Earlier this month, The Huffington Post published the article “25 Foods You Have To Eat Before You Die.” Now, a nice green smoothie can get my endorphins going pretty well, but that doesn’t mean that HuffPo’s mouth-watering pictures of meat and dairy dishes don’t look appetizing, even to this plant-powered eater. Lobster rolls and pimento cheese and tamales, oh my! The article’s food porn makes a pretty good case for its title.
But, what if that article was re-written, only including plant-based dishes? Here at OGP, we decided to remake the article from a more health and Earth-friendly perspective: presenting 25 Plant-Based Foods You Have to Try Before You Die. You never know from our list — you might find a new, healthy favorite dish!
1. Eggplant Burgers
Veggie burgers don’t have to be skimpy; in fact, they can even be ooey-gooey and greasy! This vegan, gluten-free, messy, big burger might make you forget the fact that you’re chowing down on eggplant.
2. Smoked Seitan
Get that Texas-style, charred brisket without the meat by smoking seitan. Smoking wheat gluten may not sound appetizing, but this dish will have vegans and meat-eaters alike clamoring to get a bite when they smell it.
3. Cashew Cream
This stuff is a cook’s secret weapon, as it gives a creamy, dairy-like texture to vegan dishes. Plus, it’s so simple to make. All you need is cashews, water, and a blender.
4. Almond Milk
I can’t imagine going back to dairy milk now that almond milk has had a place in my fridge for the last five years. The taste blows dairy milk out of the water – no pus or cruelty included! Store-bought almond milk is fortified with calcium, Vitamin D, and B12. Also, this delicious nut milk is easy to make yourself.
If you like fried things, definitely try falafel. These deep-fried chickpea balls have a tough, meaty texture. They’re delicious stuffed in a pita with veggies and hummus, or baked and served overtop a salad with creamy tahini dressing. Try these falafel tacos (pictured below) or this yummy baked falafel salad.
6. Chickpea Fries
A delicious, almost sinful way to enjoy chickpeas is to pan-fry a chickpea flour mixture into fries. You’ll get an extra boost of protein with these as well.
7. Raw Zucchini Wraps
Take Hors d’oeuvres to a colorful, fun, and healthy level by trying a combination of raw fruits and veggies, such as these raw zucchini wraps. Eating raw foods helps us achieve optimum health. For your next party, wow everyone with raw, natural flavors!
8. Green Smoothie
You need about 2 cups of greens to make a serving size, and smoothies are one of the best ways to hide their sometimes bitter flavor. Stuff them in a blender with a bunch of fruit and some nut milk, then voila, you’re drinking your way to better health. Try this beginner green smoothie (pictured below).
9. Tempeh Picatta + Tempeh BBQ Ribs
Tempeh is a fermented soy bean product that can be purchased in any health store and most other grocery stores. Since the soybeans in tempeh have already undergone a fermentation process, the end product is easy for your body to break down and digest. Plus, it aids in stabilizing blood sugar and lowering cholesterol. The packaged versions can be made with other grains like barley and are easy to cook since they come in patty form. Check out this delicious tempeh picatta, read this article on 6 amazing ways to eat tempeh, and try out these BBQ tempeh ribs (pictured below).
10. Seitan pot roast
This is one of those dishes that will have you saying “Whoa…I can’t believe this is vegan!” Chock-full of tender seitan, great-for-you spices, and an array of flavorful warming vegetables, this stuff is sure to win over even the most meat-loving of all meat-lovers!
11. Zucchini Pasta
Are you looking to cut out gluten from your diet? Try replacing regular pasta with zucchini ribbons. They taste great with tomato sauce and your waistline will thank you. Use a spiralizer or julienne tool to make ribbons out of a zucchini. Try out this amazing recipe for spicy kale pesto with zucchini noodles (pictured below).
12. Lotus Chips
Kale chips have become pretty mainstream. If you’re sick of them, try lotus chips. They’re easy to make, and their cool appearance will get you lots of oohs and ahhs if you bring them to a dinner party.
13. Quinoa Burgers
14. Eggplant Fries
These are a new twist on the classic fries and are much healthier for you than fried white potatoes. Try making a classic recipe (pictured below) or go a little wild and try eggplant grapefruit fries.
15. Grilled Portobello Mushroom
Vegetarians, never fear another cookout. Instead of bringing frozen veggie burgers to the party, try grilling a fresh Portobello cap. Check out this amazing recipe (pictured below).
16. Vegan Cheese
Hey dairy lovers: I know, I know. Vegan cheese seems like an oxymoron, huh? I’m not going to lie; you will know the difference between cheese and vegan cheese when you first try it. But if you focus on trying it as a new food, and not think of it as fake cheese, the taste will grow on you. It’s not too hard to make, either.
17. Muhammara Dip
This creamy red dip has a lovely, smoky flavor. It’s made with roasted red peppers, toasted walnuts, lemon juice, and garlic. It’s your dipping vegetables’ new best friend. Try this amazing recipe (pictured below).
18. Raw, Cold Soup
19. Tofu Scramble with Nutritional Yeast
Tofu scramble with nutritional yeast – You’ll be surprised how much of a difference nutritional yeast can make in vegan dishes. The tofu and yeast in this dish will remind you of fluffy eggs and is prefect for breakfast.
20. Raw Cheesecake
Raw cheesecake – By using cashews to get a creamy consistency, raw cheesecake is just as creamy and delicious and the dairy version. Try a raw double chocolate cherry cheesecake or a raw vegan lemon and fig cheesecake to start – you’ll fall in love in no time!
21. Pumpkin Hummus
Try a sweeter version of the chickpea dip by adding pumpkin into the mix. You’ll have an end result packed with pumpkin flavor and color.
22. Creative Veggie Sushi
Forget boring maki rolls with white rice, cucumber, and avocado. These days, chefs are experimenting with vegan sushi. Chef Guy Vaknin from the show Hell’s Kitchen is one of them. His cool restaurant in NYC, Beyond Sushi, offers all sorts of veggies mixed with forbidden black rice or a six-grain rice blend, taking vegetable sushi to a whole new level. Better yet, learn how to make great sushi at home.
Jicama is a large, bulbous root vegetable with a crunchy flesh. The crunch is similar to a potato, which makes it a fantastic replacement for fries. Try baking your own jicama fries.
24. Banana Soft Serve
If you love banana frozen yogurt or soft serve, you should try the vegan version. By using coconut cream and a few other simple ingredients, you’ll never know it’s dairy free.
25. Chocolate Avocado Fudge
The mix of dark chocolate and avocado actually makes this fudge a healthy indulgence. With each bite you’ll taste sweetness and give your body antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power. It’s also a sneaky way to get more veggies in — so awesome, we know!
Wow, who knew plant-based foods could be so creative and amazing, right? By vowing to try these plant-based foods, you’ll be doing your body a healthy service. Be sure to add our list to the foods you must try before you die to be on your way to a healthy and cruelty-free lifestyle.
Lead Image Source: Raw Yam Burgers and Daikon Fries with Ketchup