- Plant-based meals can be easy to prepare.
- Chia seeds can keep you full.
- Adding legumes can make a simple dish into a full meal.
Preparing plant-based meals doesn’t have to be challenging, as expert chefs explain that there are a ton of different ingredients available which can help make your dishes flavorful and full of essential nutrients.
And the even better news is that some of these ingredients aren’t expensive, meaning you can stock up on multiple items if your vegan meals could use the boost. To help bring those superstar ingredients to your plate, we spoke to some expert chefs about all those amazing vegan foods that will definitely take your entrees to the next level.
Below are some of the items they definitely recommend keeping in mind next time you feel like getting creative in the kitchen.
Invest in sprouted mung beans.
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Add beans and legumes to your dishes.
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“Many people are concerned that vegans are not getting enough protein, so make sure you have enough beans (lentils are also great!) inside your dishes,” Alina Z told INSIDER. Beans can help keep you full and also benefit your gut health. You can make a variety of dishes just by adding beans.
Look into pea protein powder.
Alina Z explained that pea protein powder can be an excellent addition to smoothies and baked goods, as it is very versatile and is a good source of satisfying protein.
Brussel sprouts can add fiber to your dishes.
“A member of the cruciferous veggie family, Brussel sprouts are filling, rich in fiber, and are excellent for liver health,” said Alina Z.
Cook your beans creatively.
“Simmer your beans in a savory vegetable stock seasoned with fresh herbs, vegetables, corn, potatoes, tomatoes, and spices,” said Global Master Chef Karl Guggenmos, MBA, AAC. They also can be enhanced with fresh raw vegetables and fruit garnishes, he added.
Give veggie burgers a chance.
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“We all love a good burger with a juicy mouthwatering texture along with a nice caramelized crust,” Guggenmos explained. “Thank God there are now incredible vegetarian burgers on the market where you will not know the difference between a real one and the vegan one,” he said.
For added health benefits, try making your own burgers rather than going store-bought.
Add fonio to your meals.
“Fonio has been voted as the next quinoa by many chefs,” said Cultivation Kitchen Executive Chef Joshua Korn. This gluten-free grain is sourced from West Africa and is packed with flavor, he explained.
Get crafty with avocados.
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“One of the most trending vegan-friendly alternatives, avocados typically make an appearance in a person’s diet in some form or fashion,” Korn told INSIDER. Avocados are high in healthy fats, which are important in keeping you full. People love these on everything from sandwiches to mashed up into guacamole.
Fall in love with Japanese sweet potatoes.
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“Japanese sweet potatoes are rich in an antioxidant called beta-carotene, which functions as a provitamin A that supports a strong immune system,” said Korn.
Pick up some chia seeds.
“Chia seeds have been linked to improvement in risk factors for heart diseases and diabetes,” Korn explained. They are typically incorporated into smoothies, acai bowls, and salads, he said.
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