A few years ago Sarah Britton’s whole life changed when she tasted a vine-ripened tomato on an organic farm in Arizona.
She went from being a sugar addict who didn’t care where her vegetables came from—to someone who experienced the life-changing benefits of a whole foods, plant-based diet. The journey inspired her to motivate others to do the same—through the gorgeous and delicious plant-based recipes on her site My New Roots, her wellness-minded Instagram, and, now, her first book, My New Roots: Inspired Plant-Based Recipes for Every Season.
The book features the Copenhagen-based nutritionist and chef’s easy-to-adopt tricks on how to make your produce taste delicious—and we’re sharing 5 of her brilliant tips for taking your vegetables to the next level.
1. Don’t be afraid of using (very good) salt. “When you’re cooking vegetables, you need to use salt,” says Britton, “and the nice thing about eating a whole foods diet is that since you’re eating less salt from things like processed foods, you don’t need to be afraid of seasoning with good, high-quality salt.” Britton recommends using a sea salt or Himalayan rock salt.
Don’t shy away from experimenting with seasonings either, Britton adds, “I think that there is still a stigma around vegetarian cooking—and that it’s boring—so try experimenting with spices, garlic, and ginger.”
“Something to help improve boring-ness, is using things that have glutamine in them, like miso, tamari, dried mushrooms, and onion powder,” Britton says.
“When you become vegetarian, you start to miss that “mmm”-satisfying quality that meat has. Miso, tamari, and mushrooms all have that.”
3. Don’t use olive oil when grilling. “It’s important to cook with an oil with a high-smoke point, like ghee or a refined coconut oil, because when you are grilling the temperatures can be upwards of 500 degrees,” Britton says.
4. Think about the salt, sugar, and acid combo of each dish. “These three flavors complement each other in a way that it makes whatever you’re cooking taste complete and full,” Britton says. Aim for a kind of balance.
If you’re making tomato sauce, for example, you don’t need to add a whole lot of sugar or acid (because tomatoes already have both), but you should think about adding some salt.
“There’s no specific formula for this trinity of flavors,” Britton says, “it depends on what you’re making.” And you can often go by gut.
5. Add some zest. Britton loves the power of lemon, lime, and orange zest to transform dishes—and take them to the next level. “You can add lemon zest to a tray of roasted sweet potatoes or add lime to black beans with toasted pumpkin seeds.” You kinda won’t believe they’re the same dishes you’ve made a 100 times. —Molly Gallagher
For more information, visit www.mynewroots.org and check out My New Roots: Inspired Plant-Based Recipes for Every Season
(Photos, from top: Sarah Britton; mynewroots.org)