If you've seen the Netflix documentary, "What the Health," there's a decent chance you've been convinced to make some changes to your dietary habits (or scared into making said changes).
Footage of factory farms will do that to a person.
But aside from the more controversial aspects of the film, I think everyone can agree more fruits and veggies are a pretty good idea for better overall health. And whether or not you want to just start out by working in a Meatless Monday each week or go full board vegan, making the switch to more "plant first" meals takes a little bit of a mental shift for most people.
My suggestion: Plan meals around the plants, not the protein.
In America, we often base our meal selection process around what protein we want to eat, especially if it's animal protein. We tend to think, "I've got some chicken, now what do I put with it?"
And it's precisely why most Americans consume too much protein and not enough fiber rich fruits and veggies.
But what if you flipped the script? What if you thought, "Bell peppers are on sale this week at the grocery store. I could work those into a nice stir fry."
I've got a great little cheater curry I love to make when I don't have a lot of time to cook. The secret: I roast my veggies and tofu in the oven while I prep the sauce. Makes cooking a breeze since I don't have to stand over the stove wokking veggies.
I've included my favorite veggie accompaniment in this recipe but if you prefer other produce go for it! And if tofu freaks you out, just sub it for edamame. The fun of going veggies first is discovering the combos you love to create a meal that's far more flavorful than the standard chicken with a side of some forgettable vegetable and starch combo.
Vegan Pumpkin Peanut Curry
The recipe here is for the sauce.
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 15 oz can pureed pumpkin
- 1 cup plant- based milk (I prefer Silk original almond milk)
- 2 tbsp natural peanut butter
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1 tsp garam masala seasoning
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
Prep a small sauce pot with cooking spray and toast the minced garlic in 1 tbsp ground ginger over medium high heat, for approximately 3 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients and whisk together until well combined. Cook on medium until warmed through (turn down if sauce begins to splatter).
(Roast or stir fry, toss ingredients in sauce before serving)
- Red bell peppers
- Julienne carrots
- Broccoli florets
- Cole Slaw Mix
Serve over brown rice or rice noodles, garnish with cilantro and sriracha (optional).