Last year, food prices rose rapidly due to inflation being at a 41-year high. Grocery costs rose 10% over the previous year, with one category that experienced the highest increases being meat- beef, fish and poultry. While this year prices have risen at a slower pace, meat prices remain higher than many can afford. Reports share that due to the significant price increases, many households are shifting to plant-based foods. It may initially seem like an inconvenience, but eating more plant-based foods will actually benefit our health, while also helping our wallets.
Eating plant based foods, decreases the risk of type 2 diabetes, introduces more antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to our diet, helps reduce inflammation, can help lower cholesterol and manage blood sugar levels, as well as reduce the risk of heart diseases. Eating plant proteins can also decrease the risk of dying by as much as 13-24%! You can also grow many herbs and spices at home (read here!), many of which help reduce inflammation while adding delicious layers of flavor to your recipes.
Try these 8 plant-based recipes that will help ease the budget pinch while also supporting your health. Enjoy!
Veggie rainbow wrap
Wraps are an easy way to pack in many healthy, delicious ingredients without a lot of prep. You can tailor make these to your preference- any mix of non-meat ingredients, cheese, vegetables, hummus, sun dried tomatoes, beans, sprouts-the possibilities are endless.
Dairy free herbed scalloped potatoes
Potatoes are always a crowd pleaser, and they’re also wallet friendly. Potatoes are full of fiber, which can help regulate blood sugar, manage cholesterol, and support healthy digestion. Another benefit is that they contain many antioxidants, further benefiting your overall health. This recipe only uses a few ingredients, and you make your own roux for the white sauce- ensuring that you consume healthier ingredients than store bought sauces that contain high levels of sodium, fat, and sugar.
Peanut butter overnight oats
Peanut butter and banana is another combination that just never goes wrong. With this recipe, make sure you select a peanut butter that isn’t loaded with sodium and sugar. The fiber and protein in peanut butter helps keep you full for longer, so along with the oats, you’ll be less prone to reach for foods that will throw your healthy eating off track. Peanut butter also contains the healthy fat, oleic acid. which has been shown to help maintain good cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure. You can add in mini chocolate chips, or opt for cocoa nuts for an unsweetened option that still packs that delicious chocolate flavor.
Egg, spinach, and feta breakfast wrap
Eggs are inexpensive, and you can make them so many ways, not just as a breakfast item. Full of protein, vitamin D, and good cholesterol, adding them to wraps is a great way to prepare a filling meal without meat. This delicious recipe also includes spinach, a super food full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
Garlic teriyaki tempeh and broccoli
Tempeh is a traditional Indonesian food made of fermented soybeans. It can help lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, and reduces the risk of heart disease. Tempeh is an excellent plant-based protein option, and when combined with sauteed broccoli and a delicious homemade teriyaki sauce, it is sure to be a meal option that you cook up again and again.
Farrow and spinach salad with goat cheese and grapefruit
Farrow is an ancient grain, and a great alternative to processed grains. It contains fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Alternatives to farrow include other whole grains like quinoa or brown rice. In this recipe, farrow is added into a tasty and refreshing salad that includes red grapefruit and goat cheese for a delicious variety of textures.
Spiced chickpea wrap with lemon dill sauce
Chickpeas can be utilized in so many ways- eaten whole or blended into a homemade hummus. This recipe includes spiced chickpeas and a delicious, creamy (and protein-filled) lemon dill yogurt sauce. This is a recipe that can be prepped ahead and put together the following day. Try using leftover chickpeas as a salad topper or in a pasta salad (like this one) to get more mileage out of this great source of protein that also helps support cardiovascular health and manage blood sugar.
Meatless lasagna pie
High meat prices won’t keep us from a delicious lasagna! This meatless option contains carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, and a variety of herbs. You can make larger batches of this and freeze it, making it a great option for planning future lunches or having a quick dinner on hand for those days that get away from us. This lasagna does contain several cheeses, so be mindful of the portion size.
No matter the reason, reducing the amount of meat we consume and increasing plant based foods supports our bodies in many ways. A diet that includes quality sources of plant-based proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and whole grains has been proven time and time again to be a game changer for our health. Try just one recipe each week and narrow down which flavors you prefer and incorporate it into your regular menu. We guarantee you won’t regret it!