A FEW OF OUR FAVORITE PLANT BASED MEALS
CHICKPEA STEW WITH COCONUT & TURMERIC
This plant based recipe is fairly new in our home yet we can’t seem to take it off repeat. The spiced chickpeas that we crisp in olive oil, then simmer in a garlicky coconut milk for an insanely creamy, fragrant stew that evokes the feelings of food found in South India and parts of the Caribbean. If you like this recipe, then try this Sweet Potato Stew next!
BUDDHA BOWLS or NOURISH BOWLS
I’m sure you’ve heard this term by now but have you ever wondered why they are called ‘Buddha bowls’? It may originate from the concept that the goal of these recipes are to craft a balanced meal and balance is a key Buddhist concept. It may originate from the tradition of alms round, where monks collect vegetarian food from villagers at meal times. I’m not entirely sure but I know these types of bowls are a staple in our home and often times we just call them ‘nourish bowls.’
The idea behind these bowls is to have greens, protein, carbohydrates and fats all in one bowl. You want lots of color and a delicious (preferably homemade) sauce! These bowls can take on many different forms – they can be Thai inspired, Mexican inspired, Greek Inspired or inspired by the season like root vegetables in the fall and brighter, lighter flavors in the spring.
Here’s a breakdown of how to make them
PLANT BASED TACOS
We love love love tacos in our house. We have many variations that we like to make & don’t really follow any strict recipes anymore but here are a few that sound tasty:
Lentil Tacos with Mango Pico de Gallo
Sweet Potato Tacos – this would also be tasty with butternut squash
Homemade Tortillas – I highly recommend using a cast iron tortilla press!
SPAGHETTI SQUASH AND CHICKPEA MEATBALLS
We love this entirely plant-based alternative to spaghetti and meatballs. It’s super hardy and filling and the chickpea ‘meatballs’ are really, really tasty with great consistency. We’ve made this recipe for years. (You can also make your own pasta noodles for this dish if that’s something up your alley!)
Throughout the week, we collect a lot of our veggie scraps and freeze them in stasher bags in the freezer. When we have enough, we make vegetable broth in our Instant Pot and make soup with that broth! Week by week and season by season the types of soups we make change. Here are some delicious go-tos:
Creamy White Bean Soup with Kale, Lemon & Rosemary
Or, you can do the ‘everything in the fridge soup’ like I often do. This usually includes farm fresh carrots, celery, onion, garlic, whatever other vegetables I have on hand and some sort of bean or legume! Add some herbs, salt and pepper along with your homemade veggie broth for a quick and beautiful meal.
PLANT BASED EATING TIPS
- In this post about sustainable living on a budget, I talk about the environmental benefit of eating more plants – or more importantly, less meat. The meat production industry creates nearly one-fifth of all man-made green house gases and is our largest source of pollution. If we want to significantly reduce our negative environmental impact, lean more heavily into a plant-based diet and cut out meat that’s factory farmed. Shift to eating locally raised, sustainably farmed meat if you still eat meat so that you’re not supporting the factory farm businesses. Also, eating less meat is cheaper.
- Mainly, we center our meals around what is in season and grown locally so we will adapt these recipes or find new ones to accommodate what’s fresh in our CSA or at our farmers market. Here’s a cookbook all about seasonal eating that I’ve heard is phenomenal – Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables.
- For more foundational information on plant-based proteins we should be eating read this. Over the years, I have learned a lot from McKel of Nutrition Stripped and know you’ll find articles on her blog to be beautiful resources.
- Another tip that I always recommend is to make extra of whatever recipe while you’re cooking dinner as these all make excellent leftovers and we are huge fans of leftovers in our home! We try to cook a few plant-based basics at the beginning of each week like lentils or beans, rice or quinoa and sometimes we’ll roast a big tray of veggies to use for bowls / salads / etc. This saves a ton of time & energy.
Hope you love these recipes & that you found this helpful overall as you’re trying to reduce your consumption of meat / stay creative in the kitchen! If you’re looking for other cost effective ways to reduce your environmental impact, start here.
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