3 Simple Ways to Make Your Plant-Based Diet Fun and Flavorful

plant based diet transition tips Feb 13, 2023
pair of hands holding attractive plate of vegetables and legumes

Do you want to move to plant-based eating but worry that your diet will turn bland…and boring? Or have you already started a plant-based diet, but the enthusiasm is waning because you find yourself eating the same plant-based foods ALL the time? This article highlights 3 simple strategies (out of many) that you can immediately implement to keep plant-based eating enjoyable and tasty, no matter where you are on your plant-based journey.

Strategy 1: Add Variety

Unlike what many think, eating a plant-based diet is NOT just carrots, celery and salad. There is a WHOLE world of different plant-based foods just waiting to be explored! These include many different kinds of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, sea vegetables, seeds and fungi (such as various kinds of edible mushrooms).

This is why variety is important. Regularly changing up your plant-based meals will give two BIG benefits. First, it will help you optimize your nutrition on a plant-based diet. This is because each plant-based food has a specific and unique profile of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber and phytochemicals beneficial to our bodies. So, by varying up the plant-based foods that you eat, you’ll best benefit from the different levels of nutrients found in each plant-based food. Changing up the ingredients in your plant-based meals regularly will also help your meals stay interesting. You’ll not only get to try something new, but may find new flavor combinations that you enjoy!

The best part is this – adding variety can be easy to do. It can be as simple as changing up the type of beans you use in your favorite chili or stew recipe. For example, if that recipe uses black beans, try using some kidney beans and/or chickpeas (garbanzo beans) instead. Or perhaps add in a new vegetable to your stew like some chopped rutabaga (also known as Swede). You can also think of additional toppings you can add into your meals such as lentils into a pasta sauce, berries into oatmeal, or perhaps use Bok choy leaves instead of kale in your smoothie.


Strategy 2: Make It Colorful


Heard of the saying ‘eat the rainbow’? When you make your plate as colorful as possible, you’ll be reaping some big benefits. This simple strategy will not only help you get in a variety of nutrients, it will also make your plate naturally more inviting too! 

Children often like to eat colorful meals, and to be honest, so do adults. After all, who wants to eat a drab, dull, brown plate of burnt or overcooked broccoli crowns?  Also, remember the saying ‘we eat with our eyes’? So, a colorful plate also contributes to its perceived deliciousness too!

Adding color to your meals is not difficult to do at all, because the plant-based world is filled with rich, vibrant hues of red, purple, green, blue, black, yellow, orange and everything in between. Just think about a bowl of chopped orange sweet potatoes and red beet slices, mixed with crisp chopped green lettuce leaves and crunchy yellow roasted chickpeas, then drizzled with a creamy lemon tahini sauce on top. Here’s an additional benefit. Making a plate colorful will also help you get in a variety of tastes and textures that will create layers of delight when eating!


Strategy 3: Cook It a Different Way 

It’s easy to get used to cooking the same vegetables or plant-based foods a certain way, day in and day out. In the same way, you can get stuck making the same 4-5 plant-based dishes over and over again…simply because you are comfortable making them or don’t know other good recipes. Over time, though, you will be limiting the range of nutrient-packed whole plant-based foods you are eating, negatively impacting your overall nutrition. You may also eventually find those same plant-based meals less appetizing to eat, lose interest and get demotivated on your plant-based diet.

Here's one easy way to keep your plant-based eating fun and flavorful: simply change up the way you’re cooking now and then! Different cooking techniques can really bring out the tastes and flavors of different plant-based foods. For example, instead of always boiling, try roasting, steaming, sautéing, or grilling. You can try different ethnic recipes as well, which use different aromatic spices and seasonings. Consider trying vegetables and cooked lentils in rice wraps, vegan sushi rolls, or a chickpea and tofu Indian curry using garam marsala, turmeric and other spices.

So don’t be afraid to try out a different way of cooking, new recipes, and even a new spice or seasoning combination often. You may find a new way of cooking certain vegetables or legumes not only easier but also tastier, and this will help jazz up your plant-based eating and keep it fun and flavorful!