Feeling a bit worse for wear after a month-plus run of holiday feasting and imbibing? Well, this may be the perfect time to make a change that’ll have you in fighting shape in no time: Start off the new year by making plants instead of meat the centerpiece of every meal.
According to the documentary, book and website Forks Over Knives, a whole-foods, plant-based diet is the key to a healthier, disease-free life. Heart disease, cancer and stroke are the leading causes of death in the U.S. By cutting out animal products and eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains, folks featured in the documentary found themselves pounds lighter and exponentially healthier — enough in some cases to get off the drugs they’d been relying on to keep cholesterol and blood pressure levels as well as diabetes under control.
Even if you’re already in good shape, there’s always room for improvement whether it’s to shed a few pounds or improve energy levels. Consider picking up Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, which has more than 300 low-fat, plant-based recipes you can add to your line-up in 2015 and beyond. The cookbook includes everything from the basics (like Basil Pesto and Barbecue Sauce) to entrees (like Tuscan Bean Stew and Moussaka) and desserts (like Gingerbread Mamas and Pumpkin Chocolate Loaf).
To get a better idea of what’s inside Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, try this recipe for Taco Salad with Cilantro-Lime Dressing on family or friends. Here’s to a happy, healthy new year.
Taco Salad with Cilantro-Lime Dressing
Recipe by Julieanna Hever
Mildly spicy, fresh and flavorful, this salad offers a southwestern flair that’s versatile and colorful. Feel free to vary the salad ingredients to personalize it to your tastes.
FOR THE SALAD:
- 4 corn tortillas
- 6 cups chopped romaine lettuce (or other salad greens)
- 1 1/2 cups seeded and chopped cucumber
- 1 1/2 cups seeded and chopped tomato
- 1 1/2 cups chopped broccoli florets
- One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- One 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 ears corn, kernels removed (about 2 cups)
FOR THE DRESSING:
- One 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups cilantro, leaves and tender stems
- 1 cup Italian parsley leaves
- 1/4 cup tahini
- One 4-ounce can diced green chiles, drained
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced, optional
- Zest and juice of 2 limes
TO MAKE THE SALAD:
1. Cut the corn tortillas into thin slices. Place the slices on a small baking sheet and toast in a toaster oven for 3 to 5 minutes, or until crispy.
2. Place the lettuce in the bottom of a large serving bowl. Add the cucumber, tomato, broccoli, black beans, pinto beans, and corn. Set aside.
TO MAKE THE DRESSING:
3. In a blender, combine the cannellini beans, cilantro, parsley, tahini, green chiles, soy sauce, chili powder, crushed red pepper flakes, garlic, lime zest and juice, and 1 cup of water. Blend on high until smooth.
4. Place the tortilla strips over the salad in the bowl and, if serving immediately, pour the dressing on top. Alternatively, if the entire salad will not be eaten at once, keep the dressing on the side to prevent the vegetables from wilting. You will have leftover dressing; store it in an airtight container for 4 to 6 days in the refrigerator and use it on another salad or as a dip for vegetables
Recipe from Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook: Over 300 Recipes for Plant Based Eating All Through the Year, copyright © Del Sroufe, 2012. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold.
Lisa is the director of content strategy at Zipongo. Her experiences include editorial and strategy at both start-ups and enterprise companies along with cooking at a top restaurant in NYC.