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The 54-Day Plant-Based Challenge- Monday, January 23

Updated: Jan 26


Hello friends, join me as we observe a plant-based lifestyle, one meal a week. I am not asking for much, just one meal, dinner ideally, a week. I am aware that today is week 4 in the month, but I promise to make up for it later during the year and give you four additional recipes.


I have to share with you how my decision to become plant-based happened overnight. I'd already tried to be plant-based last summer, but it didn't work out for me. I was doing it for the wrong reasons, like weight loss, and when I saw nothing had changed on the scale, I gave it up.

But somehow, after all the bacchanalia of the holidays, I went cold turkey on New Year's Day. I am only in the third week and can already feel the positive effects, like sleeping through the night and not feeling "stuffed" after a meal, even after feeling satiated.


It is essential to ensure you are getting your protein in each meal, and for me, it is a no-brainer to use lentils, chickpeas, and dried peas in my diet.


It is essential for me, a cheese-lover of all kinds, not to fall for the plant cheeses, which lack the flavor of dairy cheese and instead are processed oils and fillers. I also give in a few times a week to eating eggs. So while these two weaknesses do not make me a 100% plant-based diet person, it is enough for me and for what is one of my main reasons for following this lifestyle, for the planet.


It is also important to ignore all of the judgments from the people around you and to act on your principles, diet, or anything else you choose to do that is different from the norm.


But, all judgments aside, let's ensure those plant-based meals are full of color, flavor, and goodness. As much as possible, buy local. Besides the positive impact of supporting your community, knowing your food sourcing calls for a positive relationship between the ingredients and your well-being.


I am not a nutritionist, but I do make sure that what I put in my mouth has nutritional value.





Spinach, Beet, Apple & Cauliflower Salad

Serves 4 or 2 as a Main

Ingredients

1/2 pound of baby spinach

1/2 cup of Cosmic Apple, cubed

One cup of roasted cauliflower

One large beet, roasted and cubed

Two teaspoons of maple syrup

Juice of 1 lime or lemon

One teaspoon of salt

One teaspoon of honey dijon mustard

1/2 cup of roasted maple pecans


Directions

  1. Place the first 4 ingredients in a large bowl.

  2. To make the salad dressing, place the maple syrup, lime or lemon juice, salt, and mustard in a small bowl and whisk.

  3. Blend dressing into salad and toss.

  4. Top with pecans.



Navy Beans with Delicata Squash and Roasted Cauliflower

There is always a little cauliflower for me. Feel free to use your leftover cauliflower from the salad on your main course. I also love tart-sweet-savory flavor combinations, so I brushed pomegranate molasses into the delicata squash.


Ingredients

Serves 2-3

2-14.5 ounce cans of organic navy or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup of sweet onions, minced

1 cup of grape tomatoes, halved

One teaspoon of fresh or dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon oregano, dried

Two teaspoons Kosher salt

Two medium to delicata squash, sliced in 1/2 inch wheels

1/4 pomegranate molasses

2-3 cups of cauliflower florets


Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400.

  2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

  3. In a large bowl, toss the squash with the molasses and 2 teaspoons of OO.

  4. In another bowl, toss the cauliflower florets with 2 teaspoons of OO and 2 teaspoons of curry powder. Toss to coat.

  5. Set the squash on the baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes; turn and roast for 5-10 minutes.

  6. On a second baking sheet, roast the cauliflower, or if you have a large baking sheet, roast the squash and the cauliflower simultaneously.

  7. Meanwhile, add oil to a 2-quart pot. When hot, add onions, tomatoes, herbs, and salt and saute until the onion is translucent.

  8. Add the beans and cook at low heat for 15-20 minutes.

  9. To serve, accompany the beans and the squash with leftover cauliflower.

  10. Enjoy in good company.





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