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It’s time for meatless makeovers and dairy-free dining!

If you’re new to a whole food plant-based diet you may be missing some of your favorite meals, wishing you could have your old faves like mac and cheese, fried chicken, burgers, ice cream, pizza and more! It can be especially difficult when you’re confronted with the holidays or someone else’s unhealthy non-vegan eating habits.

But there’s hope, I’m here to tell you!

What if you could easily learn how to transform any dish into a plant-based favorite? With a little skill, knowledge and practice, you can retool your foodie favorites to become a “Meatless Master” and a “Dairy-Free Diva.” Let’s not pine over what’s missing – instead, let’s enjoy the amazing abundance of delicious whole plant foods that are available to choose from. Keep reading and you’ll see how easy it is to retool just about any recipe you can think of.

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One of the toughest things about transitioning to a whole food plant-based diet is resisting the temptation of unhealthy but tasty and at least temporarily-satisfying foods. These are typically salty, sweet and fatty foods that you’ve grown accustomed to over the years and have come to love.

These foods are familiar and comfortable and you may associate them with family dinners around the table or other memorable moments, which can make it that much harder emotionally to give them up.

For instance, there’s that burger you’ve enjoyed during your lunch break every day and which has turned into a treat that gets you through the rest of your workday, that rich chocolate dessert that your beloved aunt makes for your birthday, and that delectable gourmet cheese you discovered when you were on your honeymoon in France. Or maybe for you it’s ice cream cones, Italian ice, potato chips, breakfast pastries or hard candies.

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One of the toughest things about transitioning to a whole food plant-based diet is resisting the temptation of eating unhealthy – but tasty and at least temporarily satisfying – foods. There are typically salty, sweet and fatty foods that you’ve grown accustomed to over the years and have come to love. 

These foods are familiar and comfortable and you may associate them with family dinners around the table or other memorable moments, which can make it that much harder emotionally to give these foods up.

For instance, there’s that burger you’ve enjoyed during your lunch break every day  and which has come to feel like a treat that gets you through the rest of your workday, that rich chocolate dessert that your beloved aunt makes for your birthday, and that delectable gourmet cheese that you discovered when you were on your honeymoon in France.

Or maybe for you, it’s ice cream cones, Italian ice, potato chips, breakfast pastries or hard candies.

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One of the toughest things about transitioning to a whole food plant-based diet is resisting the temptation of eating unhealthy – but tasty and at least temporarily satisfying – foods. There are typically salty, sweet and fatty foods that you’ve grown accustomed to over the years and have come to love. 

These foods are familiar and comfortable and you may associate them with family dinners around the table or other memorable moments, which can make it that much harder emotionally to give these foods up.

For instance, there’s that burger you’ve enjoyed during your lunch break every day  and which has come to feel like a treat that gets you through the rest of your workday, that rich chocolate dessert that your beloved aunt makes for your birthday, and that delectable gourmet cheese that you discovered when you were on your honeymoon in France.

Or maybe for you, it’s ice cream cones, Italian ice, potato chips, breakfast pastries or hard candies.

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I'm writing this post in early May and although spring is here and the weather is turning warmer, I still find that soup is a super way to enjoy a whole food plant-based diet. In addition, I love that you can make this White Bean Soup with Garlic, Mushrooms, and Farro in the Instant Pot which makes getting dinner on the table faster.

And, it also really cool that most of Dr. Joel Fuhrman's G-BOMBS are in this soup. He considers them to be the healthies anti-cancer foods and recommends eating them every day. Add a crunchy spinach salad topped with a few nuts and have a few berries for dessert and you'll have all six of them - greens, beans, onions, mushroom, berries, and nuts or seeds. Oh, and don't forget berries, which you could have with dessert.

You've probably heard about the Instant Pot by now, but if you haven't I'll just tell you that it's really a time saver, especially for beans which are such an important part of our diets that Dr.

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Every plant-based cook should know how to make a simple low-salt vegetable broth. And in this post, I have both an Instant Pot recipe and how to make in on the stove-top, as well. The reason vegetable broth is important is that many plant-based recipes use it.  Take soup, for example, almost all include a vegetable broth. Or, when making grains, vegetable broth boosts flavor instead of water. Use vegetable broth instead of oil when sauteing onions. 

I know store-bought broths are easy to use, but you’ll be hard pressed to find one without a lot of salt. So, do find time in your busy schedule to make some homemade low-salt vegetable broth either on the stove or in your Instant Pot. Store it in the freezer for those times when you need it most (more hints on how to do that below).  

Making homemade plant-based vegetable broth is easy because you can use vegetable scraps that you’ve collected.

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In case you missed the original “Seven Classic Recipes Every Plant-Based Cook Should Know,” you’ll want to hop on over for a read! That first article was so appreciated that I decided we needed another, because, let’s be honest, there are way more than seven classic plant-based vegan recipes. 

These are the kind of dishes that you can feel comfortable sharing with your non-plant-based friends. I’m sure you’d love for those close to you to join you on this life-changing journey to health and happiness for ourselves, the planet and other beings. (If you need some ideas about how to nudge those loved ones over to a whole food plant-based diet, check out my article, “Want Your Friends and Family to Go Plant-Based? Here’s How …“)

Master these seven recipes and you’ll be well on your way to mastering your health!

Seven More Classic Plant-Based Recipes

MEATLOAF: Here’s my meatless meatloaf which is sure to please your friends and family because I’ve included  “umami” flavors to give it a “beefy” taste – in this case, tomatoes, mushrooms, and a little red wine.

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If you’ve seen the light and realized that a whole food plant-based diet is good for your health and your waistline, and especially if you’ve already experienced the benefits yourself, you’re probably wanting to share your enthusiasm and to encourage your friends and family (and maybe everyone else you know!) to join you on the plant-based bandwagon.

It makes sense. We, of course, want others to have the same improved energy, health and overall wellness that we do. Or, maybe you want to make a difference in the world and you know that going plant-based is the most environmentally sustainable and animal-welfare friendly way to eat. There are so many things to feel good about with this lifestyle.

It’s so worth it to reach out and share your plant-based passion if you do it skillfully. Can you just imagine the sense of community you’ll feel when you share meat and dairy-free meals with your loved ones?

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You may have discovered that eating a whole food plant-based diet can involve quite a bit of cooking at home. But that doesn’t mean you have to be a slave to your kitchen!

What I’ve learned is that it’s all about good design, about making your kitchen work for you! If you set up your workspace efficiently and have the right tools and ingredients on hand, I promise you’ll be whipping up healthy and wholesome plant-based meals faster than you ever thought possible.

In this article, I’m going to share with you the 12 basic kitchen tools* that I recommend. If you want to eat delicious food, get your health in line with your life dreams and be more productive in the kitchen, these tools are the way to go. We know that our health is our greatest wealth!

ESSENTIAL TOOLS FOR YOUR PLANT-BASED KITCHEN
Good Quality Non-stick pans for Oil-Free Stove-Top Cooking

I’ve been using Scanpans for many years and I like them for a few reasons.

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Yep, you read it right, Chocolate Hummus. This was a great discovery for me because I love a little chocolate but it usually comes with too much sugar and fat.

Now we can enjoy all of the heart-healthy goodness of chocolate without the extra calories. Although this recipe does have some maple syrup, you could also use Medjool dates which will add sweetness as well as fiber. 

This is a beautiful dessert served with organic strawberries (leave the little green tops on), pineapple or even melon. You could also serve it with pretzels.

One thing to keep in mind is that it doesn't get quite as smooth as you might hope, but I actually like a little bit of texture. Let me know what you think. 

Dark chocolate is high in flavonoids and according to studies, people who eat more chocolate have lower rates of heart attacks, heart failure, and even death from heart disease.

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