Plant-based eating has grown into a major health food trend in recent years, however, it is far from new. In fact, Canada’s Food Guide recommends we eat more daily servings of vegetables, fruits and grains and that we consume a variety of plant-based meat alternatives like beans, lentils and tofu.
You are probably asking yourself, “Is skipping the meat really good for me?” or “Why should I consider adopting this approach?’ The potential benefits are three-fold:
1. Nutritional benefits: Plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and legumes provide us with a variety of nutrients including fibre, protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins and minerals such as folate, vitamin A, B-vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, iron, and zinc.
2. Health benefits: Plant-based foods typically contain little to no saturated fat and no trans-fat. A healthy diet low in saturated and trans fats may reduce the risk of heart disease. Plant-based oils and products made from them — such as soft, non-hydrogenated margarine — provide beneficial monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, like Omega-3. These healthy fats can help to lower cholesterol levels when they replace saturated and trans fats in the diet.
3. Environmental benefits: People are thinking about how their food choices affect the environment more than ever. Interestingly, plant-based foods generally use less energy, land and water to produce than an animal-based diet. So not only are you helping your body, you are helping the planet too.
Try this simple recipe and see just how easy it is to incorporate plant-based foods into your diet.
Roasted Herbed Vegetables and Pasta
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
• 1/3 cup (75 mL) Becel vegan margarine, melted
• 2 tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped fresh herbs or 2 tsp (10 mL) dried herbs, crushed (basil, parsley • and/or thyme)
• 6 cups (1.5 L) assorted sliced vegetables (onion, red or green bell peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, yellow squash or eggplant)
• 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
• 8 oz (250 g) whole grain or regular farfalle pasta, cooked and drained
1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Blend 1/4 cup margarine with herbs in small bowl and set aside.
2. Toss vegetables, garlic and remaining margarine in large bowl. Arrange vegetables in a broiler pan, without the rack.
3. Roast for 20 minutes, until vegetables are tender, stirring once. Toss vegetables with hot farfalle and reserved margarine mixture.
Find more information online at becel.ca.