These two recipes make it easy to eat more plants

All recipes in this post developed by Kate Sherwood, The Healthy Cook.

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Want to eat like a flexitarian? These plant-forward recipes are flexible in more ways than one. Try Mexican tonight, Thai tomorrow. And the sauce—it keeps for three days in the refrigerator—is also great on fish, chicken, or shrimp.

Both recipes start with a simple Cilantro Lime Sauce. (Don’t like cilantro? Use basil plus a few mint leaves.)

Cilantro Lime Sauce

Time: 5 minutes

Makes 1 cup

1 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 serrano or jalapeño peppers (or ¼ green bell pepper)
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lime, more to taste
1 tsp. kosher salt

Combine all the ingredients in a small food processor. Blend until a sauce forms, about 1 minute.


Time: 15 minutes

Serves 2

10 oz. extra-firm tofu, cubed
1 tsp. grapeseed or peanut oil
3 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup shelled edamame
½ cup Cilantro Lime Sauce
½ cup diced mango
¼ cup roasted peanuts

  1. In a large non-stick pan, sauté the tofu in the oil over medium-high heat until browned, 3-5 minutes.
  2. Divide the cabbage into two bowls. Toss the tofu, rice, and edamame with the Cilantro Lime Sauce. Spoon over the cabbage. Sprinkle with the mango and peanuts.

Per serving (3½ cups with sauce):

  • Calories: 630
  • Total fat: 35 g
  • Sat fat: 5 g
  • Carbs: 52 g
  • Fiber: 13 g
  • Total sugar: 10 g
  • Added sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 32 g
  • Sodium: 580 mg


Time: 15 minutes

Serves 2

4 cups chopped romaine
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 15 oz. can no-salt-added black beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup Cilantro Lime Sauce
¼ white onion, thinly sliced
½ cup halved cherry tomatoes
½ avocado, sliced
a few tortilla chips

  1. Divide the romaine into two bowls. Toss the quinoa and the beans with the Cilantro Lime Sauce. Spoon over the romaine.
  2. Top with the onion, tomatoes, avocado, and chips.

Per serving (3½ cups with sauce):

  • Calories: 580
  • Total fat: 26 g
  • Sat fat: 3.5 g
  • Carbs: 71 g
  • Fiber: 19 g
  • Total sugar: 5 g
  • Added sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 20 g
  • Sodium: 580 mg
Photos: Kate Sherwood/CSPI.

The information in this post first appeared in the March 2019 issue of Nutrition Action Healthletter.

Enjoy these recipes?
Salad Days!the latest cookbook from Nutrition Action’s Healthy Cook, Kate Sherwoodwill help you expand your repertoire with imaginative combinations of greens, vegetables, herbs, whole grains, and proteins. You’ll find healthy variations on classics like Chicken Caesar and Cobb, as well as more adventurous combos like Black Beans & Red Rice with Smoked Paprika Dressing and Sesame Shrimp with Caramelized Shallot Citrus Dressing.

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