An RD’s Trick For Eating More Plants Any Day Of The Week


While eating more plants in general is a great goal for the new year, focusing on plant proteins should be part of that, as well—after all, many vegan protein sources are also good sources of fiber and phytonutrients that you won’t get from animal proteins. 

One of my best tricks for getting more plant proteins into the diet is what I call “going 50/50.” It goes like this: Simply swap half of the protein in a favorite recipe for a plant protein. Animal and plant proteins are not sworn enemies. In fact, they can complement each other quite nicely in meals. 

A good rule of thumb is to swap ¼ cup pulses (beans, chickpeas, lentils, etc.) or an ounce of tofu for every ounce or two of meat. An example where it’s a more seamless swap might be trading in brown lentils for half of the ground meat in a sauce (like in the recipe below!). You’re getting all the benefits of the plant protein and the volume, but you still get the meaty flavor.

For chicken, I like to use chickpeas as a swap. That’s an example where it’s a bit more of a stretch—you’re not putting the chickpeas in there to mimic the taste or texture, but it just works together well. 

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