After the back-to-back festive feasting during Christmas and Chinese New Year, chances are your body is yearning for a clean diet. Here’s where a plant-based diet can help! High in fibre and rich in vitamins and minerals, the meat-free ingredients help you maintain a good energy level throughout the day, improve digestion, and boost overall health.Concerned that eating clean means eating bland or boring? Have no fear! Here’s a “free trial” to help you sample a meal’s worth of tasty plant-based dishes and find out whether it’s for you!
Start Off With The Avocado Banana Smoothie
We’re starting off creamy, sweet, and healthy! Smoothies are a delicious way to easily get all the goodness on the go with little to no preparation. All you need is a strong trusty blender, and once you pop everything in, you’re ready to go!Get this, it only needs 5 ingredients and 5 minutes - perfect for you to start the day quickly.Ingredients:
1 large frozen banana
1/2 medium ripe avocado
1 scoop plain or vanilla protein powder
1 large handful of greens of choice
1 cup unsweetened plain almond milk (or any dairy-free milk)
Just one: blend, pour, enjoy!
A Tasty, Spicy, Flavour-Filled Lunch: Savoury Cauliflower Curry
Warm, spiced, and packed with flavour, this healthy cauliflower curry is all the proof you need that plant-based dishes aren’t boring and bland! This entire meal can be prepared in just 30 minutes - perfect for a quick but wholesome lunch. Ingredients:
1 yellow onion
1 pound sweet potato (4 cups chopped)
1 head cauliflower (5 cups chopped)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt, divided
2 tablespoons curry powder*
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne
28-ounce can diced tomatoes, San Marzano if possible
15-ounce can full-fat coconut milk*
15-ounce can chickpeas (or 1 1/2 cups cooked)
4 cups spinach leaves
Cilantro, for garnish
Brown or white rice, for serving
Prepare the rice in a rice cooker.
Dice and chop the onion, sweet potato and cauliflower into bite-sized pieces.
Heat a non-stick skillet over high heat and saute the onions for 2 minutes. Add sweet potato, cauliflower, and spices in this order.
Add tomatoes and coconut milk and bring to a boil.
Simmer until vegetables are tender.
When the vegetables are tender, add the chickpeas and 4 cups of spinach and stir for 2 minutes until the spinach is wilted. Add another ½ teaspoon salt to taste.
Garnish and serve.
A Sweet Way to End the Meal: Blackberry Crumb Bars
Perfect for young children, these blackberry crumb bars are bite-sized, healthy, and delightfully sweet! Incredibly easy to make, these bars can be prepared in bulk and stored for the next few days. Delicious, chewy and crumbly, these bars will definitely be a hit for dessert. Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups of rolled oats
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cups coconut oil, melted and cooled
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For the Blackberry Jam Filling
450g fresh blackberries
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp tapioca starch
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground ginger
Preheat the oven to 180-degrees Celsius and line an 8x8" baking pan with parchment paper, leaving "handles" overlapping the sides. Set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, rolled oats, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.
Melt the coconut oil in the microwave for 30 seconds, then cool slightly. Pour into the dry mixture along with the egg and vanilla extract. Stir well to combine.
Press three-quarters of the oatmeal mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Reserve the remaining mixture.
Add the blackberries, maple syrup, lemon juice, starch, vanilla, and ginger to a small saucepan and place over medium heat. When it begins to boil, reduce the heat to low; simmer for 3-4 minutes, mashing some of the berries with a spatula. When some of the berries are broken down, remove the saucepan from the heat and allow it to cool for a couple of minutes.
Pour the blackberry mixture over the top of the oatmeal mixture in the pan. Then, sprinkle the remaining oatmeal mixture evenly over the top.
Bake the bars for 35-40 minutes or until the top is set and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Remove pan from oven and allow to cool completely before removing to a board and slicing (unless you want a jammy mess!). Slice into 16 bars. Enjoy!