Here’s a question to ponder: What if your Thanksgiving turkey was merely the side dish? What if you served crowning jewels of colorful fruit and vegetable plates that took center stage, and you set the turkey off to the side as almost an afterthought? It’s not an entirely bad idea for Thanksgiving, and it’s certainly not a bad idea for a daily habit. In fact, there’s a name for this way of eating – It’s called the “Plant Slant.”
We’ve been volunteering with our local Blue Zones community health project, and one of the central tenets of the Blue Zones pledge is to adopt a “Plant Slant” diet. This means eating modestly each day, with a full emphasis on fruits and vegetables. According to the Blue Zones project, “You can eat meat if you want to, but try considering it as a condiment and make sure you buy the leanest, finest meat you can afford. Limit [meat] portions to the size of a deck of cards and don’t exceed serving it more than twice a week.”
This advice also happens to fit in with the USDA’s My Plate recommendations to make fruits and vegetables the majority of your food intake. How do you get your protein? The Blue Zones project, which has tracked success in communities with healthy populations and long life spans such as Okinawa, Japan, notes that “the cornerstone of most centenarian diets is beans, favorites including fava, black, soy and lentils.”
So what are your Thanksgiving dishes going to look like? We’ve got a few ideas, like this Fig Millet Kale Salad:
Of course, if you want a whole bunch of ideas, check out our Plant Based Thanksgiving Dishes round-up.
Is your table full yet? At this point, you’ll be saying, “Turkey? Who needs turkey?”