Tegan Carrall is a nutrition student currently studying the Bachelor of Health Science (Nutritional Medicine). She has her own blog Nutrition Nourishment, where she provides education on health and nutrition through a holistic lifestyle approach.
A plant-based diet can provide an array of health benefits. However, some people may find the exclusion of animal products can cause nutritional deficiencies. With a well-planned vegan diet, it’s easy to make up for any deficiencies by including the following plant foods into your diet:
- Quinoa: Quinoa is actually not a grain, but a pseudo-cereal, a seed that is prepared and consumed like a grain. However, quinoa is higher in nutrients than most grains (1). It contains all 9 essential amino acids and is a good source of antioxidants and minerals; such as magnesium, manganese, folate, iron, and zinc.
- Nutritional Yeast: With a similar taste to parmesan cheese, nutritional yeast is jam-packed with essential vitamins and minerals. It contains 18 amino acids, including the 9 essential ones the body cannot produce, along with beta glucan, and glutathione, which is associated with enhanced immunity (2). It is also a good source of B vitamins, including thiamine, folate, and niacin.
- Black Beans: The health benefits of black beans, their versatility and their high nutrient content, make them an excellent choice for plant-based eaters. They are a good source of protein, fibre, and high in vitamins and minerals including folate, copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and iron.
Micro-Algae. Supplementing or including micro-algae into your diet is a great way to source DHA/EPA, commonly taken in the form of fish oils. (3)
- Spirulina: A good source of protein, vitamins A, K, B12, and iron manganese and chromium. It’s also a rich source of phytonutrients including carotenoids, GLA, and phycocyanin.
- Chlorella: A great source of zinc, iron, B vitamins, and Vitamin A. It is also a great liver detoxifier (4).
One-Pot Loaded Mexican Quinoa
Hearty quinoa, capsicum, and salsa combine to make a zesty, filling, and nourishing meal!
- 1 C Dry Quinoa
- 2 C Vegetable stock
- 1 C diced Mixed Capsicum, (Red, Yellow and Green for Colour and flavour)
- 1 Large Zucchini, diced
- 1/2 C Corn kernels
- 1/2 C Cherry Tomatoes, diced
- 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 420g Tin of Black Beans
- 1 Fresh lime, juiced
- 1/3 C Fresh Coriander, chopped
- 1/2 C Salsa of choice to serve
Step 1: Chop and slice all vegetables.
Step 2: In a medium pot, sauté the diced capsicum and garlic, with a little extra Virgin Olive Oil for 2-5 minutes
Step 3: Add the diced zucchini, quinoa, salsa, corn and tomatoes and 2 C of Vegetable stock to the pot and bring to the boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer. Let cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Step 4: Turn off the heat and stir through black beans. Re-cover and let sit for 5 minutes before uncovering the quinoa. Fluff with a fork and stir through coriander and finish off with a squeeze of lime juice. Enjoy!
Quick note: Remember when using canned Black Beans, be sure to rinse and drain them before adding them to the quinoa // If you are just using this recipe for Meal Prep and do not plan on eating it right away, you can just add the Black Beans with the cilantro at the end
Vegan Mac ‘n’ Cheese
A Simple vegan take on the traditional Mac ‘n’ Cheese that is so simple and delicious you’ll want to make it all the time! This recipe boosts a gluten-free and dairy-free option, along with providing hidden vegetables, proteins, and anti-inflammatory health-promoting fats!
- 1 C Wholegrain Pasta
- For Cheese sauce:
- 1 C Sweet Pumpkin, peeled and cubed
- 1/2 C Carrots, peeled and chopped
- 3 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
- 1/2 C Unsweetened Almond Milk
- 1 Tbsp Unhulled Tahini
- 1 Tbsp Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 cloves of Garlic, crushed
- 1/2 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt, suit to taste
- For the Crumb Topping:
- 1/3 C Sunflower Seeds
- 1 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
- Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
Step 1: Cook pasta to instructions on packed.
Step 2: Steam the pumpkin and carrot until softened, about 10 minutes.
Step 3: While the pumpkin and carrots are cooking, prepare the crumb topping. Combine all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until well-combined and resembling a crumbly mixture, then set aside in a small bowl.
Step 4: When pumpkin and carrots are cooked, combine in a food processor with the remaining ‘cheese sauce ingredients and blend on high speed until a thick, velvety consistency. Add salt to taste.
Step 5: Drain pasta, but do not rinse. Stir through the cheese sauce until combined thoroughly. Top with crumb topping and serve immediately. Enjoy!
** Optional: Serve with a side of homemade salad for a balanced meal. This can also be baked, as per the picture, until the crumbing has lightly browned.
A hearty vegetable ratatouille made with healing herbs to support gut health and overall wellbeing. Serve with soaked brown rice or toasted sourdough and avocado.
- 2 Eggplants, cut into 1cm thick slices
- 5 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive oil
- 2 Red Onions, roughly chopped
- 4 Cloves of Garlic
- 2 Red Capsicum, roughly chopped
- 3 Large Zucchinis’, cut into 1cm thick slices
- 4 Large Ripe Tomatoes, chopped
- 2 tsp herbs de Provence* (mix of savory herbs such as marjoram, rosemary, thyme, and oregano).
Step 1: Preheat the grill to high.
Step 2: Grill Eggplant slices for 10 to 12 minutes, till golden brown. Turn the slices over, brush with another tablespoon of oil and grill for 5 to 8 minutes, until golden.
Step 3: In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes, until they begin to soften and turn golden.
Step 4: Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes, then add the capsicum, and zucchinis, and cook for 5 to 8 minutes until they begin to soften.
Step 5: Add the tomatoes and eggplant to the pan. Season with Herbs.
Step 6: Lower the heat, cover the pan with a tight lid and simmer gently for 20 minutes or so, until the vegetables are cooked through. Season to taste.
James, L., E., A. (2009). Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa willd.): composition, chemistry, nutritional, and functional properties. Food Nutr Res 58. 1-31. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19878856
Li, F., Wang, J., Ma, C., Zhao, Y., Hasi, A., Qi, Z. (2013). Glutamate receptor-like channel 3.3 is involved in mediating glutathione-trigged cytosolic calcium transients, transcriptional changes and innate immunity responses in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiology 162 (3) pp. 1497-509. Doi: 1104/pp.113.217208.
Doughman, S., D., Krupanidhi, S., Sanjeevi, C., B. (2007). Omega 3 fatty acids for nutrition and medicine: considering microalgae oil as a vegetarian source of EPA and DHA. Bentham Science Publishers 3 (6), pp. 198-203. Doi: https://doi.org/10.2174/157339907781368968
Evseeva, T., Geras’kin, S., Majstrenko, T., Brown, J., Belykh, E. (2010). Comparative estimation of 232 TH and stable Ce(III) toxicity and detoxification pathways ion freshwater alga chlorella vulgaris. Chemosphere 81 (10), pp. 1320-1327. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2010.08.028
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