I have been experimenting with plant protein as part of an ongoing personal food project. I am always looking to make the best vegetarian version of a meatball, burger, or meatloaf a few times per week. The Guardian published a rather interesting article about lab proteins destroying farming but saving the planet and I began contemplating what this means to chefs, creatives, consumers, and food companies. Wow, is that food for thought!?

I am not vegan or even vegetarian but I enjoy vegetables and being creative in my kitchen and studio. I have gravitated towards plant-based foods now that I am working towards a masters degree at the Culinary Institute of America for food branding and sustainability.

I made a design thinking map of various approaches to making a switch to more plant-based meals. These are approaches I have used for many creations!

I decided to shop for delicious local foods in season and to create some bowls. I like bowls because I can assemble them fast when I am busy and they use a huge variety of delicious vegetables. I cooked lentils, quinoa, and garbanzo beans. Then I sliced many veggies very thin including peppers, carrots, and golden beets. I rinsed the herbs and greens and spun them dry. And I prepared a delicious lemon-turmeric dressing that is now a favorite. The result? A great plant-based bowl!

This bowl features my favorite salad ingredients: dried cranberries, beets, and herbed goat cheese! The fresh fennel was shaved on the mandolin to create crunch rings of amazing fennel flavor!

Of course the secret to any bowl is to prepare the ingredients and assemble your “mis en place”!