Over the summer, my sister, mom, and I decided to try being vegan for a week. We cooked at home every single day, developed really interesting, flavorful recipes, and discovered that there are many vegan alternatives to our usual favorite meals. The most important thing I took out of my vegan week was how easy it is to prioritize plant foods in your diet even if you're not vegan or vegetarian. 

Plant Food Staples:

Spirulina / Barley Grass Juice Powder

Spirulina is a nutrient-dense, powerful antioxidant that comes in a powder form. It has a pretty neutral taste which makes it really easy to throw into smoothies. Just a teaspoon of this stuff goes a really long way to positively affect your body. Check out Ellen Fisher's recipes for tasty green smoothie combinations. 

Barley Grass Juice Powder, on the other hand, has a little bit less of a mild flavor. I'm pretty used to it by now and the other ingredients in the smoothie usually mellow it out. Regardless, it's great for boosting the immune system, detoxifying the body, and contributing extremely important vitamins and minerals into your diet for energy throughout the day. 


soup, miso soup, broth, vegetable
Judy Holtz

Miso Paste is known for having an umami flavor and can add a special savory kick to any dull recipe. Over the summer, we loved making pad Thai style rice noodles with a miso sauce and flavorful soups with a miso base. Even with fish or chicken, miso paste can act as a really great marinade or glaze. It's rich in essential minerals, improves gut health, and supports digestion.


Tahini is made from ground sesame seeds and acts as a really versatile base for sauces, dressings, or just an easy spread. Tahini is the Middle Eastern equivalent to peanut butter in the U.S. For a simple, delicious plant based dressing that goes well with any veggies, mix tahini, maple syrup, garlic, and a little bit of dijon mustard together. Many vegan bloggers use this to spice up salads and grain bowls. 

Rice & Rice Noodles

Grain dishes are a great way to hide the taste of vegetables if you're not into them. Some plant forward recipes that I love are pad Thai, quinoa grain bowls, red lentil pasta, and any veggie stews with brown rice, lentils, or chickpeas/beans in them. 

Don't Knock It 'Til You Try It

A lot of times, I hear people joke about vegans, saying things like they only eat lettuce and raw veggies, but I beg to differ. Barbecue jackfruit sandwiches are a prime example of a super innovative vegan dish that you wouldn't even know are vegan. The barbecued jackfruit looks and tastes exactly like pulled pork, and paired with bread and butter, pickles and cabbage slaw, the sandwich is pure heaven. 

Even eating plant-based foods instead of meat just one day a week could help improve your health and contribute to our imprint on the environment. Being powered by plants can actually be incredibly delicious and fulfilling.