Thinking of Going Plant-Based? Watch How This Lifestyle Blogger Switched to a Full Veggie Menu for One Weekend

If the thought of going plant-based kickstarts a nervous chuckle followed by a sense of separation anxiety as you think about giving up burgers for good, you might be taking the wrong approach.

As the name suggests, plant based entails a more veggie-forward lifestyle, but it doesn't mean you have to forgo all the savory deliciousness you enjoy while eating meat—and making the switch is definitely not as hard as it sounds (*immediately feels separation anxiety lessen*).

Case in point: Lifestyle blogger (and plant-based newbie) Sandra Morgan Downie challenged herself to a full weekend of veggie-forward meals, but was still able to whip up recipes featuring her usual favorite flavors.

With the help of Lightlife's Plant-Based Ground and Burgers—which are as juicy and chock-full of flavor as a backyard barbecue—Downie spent the weekend getting creative with her newfound go-to protein. (And of course documented it so that you wouldn't miss a thing.)

First meal of the weekend? Stuffed taco shells made with Lightlife Plant-Based Ground. "I love that it has ingredients that I can recognize, like garlic powder, sea salt, pea protein, and coconut oil," Downie says. It's always a win when you know you're eating real-food ingredients, right?

The clean ingredients inspired Downie to add some farmers-market-fresh vegetables to her second meatless dish: good old fashioned (plant-based) hamburgers, including a DIY version of your fave fast-food secret sauce. We don't want to give too much away before you watch her dig in, but she just might be a convert.

"All the Lightlife products have been super easy to use," she says. "You're not missing anything, it's delicious. It's absolutely amazing." Enough said.

Watch her full weekend of going plant-based above, and scroll down to re-create her veggie-filled masterpieces for yourself.

Baked Stuffed Taco Shells

¼ lb. LightLife Ground
3 Tbsp olive oil
3 oz. cream cheese
2 Tbsp chopped chives
¼ cup diced shallots or onions
½ tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp chilli powder
1 box jumbo pasta shells (about 18), cooked, rinsed, and drained
2 Tbsp butter, melted
4 oz. shredded cheddar or Mexican mix cheese
4 oz.  shredded monterey jack cheese
¼ cup salsa
¼ cup tomatillo sauce
Sour cream, for topping

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, pour in the olive oil, onion, and chives. Cook for two minutes, reduce heat to medium-low, and add in the Lightlife Plant-Based Ground, cream cheese, salt, pepper, and chili powder, and cook thoroughly until brown and simmering—three to five minutes. Set aside.

3. Toss cooked pasta shells with melted butter. Arrange in 9x13 baking pan. Fill pasta shells with cooked ground. Pour salsa and tomatillo over pasta shells (feel free to add a little more if desired). Bake for 10 minutes. Remove and add the cheese. Bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove, top with sour cream, and serve.

Plant-Based Grilled Burger

1 package Lightlife Plant-Based Burgers
1 yellow onion
½ tsp of olive oil
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
2 Tbsp thousand island dressing
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
Optional toppings: cheese, plant-based cheese, lettuce, tomato

1. Season Lightlife Plant-Based burgers on both sides with salt and pepper to taste. Next, sauté ¼ cup of diced yellow onion in ½ tsp of olive oil until golden. Set aside and cool for 10 minutes.

2. In a small bowl or ramekin, mix 2 Tbsp mayonnaise and 2 Tbsp of thousand island dressing. Add in the cooked onion and mix. Spread on burger, and top with your preferred toppings, such as tomato and lettuce. Dig in!

Sponsored by Lightlife

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