Go plant based for healthy school days

Published 5:00 am Thursday, August 12, 2021

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Filling the kitchen with plant-based ingredients is an easy way to nudge kids toward nutritious after-school snacks and make busy weeknight dinners as healthy as they are delicious.

When you consume foods that boost your energy and give your body the fuel it needs, you can expect to feel healthier, both physically and emotionally. In many cases the foods that deliver are plant-based, and you can create delicious and healthy meals while adhering to a plant-based eating plan.

Make easy substitutes
Having a vegetarian meal once a day is a great start, or even try “meatless Mondays” at home. Swap out ice cream and instead go for frozen blended bananas as an after-dinner treat. Try a nut- or grain-based milk in place of your normal dairy.

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Make gradual changes
Drastically changing your eating habits can be challenging. Small, sustainable changes are easier to manage and simpler to implement. Even one change per day can lead to healthier eating, like swapping the meat in a normal sandwich for a plant-based protein, such as a salad made with chickpeas or lentils, for a quick and easy lunch.

Start meal planning
Meal planning can reduce the time you spend in the kitchen and cut the cost of your groceries while making plant-based eating easy. When you plan meals in advance, you can buy in bulk and do the prep work ahead of time, which means you can whip up tasty plant-based meals in minutes. Keep healthy staples on hand like vegan, cholesterol-free and trans fat-free Toufayan multi-grain pita bread. The pre-split pita is perfect to keep on hand and fill with your favorite plant-based ingredients for a quick meal or pair with hummus, chickpea salad or apples. Made with quality, wholesome ingredients, each bread is hearth-baked to a golden brown for a tasty, convenient and versatile complement to a wide range of plant-based foods. They’re easy to find in your local grocer’s deli section.

Get inspired to create family-friendly, plant-based dishes with these recipes and more at Toufayan.com.

Apple Pie Stuffed Pitas
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 17 minutes
Servings: 4

4 green apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons plant-based butter
1/3 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Oat Crumble Topping:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 pinch salt
2 tablespoons plant-based butter
4 Toufayan Multi-Grain Pita Bread

Preheat oven to 350 F.

To make filling: In large saute pan over medium heat add apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter, white sugar, water and cornstarch. Cook apples down about 10 minutes until they begin to get gooey.

To make oat crumble topping: In medium bowl, mix flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, orange juice and salt. Cut in butter and mix until crumbs begin to form.

Cut pitas in half and line baking sheet. Fill one pita half with apple filling and lay on its side, being careful to not let apples fall out. Top with oat crumble. Repeat with remaining pitas.

Bake about 6 minutes. If desired, broil 1 minute for additional color.


Roasted Chickpea Cauliflower Sandwiches

Roasted Chickpea Cauliflower Sandwiches
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6

1 can chickpeas, roasted
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste, divided
1/8 teaspoon black pepper, plus additional, to taste, divided
garlic salt, to taste
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1/4 cup plant-based yogurt or sour cream
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/3 cup shredded carrots
1 cup corn kernels (optional)
1/4 teaspoon dill
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
3 Toufayan Bakeries Multi Grain Pitas, halved
parsley, for garnish

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Season chickpeas with salt, pepper and garlic salt, to taste. Roast chickpeas 40-45 minutes.

In bowl, mix chopped cauliflower; yogurt or sour cream, diced pepper; shredded carrots; corn, if desired; 1/4 teaspoon salt; 1/8 teaspoon pepper; dill; garlic powder and paprika.

Once chickpeas are roasted, add to bowl and mix well. Spoon mixture into six pitas and garnish with parsley.