Maintaining a plant-based diet as your nutritional mainstay will reward your health and wellbeing in so many ways, you can’t imagine. And, you can incorporate many a plant based food option as a healthy food swap in your favorite guilty pleasure recipes or other recipes that need some diversion around food allergies or other food ingredient you are wishing to reduce or eliminate from your diet.
Substitute Conventional Pasta with Veggie “Pasta”: Trying to reduce your intake of less healthy carbs? Try making veggie “pasta” using a spiralizer. You can make a bowl full of zucchini “noodles” in just minutes, and they can be served raw with a tasty marinara sauce (cold or warm) or you can pour some fresh boiled water over the zucchini “noodles” to slightly softened them for a softer texture “pasta”. If you prefer, you can also saute your fresh veggie “noodles”, keeping in mind that they will cook within minutes. Additional vegetables that can be used in a spiralizer for quick and healthy plant based dishes include cucumbers; radishes; onions; potatoes; carrots; yellow squash; apples; pears and more.
Substitute Conventional Rice with Veggie “Rice”: Looking for a healthy rice alternative? Just pulse up some raw cauliflower in a food processor until it resembles a rice like consistency. Saute in a skillet over medium heat for 4-5 minutes and serve as you would with traditional rice. Additional veggies that can be pulsed up as healthy plant based rice alternatives include celery root, daikon radish, beets, rutabaga, parsnip and sweet potato.
Substitute Kale or Spinach in Place of Potatoes for Healthier Chips: Looking for something crunchy and salty to snack on? Instead of reaching for a bag full of conventional potato chips, often loaded with unhealthy oil and other undesirable ingredients, why not make a batch of easy to prepare kale or spinach chips. They require nothing more than a cooking sheet, sea salt and a low temperature oven to prepare. Make them in large quantities and keep stored in a tightly sealed container or gallon ziploc bag until ready to enjoy.
Substitute Fresh Frozen Fruit in Place of Dairy for Healthier “Ice Cream”: When you find out how easy it is to prepare healthy “ice cream”, you might not want to switch back to their conventionally prepared counterpart. Simply freeze diced bananas, strawberries, peaches, etc., until they are well frozen. When ready to enjoy, drop them into a high powered blender, bullet blender or food processor and process until smooth and creamy. That’s it. You can also add in a little non-dairy milk, nut butter, cocoa powder or extracts to create just about any “ice cream” flavor you can think of.
Substitute Mashed Avocado for Healthier “Mayo”, Dips and Dressings: You won’t believe how versatile a mashed avocado is until you try it. You can simply mash up a ripe avocado and season it with minced garlic, minced herbs or combine it with olive oil and lemon juice for a much healthier substitution for your usual conventionally prepared mayo, dips and dressings.
Plant based foods are so much more versatile than many people might imagine, and they can easily replace a pantry or fridge worth of less healthy conventionally prepared food products.
Bon Veggie Appetit!
Gina “The Veggie Goddess” Matthews