Research shows that incorporating less meat, and more plant-based meals into your diet can contribute to a wide range of health benefits, including reducing the risk of chronic disease, better digestion, and even weight loss.
Going completely plant-based is doable for some people, however, the reality is that eating fully plant-based is not realistic for many others (due to food preferences, lifestyle, etc.). And no judgement here! People have eating habits and preferences for many different reasons.
The more meals you can make plant-based, the more likely you will reap the health benefits! Contrary to those people that think they 'need' their meat at every meal to be satisfied - meals that contain plant-based protein sources, such as beans and peas, have also shown to be more satiating (meaning they make you feel more full and satisfied, and for longer) than meat-based protein meals.
One step to incorporating more plant-based meals into your diet is to have a 'meatless' day. You can start by making all of your meals meatless for one day, or just one meal if you're used to having a meat source with every meal.
Here's your Meatless Monday recipe for this week! I'm a huge black bean and sweet potato fan, so this one is one of my favs. Tip: add Nutritional Yeast to the cashew sauce for added protein and other nutritional benefits.
Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
4 medium- large sweet potatoes
1/2 cup of Cashew Cream Sauce (you could also use sour cream or plain greek yogurt if not vegan)
1 teaspoon of lime juice
1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
1/2 of a medium red onion, finely diced (about 1 cup diced)
1 1/2 tablespoons of oil (I used olive oil)
1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon of onion powder
1/4 teaspoon of cumin
1/4 teaspoon of chili powder
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1 15oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the sweet potatoes on a lightly greased baking tray and bake for 55-65 minutes or until a fork can easily be inserted into the flesh of the potatoes.
Prepare the cream sauce by whisking together the cashew cream sauce, lime juice, and black pepper. Set aside.
When the sweet potatoes have about 10 minutes left, heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and then add in onion. Saute for 5 minutes until the onions begins to become translucent. Add in the spices stir and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
Add the black beans to the skillet and toss to combine. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the black beans are fully heated through. About 5 minutes. Take off of heat and set aside.
Once the sweet potatoes are done baking, let cool slightly. Once cool, cut the sweet potatoes open and shred the flesh from the skin so that the inside is mashed and easy to scoop out.
Evenly spread the black bean mixture, avocado, cilantro, and cashew cream sauce on top of the 4 sweet potatoes.
Serve and enjoy!
For more recipes, check out my 107 recipe low glycemic index cookbook! (All recipes include nutritional info). On sale for half off for a limited time!
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Felicia Newell is a Registered Dietitian, Sport Nutritionist, Food and Nutrition Expert, Health Coach, and a mom of 4 boys under 7! She is also the owner of Sustain Nutrition. Felicia wears many hats, and knows what it is like to try and live healthy in a busy world, where our environments aren't always supportive of making healthy choices.
Life is busy, confusing at times, and full of contradictions, especially in the world of health and wellness. Felicia is passionate in helping others fight through the misinformation out there, and to navigate life and health, but most importantly, to enjoy it while doing it.
She has over 11 years of education and experience in Nutritional Sciences. Between completing her Bachelor and Masters in Nutritional Sciences, working at a research centre, teaching university courses, years of nutrition counselling helping people crush their goals, and being a busy mom of 4 young boys, she has the passion, skills, education, and experience to help you reach your health and wellness in a way that works for YOU.