Earlier this year, Eleven Madison Park, which handed over one of New York’s best restaurants, no, all over the world, rocked the culinary scene by relying 100 percent on plants. For a country known for its lavender-roasted duck and roasted lobster duck, the complete abandonment of non-vegetarian products was unimaginable, but here they are. And, a good reason they have!

Livestock has a direct and negative impact on the planet, and chef Daniel Humm’s decision to give up meat and milk offerings at his restaurant is rooted in the fact that current food systems are simply not sustainable.

Well, I know what some of you might think: a Michelin-starred restaurant that pays $ 350 per person, serving only vegetables ?! That does not sound very tasty! Do not be afraid, because plant-based kitchens can offer so much more.

Stems, roots, leaves and shoots

Recent studies have shown that early humans consumed a predominantly plant-based diet – nuts, seeds, leaves and even roots made up the bulk of their meat-rich meals.

It is incorrect that a plant-based meal may not provide enough protein required by the human body. There are many non-meat sources that are high in protein. Let me show you some of them.

Tofu, Tempeh and Edamame:

Soy, or edamame in their raw form, is an excellent source of protein. Tofu, by far, is one of the most popular soy by-products. Made from fermented soy milk, it takes on the aroma of the sauce with which it is presented. Tempeh, although similar to tofu in its appearance as a cake, is made from fermented soybeans. It has the highest nutritional value of all three and can accumulate up to 15 g of protein in half a cup. These soy products also contain good levels of iron and calcium.


Well done. Lentils are versatile in Indian cooking and make up the bulk of the protein consumed by vegetarians in India. The diverse range of expenditures contains fiber, iron and potassium among other key elements.


Also known as garbanzo beans or kabuli chana, chickpeas are very versatile. Use as a salad, toss in curry or mix in hummus. With almost 15 g of protein in a cup, they are a ready source of excellent plant protein.

Peanuts and almonds:

These edible nuts are a treasure trove of healthy qualities. Rich in protein and vitamin E, among other things, these nuts can be raw, roasted or as nut butter. Peanut butter has been the family favorite for many centuries, and almond butter comes close to second. Toss with a bowl of oatmeal stuffed with raspberries and chia seeds, and there’s a full breakfast for you.


Spirulina is a blue or green algae, an aquatic plant that grows in the sea. It is readily available in powder form and can be added to juices, smoothies or even water to increase protein intake. It has a pleasant taste, just like seaweed, which can take time to get. Packed with nutrients like iron, manganese and B vitamins (not B12), it is a great addition to a plant-based diet.

Farat Chia:

Described as one of the super foods, chia seeds belong to a flowering mint plant, native to parts of Mexico and Guatemala. Historically, they are one of the oldest forms of nutrition in the Mayan and Aztec diets.

When it comes in contact with water, the outer part of the seed fills up and creates a jelly-like structure, which is dense in food – fiber, protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

Chia seeds contain all nine essential amino acids for building muscle in the body. They are gluten free, vegan and generally have a very satisfying mouth feeling.


Hemp seeds, or hemp hearts, are the seeds of the hemp plant that are grown for food. Highly nutritious, these seeds have a pleasant nutty aroma. Very easy to use: just toss them in salads, or over a chia pudding and there you have a healthy bowl of the best.


Buddhists have used Seitan for a very long time and you may have had it in your favorite Asian restaurant as ‘mocking meat’. Basically, a combination of wheat gluten and spices, the chewy texture of this protein-rich ingredient makes it a good choice for meat-seeking stews and curries. After cooking in soy sauce, rich in lysine (an amino acid that makes up protein structures), Seitan can provide up to 60 g of protein in a cup.

Since it is derived from wheat gluten, it is not gluten free and is best avoided by those with celiac or gluten intolerance.


A seed of the amaranth family, quinoa has existed for centuries. An important culture for the Inca Empire, it is native to South America and widely consumed there. Rich in protein, fiber, manganese and magnesium, it is gluten free and not GMO (genetically modified organism).

Quinoa also carries high content of quercetin, a flavonoid known for its anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-carcinogenic and antidepressant effects in animal studies.

It cooks easily and is versatile, an excellent substitute for most cereals.

The Book of Ezekiel:

Made from barley, wheat, millet, lentils and spell (an ancient grain), Ezekiel bread is an excellent source of protein and a good alternative to bread.

Protein-rich vegetables:

Brussels sprouts, broccoli, avocados and potatoes are some vegetables that have a good amount of protein. Of course, you will need to supplement it with other richer sources of protein, but it is good to know that an average stalk of broccoli can contain up to 4 g of protein. So do not forget your vegetables while aiming for a healthier plant-based diet!


Giving up “cold turkey” meat can be a daunting task. Here we are introducing a range of plant-based meats that promise the goodness of meat-free animals.


A edible mushroom-based protein, it is an excellent meat analogue. Sold under the Quorn brand name in Europe and North America, it is higher in fiber than traditional chicken and uses 90 percent less resources.

However, it is a processed food and should be read about to understand the health benefits of this product.

Mocking with meat

The growing trend of including vegetarianism in the meat and fish diet is called “flexicarism”, and there are products available today that will make the most ardent meat fans itch. The health risks of high cholesterol from meat, the increased risk of cardiovascular disease and some cancers, place them in a group of foods that should be consumed less. To make those choices simpler, many companies have come up with plant-based meat alternatives that have the same structure and taste as meat. Sure, these products are processed, but they have the benefits of higher fiber and are environmentally friendly.

Plant on my plate

In case you were wondering what a $ 350 vegan meal in Eleven Madison Park would include, here’s a suggestion – it’s a waste of time! Accuracy and finesse make ballet into picturesque dishes that are not intended to imitate meat, but proudly highlight products that are just as fresh as a strand of grass after a rainy day.

Plant-based foods have been the mainstay of many communities in India – almost 40 percent of our country is vegetarian. Yes, dairy is included, but that’s a topic for another day. A ‘green diet’ is definitely best for your body, but some may argue that we only have one life.


Quinoa avocado salad


• Boiled black quinoa: 100g

• Pomegranate seeds: 30g

• Half a thinly sliced ​​avocado

• Mint leaf

• Chopped mango: 50g

• Boiled asparagus: 50g

For avocado mousse:

• Fresh and ripe avocado: 1

• Lemon juice: 1 tablespoon

• Extra virgin olive oil: 3 tablespoons

• Mayonnaise: 1 tablespoon

• Salt, to taste

• Black pepper, to taste

Mix to puree, place in a piping bag, place in refrigerator


• Mix all the bleached vegetables together, mix with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt.

• Place the tubular dressing on top.

Warm salad with lentils


• Red lentils: 1 cup

• Crispy onions: 1 medium size

• A handful of pomegranates

• Coriander: 1 bunch

• Marinade or pomegranate molasses: 1 tablespoon

• Garlic powder: 1 tablespoon

• Minced parsley: 50g

• Olive oil: 1 tablespoon

• Lemon juice: 1 tablespoon

• White balsamic vinegar: 1 tablespoon

• Oven baked beets: 1

• Pumpkin with baked butter in the oven: 100g


• Bring a medium saucepan of slightly salted water to a boil. Add the lentils and simmer until softened.

• For the sauce, combine olive oil, garlic powder, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, chopped parsley and coriander leaves, white balsamic vinegar.

• On top of the salad with crispy onions, minced parsley, coriander leaves, pomegranate seeds, small segments of pumpkin butter and beets, sprinkle the sauce.

Are you trying to include more plant-based products in your diet? I would love to hear your views on it. Send me a line at vidisha@paprika.net.in

Photos: Authors