Candice Billings: Holistic Nutritionist
It is estimated that over 600,000 people die from heart disease each year in the United States, making it the number one killer in the country. This disease is caused by plaque build up in the body’s artery walls, making it difficult for blood to flow properly throughout the body.
What many people do not realize is that heart disease is a nutrition related disease, meaning that what you put into your body each day heavily impacts your risk for developing heart disease. The plaque that builds up in the arteries is caused by consuming foods that contain high levels of saturated fat, which causes your cholesterol level to rise.
One way to significantly reduce your risk for heart disease is to avoid foods that are high in saturated fat. Meat and dairy based foods are high in saturated fats, while plant based foods do not contain any saturated fats.
The following are some easy plant based recipes that you can use to substitute some of your favorite meat and dairy based foods.
To learn more about how nutrition affects your heart click here.
Vegetable and Tofu Scramble:
1 package (14 oz) extra firm tofu
2 bell peppers
1 large or 2 small sweet potato
2 cloves of minced garlic
1-2 cups of spinach
½ tablespoon of turmeric
¼ tsp cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring pot of water to a boil. Wash and peel sweet potatoes, then dice into cubes. Add sweet potatoes to pot of boiling water and cook until tender. In a skillet add 1-2 tbsp of vegetable broth. Add minced garlic and sauté until there is an aroma then add chopped green peppers and sauté until tender. While peppers and sweet potatoes are cooking drain tofu and then crumble into a separate skillet. Allow tofu to heat thoroughly, then add turmeric slowly until desired color. Add cumin and salt and pepper. When peppers and sweet potatoes are finished mix in with the tofu. Add 1-2 cups of spinach and allow it to shrink down. Makes 4 servings.
Butternut Squash Sauce with Macaroni:
2 cups cubed butternut squash (You can buy frozen already cubed, just thaw first)
2 cups whole grain pasta
2 cloves of minced garlic
1/4 cup cashew milk
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
4 tbsp vegetable broth
Salt and Pepper to taste
Heat small skillet with 2 tbsp of vegetable broth. Add minced garlic and allow to slightly saute. If using a fresh butternut squash be sure bake in the oven until tender first. I usually use frozen squash because it cuts down on prep time. Add 2 cups of (thawed or baked) butternut squash to a blender or food processor. Add cashew milk, nutritional yeast (more than recipe calls for if desired), remaining tbsp of vegetable broth, salt and pepper to taste, and blend until it forms a thick liquid. Add the butternut squash sauce to a sauce pan and bring to simmer. Once sauce is heated thoroughly pour over cooked macaroni pasta. Add steamed broccoli or other vegetables if desired. Makes 4 servings.
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos
1-2 sweet potatoes
1 can of black beans (15oz)
Vegan whole wheat or corn tortillas
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 red onion
Peel and then chop potatoes into cubes. Bring pot of water to boil and add potato cubes. Drain and rinse black beans and add them to a large skillet on low to medium heat. Once potatoes are tender add them to the black beans. Add cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and let simmer.
Dice red onion, tomato and jalapeno. In a small bowl add onion, tomato, jalapeno, chopped cilantro and lime juice from 1/2 lime, mix well.
Peel and slice avocado.
Once potato and black beans are heated and seasoned to your liking add them to a warm tortilla. Top with fresh salsa and avocado slices. Makes 4 servings.
I hope these recipes were able to show you that substituting meat and dairy in your diet is not difficult and the outcome is delicious and also reduces your risk for disease! Remember to think before you eat, and get daily exercise.
As always, thank you for reading.
Candice is a certified holistic nutritionist focusing on a plant based lifestyle. After battling years of stomach pain and discomfort she was able to cure herself with a plant based lifestyle and is determined to spread awareness to others. She is also a yoga practitioner, MPH student, urban garden volunteer, and a loving cat momma.