3 Mind-Blowing Plant-Based Dishes From the Trainer Who Inspired Beyonce to Go Vegan

Photo: Ben Coppelman
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22 Day Revolution Cookbook
Photo: Celebra

You know you're on to something when you can convince a barbecue-loving girl from Texas to give up meat—especially when that girl is Beyonce. And Queen B isn't exercise physiologist Marco Borges' only fan. His plant-based program, 22 Days Nutrition, spawned the book 22-Day Revolutionwhich was so successful that Borges is back with a follow up, The 22-Day Revolution Cookbook.

"The first book has the [guidelines], but this shows how to actually put it into motion," Borges says. "There are over 150 recipes and they're all delicious, nutrient-dense, and super easy." Which happens to be great news if you're often tethered to your desk past dinnertime or like to hit the gym post-work.

Whether you're trying out the whole plant-based diet thing for the first time or have been vegan for a while but think your diet could be healthier (hey, Oreos and Fritos are technically vegan), Borges offers up this advice: "Think about the purpose behind the [food you're eating]." Are your meals nutrient-dense enough to power your day? According to him, your plate should mostly be full of veggies and grains.

So what does that look like? Keep reading for Marco Borges' favorite recipes (all from The 22-Day Revolution Cookbook), including one he's sure Beyonce will love.

walnut bean burger
Photo: Ben Coppelman

Walnut Bean Burgers

"Beyonce loved the walnut bean tacos in the first book, and I think she would really love this new spin," notes Borges. The recipe is so easy that the author says his sons (ages four, seven, and eight) can make it—with a little supervision. "I'm literally obsessed with this recipe," he adds. "There is extremely little cook time, making it really easy—and it's just mind-blowing."

Walnut meat
1 cup raw walnuts, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 Tbsp coconut aminos
3/4 Tbsp cumin
1/2 Tbsp ground coriander
Dash of smoked paprika
Dash of garlic powder
Dash of ground black pepper
Dash of sea salt

1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup walnut meat
1 15-ounce can of pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp sea salt
Ground pepper, to taste

Walnut meat
1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse several times until crumbly. Do not overblend.

1. Preheat oven to 400°F and lightly grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.

2. Place the cooked and slightly cooled quinoa and the prepared walnut meat in a large mixing bowl.

3. In a food processor, pulse the pinto beans a few times, making sure not to overblend. Add the pinto beans to the quinoa and walnut meat. Add the onions, garlic, salt, and pepper and mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.

4. Divide the mixture into eight portions and firmly shape each portion into a patty. Place the patties on a baking sheet.

5. Bake for 20 minutes. Flip them carefully and bake for another 10-15 minutes.

6. Serve the burgers on your bread of choice with desired toppings.

Chickpea Marsala
Photo: Ben Coppelman

Chana Chickpea Marsala

"Chana marsala is one of those dishes that always tastes great, but if you're having it at a restaurant, it's almost always loaded with oils and other things you don't want to put in your body," Borges says. "This is the ultra-clean version, and it's just so, so delicious."

Tomato sauce
4 large tomatoes, washed, cored, and chopped
1 large carrot, washed and chopped
1 small red pepper, washed, cored, seeded, and chopped
1 green pepper, washed, cored, seeded, and chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
4 fresh basil leaves

Short-grain brown rice
1 cup short-grain brown rice
2 cups water
1/2 tsp sea salt

1 cup tomato sauce
2 cups cooked short-grain brown rice
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp garam marsala 
1 tsp ground coriander 
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
2 15-ounce cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed (about 3 cups)
1 lime, quartered, for garnish
Fresh parsley flakes or cilantro, for garnish

Tomato sauce
1. Add all the ingredients to a blender and, working in batches, blend until smooth.

2. Pour the sauce into a large pot and cook at medium-low heat, stirring often for 25 to 30 minutes, skimming off any foam that may rise to the top. The sauce will darken as it cooks. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

Short-grain brown rice
1. In a medium pot, combine the rice, water, and salt. Bring to a boil.

2. Stir once, reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for about 55 minutes. If the rice seems too dry, add up to one-fourth of a cup of water and let cook longer.

3. Remove from the heat and keep the rice covered.

1. Prepare the tomato sauce and brown rice.

2. If not already heated, heat the tomato sauce in a large saucepan on medium heat.

3. Stir in the garlic, salt, and all the spices. Let the ingredients cook for a few minutes.

4. Raise the heat to medium-high. Add the chickpeas and stir until well combined.

5. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often, to allow the flavors to blend together. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.

6. Serve the marsala with brown rice. Garnish with a lime wedge and parsley flakes.

Sweet Plantains
Photo: Ben Coppelman

Sweet Plantains a la Mode

"Fried green plantains are the most delicious thing you can have in your life, so we took that concept and spun it on its head," Borges says. "You take the plantains and bake them so they're almost like a really sweet, cooked banana. Then, you put them on homemade vegan ice cream. It’s almost like a caramel sundae, only healthier."

Coconut ice cream
2 13-ounce cans coconut milk
1 cup organic coconut palm sugar or 3/4 cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

1 Tbsp coconut oil
2 very ripe plantains, brownish and very tender to the touch
1 Tbsp organic coconut palm sugar or 1 Tbsp maple syrup
Pinch of ground cinnamon

Coconut ice cream
1. It time permits, refrigerate the cans of coconut milk for a few hours until cold.

2. In a blender, blend all ingredients together until creamy and smooth.

3. Pour the mixture into a freezer safe bowl or bread pan and store in the freezer for about 30 minutes.

4. Remove the ice cream from the freezer and whisk briefly and return it to the freezer. Repeat until ice cream is creamy and frozen through (about one hour total). Now, it's ready to serve!

1. Heat one tablespoon of coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

2. Cut off the ends of the plantains and draw a sharp knife along the ridges, lengthwise, making two to three slits down the peel from one end to the other.

3. Carefully peel off the skin in sections.

4. Slice each plantain diagonally into 1/2-inch thick oval slices. Evenly coat slices with coconut palm sugar or maple syrup and cinnamon.

5. Cook the plantains in the hot skillet for about four minutes on each side until soft and caramelized.

6. Plate and top the plantains with a scoop of coconut ice cream and a sprinkle of coconut palm sugar.

Living the plant-based life but miss that pint of ice cream you used to stash in the freezer? These are the five best, healthiest vegan ice creams you can buy. Plus, find out why vegan cheese is about to go mainstream.

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