Plant-based eating is gaining popularity in health circles and for good reason. This style of eating is linked to an array of health benefits ranging from reduced type 2 diabetes risk, longevity/anti-ageing, improved gut bacteria balance and supportive to weight management.
What is a plant-based diet?
Enjoying a plant-based diet involves eating, a high intake of vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts/seeds, tofu, moderate eggs and dairy. Plant-based foods are rich in fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants whilst typically being lower in trans and saturated fats as compared to animal-based foods.
Thankfully to gain the benefits of plant-based eating, it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing approach. ‘Flexitarian’ eating is a popular way to enjoy the benefits of a plant-based diet whilst also incorporating some animal products into the diet when felt like.
If you are like me and prefer a plant-based lunch, this is the perfect opportunity to swap out animal-based products for plant-based and increase your vegetable intake. Thankfully, plant-based foods are easy to prepare and make the best leftovers! Here is my favourite plant-based lunch idea made from leftover roasted pumpkin and brown rice.
Roasted Pumpkin, Shaved Cabbage and Pomegranate Salad
- 1 cup shaved cabbage
- 1 handful rocket leaves
- 1 tbsp. fresh coriander/parsley, chopped
- 1 tbsp. pomegranate seeds
- 2 pieces left-over roasted pumpkin
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- ½ cup cooked brown rice
- ½ tbsp. macadamia nut butter, optional
- squeeze lemon juice
- salt and pepper, to taste
In a bowl combine shaved cabbage, rocket, coriander, lemon juice, olive oil and massage gently until well combined.
Top with brown rice, pomegranate and roasted pumpkin. Top with a dollop of macadamia nut butter and season to taste.
NB: if preferred you can warm up the pumpkin in the oven for 10-15mins and/or cook the rice just before serving.
To inspire you on your healthy way, here are some other easy plant-based lunch ideas:
- Cooked brown rice tossed with diced cucumber, cherry tomatoes, handful rocket and olives + topped with optional feta cheese.
- Left-over sweet potato and quinoa patties with a handful spinach and avocado.
- Whole-grain wrap spread with hummus and topped with left-over roasted vegetables and chickpeas.
- Cooked brown rice pasta tossed with chickpeas, avocado and rocket pesto.
- Home-made salad topped with cannellini beans, roasted beetroot and cashew butter.
- Vegetable soup with avocado slathered sprouted bread.
- Smashed avocado on toast with tomato salsa.
Casey Dick | Passionate Dedicated Natural Nutritionist | Brisbane, Australia, Dietary Nutritionist, Healthy Body and Mind Advocate, Natural Hormone Balance & Healthy Weight Loss, Natural Skin Health, Anorexia, Eating Disorder Recovery, Orthorexia, Thyroid, Non-dieting Approach, Gut Health, Nutritionist specialises in PCOS, Why can’t I lose weight, Weight Loss Resistance