Plant-Based Diet Cookbook For Dummies
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A plant-based diet is not only good for your health, the animals, and the environment, but also is versatile and delicious! If you’re new to this way of eating, it can be hard to remember everything you want to remember. This Cheat Sheet helps you implement your plant-based diet and acts as your pocket-size cheerleader. This lifestyle can help you be healthy — not just for the next month, but for the rest of your life. It’s that simple.

Plant-based starter shopping guide

Making sure you have the right ingredients in your kitchen when starting (and maintaining) a plant-based lifestyle is essential to making delicious foods at home and sticking to your plant-based goals. Always keep these must-haves stocked:

  • Vegetables: Choose a wide variety of colorful veggies on a regular basis, along with leafy greens like kale and collards. Basically, don’t stick to just one color all the time!
  • Fresh fruit: The same color rule applies here; however, also choose fresh fruits that are in season. (Hint: Berries aren’t fresh in the winter!)
  • Whole grains: Become familiar with different grains in their whole forms. Experiment with ones like kamut, oats, quinoa, and spelt. You can also get breads and pastas made from these grains.
  • Beans: Explore the diversity of beans. Black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, and lentils are easy to cook with, and they’re loaded with protein, too.
  • Healthy oils: Stock up on oils like coconut oil, flaxseed oil, and olive oil. They all come in handy for different occasions and can be used in everything from salads to baking.
  • Nuts and seeds: Keep a variety of nuts and seeds on hand. Almonds, hempseeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds are good essentials. They make great additions to breakfast oats or smoothies and are a quick snack.
  • Other extras: Get a hold of basics like almond butter, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, nutritional yeast, pure maple syrup, and tamari (natural soy sauce).

Plant-based eating when you're out and about

When planning your day of plant-based eating out, you ideally want to think about how you can choose a balance of meals that offer your body enough variety to keep you satisfied and full. These options can help you organize your day:

  • Breakfast: Berry smoothie with plant-based protein powder; whole-grain toast with almond butter and sliced banana; oatmeal with walnuts, raisins, and cinnamon; or scrambled tofu with a slice of toast and avocado
  • Lunch and dinner: Large salad with a variety of vegetables, nuts, seeds, avocado, chickpeas, and homemade dressing; pesto with brown-rice pasta topped with white beans and steamed broccoli; whole-grain wrap with hummus, lettuce, sprouts, carrots, and avocado; vegetarian brown-rice sushi and a bowl of miso soup; or baked tempeh, mashed yams, and steamed greens topped with tahini
  • Snacks: Trail mix with almonds, raisins, pumpkin seeds, and cashews; an apple or pear with a tablespoon of nut butter; a handful or two of corn chips with salsa or guacamole; a homemade cookie or muffin with seed butter; or a green smoothie with kale, banana, hempseeds, and avocado

Maintaining your positive plant-based attitude and energy

The process of transitioning to a plant-based diet can be as big or small a deal as you want to make it. It’s just about how you approach it and want to make it happen. All you need is a desire to eat better, feel better, and live longer.

Here are some ways you can maintain your motivation and increase your knowledge about eating a plant-based diet:

  • Read books on plant-based living.
  • Watch videos on healthy eating.
  • Talk to other people who eat this way.
  • Make a list of all the reasons plant-based eating appeals to you.
  • Go out for some good plant-based meals at restaurants to get inspired.
  • Subscribe to blogs and local plant-based online forums for tips, tricks, and recipes.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Jenn Sebestyen is the mastermind behind the popular blog She is author of The Meatless Monday Family Cookbook and coauthor of The Meat-Free Kitchen. Jenn’s work has been featured in media outlets like Better Homes & Gardens and the Washington Post. She is a mom of three and lives with her family in Illinois.

Marni Wasserman is passionate about real food. She inspires people to eat well and live well everyday. She shares many of her recipes and tips at Amy Jeanroy is passionate about healthy, homemade foods and has been making and eating fermented food for 20 years. She shares daily recipes on her site,

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