Four Ways to Lead a More Plant-Based Lifestyle

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At Ki’s Kitchen, we cook solely plant-based meals that are packed with flavour, protein, and nutrients. This diet serves our clientele well in that the food we prepare is based on anti-inflammatory principles and supports people dealing with compromised immune systems.

However, we understand that this lifestyle isn’t for everyone.

Many of our clients do consume some animal products and we are ok with that. What we do find, though, is that more and more of the people we meet are looking to increase the amount of plant-based foods that they consume.

Some of the questions we get asked about plant-based are:

How do I make sure I am getting enough protein?

Is there enough variety on a plant-based diet?

How will I stay full in between meals if I don’t eat meat, fish, or dairy?

So, with today’s blog, we would like to answer these questions, and more! 

We would also like to share some of our favourite ways to ensure your body is getting a wide variety of flavourful, filling, and nutritious plant-based foods.

#1 – Everyone’s Favourite – Pasta

Have you ever met a person who doesn’t love pasta? They may exist, but they’re sure not common! Pasta is comfort food at its best. However, those starches can be pretty starchy, and, if you are also trying to maintain a low-carb diet, using some pasta alternatives can be a great idea.

There are lots of options available now that aren’t made from semolina flour.

  1. a) Try noodles made from lentils, beans, or even kelp. They are packed with protein so will fill you up and help your metabolism 

b) Make your noodles from spiralized veggies – zucchini, carrots, beets, and sweet potatoes work well.

c) Add some diced veggies to your favourite marinara sauce – garlic, onion, mushrooms, peppers, zucchini, or even cauliflower.

BONUS TIP: If your kids protest to chunks of veggies in their sauce, simply use an immersion blender right before serving – they will never know they’re there.

Love a creamy sauce, but not all the calories that come with it? Use half alfredo sauce, and half riced caulflower and/or pureed white beans. You will end up with a smooth, creamy sauce with increased nutrition.

#2 – Increase the ratio

 A family I have worked with said that one of their favourite meals to cook is a stir fry. However, in their endeavour to eat MORE vegetables, they reduced the quantity of meat protein in the dish (and also the quantity of rice they served it with) and significantly increased the amount of veggies.

BONUS TIP: you can also replace the chicken stock that is often found in stir-fry recipes with a vegetable stock. You will not compromise on flavour one bit!

Some of our favourite veggies to include in a stir fry are:

1) sweet peppers

2) snap peas, snow peas, or Chinese long beans

3) mushrooms

4) broccoli

5) Chinese greens like Bok Choy

6) cauliflower

7) cabbage

And, don’t forget the fresh garlic and ginger! They both add loads of flavour and are so good for you.

#3 – When in doubt, just add dip!

 Most people (including kids) love to dip! When the dip you use is plant based and healthy, it is a win-win for everyone involved.

Try incorporating any of these fast and fresh dips into your repertoire:

  • Pesto – made with fresh basil, spinach (adds iron), toasted nuts, extra virgin olive oil, and nutritional yeast for a completely plant-based version.
  • Hummus – a protein packed dip or spread made with chickpeas, tahini (rich in calcium), fresh lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, and garlic
  • Roasted red pepper dip – fresh garlic will add flavour and antioxidants, and some chopped parsley will add extra vitamin C

#4 – Sauce it up!

 As we mentioned in the section on pasta above, when veggies are hidden in sauces, soups, or stews, even the pickiest of eaters will not complain. This is where an immersion blender can become your best friend.

Here are some of our tips for adding plant-based ingredients to your favourite dishes:

Beans! Because of their creamy texture when blended, beans are a great way to add plant-based protein to soups, sauces, and stews.

Try adding white or pinto beans to a butternut squash soup. Top with sautéed kale and a sprinkle of chopped almonds.

Cauliflower! This vegetable is seriously the best thing ever! Its mild flavour and versatility mean that it can be used as a substitute for so many things – mashed potatoes, rice, even pizza crust!

Here at Ki’s Kitchen, we make a delicious Shepherd’s Pie (completely plant-based) with kidney beans and veggies as the filling, and cauliflower mash as the topping.

Tomatoes – as long as nightshade vegetables don’t bother you, tomatoes are an amazing way to both disguise other veggies in your food, and, aid in the absorption of key nutrients like iron.

A plant-based chili, for example, made with kidney beans, mushrooms, eggplant, peppers, and tinned tomatoes, is a perfect example of how ingredients work together to nourish your body.

And, we could go on…our love of plant-based meals and ingredients, does not end here.

If we can help you make the switch to a more plant-based lifestyle, please reach out to us. We’d love to help.

Lastly, thank you so much for visiting! I hope you have found some valuable information, if so, I’d love to hear about it!

Please feel free to share this post with anyone who might benefit, and comments are always welcome!

I look forward to connecting with you next time!

And be sure to check out why you should order your family’s next meal courtesy of Ki’s Kitchen  

From our kitchen to yours,

Love + Peace


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