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Let’s be real—many of us grownups still have a problem with eating our vegetables. But apart from it being the grownup thing to do, adopting a plant-forward diet comes with a whole host of benefits.
For Adrienne Yim, having a plant-forward diet has actually expanded her palate. One of the creative minds behind local zero-waste store KatHa, Adrienne is in charge of curating the store’s snack and tea collections; she combines common pantry ingredients to come up with a dish or drink that’s simple, delicious, and easy to make even for the most amateur cooks.
Adrienne’s curiosity was what initially led her to try out plant-based cooking (“I wanted to understand why people like this!”). Six years later, she’s confident enough to say that being plant-forward doesn’t always have to be expensive, or god-forbid, boring.
“When you’re plant based, the taste doesn’t [just] rely on salt. It also relies on other things, like how playful you are with [using] herbs.”<callout-alt-author>Adrienne Yim<callout-alt-author></callout-alt-author></callout-alt-author>
“You can eat vegetables cooked or raw, and the sensations and tastes will be absolutely different,” she says. “I usually don’t like eating carrots, but when I tried to eat it raw, I realized I liked it better when it’s cooked!”
Knowing how to play with different flavors and work with the ingredients you have are invaluable skills that all aspiring plant-eaters eventually develop. As long as you keep an open mind and have the willingness to try, anyone can learn to enjoy making (and eating!) their vegetables.
RULES TO KEEP IN MIND
How do you start building a more plant-forward diet? Here are four basic principles you need to remember:
Know your protein substitutes
Going plant-based isn’t always restrictive. Protein is found not only in meat and seafood, but also in other food groups including beans, nuts, seeds, and soy. If you’re considering to adopt a more plant-forward diet, stock up on these substitutes.
Flavor is your friend
Flavor is what makes or breaks a dish. Aside from owning the basic herbs and table condiments, explore other flavoring agents like sage, nutmeg, cardamom, cayenne, or paprika to add more personality to your dish. Natural oils are also great sources of flavor (For salads and cooking, Adrienne swears by virgin coconut oil!).
There is more to healthy eating than spinach and broccoli
Zucchinis, cauliflower, sweet potatoes—these are only some of the most versatile vegetables you can work with. As long as you know how to cure and cook them well, you can transform these babies into anything.
Tip: Make sure to store your vegetables properly to keep them longer. You can also opt to buy these from your local palengke to keep it fresh and affordable.
Stock up on dry goods
Other dry goods that are always great to have on hand: dried chick peas, kidney beans, legumes, lentils. Having these readily available in your pantry can help you easily whip out a last minute snack or meal.
Tip: It’s always better to buy in bulk to save on costs! You can easily buy these in your local grocery, or at zero-waste stores like KatHa.