“Plant-based” is one of those terms that seems to suddenly appear on packaging on grocery store shelves. A plant-based diet simply focuses on plants in meals. A plant-based meal includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Unlike in a vegan diet, a plant-based meal is not plant-exclusive, meaning animal-based products like meat, honey, dairy, eggs, and more can be included in these meals.
To some, choosing plant-based meals is a way to include more variety in meals, not exclude foods. To others, plant-based is a way to not feel heavy after mealtime. So if you are looking for plant-based meals, look for recipes that call for dairy products. When choosing a light but filling meal, using real milk and milk products both enhances the flavors of your meal and ensures you are satiated.
Smoothies, whether served as part of a bigger meal or enjoyed as a snack, allow for several For a smoothie mildly sweet and nutty, add milk and vanilla whey powder to diced rhubarb and cherries, kelp or spinach, hemp hearts, and ginger for a Cherry Rhubarb Smoothie. Another not-too-sweet option is this Mango Protein Smoothie using Greek yogurt and milk, mango and honey for a touch of sweetness, and turmeric and ginger.
Bowls are an easily customizable option, making them perfect for any meal. Kefir and Greek yogurt blend with tropical fruits like mango, pineapple, and shredded coconut and granola for a Hawaiian Harvest Smoothie Bowl. For a heartier meal, a homemade kefir-based vinaigrette tops ancient grains, sauerkraut, diced cucumber, avocado slices, and feta in this Fermented Warm Grain Bowl.
And for a light snack or appetizer to serve to guests, there is more available than fruit salad. For an option with heat, fill 14 halved sweet peppers with a cream cheese and cheddar filling mixed with pimientos, garlic, chipotle pepper, and adobo sauce in this Smoky Pimiento Cheese Poppers appetizer. There are an endless number of dips to offer guests, too, served with sliced veggies. Dips can have a base of cheese or yogurt, but this Roasted Garlic and White Bean Dip uses cottage cheese, blending cannellini beans and roasted garlic.
For more ideas on incorporating delicious dairy into your plant-based meal, check out our Dairy Recipes.