Recipes and tips to increasing plant-based foods in your diet

Recipes and tips to increasing plant-based foods in your diet

Recipes and tips to increasing plant-based foods in your diet 1024 577 Alternative Kitchen

Eating plant-based meals can help the environment – but that doesn’t mean a salad every time!

Interested in adopting more of a plant-based diet? Here are several tips, and tasty recipes to try.

Why choose plant-based foods?

Project Drawdown’s comprehensive list of global solutions to climate change ranks a plant-based diet in fourth spot. Eating plant-based ranks this high because studies have shown meat and dairy products can have a significant impact on our environment, compared to plant-based foods. Beef has one of the highest greenhouse gas impacts of all meats.

So, you’re concerned about the environment and looking for a simple way to help? Including more plant-based foods in your diet is a good way to start.

Baby steps . . .

Even just several meals a week without meat and dairy start to have an impact. Start small with Meatless Mondays. And experiment with new foods and recipes to see what you like.

Starting with a favourite dish or recipe that usually includes beef, try substituting the beef for something else like ground turkey, chicken or tofu, or go all the way with our “meat alternative proteins” like the Veggie Meatless Balls. These cook and taste like the real thing.

Below are a couple plant-based recipes to help you get started.

banana pancakes

Banana pancakes


  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ¼–½ cup almond milk
  • Cinnamon (optional)
  • Chocolate chips or blueberries (optional)
  • Organic maple syrup


  1. Blend banana, oats and milk in blender; start with a small amount of milk and add more as necessary.
  2. Add blueberries, nuts or chocolate chips (optional).
  3. Heat a pan with coconut oil over low to medium heat.
  4. Pour batter in the pan until you have about a palm-sized pancake.
  5. Cook on one side until a spatula can slide under to flip firmly. Cook until golden brown on both sides.
  6. Top with organic maple syrup.

minestrone soup

Minestrone soup


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 1 cup peeled, chopped zucchini (about 1 zucchini)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 can (28 ounces) petite diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans (drained & rinsed)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 3 cans (14.75 ounces each) vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoons pepper
  • 1 cup spinach leaves (about 2 small handfuls)
  • 1½ cups small shell pasta


  1. Melt butter and olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onion, carrots, celery, zucchini and ½ teaspoon salt.
  3. Let cook for 8–10 minutes until tender, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the diced tomatoes, beans, tomato sauce, vegetable broth, basil, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir together and let come to a low boil.
  5. Once boiling, turn down the heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Add spinach and dried pasta shells. Let cook until pasta is done. About 10 minutes, depending on what size pasta you use.

sweet potatoes

Mexican quinoa-stuffed sweet potatoes


  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • ¼ cup chopped bell pepper
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup canned black beans drained & rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1 avocado, mashed
  • Tahini
  • Hot sauce
  • Chopped cilantro


  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
  2. Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and prick with a fork. Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and pepper, and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add corn, quinoa, black beans and spices and cook 2–3 more minutes.
  5. When sweet potatoes are fork tender, remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice in half and place each half on a plate.
  6. Top with quinoa mixture, avocado and a drizzle of both tahini and hot sauce. Finish with a sprinkle of cilantro. Enjoy!