How to eat sustainably on a plant-based diet - GulfToday

How to eat sustainably on a plant-based diet

Chickpea spinach  rice

Photo used for illustrative purposes.

Good place to start with a plant-based diet is to increase the variety of plants that you eat.

Not only is this really beneficial for your gut health but it’s also a more sustainable approach as it increases general biodiversity through spreading out the demand for certain crops.

Sourcing protein is a common concern for most people taking up a plant-based diet.

A quick win is lentils and pulses, as they are a great source of protein and fibre as well as being one of the most sustainable foods. Pulses and lentil production use minmal water to grow, improve soil fertility and reduce dependence on energy-intensive fertilisers.

Not wanting to miss out on hot, creamy drinks in the winter, it’s a good idea to look out for plant-based milks that are fortified with calcium, B12 and iodine.

Cooking out for the B-corp stamp on milks is another good sustainability hack as well as drinking oat milk over almond milk.

Now that you’re armed with a list of top tips for a healthy and sustainable Veganuary, these easy to follow vegan recipes, which encompass seasonal vegetables and pulses, will leave you wanting to make them time and time again. You won’t miss the meat either, promise.

Chickpea, spinach and coconut curry with brown rice

With aromatic spices and pre-steamed brown rice, you'll shortcut your way to this rich, vegetable-packed curry in just 10 minutes. Sizzle, ding, and serve up a weeknight winner in no time.


50g solid creamed coconut

20g mango chutney

400g tinned chickpeas

16g tomato paste

120g baby leaf spinach

15g ginger and garlic paste

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 tbsp curry powder

5g vegetable stock mix

1 tsp nigella seeds

300g steamed brown basmati rice

125g cherry tomatoes


1. Before you begin… get all your ingredients and equipment ready. Wash your fruit and veg.

2. Now, let's get started! Boil a kettle. Chop the cherry tomatoes in half. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Heat a large, wide-based pan (preferably non-stick) with a generous drizzle of vegetable oil over a medium-high heat.

3. Once hot, add the ginger and garlic paste, curry powder, ground turmeric, tomato paste and drained chickpeas and cook for 1 min. Meanwhile, dissolve the vegetable stock mix in 200ml boiled water.

4. Add the halved cherry tomatoes to the pan and cook for 1 min or until softened. Once the tomatoes have softened, add the vegetable stock to the pan and cook for 2 min further.

5. Meanwhile, squeeze the pouch [es] of steamed brown basmati rice to separate the grains. Tear the top corner of the pouch [es] (just a little!) and microwave for 2 min or until piping hot. Tip: if you're cooking two pouches, pop them in together but increase the microwave cook time accordingly.

The Independent

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