Plant Based Diet Dinner

Plant Based Diet Dinner

When planning our plant based diet dinner menu we prefer to use whole foods rather than processed ones in our recipes. Let’s start by explaining what a whole food plant based diet is.

A whole food plant based diet is one that is based on vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains. It excludes (or minimizes) all meat products such as beef, pork and chicken, seafood such as fish and shellfish and any animal by-products such as eggs, butter, and milk. A whole food plant based diet also excludes highly processed things such as refined flour, sugar and oils. (1)

The easiest way to plan a plant based diet dinner is to focus on delicious, nutritious whole foods such as:

Non-Starchy and Leafy Vegetables: spinach, lettuce, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms and asparagus.

Fruit: strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, watermelon, banana, cherry, apple, tangerine, pineapple and mango.

Starchy Vegetables and tubers: sweet potato, potato, corn, yam, winter squash.

Whole Grains: quinoa, millet, barley, rice, oats, whole wheat.

Legumes: beans (black, chickpea, garbanzo, soybean, white), lentils, green peas.

All of these foods are not only delicious but they are also extremely nutritious and satisfying. Just about any traditional recipe can be converted into a plant based diet dinner recipe.

Here are a few tips when planning your plant based diet dinner:

  • Make a list of all the meat-free meals you already prepare (like bean burritos and spaghetti)
  • Convert a traditional recipe using meat by substituting a plant based alternative:
    • Replace burgers with a veggie burger
    • Prepare tacos or burritos with your favorite beans, rice, vegetables, guacamole and salsa
    • Make a plant based chili using beans rather than meat
    • Cook soups using vegetable broth and leave out the meat
  • Check out popular plant based blogs for new recipe ideas
  • Experiment with new plant based products that are on the market today

Plant Based Diet Dinner Recipe: Mushroom Stew

Ingredients

  • ½ cup wine of your choice (red or white works just fine)
  • 4 large Portobello mushrooms (or the equivalent of your choice of mushroom), sliced into bite sized pieces
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 3 cups vegetable broth, divided (we used mushroom broth)
  • 4 large potatoes, cut into chunks (Russet, red, golden)
  • 4 large carrots, sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 teaspoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary

Method

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In large saucepan, heat ¼ cup wine and add mushrooms. Allow to cook and brown then remove from pan and set aside.

Add remaining ¼ cup wine to the saucepan and add in onion and garlic. Caramelize slightly making sure not to burn the garlic. Remove from pan and set aside.

Mix flour, sage, and basil in a medium bowl. Stir in ¼ cup of broth to create a paste then pour mixture into the same pan used to cook mushrooms and onions. Stir constantly over medium heat. Slowly add in the remaining broth to create a gravy/ thick sauce.

When mixture begins to boil, turn off heat and add any other seasonings you may like such as salt, pepper, or parsley.

Add potatoes, carrots, and Worcestershire sauce to gravy mixture. If more liquid is needed, add more broth.

Add mushrooms and onions to the mixture and pour everything into a large Dutch oven or casserole dish. Top with fresh thyme and rosemary then put on the lid. Bake for one hour. Remove and serve hot.

Plant Based Diet Dinner Recipe: Sweet Potato Chili

Plant Based Diet Dinner Recipe Sweet Potato Chili

Ingredients

  • cups dried beans, soaked overnight (black beans, pinto beans, navy beans)
  • 28 ounces crush tomatoes
  • 1 large red onion, chopped fine
  • 1 large sweet potato, cubed – you can leave the skin on if you like
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons crush red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cacao powder or 1 large square of dark chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Toppings: plant based cheddar cheese, green onions, avocado, cilantro

Method

Place all ingredients into a slow cooker and stir well to combine.

Set slow cooker to desired heat setting depending on your cook time. We cooked ours on low for around 6 hours but if you set it to high it would be ready in 4.

We served this over jasmine rice.

Plant Based Diet Dinner Recipe: Lentil Stew

Plant Based Diet Dinner Recipe Lentil Stew

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup vegetable broth (for sautéing)
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped fine
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup green lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1 cup kale, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Method

Bring broth to a simmer and in chopped onions and carrots. Cook, stirring often, until onions are softened and also translucent – approximately five minutes.

Add in the garlic, cumin, curry powder and thyme. Cook until it becomes fragrant, stirring constantly for approximately one minute.

Pour in the crushed tomatoes and cook for approximately five minutes, stirring often.

Pour in the lentils, vegetable broth and the water. Add in 1 teaspoon of salt and one large pinch of red pepper flakes. Season very generously with freshly cracked black pepper. Increase the heat to high and bring everything to a boil.

Partially cover the pot and lower the heat down until it is just barely a gentle simmer.

Cook the stew for approximately thirty minutes or just until the lentils are tender. You do not want to overcook them because they will turn into mush.

Transfer two cups of the stew into a blender. Blend until the stew becomes completely smooth. Pour this pureed soup back into the pot and add in the chopped kale. Cook everything for an additional five minutes or until the kale has cooked and is completely softened.

Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Taste and season with more salt, pepper and lemon juice if you prefer. Serve stew immediately. If you like, you can freeze this for 2 months or it will store in the refrigerator for up to four days.