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July 6, 2016

How to Make a Plant-Based Plate

by Anne Paddock

When making a vegan or plant-based dinner plate, there are four things to consider:  color, texture, nutrition, and flavor. Starting with color, think multi as in orange and green (although there are infinite combinations). Bright orange sweet potatoes and green broccoli florets look fantastic together.

For texture, consider mushy and crisp because a combination of textures is simply more appealing. Nuts and seeds add crunch and flavor to steamed, baked, puréed, and roasted vegetables. A well-balanced meal will contain protein, carbohydrates, and fats along with vitamins and minerals. But, the most important factor is flavor. Choose plant-based food that tantalizes your taste buds and satisfies your appetite. Know that tofu – a bland high protein soy bean based food  – needs seasoning (usually a sauce).

Plant-Based_PlateThe Plant-Based Plate (serves 2)


  • 1 large sweet potato – baked, slightly cooled
  • 1 bunch of broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces and steamed
  • 1 15-ounce container extra-firm organic tofu, cut into bite sized squares
  • 1/4 cup of teriyaki sauce (or whatever sauce is preferred)
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped sprouts (spicy radish sprouts are delicious)
  • 2 teaspoons of dry roasted pumpkin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons of dry roasted chopped pecans


  • Place the teriyaki sauce in a large non-stick pan and heat to medium.
  • Place the tofu sized squares in the pan and brown on both sides (4-5 minutes per side) taking care not to burn the tofu.
  • Divide the tofu among two dinner plates. Top the tofu with the chopped sprouts.
  • Cut the sweet potato in half and scoop one half of the filling onto each plate.
  • Top the sweet potato filling with a teaspoon of chopped pecans.
  • Divide the broccoli between the two plates and sprinkle a teaspoon of pumpkin seeds over the broccoli.
  • Serve immediately.Vegan_Plate

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