I would like to thank Nestlé for sponsoring this post and allowing me to visit their headquarters for an awesome event! As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Today we live in a world that is becoming more and more health conscious. Consumers are starting to read nutrition labels, ingredient lists, and are wanting food options that contain quality ingredients. As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, I am always trying to encourage my clients to live a healthier lifestyle through easy modifications, such as consuming more plant-based foods.
When people think of plant-based eating, the first thing that comes to mind is a diet regimen full of plants, herbs, and other unappealing greenery, but this couldn’t be further from the truth! Plant-based eating is more than just a way to get essential vitamins and minerals; it’s also a great way to get good sources of protein! With the rise of more consumers adopting a plant-based diet and including more plant-based options into their daily diet regimen, there poses a concern of convenience and affordability.
However, thanks to a few well-known Nestlé brands, there are several convenient and affordable ways to consume a balanced plant-based diet, which aligns perfectly with Nestlé’s #BalanceYourPlate program! Balance Your Plate is an education program that helps Americans boost their intake of fruits and veggies, through nutritious and convenient meal options, and through thoughtful side dish pairings! These frozen and refrigerated entrées can be paired with vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, whole grains and low-fat dairy to build a balanced and convenient meal!
I was fortunate enough to get a sneak peek at the exciting plant-based options to help more people build a balanced plate! That’s right y’all, I had the privilege of visiting the Nestlé headquarters in Arlington, VA to get a close look at their delicious plant-based options and a few recipe ideas from their talented chefs! I had no idea that some of Nestlé’s familiar brands such as, COFFEE-MATE natural bliss, Häagen-Dazs, Lean Cuisine, and Sweet Earth, offered simple and delicious plant-based options! And I can’t wait to tell you all about it!
When I arrived at the Nestlé headquarters, I was mesmerized by the chic décor! In addition to being a food blogger and dietitian, I am also a self-proclaimed interior designer so I couldn’t help but to notice the design! Lol! I instantly felt at home as I was welcomed by the team!
The day began with demonstrations from Nestlé’s talented chefs as they showed us how to easily prepare plant-based meals at home! My favorite was the Chipotle Wonton Tacos made with seitan! Seitan is a high-protein meat substitute made from wheat gluten. It was my first time trying it and it was delicious! Next, we split into 2 groups and prepared an easy plant-based side dish. My group prepared Roasted Carrots & Harissa topped with crunchy chickpeas!
First on the menu was Sweet Earth!
This was my very first time trying Sweet Earth and I was pleasantly surprised! All Sweet Earth products are vegetarian and most items are vegan and made with organic ingredients! I was completely blown away by the Veggie Lover’s Vegan Pizza!
This pizza was completely vegan and piled high with broccoli, brussels sprouts, mushrooms, corn and more! The sauce was a homemade cauliflower herb and zesty marinara sauce, which really added so much flavor! And get this: when you take a peek at the bottom of the crust, you can actually see pieces of carrot and chia seeds! With 6g of protein in each serving, you will be proud to grab a slice of this pie!
Next on the menu was Lean Cuisine Origins!
I have always been a fan of Lean Cuisine! It was my “go-to” meal in college! Lol! I was thrilled to see that they’ve expanded the line to provide more plant-based options! Lean Cuisine Origins features meatless meal options made with legumes and gluten-free ingredients! They also offer two vegan options – Coconut Chickpea Curry and Sicilian-Style Pesto with Lentil Pasta!
My favorite was the Linguine with Ricotta & Spinach Meatless Meatballs! Those “meatballs” were so flavorful and truly the highlight of this dish! They are made with creamy organic ricotta cheese and tender spinach, which paired perfectly with the organic linguine and light tomato vegetable sauce!
The finishing touch included coffee and dessert with COFFEE-MATE natural bliss and Haagen-Dazs!
I LOVE dessert, but honestly I tend to shy away from it because my tummy is so sensitive to dairy products….and of course my favorite treats include ice-cream and creamy coffees! I was so happy to see that COFFEE-MATE natural bliss® and Haagen-Dazs Non-Dairy Collection carried plant-based, non-dairy options, such as the Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge Non-Dairy Bars and the natural bliss Vanilla Almond Milk Coffee Creamer!
Those two were my favorite and I can’t even begin to describe the rich, decadent flavors! The Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge Non-Dairy Bar was made with decadent chocolate fudge, creamy peanut butter, and then coated in crisp dark chocolate! And let’s not forget about the super creamy texture! Häagen-Dazs uses ingredients such as cocoa butter, coconut cream, and peanut butter to create a creamier texture and a truer taste! Genius!
The COFFEE MATE natural bliss Vanilla Almond Milk Coffee Creamer was the perfect addition to my coffee! It’s made with real, all-natural, no GMO ingredients to provide an all-natural alternative to traditional creamers. I didn’t even have to add any sugar! This is because the COFFEE MATE natural bliss Vanilla Almond Milk Coffee Creamer is made with real almonds, pure cane sugar and natural vanilla flavor that includes extracts from real Madagascar vanilla beans!
This experience was truly one that I would never forget and I hope that you received some tasty plant-based meal inspiration!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Nestlé.