Healthy, mouth-watering meals that anyone can make.
By Rose Hayes
Is your oven being used as a storage bin? Do you set off the fire alarm every time you cook? Maybe you just don’t have time to prepare a healthy meal every night.
It’s okay; you don’t need to be a master chef to make food that’s both nourishing and delicious. We worked with Anne Brock, RDN, LD specializing in weight loss and diabetic education at West Valley Medical Center in Caldwell, Idaho to build a list of easy, plant-based recipes that anyone make.
Learn more about the benefits of a plant-based diet from Blue Zones, the world's healthiest communities.
Meatless Monday is a popular trend worldwide thanks to a mounting body of evidence on the health benefits of plant-based eating. Cutting down on meat can help save:
In fact, a 2013 analysis of numerous studies found that the biggest meat eaters were 29 percent more likely to die early than those who ate the least amount of meat. So don’t stop after Monday—eating plant-based meals more often may help you live longer.
These simple tricks can make meatless meal prep a breeze:
“This recipe is very versatile,” says Brock. “You can serve sweet potato patties alongside a salad or sautéed veggies.” Other options? “Wrap the patty in lettuce or eat on its own, topped with tomatoes, avocado and a little bit of low-sodium barbeque sauce,” she says. To make the patties:
Boil 1 medium sweet potato and mash together with 1 can of drained garbanzo beans. Mix in:
Lightly coat a skillet with olive oil; warm over medium heat. Form the potato mixture into patties and sauté for about 5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
“You can add so many different vegetables to a stir-fry and create whatever concoction you want,” says Brock. This is her go-to mix:
Serve over brown rice or quinoa with a drizzle of teriyaki or orange sauce. Add chickpeas or tofu for protein.
Forget tasteless lettuce and longing for real food. Salads can actually add variety to your diet by letting you experiment with new flavors, colors and textures. Start with a mix of greens and chopped veggies. Then add ingredients from other food groups such as:
Here’s one combination that will have you licking the bowl: Mix cooked quinoa, raw broccoli florets, dried cranberries and chopped pistachios. Top with a spritz of lemon.
These meatless “chik’n” nuggets are actually made from cauliflower, says Brock.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Shape the mixture into nuggets and place them onto a cookie sheet that’s lightly coated with olive oil. Bake for about 10 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Serve as a healthy side dish or a satisfying snack.
“Pizza doesn’t always have to be a guilty pleasure,” says Brock. “It’s easy to make a healthy, meat-free version at home.”
Buy a thin, whole grain pizza crust. Top with:
Preheat the oven to 400°. Bake according to the directions for the crust, usually for around 18-20 minutes.
“With both black bean burgers and sweet potato patties, the bun isn’t necessary since they’re already so rich and filling,” Brock says. “I usually leave the bun off because it adds too much starch. With the Black Bean Burger I add a little onion and bell pepper for texture, plus a jalapeno and chili powder for a bit of kick.”
Lightly coat a skillet with olive oil and warm over medium heat. Form the bean mixture into patties and sauté for about five minutes on each side. Top with guacamole and tomato slices.