Seasoned vegan or not — eating healthy can be a challenge especially when if you struggle to make healthy meals more satisfying. Apart from the obvious difficulty of avoiding the myriad of ready-made meals and junk food options available to us in 2018, cooking delicious and healthy dishes day in and day out is — let’s face it — quite a chore, especially as a lazy chef. Add to that a lack of knowledge on how to give whole foods the pizzazz they need to satisfy your taste buds and your well-meaning intentions of improving your health are out of the window a lot faster than you can chew that unseasoned raw kale salad.
Recognize yourself in that depiction? Don’t fret — you’re not alone! Thankfully for you, you don’t have to give up on your health goals just yet as learning the art of making satisfying meals is within everyone’s reach. In fact, a few simple tricks can make a world of difference on your plate.
Curious about what those are? Read on to find out the five easy ways to make healthy meals more satisfying so that you can reclaim your health. We’ve also included a ton of recipe inspiration from the Food Monster App as a bonus.
Homemade Cajun Seasoning/One Green Planet
If your spice cabinet is bare, it’s time to remedy that. Including spices into your cooking can take simple ingredients to the next level by creating flavor profiles that will hit your taste buds with just the right amount of sweetness, umami, and zing you need to feel satisfied. Indeed, research suggests that both the aroma of spices and their taste increase not only the palatability of a meal but how much it satisfies our hunger.
If you want to capitalize on this fact to reach your health goals, we suggest getting acquainted with the wide amount of spices available that you might not be aware of by checking out our Ultimate Spice Guide for Vegan Cooking. Some of our favorites include caraway that pairs well with garlic, oregano, and thyme in root vegetable and potato dishes. If you like a bit of a kick, coriander is great as it lends a peppery and earthy taste to soups, chilis, and marinades.
There is no shortage of flavors to discover in the realm of plant based cooking. We suggest checking out how to Add Some Pizazz to Your Cooking With These 15 Homemade Spice Blends and these 10 Essential International Spices For Any Kitchen to learn more about harmonizing spices that will let you create unique healthy and satisfying dishes.
Want delicious recipe ideas? For more inspiration, you can check out this Tandoori Tofu, this Moroccan Miso, Lentil, and Pumpkin Soup, this Mexican-Spiced Tofu Scramble, and this Spicy Mushroom Stir Fry With Garlic, Black Pepper, and Chives.
Jackfruit ‘Crab’ Cakes With Tartar Sauce/One Green Planet
From dressings to sauces and dips, adding a bit of creaminess to dishes not only brings extra flavor to ramp up otherwise neutral veggies and grains but it also helps with satiation. Why? It all comes down to the main ingredient in most creamy concoctions — plant-based fats. Avocados, tahini, cashews, and other nuts and seeds used to make velvety spreads, sauces, and salad dressings are rich in essential fatty acids that play an important role in the hormonal regulation of our hunger signals.
Need tips on making flavorful and creamy adds-on for your healthy meals? We suggest taking a look at our guide on How to Make Clean Eating Dips and Spreads That Eliminate Oil and Dairy. You can also check out these 15 Double-Dip Worthy Vegan Dips, these 25 Vegan Sauces That Make Any Meal More Enticing, and These 19 Salad Dressing Recipes You Won’t Believe are Vegan.
Brown Rice Jambalaya/One Green Planet
While greens and vegetables are a primordial part of healthy eating thanks to their high micronutrient content, they’re not sufficient to keep us full and satisfied. If you have been centering your diet around salads and foregoing whole grains, potatoes, root veggies, and other sources of dense macronutrients, it’s time to get them back on your plate. Including good sources of carbohydrates into our diet is not only essential to fuel your body and brain, it’s necessary to achieve satiation.
As a bonus, making sure you get plenty of healthy carbohydrates also helps with digestion and sleep and promotes an efficient metabolism.
Want ideas of filling meals that will keep you on track with your health goals? We suggest giving this Easy Cheesy Broccoli and Brown Rice Bake, this Root Veggie au Gratin, this Potato Kofta in Butter Sauce, and this Chickpea Spinach Stew With Lentils and Quinoa a try. You can also check out The 15 Best Veggie Bowls to Keep You Nourished for more inspiration.
Savory Chickpea Pancakes/One Green Planet
Any myth about the lack of protein in the plant-based world should be put to rest. From beans to peas, passing by tofu, seitan, tempeh, and lentils, protein-rich food choices abound on a vegan diet. Taking advantage of this fact and exploring protein sources that you are less familiar with or revisiting staples used in creative new ways can make healthy eating a lot more interesting. Making sure you include plenty of plant-based proteins into your meals will also ensure that you stay satisfied thanks to the role of amino acids in regulating blood sugar and important cellular functions.
Want to discover new recipes using beans and legumes? Check out these Herbed Edamame Chickpea Burgers, these Calcium-Packed Navy Bean Biscuits and Roasted Garlic Gravy, this Foolproof Mega Lentil Burger, and this One-Pot Coconut Dal With Spiced Cauliflower.
More of a soy-based protein fan? Put a spin on your old favorites by trying out this Whole Wheat Radicchio Ravioli, this Sweet and Spicy ‘Pork’, this Savory Herb-Baked Tempeh and Quinoa, and this Tofu and Chickpea Polpette With Marinara Sauce.
If you’re looking for more inspiration, you can also try out any of these 15 Protein-Packed Vegan Recipes That Feature Beans, Chickpeas, Lentils, and More and these 15 High-Protein Bean Recipes.
Wood Fired Beet Salad With Avocado-Citrus Vinaigrette/One Green Planet
While adding flowers to all of your dishes is obviously not a prerequisite for enjoying your meal, it turns out that taking into consideration food presentation may not be a waste of time at all. Studies have shown that people rate their food as better tasting and more satisfying when it is presented in a visually pleasing way.
This is likely impacted by the importance of visual cues in food acquisition from an evolutionary perspective. Seizing on this fact, making your healthy food look more palatable is a good way to have a more enjoyable and satisfying eating experience.
If you need some inspiration to create your own food porn, we suggest checking out this Indonesian Macro Bowl, this Mango, Chili, and Lime Quinoa Salad, this Endive Salad With Crispy Chickpeas, and this Smoked Tofu and Artichoke Spinach Sandwich.
Creamy Pesto Potato Noodles/One Green Planet
Want to find out more cooking tips, vegan hacks, and delicious recipes that make healthy meals more satisfying? We suggest checking out these articles:
- Detoxifying and Nutrient-Rich Recipes to Kick off Your Health Goals!
- 5 Vegan Hacks That Will Inspire You to Get in the Kitchen
- 3 Essential Tips That Can Make Veggies Taste Like Comfort Food
- 10 Healthy Vegan Omega 3-Rich Recipes
- Got the Munchies? Here are 25 Recipes for Healthier Snacks
- Never Cook a Bad Meal Again With These Foolproof Vegan Cooking Hacks
If you’re looking for even more recipes that help you make healthy meals more satisfying, we suggest downloading the Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 10,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!
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