You may be wondering what the difference between a plant-based diet and a vegan or vegetarian diet is. Similar to a vegan diet, a plant-based diet consists solely on foods derived from plants with no animal products. The difference is that a vegan diet allows for foods that are not plant-based even though they are not animal products. For example, cookies, bread, and French fries are vegan, but they are not allowed under a plant-based diet, as they bear no resemblance to the plant in its original form (wheat and potatoes respectively). Also, unlike vegetarianism, dairy products such as eggs and cheese are not allowed as they are not derived from plants. Check out these great plant based recipes below!
Black Bean and Quinoa Stuffed Poblano Peppers
Spicy and packed with flavor, these are a great plant based appetizer.
- 6 large poblano chilies split in half lengthwise, seeds and membranes removed
- 1 small red onion chopped
- 1 small butternut squash or 2 yams cubed into 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 Tbsp cumin
- 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1 cup vegetable stock or water
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1/3 cup cilantro diced
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup finely chopped cashews
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sautee onion and butternut squash/yam cubes in 1/4 cup water. Add spices, tomato paste and stock. Stir to combine and heat until boiling. Add quinoa and cook 15 minutes until done.
Remove from heat and add beans, raisins, cilantro, salt and pepper. Coat a baking dish with cooking spray and place the poblano halves in the baking dish and fill with mixture. Top with cashews and then bake for 20-30 minutes until filling is hot.
Makes 6 servings.
A classic French dish loaded with healthy vegetables.
- 2 lbs eggplant peeled and chopped
- 3 small zucchini chopped
- 2 yellow squash chopped
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 large green pepper cut into small chunks
- 5 large fresh Roma tomatoes parboiled for 30 seconds, peeled and chopped
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and pressed
- 2 Tbsp fresh marjoram chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh basil
- 1 Tbsp parsley
- Salt and pepper
Place chopped eggplant into a bowl and sprinkle generously with salt. Let stand for 30 minutes. Rinse well and drain all of the liquid. Do the same salting and rinsing process for the squash.
Sautee the eggplant in a large frying pan with 1/3 cup water, stirring frequently until softened. Watch carefully and replace water if it gets too dry. Add salt and pepper then place in a large casserole dish.
Sautee squash same as eggplant, with a little water until almost soft. Add salt and pepper and then place in the casserole dish. Add the tomatoes to the pan and sauté with onion and peppers for about 10 minutes.
Add the fresh herbs. If you want less water, sauté until most of the water is gone. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the tomato mixture to the large casserole dish and mix with the other vegetables. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Makes 6 servings.
Persian Cucumber Tomato Salad
This deliciously unique salad can make a healthy lunch, or the perfect side dish.
- 3 cups diced unpeeled small cucumbers
- 1½ cups assorted cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
- ¼ cup chopped white onion
- 3 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh mint
- 2 tsp minced preserved lemon or 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Combine tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, mint, parsley, preserved lemon/zest, lemon juice and salt in a bowl.
Let stand for at least 10 minutes and up to 2 hours (no longer) for the flavors to develop. Add in olive oil and toss. Season with pepper to taste.
Makes 2-4 servings.