Here at CulinArt we are joining the Vegetable Revolution by bringing plant based products back to the center of the plate!
This does not mean only vegan or vegetarian meals – it is far from that – it is plant-forward. Plant-Forward can be defined as a style of cooking that emphasizes, but is not limited to, plant-based foods. Making these menu items inherently more sustainable and provide more health benefits like additional vitamins, minerals, heart healthy fats, antioxidants, and fiber.
Here are some common terms you may hear in the Vegetable Revolution world:
- Plant Forward: this is a big umbrella term for a concept that includes a range of nutrient dense and sustainable culinary approaches – it is a style of cooking. From poultry, fish, dairy, to vegan and vegetarian offerings, it is a way to emphasize and highlight plant-based products while also including some animal products too. Plant forward may also be seen as “plant-rich,” “more plant-based,” or “flexitarian.”
- Flexitarian: focuses on dietary patterns that include more plant sources of foods and are much less reliant on animal products.
- Plant Based: this term refers to the ingredients themselves. For example: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans. legumes, soy foods, nuts, seeds, plant oils, herbs, and spices. This is different from plant forward, which refers to the style of cooking, where plant based refers to the actual ingredients.
- Vegetarian: a dietary pattern that does not contain any meat, poultry, or fish, but may, or may not, contain dairy, eggs, and honey.
- Vegan: a dietary pattern that does not contain any products that come from animal sources.
One of CulinArt’s favorite plant-based, vegetarian recipe is
Whole Wheat Pasta with Lentil Bolognese
INGREDIENTS (makes 4 servings)
- 1 tsp Basil, fresh
- 1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 Tbsp Garlic cloves, peeled, minced
- 3/4 cup Lentils, yellow, dry
- 1 Tbsp Olive oil
- 1 tsp Oregano, fresh
- 1 each Shallots, peeled, minced
- 1/2 tsp Red chili flakes, crushed, dry
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 Tbsp Sugar, granulated
- 1 lb `0 oz Tomatoes, fresh, diced
- 1/2 cup Water, boiling
- 1 cup Carrots, fresh, shredded
- 1.5 lb Whole wheat pasta, cooked
- Prepare pasta according to box instructions – any shape of whole wheat pasta will work
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add oil, shallots, and garlic. Saute for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until slightly softened and fragrant. Turn down the heat if it starts to brown
- Add red pepper flakes, basil, oregano, sugar, water, and lentils. Increase heat slightly and bring mixture to a simmer, then reduce head to low/medium-low and continue cooking until lentils are tender – stirring occasionally – about 17-20 minutes. Add a bit more water if the mixture gets too thick.
- Once the lentils are cooked, taste and adjust seasonings as needed
- Serve sauce over whole wheat pasta and garnish with parmesan cheese