At Sainsbury’s we are keen to help customers find simple, tasty ways to move to a healthier way of eating.
Go Big on Plants is one great way of achieving this which can be good for your health and can also benefit the planet too. The key is to plan your meals around plants, this doesn’t mean having no meat or animal sourced foods. Instead bring veggies, fruits, whole grains, pulses, legumes, nuts and seeds from the side of the plate to front and center.
Why not try some of these top 10 ideas to help get you started:
1: Start as you intend to go on!
Jazz up your porridge; instead of adding syrup why not add a handful of frozen fruit like blueberries or raspberries or instead whatever fruit is in season at that time. For a nutty flavour add a plant-based alternative such as Almond unsweetened drink.
For a twist on your usual breakfast cereal, this recipe for Bircher muesli is a delicious and satisfying breakfast and simple to make. You can switch the Greek yogurt for a plant- based version to make this vegan friendly.
2: Snack on plants
For some healthy snacks in between meals, why not try some tasty plant snacks - carrot sticks with hummus, nuts and seeds, peanut butter on corn cakes, dried and fresh fruit to name a few.
Smoothies make delicious snacks and you can use any combination of fruit or veg; they are brilliant for using up leftovers - experiment as much as your taste buds desire!
Add in some tasty toppings such as crushed nuts or stir in some porridge oats to make them extra filling.
3: Plant power your salads
Add a salad - it sounds simple but a great rule of thumb is to serve salad with every meal. Be adventurous where possible with your ingredients, bulk up a sandwich with extra veg, for salads try adding lots of colour with peppers, grated carrots, courgette ribbons, nuts or dried apricots.
Experiment with plenty of wholegrains such as whole wheat pasta, quinoa, cous cous, bulgur wheat or pearl barley. This recipe uses cous cous and a salad dressing made from orange juice instead of mayonnaise:
4: Satisfying soups
Warming and flavoursome soups are a great way to pack in those extra veg. This recipe uses frozen veg, one of the easiest soups you could ever imagine - don’t be put off by the vibrant green colour, it’s delicious and everyone will love it!
5: Get to know your pulses
When it comes to pulses, incorporate some familiar choices like chickpeas or red kidney beans at first, and then branch out!
These great store cupboard standbys can be added to soups, casseroles and curries. They are a great way of adding more of those plant proteins into your daily diet as well as boosting the fibre.
Have fun making these quesadillas, something the whole family will enjoy, where you can also experiment with many different fillings of your own choice.
6: Waste less
Get creative with your leftovers; using them in your next meal is a great way to help your food go further, waste less and save money. If you have any left-over veg use it as a base for a curry, pasta sauce or throw into a soup.
This frittata is really quick and simple to make, you can also experiment using different vegetables such as peppers, courgettes and frozen Mediterranean vegetable – whatever veg are in season or whatever is left in the fridge!
7: Reshape your plate
When it comes to planning your main meal, reshaping your plate can be a relatively easy way to eating well more affordably. Make plant foods such as fruit, vegetables, whole grains and pulses, the main focus of the meal.
As a general guide, aim to fill at least two thirds of your plate with plant foods and then add a smaller serving of meat, fish or vegetarian protein.
Step by step turn your favourite recipes into one with more plant based foods. Put simply load up the colourful veggies, fruit, wholegrains and pulses.
8: Batch cooking
If pushed for time, batch cooking is an easy way to get ahead and save time. Simply cook up some of your favourite dishes – curry, chilli, bolognaise, casserole and soups but increase the amount and freeze what you don’t use.
This super-cheap veggie bolognese is so easy to prepare, and great to keep as a last-minute dinner – just make an extra batch and store in airtight containers in the freezer.
9: Meat free days
If you eat meat every day why not introduce a meat free day once a week. Once you start enjoying having a veggie day and new recipes, build on this to include more veg-based ones over the course of the week.
This warming chilli will get you through the chilliest of evenings. Try batch cooking so you have lunch for the week sorted too - even includes a cashew sour cream:
10: Something Sweet
Not just for Shrove Tuesday once a year, pancakes taste great all year round, are simple and cheap to make and can be made savoury or sweet adding different healthy fruit and veg fillings, whatever you fancy. Like these peanut butter and 'jelly' pancakes: