Healthy Plant-Based Snack

Healthy Plant-Based Snack

Eating a plant-based diet doesn’t mean you have to chew on a stick of celery or survive on a salad. However, those aren’t bad options.  The Plant-Based Diet is about variety, color, textures, spices, and, ultimately, which foods you like to combine. You’ll learn as you go.

The best thing about the plant-based diet is there are a lot of options even though you’re excluding completely or limiting some of the unhealthy foods like processed packaged items or meat and animal products. You still have quite a shopping list of delicious and nutritious foods to choose from.

This sunflower seed, veggie, rice bowl is one of my favorite snacks. If you’re used to the SAD  Diet, (Standard American Diet) then you might be used to  having  a candy bar or a sugary muffin as a quick snack. Whole foods often don’t make the cut on the SAD diet. But  they are  a superior choice on all counts. The sesame seeds and soy beans offer protein, nearly as much as chicken, and the red bell pepper is rich with essential nutrients and  antioxidants. Be sure to wash bell peppers under cold water, never hot. According to a study, washing in hot water can actually strip out some of those healthful antioxidants. The brown rice helps fill you up but without elevating your blood sugar too quickly. It’s a satisfying snack or meal that leaves you feeling full, but also light and refreshed.

The sesame seeds are also nutrient-rich and, like the bell pepper, they’re cancer-fighting foods. They’re high in protein, fiber, copper, magnesium, calcium, iron, and vitamin B complex. These little seeds pack a powerful nutrient-rich punch in every bite. Sunflower seeds are also highly beneficial to your health. Sunflower seeds should be raw–not processed such as those that are fried and salted. Look  for the word “raw” on the bag, You can usually find this kind at a health-food store.  Note that the seeds are high in calories so a generous portion is okay when consumed with a meal/snack like this. However, don’t go overboard. Some people buy bags of seeds and eat the entire bag like potato chips. Generally those seeds tend to be the fried and salted kind–which should be avoided anyway.

The textures and crunch from the sunflower and sesame seeds and bell pepper complement the rice. I add either Tamari sauce or ponzu sauce (only about a teaspoon or two) and squeeze lime over the whole dish. It’s delicious!

Ingredients

  • Brown rice (I use jasmine Thai rice)
  • Shelled Edamame
  • Red Bell Pepper
  • Shelled Sesame Seeds
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Ponzu or Organic Tamari Sauce (gluten-free alternative to soy sauce)

Directions

  1. Boil or steam your brown rice.
  2. Chop your bell pepper.
  3. Combine in bowl with rice.
  4. Add a teaspoon or two of sauce.
  5. Sprinkle on generous portion of sunflower and sesame seeds.

Editor’s Note: Some people with diverticulosis (an intestinal disease) are told by their doctors to avoid eating sunflower seeds because, according to doctors, they might be stuck in the intestinal track and irritate the digestive track. As with any diet or exercise program, you should first consult your doctor before beginning any new dietary or fitness regimens.

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