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12 simple ways to feed on your plant

  Pho soup for a close-up

Tofu and mushrooms are both meaty plant-based options.

Enrique Díaz / 7cero / Moment / Getty Images

If you are confused by the plant-based eating-fever, you are not alone. While most people realize that it's better for both our bodies and the environment, many still do not know exactly what it means. Is herbal food a synonym for vegetarians, vegans and herbivores, or is it something completely different? The truth is, it's whatever you want.

While focusing on eating more or even mostly plant-based foods and restricting animal products such as meat or dairy, it's up to you how restrictive you are – at least according to Harvard experts. Are you looking for ideas that will make your way easier? Try these 12 tips to reduce meat and dairy and include more herbal formulas in your diet.

Read more: Vegan cookbooks that will also love omnivores

1. Climb the Zoodle Cart

  Spiralizer "data-original =" https://cnet4.cbsistatic.com/img/QNeJUBrg-Bgqg4t0jX8adeYRyqs=/2019/04/30/372ec815-d855-4505-a46e-685c381736- ff / a-10.jpg

A spiralizer opens up a whole new world of vegetable noodles to be explored.


If you have not attended the Zoodle party yet (spiraling zucchini or other vegetables to imitate noodles), now is the time. "Zucchini noodles are nutritious, low in calories, low in carbohydrates and certainly vegetable," says Nick Graff, chef at Noodles & Company. Using zucchini, yellow squash, butternut squash, or turnip instead of plain wheat noodle is an easy way to prepare a plant-based instant meal, and it goes well with your favorite sauce and mix-ins. His unique tip: use a potato peeler to cut pumpkin leaves, then place them on a baking sheet and fry them in the oven until they are slightly dehydrated. "They make amazing plant-based lasagna," he says.

. 2 Exchange your butter for oil

Yes, butter is sourced from animals. Therefore, it is a simple first step to substituting herbal options such as coconut, avocado or olive oil. "Coconut oil can be used in a 1: 1 cooking or baking setting, making it a simple recipe-free dairy that adds a touch of flavor," says Manuel Trevino, chef at by CHLOE, a vegan restaurant in New York City.

Read more: Try our recipe for vegan chocolate cake.

  Cupcake with Vegan Chocolate .jpg

You will not miss the eggs or butter in these vegan cupcakes with fluffy, vegan icing.


. 3 Imitate Your Meat

Not all meat substitutes are the same – many contain superfluous ingredients that you do not need or want to ingest. So choose wisely. One of the best natural options is Jackfruit, which is high in fiber, protein and vitamins, has a meaty texture and is particularly good for turning your favorite plant-based barbecue items. "Use it as an alternative to a classic pulled pork sandwich," says Thomas Boemer, chef and owner of Corner Table in Minneapolis.

  vegan burger "data-original =" https://cnet2.cbsistatic.com/img/TyCR5NaAfXN8w1qmrfTyjFnO0go=/2019/08/17/1cf66ddf-1af6-442f-83de-9fae7037e112/vegan-burger-recipe jpg [19659023] Vegan Burger

This vegetarian burger is based on black-eyed peas.


As for packaged substitutes (as we do not always have the time to prepare vegetarian burgers from scratch), look for brands like Field Roast, which makes vegetable sausages. Patties and more. You want products with a minimal ingredient list that contains whole foods like nuts, seeds or grains. They cook like normal meat and are perfect for making comfy herb-based comfort items such as "pigs" in a blanket, "roast" and sauerkraut or " sausage " and paprika.

. 4 Calla Cauliflower

Cauliflower can do so much, including showing for meat (see our cauliflower tacos below) and dairy products. It can even replace rice – this is already a herbal option, but exchanging cauliflower rice brings you closer to the source of the plant. "Grated cauliflower is the perfect substitute for dishes like fried rice," says Graff. You can also try rubbing broccoli to achieve a similar effect (although cauliflower is a more neutral flavor base).

  Cauliflower tacos "data-original =" https://cnet2.cbsistatic.com/img/WueeNcaE82HuENt-PddjM2XHmVw=/2019/08/17/d2f19ad4-39e6-451a-b981-d9663cc26c78-c chowhound.jpg [CauliflowerTacos

Cauliflower tacos are a great plant-based meal, especially with crispy coleslaw.


. 5 Mushrooms are your friend

Believe it or not, mushrooms can give the deep, earthy taste that some minced meat dishes bring to court. "Make a traditional Bolognese sauce with roasted mushrooms instead of ground beef or pork for a rich, meaty flavor," Graff suggests. They also have a meaty texture, which is why grilled Portobello burgers are so popular.

. 6 Reduce cheese

If you are not ready to go without milk cheese, start slowly. "Add fresh corn and jalapeño to a grilled cheese sandwich," says Helene Henderson, owner and chef of Malibu Farm Miami Beach. The additional increase in taste and texture will allow you to reduce the amount of cheese you would normally pile on. Maybe you're ready to engage in vegan cheese – maybe you can even make your own cheese.

  Grilled jalapeno cheese sandwich "data-original =" https://cnet1.cbsistatic.com/img/HKoj5ov2azICOSXyvHsO5-WDk_0=/2019/08/17/9092cb68-70da-4427-b734-964e791654/jalap cheese-recipe -chowhound.jpg

Add jalapenos and other vegetables to your grilled cheese.


. 7 Choose Milk Free Milk

This seems to be an obvious substitution – cashew, almond, coconut, oat or soy milk instead of cow's milk – but it's crucial to know how to use it. For the consistency you need for a creamy, soothing Mac & # 39; cake, Alfredo or even a dip, try cashewmilk. "When mixed with soaked cashew nuts, it will be a great substitute for creamy sauces," say Silk experts. If a bowl of decadent cream-based soup cries out for you, try coconut milk instead. Dip in milk-free ice for dessert.

. 8 Fry your veggies

"Roasted vegetables are a treat, especially in the south, and roasted vegetables like cauliflower or broccoli are a great way to meet [sate] this fried desire," says Katie Borger, marketing director of Boston's Pizza Restaurant and Sport Bar. First, take a look at our Buffalo Cauliflower recipe.

  Buffalo Cauliflower with Blue Cheese Dressing "data-original =" https://cnet1.cbsistatic.com/img/GvIsV1UH841zTzWD3P0OGXOWTko=/2019/08/17/d7ae82e0-1ea7-419b-9b6d-c1c1c1cfb7cfcfb recipe-chowhound.jpg [19659046] Buffalo Cauliflower with Blue Cheese Dressing

Buffalo cauliflower appetizers and cauliflower crust pizza are both perfectly at home at a party.


. 9 Prepare Your Breakfast

Load your pancake and waffle dough so you're not hungry enough to miss bacon and eggs. "Mix butternut squash purée in pancakes or waffle dough for vitamins, fiber and sweetness," says Graff. Stack fresh fruit on your french toast or pancake in the summer.

10th Hug Your Beans

Beans are a magical ingredient when it comes to vegetable food. Not only do you add the right amount of fiber and protein you need to stay full, they are also versatile. Use a variety of beans and vegetables to prepare a hearty, meat-free chili, or choose bean-based noodles (available from well-known brands such as Barilla and Explore Cuisine) for your favorite pasta dish.

  Light Vegetarian Chili .jpg

Pack your chili full of beans and vegetables instead of meat.


. 11 Use applesauce instead of eggs

Here's a baking set that might surprise you. "Unsweetened applesauce acts as a binder to keep your baked goods as wet as eggs," says Trevino. Look at other egg alternatives for sweet and savory recipes.

Read more: Healthy Dessert Ingredient Swaps You Will Not Even Notice

12. Rethinking Tofu

This staple of Asian cuisine can be used much more than just a pan. The solid type deep-fries well, so use it for artificial chicken nuggets or popcorn shrimp. Its mild taste is also evident in dishes with many other flavors and spices, such as a pot pie or our vegan lasagna recipe. And while you're at it, familiarize yourself with your cousin, including Tempeh.

  Vegan lasagne "data-original =" https://cnet3.cbsistatic.com/img/CmQ_UuduiTmeDDsn65nRHyijaK0=/2019/08/17/71931634-4db1-4341-a932-f5380f4b4de3/vegan-chlasagna-recipe-recove jpg

Firm tofu replaces ricotta cheese in this savory vegan lasagna.


This story was written by Alyssa Jung and originally published by Chowhound.

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