Cooking Green Goodness: Whole Food, Plant-Based Series (part 2) ~What’s In Your Pantry?

To picture the belly of a whole food, plant-based pantry, is to imagine it filled with a variety of nutrient-rich, health-promoting plant foods: Fruits, grains, berries, leaves, roots, legumes, flowers, nuts and seeds, are examples. My question of the day for you is, what whole food ingredients are currently in your pantry (or refrigerator)? Now let’s take it a step further and ponder the answer to another question. What is one dish you can make right now using those ingredients, that’s worth embracing?

“A wholefood kitchen is a living, breathing space where we translate intent and knowledge into food that can heal, nourish and delight. But is also so much more than this.”

What’s in your pantry? With these questions in mind, let’s take a look at whole food, plant-based meal ideas for inspiration. Why not whip together a rustic tart with seasonal greens? Chill and enjoy a delicious no-bake date fruit pie topped with fresh berries, sliced mango and kiwi – the crust made with pitted dates, walnuts and spices like cinnamon and vanilla to add dimensions of flavour. It’s always nice to have healthy, tasty salad dressings on hand. You could blend together diced avocado, fresh garlic, diced onion and freshly squeezed lime juice for a smooth avocado cream dressing. Make “real food juices” by juicing, or blending a variety of fruits and vegetables into enticing combinations. Find a more healthful way to satisfy your sweet tooth without the negative effects that can result from eating processed, refined sugars and cook your own fruit butters.  Toss a handful of baby carrots, halved lengthwise with dried herbs to cook a naturally sweet, crunchy pan of vegetables. You could also cook a unique vegetable soup in your own homemade vegetable stock – blending it with ingredients like onion, garlic, and ginger, for a delicious, simple and easy low calorie source of high quality protein that contributes to good nutrition and health.

“A wholefood kitchen is a living, breathing space where we translate intent and knowledge into food that can heal, nourish and delight. But is also so much more than this. A kitchen filled with whole and natural foods is a powerful place – it is where our most fundamental needs for nourishment are met – from the food we eat to sitting around a table with our loved ones and laying down our burdens of the day.” This is an excerpt from the book Wholefood From the Ground Up by Jude Blereau. In the book, Jude Bluerau also goes on to state that “having some good foundations and some good tools will help you make good-for-you delicious meals with less stress. And, it all begins with a whole and natural foods pantry.”

Artificial or Processed Foods

While it can be a challenge to incorporate whole foods into your everyday diet and completely avoid processed foods, learning how to cut them down can be a great place to start. It’s also important to take the time you need to make the transition, sustainably, in the way that works best for you. Processed foods contain many ingredients that contribute to poor health: chemicals, preservatives, unhealthy fats, excess sugars, additives, artificial food dyes, refined carbohydrates, and synthetic vitamins and minerals the body cannot process, and more. As a general rule, if there is an ingredient on a food label you can’t make at home or you won’t find in nature, the best practice is to leave the product on the shelf.

Stayed tuned for part 3 of this series where you’ll get more recipes for understanding these important questions: What are whole foods? Why are they they worth embracing? How do I begin the transition to whole foods diet? What are the long-term health benefits of cooking with whole foods?

See Whole Food, Plant-Based Series (part 1) ~ Recipes for Fruit Butter. Discover Cooking Green Goodness. Click HERE to subscribe to EarthaCooks’ YouTube channel.

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