How To Cook a Clean, Plant Based Meal

Every time I stress out about weight loss or feel frustrated because I don't have perfectly sculpted arms and a flat tummy, I think about how I'm eating. Sometimes I turn to the fully raw diet or change around my eating times but weight loss always comes right back down to eating clean. A well balanced diet of fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds with more emphasis on the fruits and veggies. The last two days I have eaten raw until dinner when I start cooking a beautiful meal of leafy greens, organic potatoes, rice noodles and a raw salad with tahini dressing. This meal leaves me so satisfied, filled and floods my system with the best nutrition any human can have, I want to share with you how you can cook a vegan feast leaving out the processed foods, salt and oil.

I LOVE me some restaurant food, I love the vegan pizza in this city, I love me some falafel, a Chipotle burrito every now and then but the one thing I've noticed since eating raw is how much salt is in restaurant food. It makes me thirsty, makes me hold onto water and I feel bloated and tired. So, when I'm home, I cook with no salt and no oil. I replace salt with different herbs and spices and replace the oil with lemon juice or tahini sauce. Restaurants want to serve savory dishes so they add spices and salt, which is fine for a treat but salt is not something you should consume everyday. We all get plenty of sodium naturally when we eat fruits, veggies, nuts and fruit. Herbivores in the wild don't have sea salt shakers to put on their leaves, do they?? I also love buying the soy faux meat products because they are delicious and make meals fun. These are great, just make them a treat since any processed food, even vegan food, is not good to have on a regular basis.

So, here is my version of a high carb, lower fat meal. I say lower because it includes a whole avocado so a low fat meal would be 1/2 the avocado but if you're me, you can't just eat half an avocado!

First up is rice noodles. They are sticky and so dang delicious. I make them according to the package in boiling water, strain them and cover them in lemon juice and add cumin, pepper, garlic and ginger powder. Top with 1/2 avocado. An alternative: brown basmati rice or rice wrappers stuffed with veggies.

Collard greens, swiss chard, kale, spinach any of those....steam them with two small potatoes until you can get a fork through the potatoes and until the greens are bright green. Flavor the potatoes with cumin and no salt seasoning. I buy Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning and it is a mixture of everything you would want: red pepper, onion flakes, cumin, coriander, pepper etc etc but no salt. I was not a fan of swiss chard versus kale and spinach and I tended to lean towards only buying spinach and kale but I bought swiss chard at the farmers market and it has a spinach taste only more earthy. It is great steamed or used as a raw burrito wrap.

Lastly, your raw salad should contain anything and everything: organic romaine, arugula, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and for the dressing I add water to Trader Joe's tahini sauce and make a tahini dressing. The tahini sauce does contain salt but not enough to make a difference.

There you have it, Concentrate on making whole grains like rice, wheat berries, barley or rice pasta and noodles and then make the rest of your plate veggies. Drink at least 3 huge mason jars of water; aim for at least 8 cups of water and at some point during the day, get up and move! Lift weights, walk, run, do yoga, our bodies were meant to move! There is something so awesome about knowing you are consuming antioxidants and vitamins and minerals that your body is craving.

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