Healthy diets focus on eating more plants and less meat.
Research consistently shows that plant-based diets are linked with a lower risk of obesity, hypertension, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer.
Another benefit of eating more plant-based foods is that it increases your intake of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. They are also excellent sources of phytochemicals, which are plant compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Healthy Diets Go Meatless One Day a Week
Healthy diet experts recommend going meatless one day a week as an easy way to eat more plant-based meals.
Sharon Palmer, a registered dietitian and author of “Plant-Powered for Life,” is just one of the many Nutritionists and Dieticians who recommends eating less meat and more plants.
“Picking one day of the week to go plant-based and marking it on the calendar is a good way to stick to your plant-eating plan. I love the Meatless Monday idea, because people often start their best behaviors at the beginning of the week. However, there may be a better day of the week for you, so just plan it.”
• Even going meatless one day a week can make a difference, as you increase all of those whole plant foods — beans, lentils, whole grains, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits — and decrease more animal foods, in particular red and processed meat. High intakes of these foods have been linked with increased disease risk.
• Stocking your pantry and fridge with a variety of beans, whole grains, seasonal veggies, fruits, spices, herbs, healthy oils, nuts and seeds is the secret to eating more plant-based meals.
• “Plantifying” your favorite dishes is easier than you think.
• Just make your favorite entrees or meals plant-based, with a few swaps.
• If you have a mean lasagna recipe, skip the meat and add layers of greens, broccoli and peppers and perhaps some pine nuts and cashew cheese instead of the meat and cheese.
• If you love taco Tuesday, make your tacos veggie by skipping the meat and serving black beans or a vegetarian mushroom tofu filling.
• If you love Indian food, skip the chicken masala and have chickpea masala instead.
Healthy Diet Vegan Recipe
Try this healthy diet recipe. It contains no animal products. So, if you’re sensitive to or just avoiding dairy, this will work with your healthy diet.
Cauliflower has become a healthy diet stand-in for mashed potatoes. If you love risotto, but lots of butter and cheese are not part of your healthy diet plan, give this innovative recipe a try. It does require quite a few steps, but you’ll find the taste and consistency will satisfying a craving for the creamiest risotto.
Creamy Vegan Risotto with Quinoa, Asparagus, and Cauliflower
Thanks to a few sneaky ingredients, this dairy free quinoa risotto delivers the decadence that makes risotto so satisfying, but is higher in protein. It is also 100% whole grain and packed with vegetables.
In place of Parmesan, this vegan risotto recipe uses nutritional yeast, which is loaded with nutrients and tastes surprisingly “cheesy.” You can add nutritional yeast to salads and roasted vegetables for a cheesy taste while sticking to your healthy diet.
This dish can be served as an entree or a healthy diet side dish.
Ingredients: (serves 4)
• 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into rough florets, divided (about 5 cups)
• 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus additional to taste
• 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided, plus additional to taste
• 14–16 ounces quartered artichoke hearts, drained from a can or defrosted from frozen
• 1 pound asparagus (about 1 small bunch)
• 1 (15-ounce) can reduced-sodium white beans, such as cannellini beans, white kidney beans, or Great Northern beans
• 1 clove garlic, peeled and left whole
• 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast*
• 2 1/3 cups unsweetened almond milk, divided
• 1 large shallot, diced
• 1 cup uncooked quinoa
• 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, plus additional for serving
1. Place a rack in the upper and lower thirds of your oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Coat two large rimmed baking sheets with nonstick spray.
2. Place 3 cups cauliflower florets in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and a pinch (about 1/8 teaspoon) black pepper. Toss to coat, then spread in a single layer on one baking sheet. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until tender and caramelized, tossing once halfway through.
3. Meanwhile, spread the artichokes in a single layer on top of several paper towels. Place a few additional sheets of paper towels on top, then press gently to remove excess water. Transfer the artichokes to a large mixing bowl. Trim the asparagus and cut into 1 1/2-inch diagonal slices, then add to the bowl with the artichokes. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Toss to coat, then spread into a single layer on the second baking sheet. Place in the oven and roast for 15 to 18 minutes, until the veggies are caramelized and tender, tossing once halfway through.
4. While the veggies roast, place the remaining cauliflower florets in a food processor. Pulse a few times until the cauliflower resembles grains of rice, then add the beans, garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and 1/3 cup almond milk. Puree just until smooth.
5. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil in a Dutch oven or medium saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add the shallot and cook until it’s beginning to turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the quinoa, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Stir to coat the quinoa in the oil and shallots, then add the remaining 2 cups almond milk. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat, cover, and let simmer until the quinoa has absorbed most of the liquid, about 12 to 15 minutes.
6. Add the cauliflower bean puree to the quinoa and fold to combine, adding a few extra tablespoons almond milk as needed so that you have a nice, creamy consistency. Stir in the chives. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as desired.
7. Divide the quinoa into serving bowls. Top with a generous serving of roasted vegetables and sprinkle with additional chives. Enjoy immediately.
Nutrition: (per serving)
• Calories: 445 Calories
• Total Fat: 13g
• Carbs: 66g
• Fiber: 16g
• Protein: 22g
Click here for full healthy diet recipe.