Spring Vegetable Curry

Plant-Based Recipes and Green Ideas to Celebrate Earth Day

Publish Date April 4, 2024 5 Minute Read

There are lots of ways to celebrate Earth Day, from picking up litter around your neighborhood to planting trees. But did you know you can celebrate our incredible planet right in your own kitchen? This Earth Day, consider going green with plant-based delights that will make appetites and Mother Earth equally happy.

So, let’s raise our forks and embrace the power of plants this Earth Day. With these flavorful recipes and helpful tips, you’ll be well on your way to a more sustainable and satisfying way of eating.

We can make a difference, one delicious bite at a time.

Vegan Sugar Cookies

Vegan Sugar Cookies

No one will guess these classic cookies lack eggs or dairy. Whipping them up is simple, but be sure to chill the dough before rolling and baking for cookies that hold their shape and keep their crisp edges.

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Food labels

Food labels can be confusing, but understanding their meaning is helpful in making informed choices. Here’s a quick guide to some common food labels and what they mean:


Organic foods are grown without synthetic pesticides, fertilizers or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). They must meet strict standards set by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Organic Program.


Non-GMO products are made without genetically modified organisms. This label ensures the ingredients have not been genetically engineered or modified in any way.

Fair Trade

Fair-trade products ensure farmers and workers receive fair prices and wages, work in safe conditions and practice sustainable farming methods. This label helps social, economic and environmental well-being.

Gluten Free

Gluten-free products have no gluten — a protein found in wheat, barley and rye.


Vegan products contain no animal-derived ingredients, including meat, dairy, eggs and honey.

Cage Free

Cage-free eggs come from hens that are not confined to cages and have some access to the outdoors.

Spring Vegetable Curry

Spring Vegetable Curry with Coconut Milk

Bright green and bursting with fresh herbal flavors, this plant-based curry is a climate-friendly alternative to takeout. It’s also simple enough for a weeknight dinner.

Five Plant-Based Staples to Try

In honor of Earth Day, consider adding some of these plant-based staples to your refrigerator and pantry. They taste great, offer health benefits and help protect the environment. It’s a win-win-win!

Plant-Based Sausage and Nutritional Yeast

1. Plant-Based Sausage

The best thing about any sausage is the seasoning. You’ll find plant-based versions of italian links, bratwurst, apple and sage, chorizo and more. Just like traditional sausages, plant-based sausage packs in tons of flavor, making fast, tasty meals as easy as opening the package.

2. Nutritional Yeast

There’s no cheese in plant-based cooking. Thankfully, nutritional yeast brings that familiar nutty, cheesy flavor to anything you make. Sprinkle it on pasta, salad and popcorn, or even blend it with cashews or potatoes to make creamy cheese-like sauces for pasta and nachos.

Lentils and a spoonful of miso

3. Lentils

The best substitute for ground meat is also one of the healthiest. One cup of dried lentils can replace one pound of ground meat. Boil until tender, drain, then cook the lentils like ground meat in chili, pasta sauce, sloppy joes and tacos.

4. Miso

A staple in Japanese dishes and the star of miso soup, this fermented soybean paste can be a secret ingredient in plant-based recipes. It adds salt, complexity and a ton of umami — the quality that gives meat its satisfying savoriness. Add a little bit to stews, soups, risotto, sauces and other dishes that need oomph.

Can of coconut milk

5. Coconut Milk

This rich, creamy liquid can replace dairy in many recipes. When mixed with other ingredients and seasonings, the coconut flavor fades into the background. For best results, pick up the coconut milk sold in a can and not the one in the refrigerator case next to the other milks. Full-fat coconut milk is best when you want to replace heavy cream, and the low-fat versions can stand in for whole milk.

Shop Plant Based Staples

Tofu Banh Mi

Tofu Banh Mi

Banh mi sandwiches combine fresh flavors and classic ingredients from the culinary traditions of Vietnam and France. Always served on a crisp baguette, banh mi are often filled with sliced meat and pâté. But tofu banh mi is also a tour de force. Crisp, sweet-tart pickles and fragrant herbs bring even more planet-friendly plants to the party.

How to Press Tofu

Pressed tofu

  1. Remove the tofu from its packaging and drain any excess liquid.
  2. Wrap it in a clean kitchen towel or several layers of paper towel.
  3. Place a cutting board on top. Weigh it down with a skillet or dutch oven and let stand about 20 minutes.
  4. Remove the weight. Unwrap the tofu, pat it dry and use it in your favorite recipes.

Go Green by Composting

If you’ve ever wanted to cut down on the amount of garbage sent to landfills, this is a great time to start composting kitchen scraps. All those onion skins, banana peels and coffee grounds can actually benefit the planet. Not only does composting help curb greenhouse gas emissions, it also creates free nutrient-rich soil for your garden.

Try these five simple steps to get started:

  1. Choose the correct container. Any small bin or container with a tight lid can hold daily food scraps on your kitchen counter, though many bins are specifically made for holding compost and are designed to minimize food smells.
  2. Gather scraps. Fruit and vegetable peels, coffee grounds, tea bags and eggshells are all compostable materials. (You don’t want to compost meat, bones or fat.)
  3. Learn to layer. Every day, move the countertop compost to your outside compost pile, layering food scraps with leaves, shredded newspaper or cardboard to maintain the right carbon-to-nitrogen ratio.
  4. Maintain the compost pile. Keep the compost pile damp, aiding microorganisms in breaking down materials effectively. Gently turn the pile to aerate it every few weeks and speed up the decomposition process.
  5. Let the pros compost. If there’s a compost service operating in your town, check it out. You save scraps in a sealed bucket the service provides and they deal with the rest. Fees range from $20–$60 a month and sometimes include free compost to use at home
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