Why Plant-Based?


Why Plant-Based?

I became interested in plant-based recipes in my youth. I even became a vegetarian for six months at that time but was soon back to my regular diet. Nowadays I see online that many people are turning to plant-based diets in varying degrees. This made me curious. When I get curious about different foods I get involved. So after publishing my cookbook/memoir Sharing the Table I decided to begin researching and testing recipes.

My nineteen years teaching culinary arts, sanitation, nutrition, and culinary history gave me the foundation to approach a plant-based diet in a knowledgeable way. I had specialized in Mediterranean and Latino cuisines at Seattle Culinary Academy. During this time I studied and traveled to many Mediterranean and Latino countries to understand authentic cuisines. The Mediterranean diet has been heralded for its heart-healthy and cancer-fighting properties. A perfect place for me to start.

The following are a few of the diverse types of plant-based diets:

There are the reducetarian or sometimes called flexitarians that choose for either personal or planet health to reduce the amount of meat and/or dairy products in their diet. Some start out with Meatless-Mondays and go on from there. A transition diet would look like reversing a plate that focuses on mostly meat with a plant garnish to a plate two-thirds full of plants to one-third meat, poultry, or seafood. Sounds easier now, eh?

Pescatarians eat a plant-based diet with the inclusion of fish mainly for health reasons.

A lacto-ovo-vegetarian eats no meat, poultry, fish or shellfish but does eat dairy products and eggs. An ovo-vegetarian eats eggs but no meat, poultry, fish, shellfish or dairy products.

Vegans do not eat meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, or processed foods containing any animal ingredients. Some vegans eat only raw unprocessed vegan foods.

A macrobiotic diet includes unprocessed vegan foods with occasional fish consumption. They avoid sugar, white flour, and refined oils.

In a quest for personal and planet health I have found that it is best to eat a wide variety of foods in moderation that are mostly plant-based, in season, local, produced in a sustainable, pesticide-free, humanely-raised and minimally processed way.

The recipes on this site will be mostly plant-based, sometimes with the inclusion of dairy and egg ingredients. This past year I have been creating and testing just one recipe a week. If you try any of these recipes you may, as I have, begin to enjoy and appreciate how delicious and nutritious a plant-based diet can be. I do hope you will enjoy and always find joy sharing your table!

Linda Hierholzer