Restore and energize your health with this stunning collection of plant-based recipes chock-full of powerful, anti-inflammatory foods that heal.
Revolutionize your approach to a healthy diet with the power of plant-based foods and follow one simple ruleeat more plants. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian, or meat-eater, we can all benefit from eating more plants for vibrant living. Eat More Plants shows you how to transform your diet with powerful anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense plants, and to create delicious meals to support your immune system, gut health, fight disease, reduce stress, and restore balance.
In Eat More Plants, registered dietitian Desiree Nielsen shows you a myriad of ways to add the most healthful gluten-free, plant-based foods to every meal. Packed with more than 100 anti-inflammatory recipes to meet the demands of modern life, including Blackberry Ginger Muffins, Edamame Hula Bowl with Almond Miso Sauce, Socca Pizza with Zucchini, Olives, and Basil, Creamy Pasta with Smoked Tofu and Kale, Green Machine Burgers, Tahini Date Shakes, Pineapple Ginger Cream Tart, and Cocoa Cherry Brownies. Along with expert advice on understanding inflammation and the power of plants, the book includes a 21-day meal plan to help you eat more plants!
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About the Author
DESIREE NIELSEN is a registered dietitian, author of Unjunk Your Diet, and host of The Urban Vegetarian, a cooking show on Gusto TV and Z Living. She is regularly quoted in publications such as Best Health, Canadian Living, Chatelaine, Family Circle, SELF Magazine, Hello Canada, and MindBodyGreen. Desiree appears monthly on Global BC Weekend and Breakfast Television (Vancouver). She is a member of the editorial advisory board of Alive magazine, US edition.
Read an Excerpt
I really like to eat. I also like to cook, so I can eat the food I enjoy the most— healthy, energizing, and so delicious that there is no talk of compromise.
I have been a vegetarian for twenty years. I wish I could say I had noble intentions around making the change, but really, I did it to impress a boy I liked! True story. It is funny how life works; that short-lived teenage crush was the origin of a transformative shift for me. Becoming vegetarian led to a lifelong love of mindfulness, yoga, and of course, nutrition. Back then, I thought mac and cheese was the height of sophistication and health. Vegetarian eating meant no meat, but that did not necessarily equate to eating many whole plant foods.
Shortly after I became vegetarian, I tried a brief and somewhat disastrous stint with totally plant-based eating that left me hungry because I did not really know how to craft a nutritious plant-based meal. But times have changed. I am now a plant-based eater, but I did not get here overnight. It was a slow transition that felt positive and joyful at every step. Moving toward a more plant-based, anti-inflammatory eating plan is probably one of the most transformative actions you can take for your health. It will help you feel more energized and resilient in your everyday life. It will also help you prevent chronic illness and support you in healing.
It takes time to unlearn the hyper-processed eating pattern that is so common in our world. When you break rank with the status quo and dip your toe into plant-based living, it might feel foreign. It might even taste foreign (which is ironic, since by definition artificial sweeteners and colours are the foreign ingredients). However, when you explore it with a sense of play—free of absolutes—you will discover that this plant stuff is actually delicious. Of course, it is all in the approach. Go ahead and add a bit of extra salt or maple syrup to your meal if you need it to help you transition your taste buds. Have fun exploring plant-based versions of your favourite meals. Do not force yourself to eat foods you hate or attempt to cook tofu for the first time without a recipe, or you may think this healthy eating stuff isn’t worth the price of admission.
By putting this book in your hands, you are on the right track. When you cook and eat these recipes, you may feel a bit peppier and want to feel that way again. It does not matter if you want nachos on a Friday night (and I have a queso recipe to help with that!). Just eat plants the rest of the time.
Just Eat More Plants
There are few absolutes in nutrition, but every single one of us can benefit from eating more plants. Regardless of how you choose to eat, this is the one rule we all need to live by. If you love bacon, have a little less and be sure to eat more plants. If you eat a vegan diet, watch the cookies and be sure to eat more plants.
Although the dietary tribes will not always admit this, what they have in common is plants. A truly Paleo plate? A little bit of animal protein and 75 percent plants. A whole food vegan diet? All plants. Even ketogenic diets, when done well, can include many low-carbohydrate plants.
Life demands more from us than ever before. Stress, poor food choices, and inactivity are all too common, and they are saddling us with chronic inflammatory issues like metabolic syndrome, digestive trouble, and autoimmunity. Food is often a big part of our ills . . . and anti-inflammatory, plant-based eating is a big part of the solution. However, what that looks like for you is your decision.
If you want to go fully plant-based, good on you. I am all for it! It is an incredible way to live, and I have a chapter that will help guide you through the transition. However, if you cannot imagine a life without a burger, do not think that a plant-centred life is not for you. The more we pile our plate with plants, the better it is for our bodies, our ecosystem, and our pocketbooks. Eat the recipes in this book as often as you can. Start slowly and see where it takes you.
Wherever you are in your wellness journey, adopting a more plant-based, anti-inflammatory diet will help you get to where you are going. Stay open-minded and be gentle with yourself, as making change is never a straight line. There is no right or wrong here. Have fun in the kitchen and enjoy what you eat! I am honoured that you have chosen this book to help you eat more plants.
True wellness, particularly when your intention is to calm inflammation, is a way of living as much as it is a way of eating. The thoughts we think and the way we move our bodies have just as much of an impact as how we choose to eat. As you explore preparing more anti-inflammatory meals for yourself, consider how the following principles can help guide you in building a truly vibrant life.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
There is no one right way to eat; we all need to find the way of eating that helps us feel our best. You can do that by observing how the food you eat makes you feel: physically, emotionally, and psychologically.
GET PLANT POWERED
Plant-based foods are nature’s nutrient-dense gift to you. Eating more plants is a way of nourishing your body, respecting the impact that your food choices have on others, and treading more lightly on the planet.
Perfection is a myth; be gentle with your intentions to eat well and give yourself the flexibility to choose foods that nourish your soul as well as your body. There is no right or wrong. Work toward disconnecting your self-worth from your food choices. At the end of the day, it is just food.
EMBRACE AN ATTITUDE OF MORE, NOT LESS
Focusing on eating less, or choosing certain foods less often, leads to a sense of deprivation, loss, and anxiety. Instead, focus on what to do more often. Eat more plants. Drink more water. Cook more often. Make eating well a positive, joyful process.
CREATE SPACE FOR CHANGE
Making change takes effort. Create the space in your life to allow it to happen. Release commitments that are not important to you so you can shop and cook. Spend time moving your body. Carve out time for stillness and be mindful. Unplug from your screens daily and let your mind wander and be at rest. Make sleep a priority.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
Choose single-ingredient foods more often—eat real food, not hyper-processed approximations of it. Instead of ordering takeout, get your hands dirty in the kitchen. Reconnect to where your food comes from and grow something on a windowsill or patio or in your backyard. Spend as much time outside as humanly possible and breathe deeply.
FIND YOUR INNER STRENGTH
Your body has the remarkable capacity to repair and rebuild. This ability is sewn into your DNA and is an integral component of life itself. Know that no matter where you are starting from, you can support your body in healing and find a new vitality. Nourishing yourself well will help you tap into your potential in other aspects of your life with a newfound energy
Table of Contents
1 Understanding Inflammation and Why it Matters 11
2 The Transformative Power of Plant-Based Foods 35
3 Nutrition for a Plant-Based Diet 49
4 Setting Up Your Kitchen and Meal Prep Basics 69
5 Breakfasts Worth Waking Up For
Matcha Mango Chia Pudding 91
Golden Milk Porridge 92
Peaches and Cream Breakfast Parfait 94
Moroccan Mint Smoothie 95
Ginger Turmeric Smoothie 97
Blushing Beet Smoothie Bowl 98
Green Goddess Tofu Scramble 100
Tahini Fig Toast 103
High-Protein Blueberry Almond Scones 104
Blackberry Ginger Muffins 105
Protein-Packed Savoury Tofu Muffins 106
Healthy Breakfast Cupcakes with Salted Chocolate Frosting 109
6 Salads That Go Beyond Lettuce
Roasted Asparagus, Almond, and Lemony Millet Salad 113
Zucchini Zoodles with Sungold Cherry Tomato Sauce 114
Pink Grapefruit, Fennel, and Watermelon Radish Salad 116
Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Creamy Caper-Raisin Dressing 117
Spiced Chickpea, Sundried Tomato, and Spinach Salad 119
Roasted Sunchoke, Fennel, and Pistachio Salad 120
Jicama, Orange, and Pumpkin Seed Salad 123
Quinoa, Beet, and Kale Salad with Pistachio Butter Dressing 124
Harissa-Spiked Carrot and White Sean Salad 127
Vietnamese Cucumber Salad with Ginger and Mint 128
Grilled Tofu Caprese Salad 131
Green Pea, Radish, and Date Salad with Apple Miso Dressing 132
Pan-Roasted Grape and Arugula Salad with Oat and Walnut Crumble 135
7 Soul-Satisfying Plant-Based Meals
Shiitake BLT Sandwich 139
Green Machine Burgers 140
Lentil and Walnut Tacos with Turmeric Pickled Onions and Corn and Avocado Salsa 143
Jicama Avocado Tocos 144
Smoky Peanut Corn Chowder 145
Winter Sunchoke Soup with Cilantro Pesto 146
Red Grape, Chickpea, and Pine Nut Stew 149
Portuguese Green Bean Stew 150
Stir-Fried Black Rice with Kimchi and Asian Greens 151
Plant-Style Teppanyaki Noodles 152
Spicy Miso Soba Bowl 155
Carrot Tofu Hippie Scramble 156
Creamy Pasta with Smoked Tofu and Kale 159
Chipotle Tofu Mole 160
Lemon Millet Risotto with Roasted Radicchio 161
Carrot White Bean Risotto 162
Sweet Potato Pasto with Mushrooms and Walnut Cream 165
Chickpea Gnocchi with Olive Tomato Sauce 166
Martian Macaroni 169
Socca Pizza with Zucchini, Olives, and Basil 171
Channa Masala 173
Chickpea Panisse with Edamame and Lemon 174
Mujadara Neat-Balls in Spiced Tomato Sauce 177
Cauliflower Peperonata Sauté 178
Edamame Hula Bowl with Almond Miso Sauce 181
Mayo-Roasted Carrots with Curried Millet 182
Miso-Roasted Taro and Black Beans 185
8 Super-Powered Starters, Snacks, and Sides
Truffled Mushroom Pâté 189
Grilled Avocado in Black Bean Broth 190
Spiced Carrot Dip 193
Beet Tartare 194
Celeriac Lentil Fritters with Date Jam 197
Sweet Potato Jackfruit Sliders 198
Baked Tofu Paneer with Mint Chutney 201
Fried Eggplant with Chili and Pomegranate Molasses 203
Green Onion Pancakes with XOXO Sauce 207
XOXO Sauce 208
Mexican Street Corn 209
Tomato Jam Tartines 210
Plant-Powered Charcuterie Board 213
Chili Garlic Brussels Sprouts 214
Celeriac Mash 215
Cheesy Lentil Grits 216
9 Sweets with Benefits
Avocado Panna Cotta with Tequila Smashed Blackberries 221
Almond Snickerdoodle Cookies 222
Chocolate Hummus 224
Salted Caramel Almond Blondies 225
Lemon Coconut Zinger Squares 227
Pineapple Ginger Cream Tart 228
Lebanese Turmeric Cake 231
Cocoa Cherry Brownies 232
Peanut Butter Energy Fudge 233
Carrot Tahini Granola Bars 234
Pistachio and Cardamom Doughnuts with Rosewater Glaze 237
Raspberry Cacao Slice 238
Pumpkin Pie Energy Balls 241
10 Energizing Drinks
Iced Ginger Vanilla Matcha Latte 246
Tahini Date Shake 249
Turmeric Chai 250
Cardamom Rose Beet Latte 252
Cinnamon Walnut Horchata 253
Superfood Hot Chocolate 255
11 Plant-Based Staples
Turmeric Mayonnaise 259
Almond Ricotta Cheese 260
Masala Chai Almond Butter 261
Beet Pesto 262
Queso Dip 264
Seedy Crackers 265
Real Deal Gluten-Free Bread 267
DIY Alternative Flour 269
DIY Nut Milk 270
Fermented Cashew Cream Cheese 271
Fermented Ketchup 272
Lacto-Fermented Beet Noodles 273
Lac to-Fermented Turmeric Onions 274
Red Cabbage Sauerkraut 277
Favorite Suppliers 279