3 Simple Plant-Based Recipes For Everday Cooking
Start writing a post

3 Simple Plant-Based Recipes For Everday Cooking

Because plant-based dieting is easier than you'd think!

3 Simple Plant-Based Recipes For Everday Cooking
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

The beauty of a modern plant-based diet is its uncomplicated definition. Dietitians define these eating patterns as those which focus primarily on plant foods — including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and beans — but do not disallow animal products like meat, dairy, or eggs. Essentially, meals are simply based on plant products. Pretty self-explanatory.

Such a definition allows a health-conscious consumer the flexibility to adhere to a variety of heart-healthy diets, like vegetarian and Mediterranean diets, as well as an escape from the anti-meat or anti-animal-product boundaries that might otherwise deter a well-meaning dieter from their plan altogether.

Here, I've gathered a day's worth of plant-based meal recipes that illustrate the diet's versatility and simplicity. This vegetarian breakfast, vegan lunch, and Mediterranean dinner are affordable, easy to cook, and tasty — as a college student, they're my healthy go-to's.

1. For breakfast, try a vegetarian quiche.

sliced pie on white ceramic platePhoto by James Harris on Unsplash

This is my dad's recipe, and so it follows his laissez-faire attitude toward measurements in cooking. "Use whatever amount looks right," he always answers when I ask how much of a vegetable or spice to add, so good luck here. Quiche is hard to mess up anyway.

Preheat your oven to 350. After reaching the temperature, set two frozen pie crusts on a sheet pan and bake for about 3 minutes; then remove them, poke holes in the crusts with a fork, and cook another 3 minutes (-ish).

Dice about half a white onion and separate florets from two heads of broccoli. Gather spinach and sliced brown mushrooms, keeping all vegetables separate and in equal amounts. Layer these veggies one at a time in your warmed pie crusts, then top with a handful of shredded cheddar cheese and about two tablespoons of fresh parsley.

Prepare your egg filling by mixing 6 eggs; about 3/4 of a quart of heavy cream (for a 1:1 egg to cream ratio); dashes of salt, pepper, and allspice; and a TON of nutmeg until your mixture is whipped, but not wispy. Pour the mix slowly on top of your layered pie crusts and top with a generous amount of paprika. Cook the pies at 350 for 25-40 minutes, checking periodically after the 25-minute mark — the pies should be just firm enough that they don't seem to jiggle.

Your two quiches should give you a week's worth of protein-packed breakfasts worth around $2 per day!

2. Make a vibrant and vegan kale salad for lunch.

nuts and parsley in a bowlPhoto by Deryn Macey on Unsplash

Easy to prep and fun to create, this salad boasts bold flavors that'll remind you of summertime. I like to combine my kale with chopped red apples (the tarter the better; I prefer Honeycrisp), sliced almonds, and dried cranberries. You could also add diced red onion, walnuts, pecans, or sunflower seeds—most nuts or seeds, really. If you've got a steamer, you could try blanching your kale for an easier, less crunchy bite.

Make yourself a tart vinaigrette by combining extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar (especially if you have any fruity-flavored variants), and honey to your liking. Season the vinaigrette with salt, pepper, rosemary, and thyme.

This vegan salad is nutrient-dense, antioxidant-heavy, and outstandingly flavorful. It's also a fresh contrast to our savory baked quiche breakfast.

3. Sauté a Mediterranean one-pan fish and veggie dinner.

cooked foodPhoto by Casey Lee on Unsplash

I find myself making some variant of this dinner every single week. It's impossibly easy, especially if you'd rather forgo the cost-effective veggie-prepping route and buy pre-cut or pre-mixed veggies from your Trader Joe's or Wegmans. A few of my favorite combinations include:

- Tilapia, broccoli, and cauliflower, dressed with white wine , garlic, and Italian herbs.

- Salmon with zucchini, tomato, and spinach in a basil pesto.

- Fajita-like tilapia and peppers using chili pepper, paprika, cayenne, garlic, and onion.

Honestly, this style of dinner is whatever you'd like to make of it. Each combination I use requires the same steps, though: begin by heating olive (or avocado) oil over medium heat and sautéing a bit of garlic and onion. Add in your thicker veggies first, like zucchini, broccoli, or peppers, and season. After about three minutes, add in your fish and softer veggies, like spinach or tomato. Season and cook the fish for at least three minutes on each side, and enjoy!

You can find frozen fish filets often in bulk, low-cost packages, and these affordable veggies can also be tossed into your next quiche. Repeating ingredients but varying their flavors between meals is the easiest way to maintain a wallet-friendly diet.

Together, these meals constitute one nutritious plant-based day. It's easy to add or substitute meats into these meals, but they're still exceptional in their absence.

For more information about plant-based dieting, visit the Harvard Health Blog here.

Report this Content
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments