The Daily Beet

02 Oct The College Greens: Weird is the New Awesome: Thinking

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Weird is the New Awesome: Thinking beyond conventional meals.  

There are lots of tried and true, classic combinations of foods that we simply can’t deny pair fabulously together.  Peanut butter and jelly, black beans and corn, apple and cinnamon, peas and carrots—hands down, yum.  But one of the greatest things about eating a plant-based diet is the door that you open to such a vast variety of new food potential.  And while sticking to the classics can be quite delicious for sure, it’s also fun to get creative and try new combinations—you may be surprised how great things taste together!

Look, we’re already weirdos in the eyes of much of the population.  And as we go down the plant-strong path, some of us tend to get even weirder.  But that’s okay, don’t hold it back.  Embrace it!!  Weird is the new awesome 🙂  Some people just haven’t caught on yet 😉  And really, weird can be so much fun.  You don’t know what you’re missing out on until you let things get a little wacky.  For example, I’ve seen Jenna eat rice and lentils for breakfast, topped with sliced grapes and granola—she said it was delicious!  But that’s not the best of it.  Jenna learned from a friend that you can eat the skins on kiwis and the green tops of strawberries, so she eats them now!  She’s freaktastic and I LOVE it.  Personally, I still peel my kiwis for the time being, but don’t worry, I have my own weirdness goin’ on.  For breakfast this morning, I had oatmeal with blueberries, green beans, arugula, corn, chickpeas, and quinoa mixed in.  Unconventional?  Yes.  But totally tasty 🙂  Another example—last fall when I was home for Thanksgiving break, we had a couple of extra cans of pumpkin lying around.  For dinner one night, I made a pasta dish with the canned pumpkin as a “sauce,” and mixed in a dash of Bragg’s liquid aminos and some diced avocado and raisins.  My entire family loved it!  Oh, and don’t worry, Craig’s a freaker too.  While bean burgers and portobello mushrooms have become common go-to substitutes for the hamburger, Craig has taken this to a whole new level.  He likes to use the portobello mushroom caps as the bun for his bean burgers.  It might be a little messy, but it’s super yummy 🙂  We think it’s a genius idea!  I’m tellin’ ya, don’t be afraid of the weird 🙂

Next time you’re deciding what to eat for your next meal, let go of the rules of convention and bring on the creativity.  As we know from our understanding of the Standard American Diet, what’s “normal” is not always what is best.  Like I said earlier, many of the typical plant-based meals are quite yummy—no one is going to argue that black beans and rice don’t go together.  They do, and it’s delicious every time.  However, we don’t want to limit ourselves to these typical meals.  When we get weird, we might find something sensational that we never would have discovered if we’d stuck to our meals of normality.

Here are some great plant-based recipes that are a little on the weird side but a lot on the fun and fabulous side:

Black-Eyed Pea Hummus by Susan Voisin

(We’ve never tried this, but it looks wonderful!)

Quinoa Cornbread by Cathy Fisher

(Who would have thought that adding quinoa, dates, and banana to cornbread made it even more amazing?!  Note: We like to add fresh corn kernels and/or blueberries when we make this.)

Marinara with Zucchini Noodles by Cathy Fisher

(Yes, you can make noodles out of zucchini!!  E2X Coach Char gave a great, simple recipe for this as well in her recent post about spiralizers!)

Black Bean Brownies by Lindsay Nixon

(While black bean brownies have become semi-normal for many health-minded people, at one time they were totally freaky.  Just goes to show how great your experimentation might be!!)

So get out there and get creative!!  Let us know what wacky, delicious food combos and recipes you come up with!

Be weird.  Dare to differ.

-Tara 🙂

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The College Greens
The College Greens

The College Greens: Tara, Jenna, and Craig. Tara is a junior at Bucknell University, currently majoring in Education and minoring in Creative Writing, and planning to do a nutrition program upon graduation. Jenna is a sophomore attending Duquesne University, and she is studying to become a Physician Assistant. Both Tara and Jenna are certified in Plant-Based Nutrition through Dr.Campbell's eCornell program. Craig is a senior at Bucknell University. He is majoring in Chemistry and minoring in English, and is planning to go to medical school to become a pediatrician, where he hopes to incorporate lifestyle medicine in his practice.

  • Deborah
    Posted at 10:09h, 02 October

    LOVE this! I so appreciate support for feeling weird and doing things so differently! Thanks!

  • Leah
    Posted at 14:16h, 02 October

    That bean burger with portobello caps as a bun sounds AMAZING! Good idea!

  • Sherisse Hartley
    Posted at 15:59h, 02 October

    What a fun post!

  • Diana
    Posted at 00:35h, 03 October

    All of this good food is making me hungry, and it’s bed time! I can’t wait to try some of the recipes.

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