Written by Iron Vegan
The more your body gets used to eating a variety of plant foods, the more you’ll enjoy them. A little effort to form new habits and nurture new taste bud patterns will pay off quickly. Before you know it, you’ll be eating a rainbow of foods - especially the green ones!
Not sure where to start? Try these simple additions and swaps!
The ultimate nutrient-dense meal. Blend in your fruits and veggies so that they become the base. For fruit, try mango, banana, apple, orange, berries, or avocado. For veggies, you can use a handful of spinach or kale, grated beet or carrot, and cauliflower. There are no limits - use whichever fresh or frozen fruits and veggies you have on hand and get creative. You’ll be surprised at how many servings you can add into just one smoothie - and the taste will impress you even more! Check out our simple smoothie recipes here for inspiration.
Use lettuce leaves as a food wrap
Ditch the tortilla and instead use a lettuce leaf, or a steamed leaf of collard greens/cabbage to wrap up your fillings. You can add some extra veggies inside, too. 😉
Veggies as noodles
When it comes to noodles, there are so many simple veggie swaps. You can use zucchini, carrot, beet, and turnip to swap out starchy carbs. The veggies will take on the flavour of your sauce, and the texture is al dente. The easiest way to transform your veggies into noodles is by using a Spiralizer, which is a relatively inexpensive tool in the kitchen to create beautiful spiral noodles. Alternatively, you can use your veggie peeler to create long stands of your preferred veggies and simply use them raw or cooked with your desired sauce and toppings.
Soups are such a great way to get a ton of veggies all in one meal. Simply make a soup by puréeing steamed veggies in a blender with your favourite herbs and spices. Veggies that make excellent soup bases are sweet potato, butternut squash, cauliflower, zucchini, leeks, and cabbage. If you want a thicker or creamier texture, you can add white beans, cashews, and/or coconut or nut milk.
Swap rice for cauliflower
Whether you make it yourself with a blender or buy it ready-made, cauliflower rice makes an excellent swap for grains. You can likely find quite a few options in the freezer aisle at your grocery store. Same idea for pizza crust made from cauliflower!
Use raw veggies in place of crackers with dip
You’re a lot more likely to reach for the veggies instead of the chips if they’re already in a snackable form. When you get home from a grocery shopping trip, wash, and cut some snacking vegetables, like peppers/cucumbers/carrots/broccoli, and store them in glass container in your fridge for easy access. Hummus makes a great dip – which you can buy prepared or easily make your own!
Plant-based burgers + veggie kebabs
With the growing demand for plant-based alternatives, there’s an array of plant-based and veggie burgers now available in grocery and health food stores. Most veggie burgers are made from vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, and provide high levels of fibre and various vitamins and minerals. When it comes to kebabs, you can easily cut up veggies like pepper, zucchini, mushrooms, and eggplant and add them onto your skewers on the grill for a delicious punch of smoky flavour.
Grow your own food
If you grow your own veggies and herbs, you’ll be a lot more likely to eat them. Plant a few seeds in your yard or in a container inside your window. Water as needed and watch the miracle of life unfold! Gardening is such a great way to enjoy the freshest, healthiest possible food, and it will help build a solid relationship with produce. (Sprouting seeds is also an incredible way to eat more raw veggies!)
With a little creativity and effort, you can create a myriad of delicious plant-based recipes at home. Try some of our real food recipes to get inspired, like our Morning Glory Mini Loaves, Extreme Green Smoothie, and Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies.