Say good-bye to boring breakfasts and flavorless side dishes and get in the kitchen with these versatile recommendations that will transform the way you eat plant-based foods.
Add interest and bulk to canned baked beans by adding a cup or two of cooked pinto beans. Or, for a Mexican dip, purée cooked pinto beans with garlic, olive oil, onion, jalapeño and cumin.
Peel and spiralize butternut squash for healthy, low-carb “noodles.” Or steam and mash squash with butter and sage for a vibrant side dish. Cook cubed butternut squash, onions and garlic in broth until softened; add fresh thyme and blend until smooth for a healthy fall soup.
Carrots & Cauliflower
Toss carrots, cauliflower and garlic with olive oil, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning, then roast until tender for a simple side dish. Or, slice cauliflower into 1-inch-thick steaks and roast or grill until tender. Meanwhile, blend steamed carrots with garlic, olive oil and a dash of curry for a vibrant sauce to serve alongside the cauliflower steaks.
Edamame is an excellent addition to salads and pilafs, but it also makes for a great snack. Use cooked, shelled edamame as a stand-in for some, or all, of the chickpeas in a classic hummus recipe. For a colorful side dish, make a succotash with edamame, fresh corn, red peppers, green onions, garlic, fresh herbs and a splash of olive oil.
Aside from salad, kale can be baked into chips with just a touch of olive oil and salt, blended into smoothies, thrown into soups and used as a unique pizza topping.
Add diced kiwi to tacos and green salads for a tropical flair, or serve with whipped cream for a light dessert. If you find yourself with too many kiwis on hand, blend them with cucumber and honeydew for a simple chilled soup.
Aside from pasta, marinara makes a delicious topping for omelets or baked potatoes. It’s also a great liquid to poach chicken in and a delicious low-fat dipping sauce for sandwiches and appetizers.
Redefine oatmeal for breakfast with a savory twist. Cook oats in milk with a dash of salt and olive oil, then top with Parmesan cheese and fresh rosemary. For a whole-grain swap, grind oats into a flour and work into baked recipes, burgers, meatballs and even pancake batter.
Simply throw roasted pumpkin seeds over green salads, or toss raw seeds with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, then oven-roast until crunchy. You can also make your own allergen-free seed butter by blending raw pumpkin seeds in a food processor until smooth.
This seed, often thought of as a grain, is the perfect addition to your favorite rice or grain dish. Mix cooked quinoa into homemade veggie burgers, or make an Asian salad with edamame, scallions, carrots, red peppers and a sesame-ginger dressing. You can even enjoy cooked quinoa as breakfast porridge, with a touch of maple syrup, dried fruit and nut milk.