If you are looking for a realistic and budget-friendly way to clean up your diet in the new year, look no further than going mostly plant-based. Whole food plant-Based diets are on the rise because research shows they may help ward off chronic diseases while supporting everything from immunity and gut health, to hair skin and nails. I have simple mostly plant-based meals and snacks you can make starting with breakfast.
When making the transition to a mostly plant-based diet, an easy place to start is with whole grains at breakfast. Overnight oats are an easy make-ahead breakfast that essentially cooks itself in the fridge overnight and is ready to grab and go in the morning. In my new book Mostly Plant-Based I share how to make an overnight breakfast – 12 different ways.To a jar, simply add ½ cup rolled oats, 2 tsp chia seeds, 2 tsp pure maple syrup, ¼ tsp pure vanilla extract ¼ cup plain yogurt or nondairy yogurt and ½ cup unsweetened almond milk,. Give it a stir and top with your desired topping in the morning such as sliced bananas, walnuts and cinnamon or cinnamon apples and raw pecans or blueberries and lemon zest
Next, take the guess-work out of lunch with make-ahead salad jars using my salad jar formula and whatever ingredients you have on hand. Start with 2 tbsp of dressing at the bottom of a 24 ounce jar and layer with ½ cup of animal or plant protein, 1 cup of dense, firm crisp veggies, ½ cup of soft, delicate veggies or fruit, ½ cup of cooked whole grains, 2 tbsp of fats such as nuts seeds or cheese or seeds and a handful of leafy greens. Pour it out onto a plate before enjoying.
For a plant-based snack with crunch, try my chickpea poppers 6 ways. Transform the can of chickpeas sitting in your pantry into your next addicting sweet or savory plant protein-packed snack. Simple toss your cooked chickpeas with olive oil and salt and bake for 25 minutes at 425 F , then toss with your seasonings of choice such as everything bagel seasoning, garlic powder and herbs or nutritional yeast for cheesy flavor without the cheese.
And finally, with the benefits of hands-off cooking, easy cleanup, and endless nourishing combinations, sheet pan meals are sure to become a staple in your lazy weeknight dinner rotation. The sheet pan meal formula from my book Mostly Plant-Based is a great guide to help you use up whatever is in your fridge and check off your food groups. To make you’ll need 6 ingredients – non starhy veggies, your protein of choice such as chicken or tempeh, seasonings, oil and carbohydrate source. These sheet pan fajitas follow that formula simply Toss the veggies and protein with oil and taco seasoning, spread out onto a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, tossing half way through. Serve with warm tortillas.
For more, you can check out my new book Mostly Plant-Based available on Amazon at Barnes and Noble and wherever books are sold.