Meatless Meals: The Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet
Health experts all agree: One easy way to improve your diet and health may be to eat more foods that come from plants. Plant-based diets boast many health benefits, like being higher in fiber, vitamins and minerals and lower in fat. According to the Mayo Clinic, people who follow plant-based diets generally eat fewer calories and less fat, weigh less and have a lower risk of heart disease than meat eaters. The nutrients and phytochemicals in fruits, vegetables, beans and soy may also help improve your immune system and protect you against cancer.
Just one or two meatless meals per week may help you reap the benefits of a plant-based diet.
Plants and Protein
We know what you’re thinking: Can I get enough protein on a plant-based diet? Yes! There are plenty of protein sources that come from plants, including beans, lentils, nuts, nut butters, soy and tofu. Incorporating at least one plant protein in any meatless meal is the key! On top of meeting your protein needs, a plant-based diet also helps you consume more fiber, folate, iron, potassium, magnesium, copper and thiamin. Here’s another bonus: Plant-based protein also tends to be less expensive than meat, so it may help you save money too!
Old habits die hard, even when it comes to your weekly menu. But swapping out just one or two meals with a meatless option may be a great way to reimagine your go-to dinners while still reaping the potential health benefits of a plant-based diet. All you meat lovers just breathed a huge sigh of relief, right?
Here are a few ways to kick-start your meatlesss meals:
- Instead of making meat your main course, let vegetables be the star.
- On your next shopping trip, choose something from the produce section you normally walk past and experiment with it at home.
- Look for different versions of familiar ingredients to use on the side, such as brown rice, whole-wheat pasta or oats—or things that may be unfamiliar, like buckwheat, quinoa or millet.
- Try one of our meatless recipes!
Dip your taste buds into plant-based and meat-free eating with our quick and delicious meatless recipes!
Good Morning Egg Muffins
Eggs may be traditional breakfast fare, but these tasty meatless muffins also make a great snack any time of day! Whip up a couple of batches and refrigerate or freeze so you always have a healthy on-the-go meal option.
- 5 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3/4 cup tomatoes, chopped (1-2 medium)
- 1/2 cup green or red bell peppers, chopped (1 large bell pepper)
- 1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
- 1 cup kale or spinach, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, rosemary or oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried Italian or other seasoning of choice
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 6-cup muffin pan with paper liners or grease with olive oil.
- Whisk the eggs, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Whisk yogurt into the eggs until smooth.
- Heat olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables and herbs or seasoning, and stir to combine. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool to room temperature; then fold into the egg mixture.
- Divide mixture among prepared muffin cups and bake for 25 minutes or until the tops are raised and browned.
- To store, cool completely and put in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 4 days, or freeze in an airtight freezer bag or container for up to a month.
Nutrition Information Per Serving:
Check back soon for more meatless recipes!