So for awhile now I have been following more of a plant based lifestyle which really kind of started by substituting meat based dishes with a plant based one once a week, known as meatless Mondays. The health benefits of following a plant based diet are overwhelming. Meat consumption increases risk for all kinds of diseases like cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, weight gain, inflammation, and it negatively impacts the environment. Just 1lb of beef requires 1800-2500 gallons of water. In contrast, 1lb of tofu requires only 220 gallons of water. And in regards to health, red meat (especially processed red meat) increases risk for heart disease and stroke by 42%, up to 32% for type 2 diabetes, and 16% for cancer. Not only that but meat consumption is also linked to chronic inflammation and oxidative stress which, in turn, can lead to the development of Alzheimer’s.
However, it doesn’t take much to decrease your risk for these diseases. Replacing high saturated fat foods with healthy fats (think olive oils, avocados, nuts, seeds, etc) can decrease heart disease risk by 19%. Subbing simply one serving of nuts or whole grains in place of meat each day can reduce your type 2 diabetes risk by 21 and 23%, respectively. And focusing on a more plant based diet overall can lower your risk for Alzheimer’s by almost 50%. So today I have a fabulous plant based recipe for you that focuses on providing heart healthy fats and plant based protein. You can even add flax, chia, or hemp on top for added heart health benefits 👍
So onto my latest obsession : sweet potato nachos. I’ve been so obsessed that I’ve been making them for dinner every night for 2 weeks straight. Not only are they delicious but they’re also extremely filling (hello fiber) and satisfying (hello avocado and cheese).
After a plate of these you won’t be reaching for any snacks anytime soon. Which I think is why I’ve been so obsessed with this dish for dinner. I’m pretty good about pacing myself throughout the day but once night hits I turn into the snack monster from hell. But the combination of fiber from the sweet potato, protein from beans, and healthy fats from the avocado makes this a well rounded, super satisfying dish.
Sweet potato nachos – serves 1
– half of a sweet potato, thinly sliced (keep the skin on for extra fiber)
– 1/2 cup roasted bell peppers
– 2 tbsp diced onion
– 1/2 avocado
– 1/3 cup black beans
– olive oil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees f. Toss sweet potato slices in olive oil then arrange on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with a little salt. Bake for 20 minutes. Broil for last few minutes until brown spots appear on slices. Remove from heat and set aside. While potato is baking, sauté peppers and onion with a little olive oil. Remove from heat. Dice avocado and mix with peppers and onion. Heat beans over low heat Then mash lightly with a fork. Remove from heat and set aside. Arrange potato slices on a plate then top with beans, cheese, and pepper/onion/avocado mixture. Enjoy
Question of the day: do you follow a plant based diet? What are your favorite plant based recipes?