a Management Degree and a Diploma in Nutrition.

 

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