Everywhere you look, more and more people are going plant forward. They’re enriching their diet with fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, beans, lentils and seeds—putting more plants on their plate while reducing the amount of meat they eat.
Healthy People, Healthy Planet
Eating plant forward has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers, all while improving the quality of everyday life by making it easier to maintain a healthy weight.
There are environmental benefits, as well. Plant forward choices help reduce your carbon footprint and the amount of greenhouse gases that end up in the atmosphere. And since it takes about 2,000 gallons of water to produce a pound of beef, the environmental benefits of just a few plant forward choices each week add up fast.
So, go ahead and “veg out.” You don’t have to say goodbye to meat completely. Try swapping out a meal here and there to start. Our chefs make it easy with the following recipes to cover you for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
SPICED BREAKFAST QUINOA
Instead of oatmeal, switch out that wholesome whole grain for another one—quinoa. This protein- and flavor-packed breakfast bowl is cinnamon-spiced, sweet, and vegan to boot.
Ingredients Makes 6 servings
4 1/4 cups water
1 1/3 C quinoa, rinsed and drained
3 T apple juice
3 T light brown sugar
1 1/8 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t kosher salt
1 1/2 C soy milk
- In pot over high heat, bring water to a boil. Stir in quinoa, juice, sugar, cinnamon and salt.
- Return to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer until quinoa is very tender, 15 to 18 minutes.
- Add soy milk. Return to a simmer, 8 more minutes.
- Serve hot with your favorite fresh fruit, if desired.
It’s spicy. It’s crunchy. It’s protein-packed and filling. This substantial sandwich has chickpeas, jalapeños, pickled red onions, avocadoes—more than enough to spice up your lunchtime.
Ingredients (6 servings):
6 ciabatta rolls, split
1 1/4 C purchased jalapeño hummus
1 large tomato, cored and sliced
1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and sliced
Pickled red onions: Peel, halve and thinly slice red onion. Add 1/2 C onion slices to a pan with 1/4 C red wine vinegar. Simmer until liquid is absorbed and onions are tender and bright pink, about 6 minutes. Cool and drain.
1 1/2 T fresh cilantro leaves, washed
- Spread 3-4 T hummus on cut side of 1 ciabatta bottom
- Layer the following on top: 2 slices tomato, 3 slices avocado, 2 T pickled red onions, a few cilantro leaves.
- Add ciabatta top. Cut diagonally to serve.
BAKED TOFU WITH TOASTED COCONUT RICE
Cinnamon-, cardamom- and coconut-infused brown rice is the base for this hearty dish, with Cajun baked tofu adding a kick. It’s topped with grilled pineapple salsa for extra island pizzazz.
Ingredients (6 servings)
- 1/2 C sweetened flaked coconut
- 1 1/2 T vegetable oil
- 1/2 C yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 1 large clove fresh garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 1/2 C brown rice
- 3 C water
- 1-2 whole cinnamon sticks
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 t kosher salt
- 3/4 t ground black pepper
- 1/8 t ground cardamom
- 1 C unsweetened coconut milk
- 12 oz. firm tofu, drained and sliced (6 portions)
- 1 1/2 T Cajun spiced seasoning blend
- Preheat oven to 350o
- On sheet pan, spread coconut in thin layer. Bake, stirring once, until coconut is lightly toasted, 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside.
- In stockpot over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add onion, garlic and rice. Saute until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add water, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, salt, pepper and cardamom. Bring to a boil. Stir. Reduce heat. Cover. Simmer 35 minutes. Remove cinnamon sticks and bay leaves.
- Stir in coconut milk and toasted coconut. Cover and simmer 10 minutes more until rice is tender and most of liquid is absorbed.
- While rice is cooking, increase oven to 400o
- Sprinkle Cajun seasoning over both sides of drained tofu slices.
- On parchment-lined sheet pan, place tofu in single layer. Bake until internal temperature reaches 140oF, 10 to 12 minutes.
- To serve, portion rice on plate; top with tofu and 2-3 tablespoons grilled pineapple salsa (recipe follows).
1 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and sliced ½”
1/3 cup red pepper, seeded and diced
1/3 cup green pepper, seeded and diced
1 to 2 fresh green onions (scallions) trimmed and thinly sliced
3 T light brown sugar
2 T fresh lime juice
1/8 t kosher salt
- Preheat char-grill or stovetop grill pan coated with cooking spray to medium.
- Cook pineapple slices until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Chop 1/2″.
- Toss pineapple with remaining ingredients.
Note: Since everyone’s health history and nutritional needs are so different, please make sure that you talk with your doctor and a registered dietitian to get advice about the diet and exercise plan that‘s right for you.