For me, loving vegetables is about loving flavor, especially here in Northern California. I’ve been a veggie enthusiast since I was a kid, so the concept of plant-forward eating comes easily to me. But I know we are not all so lucky, and in many cases, your children or those you’re caring for aren’t either. But here’s why you should give it a try: choosing a plant-forward diet influences our health and the health of our planet. Eating plant-based proteins is associated with a lower risk of chronic disease and mortality, as well as a smaller carbon footprint, compared with animal proteins.

Through CIA’s industry initiatives like Menus of Change, a partnership with The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and our public classes and events, we are focused on helping people to make great food choices for their health and the planet, and we know that this can be done without sacrificing deliciousness.

In fact, plant-forward eating doesn’t even mean you have to give up meat. It just means you’re making more room on your plate or in your dish for vegetables and other fresh and seasonal ingredients. This also means more support for local farmers and producers, enjoying seasonally and nutritious foods, and lowering your carbon footprint. Win-win-win!

Here at The CIA at Copia, we teach our guests about flavoring techniques, choosing proteins, and selecting seasonal ingredients so that they can build their own creative and delicious plant-based menus at home. I’ve been incorporating a lot of that advice myself these days, but what I have been craving is all the stuff that brings me comfort—especially the calorie-rich, indulgent snacks from game days to holidays that remind me of being together with friends and family. The types of foods that really feed one’s spirit.

We don’t always associate eating veggies with eating something satisfying, especially when it’s comfort foods we’re in the mood for. So, we’ve collected some of our favorite comfort foods and reimagined them with a plant-forward twist. This way, you can be happy and healthy at the same time.

Maryam Ahmed, Director of Public Programs
The CIA at Copia

Zucchini-Mushroom Griddlecakes
“Cheesy” Broccoli Soup
Vegan Cauliflower Queso

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