28-Day Plant-Based Diet for Earth Day

April 21, 2015

Earth Day Challenge

Tomorrow is Earth Day, and I am very excited about the upcoming Earth Day Challenge that I am doing in conjunction with DietBet. Basically, people are challenging each other to eat a 28-day plant-based diet to demonstrate their love for the planet and for themselves. What's the downside? You gain energy, experience weight loss and begin a more healthy journey in your life. Win, win, win! I will be your coach and answer any questions you might have. I will post recipes, meal suggestions and tips to getting started on a plant-based diet. You can read all about it here.

Even if you don't want to join the 28-day challenge on DietBet, Earth Day is a perfect time to celebrate your relationship with the planet and take personal action to adopt a greener, healthier lifestyle. Switching from a meat-based diet to a diet based on fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains reduces water use, land use and deforestation. Not only that, but you will also become healthier and happier! What a way to kick off Earth Day!

Now on to food. Here is an excellent clean plant-based recipe to start your 28-day plant-based diet. Nothing could be healthier than this simple, delicious sandwich with balsamic oven roasted vegetables, sun-dried basil pesto, crunchy cabbage and avocado on homemade rosemary focaccia bread. Both recipes are below. If you don't want to miss any of Ordinary Vegan's free recipes, please sign up here. Wishing you a jubilant Earth Day! Hope you discover new and innovative ways to help protect our planet.

Rosemary and Garlic Focaccia Bread
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Cook time
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Focaccia is an oven-baked Italian bread similar in style and texture to pizza doughs. This version is oil-free, crisp on the outside, soft and chewy inside and flavored with rosemary and garlic. Holds up well to lots of juicy vegetables.
Recipe type: Bread
Serves: 8
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ¼ -ounce envelope active dry yeast
  • 1¼ cups warm water
  • 2 teaspoons of maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2¾ cups of white whole wheat flour (or gluten-free flour)
  • 2 tablespoons of cornmeal
  1. Heat the vegetable broth in a small nonstick sauté pan. Sauté the garlic and rosemary for approximately 2 to 3 minutes or until garlic is translucent.
  2. In a large mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook, dissolve the yeast, maple syrup, salt in the warm water. Add the garlic rosemary mixture. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  3. With the mixer running, add the flour, ½ cup at a time, mixing until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and is smooth and elastic. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl, cover and let rise for 40 minutes.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Sprinkle a large baking sheet with the cornmeal.
  5. Turn the dough out to a floured surface and knead by hand for 5 minutes. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 10-12 inch rectangle. Transfer to baking sheet and let sit and rise for another 15 minutes.
  6. Transfer to oven and bake for 30 minutes or until crisp and brown. Let cool.

Roasted Vegetable Sandwich
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These quick, easy and hearty sandwiches are perfect for lunch or for picnics. Use all your favorite vegetables. If you like garlic, throw some unpeeled cloves onto the baking sheet. Squeeze out softened garlic onto bread.
Recipe type: Sandwich
Serves: 2-3
Sandwich filling
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 red pepper, cut into fourths
  • 1 eggplant, sliced in half-inch thick slices
  • 2 zucchini, sliced in half-inch thick slices
  • 1 red onion cut into 4 slices
  • 2 portabello caps
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • salt & pepper
  • 8 basil leaves
  • handful of chopped cabbage or lettuce
  • 1 avocado, pitted and sliced
Sun-Dried Tomato Spread
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • squeeze of half a lemon
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Sun-dried tomato spread
  1. Place the ¼ cup of dried sun-dried tomatoes in a bowl. Cover with hot water. Let rest for 10 minutes or until softened. Save the water.
  2. In a small food processor combine the softened sun-dried tomatoes, chopped basil and lemon juice. Process until smooth adding some of the sun-dried tomato water until desired consistency. I like mine chunky.
  1. Combine the lemon juice and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl.
  2. Place the vegetables on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Using a pastry brush, brush all the vegetables with the lemon juice balsamic mixture. Drizzle some of the remaining mixture over the vegetables. Sprinkle with the dried oregano and salt and pepper.
  3. Bake for 15-25 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and sizzling, turning over once.
  4. Cut the focaccia into rectangles and split horizontally if using. Spread both sides of bread with sun-dried tomato mixture. Assemble by layering the cooked vegetables on top of one piece of bread. Finish with basil leaves, crunchy cabbage or lettuce. Top with sliced avocado and remaining piece of bread.


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