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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

The power of plant-based foods

Variety of plant based foods

Eating more plant-based foods is a good goal for most everyone. After all, only 1 in 10 adults in the U.S. meet the recommended 1 ½-2 cups of fruit and 2-3 cups of vegetables each day. Plant-based eating is trending, and whether you are ditching the meat altogether or you’re simply trying to eat more plants, adding fruits, veggies, legumes, nuts, seeds and grains into the meal plan doesn’t have to be hard.

  1. Make it saucy. If you just can’t stomach another side dish of veggies, add it to a pasta or rice dish with a little more sauce. Broccoli stems are not my favorite but when added to curry or spaghetti the sauce takes over the taste.
  2. Build a bowl. There are so many options: with or without meat. Choose a grain, preferably a whole grain like brown rice, quinoa or barley, veggies, protein and a sauce, such hummus, salsa, Thai peanut sauce or Tzatziki sauce, and put it altogether to serve in a bowl.
  3. Turn it into fries. Cut beets, carrots, zucchini, jicama and more into the shape of a fry, drizzle with oil and seasonings and roast in the oven or use the air fryer for a crisp, caramelized taste.
  4. Open the can of beans. Add beans or lentils to soups, air-fry chickpeas for a crunchy snack, blend beans into hummus or dip, or add black beans to a southwest salad.

Unlock the power of plants, including fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, for better health!

About the Author


Jenna Smith is a Nutrition and Wellness Educator with University of Illinois Extension, serving Livingston, McLean, and Woodford Counties. Smith uses her experience as a registered dietitian nutritionist to deliver impactful information and cutting-edge programs to Livingston, McLean, and Woodford Counties and beyond.