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9 Tips to Eat More Plant Based Meals

9 Tips to Eat More Plant Based Meals

A beginners guide

Going plant-based doesn’t have to be a major decision that you overthink into paralysis.  It can be done slowly one meal at a time!  Check out these tips to start including more fruits and vegetables in your diet today! 

1.     Start by looking at what you can add.  Which meals do you and your family already love?  Are mac n cheese, meatloaf and pizza on the list?  Let’s see how we can add more plants! Try adding chopped steamed broccoli into the cheese sauce, add sauteed peppers and onions to your meatloaf and pop open a salad kit to go along with pizza night.  Viola, plant-forward dinners are served. 

2.     Start with just one vegetable your first week, so you don’t overwhelm yourself.  Think about how you could take a head of cauliflower and try incorporating it a bunch of different ways.  You could roast it whole as an entrée or, you could mash it like potatoes for a tasty side dish.  You’ll gain a comfort level for what to do with it, so it doesn’t seem foreign.

3.     Do a little research.  Pick three new (plant-forward) recipes that you really get excited about.  Commit to trying them and then add them to the rotation.  Going vegan or vegetarian can require different cooking skills so it’s best to start slowly. 

4.     Stick to what you know how to make – especially in the beginning.  Do you have chicken salad on repeat for a quick lunch?  Try using mashed chickpeas instead.  Are Taco Tuesdays on rotation?  Add more produce with this recipe that includes the DOLE® Ultimate Caesar Kit. 

5.     Lean on your grocery store for meal prep.  Will buying a premade mirepoix (chopped carrots, celery and onions) make a quick minestrone soup come to life for you?  What about meal prep kids like Dole’s Sheetpan Meal Starter Kit

6.     Substitute, in full or partially!  Take a meal your family already loves like turkey meatballs or baked ziti and substitute half of the ground meat with diced mushrooms or lentils.

7.     Jump on the “bowl” craze.  Literally, grab your favorite bowl, start with a base of greens and add from there!  You could create a cold Buddha bowl with other vegetables and proteins or add cooked brown rice and curry for a warm option. 

8.     Remember that whole grains are plants too!  Oatmeal, quinoa and farro are great additions to make at meals, and they’re particularly easy to have for breakfast! 

9.     Be sure to get enough protein!  When going plant-based it’s easy to eliminate animal proteins and substitute them with vegetables.  But, if you don’t add plant sources of protein, you will feel unsatisfied.  Turn to beans, tofu, nuts, seeds, lentils if you’re looking for plant-based options!


Published October 1, 2022

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