The Planetary Diet is an eating approach symbolized by a plate that is half full of fruits, vegetables, and nuts. The other half contains whole grains, plant proteins (beans, lentils, etc.), unsaturated plant oils, and modest amounts of meat, dairy, sugars, and starchy vegetables. It is a flexible and healthy diet. It is very different from our food consumption today and will require us to make a series of joyful changes. 

The Planetary Health Diet Image
At OPL, we love when we can make joyful changes that are good for us and the planet.

Changing our diet to include more veggie meals is one such change.  This change uses significantly fewer planet resources than meat meals.

Let us explain: Imagine we had a farm that produced 20 pounds of grain. It would require a lot of resources to grow our 20 pounds of grain, including land, fertilizer, water, equipment, transportation, and labor. It would also create some pollution. While that is a lot of resources, it would take us 20 times more resources to create beef. This includes more resources: land, antibiotics, water, equipment, transportation, labor and it creates a lot more pollution. So now we have used all these resources and instead of 20 pounds of veggies, we have one pound of meat and lots of pollution.  

EAT-Lancet Commission Logo

“Today, food is a defining challenge by contributing to both poor health outcomes and severe environmental degradation.”

EAT-Lancet Commission>eat-lancet-commission

Since we care about people and the planet, we need to make joyful changes. The best part about changing your diet to reduce meat is that it is healthier for you and lessens the burden on the planet (land, water, and air)!

With this knowledge, we begin to ask big questions about how to have enough food for everyone and care for the planet.  To help us explore these questions, we are fortunate enough to have the planetary diet created by the EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health that brought tougher 37 world-leading scientists from across the globe to answer the question: Can we feed a future population of 10 billion people a healthy diet within our planetary boundaries? The answer is yes, but to do so, we need to make joyful changes.  

To get started, below we are showcasing two vegetarian recipes from two home chefs. Sarah Biddle shares with us Vegetarian Chili with Homemade Tortilla Chips. Sam Shane shares with us Wild Mushroom and Pea Bolognese over Fresh Pasta. Both are tasty, substantial meals that will satisfy your hunger and taste buds.  

Let us know how the recipes came out at your home. Please share your favorite vegetarian or vegan recipes. 

Sarah Biddle Image

Vegetarian Chili with Homemade Tortilla Chips

Home Chef Sarah Biddle and OPL Community Member

 Just sauté the vegetables and put all of the ingredients in the crockpot in the morning, let the crockpot do all the work, and enjoy!

Total Time: 6 hours in the crockpot

Yield: 6 – 8 servings


  •     ½ cup olive oil
  •     1 onion, chopped
  •     2 garlic cloves 
  •     2 bell peppers
  •     1 jalapeno chopped
  •     1 zucchini (or whatever vegetables you have!) 
  •     1 can of black beans, rinsed and liquid drained
  •     1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and liquid drained
  •     1 can kidney beans, rinsed and liquid drained
  •     1 can diced tomatoes
  •     4-6 tablespoons chili powder, depending on preference 
  •     2 teaspoons dried oregano
  •     2 teaspoons salt
  •     2 teaspoons ground cumin
  •     ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  •     1 tablespoon hot sauce 
  •     Tortillas 
Vegetarian Chili Recipe


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic; sauté until they soften, but don’t brown, for about five minutes.

  1. Add the peppers and celery and sauté until lightly browned and tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Set your slow cooker to low. Add the beans, vegetables, diced tomatoes, spices, and hot sauce. Stir to combine and cover. Cook on low heat for 6 to 8 hours.
  3. Serve with shredded cheese and sour cream (optional) and enjoy!

 Tortilla Chips 

  1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2.     Cut each tortilla into 8 chip-sized wedges and arrange the wedges in a single layer on a cookie sheet.
  3.     Drizzle olive oil, salt, and chili powder over the chips. 
  4.     Bake for about 7 minutes; flip all of the chips and bake the other side for another 8 minutes or until the chips are crisp but not too brown. 
Sam Shane Image

Wild Mushroom and Pea Bolognese over Fresh Pasta

Home Chef Sam Shane and OPL Community Member

Total time: 2 hours           

Yield: 4 servings



  •           1 tablespoon olive oil
  •           1/4 cup minced onions
  •           Salt
  •           Freshly ground black pepper
  •           2 cups sliced assorted wild mushrooms
  •           1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  •           3/4 cup frozen green peas
  •           1 recipe of Shane Family Bolognese, warm and in a saucepan (see recipe below)
  •           1 pound cooked fresh pasta, hot
  •           2 ounces fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (optional)
  •           1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
Mushroom and Pea Bolognese


In a sauté pan, heat the oil. Add the onions. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 1 minute. 

Add the mushrooms and continue to sauté for 2 – 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. 

Stir in the garlic and peas. Sauté for 1 minute and remove from the heat. 

Turn the mushroom mixture into the Bolognese and mix well. 

Toss the pasta with the sauce. Mound the pasta into shallow bowls and garnish with cheese and parsley.

Shane Vegetarian Bolognese
Yield: 4 servings



  •           13 tablespoon Olive Oil            
  •           1 cup small diced carrots
  •           3/4 cup small diced celery
  •           1 cup small diced onions
  •           3 teaspoons paprika
  •           6 tablespoons bacon bits or cooked veggie bacon crushed
  •           3/4 pound veggie beef crumbles
  •           1/2 pound veggie sausage crumbles
  •           1/2 cup dry white wine
  •           1 tablespoon minced garlic
  •           2 tablespoons Italian tomato paste, diluted in 10 tablespoons veggie stock
  •           1 cup soy milk
  •           Salt and black pepper



In a sauce pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat.   Stir in the carrots, celery, and onions. Season with salt and pepper. Saute the vegetables for about 3 – 5 minutes or until the vegetables are translucent.  Add the paprika and stir for 30 seconds.

In a mixing bowl, combine the bacon bits, veggie beef crumbles, and the veggie sausage crumbles. Season with salt and pepper.   Add to the sauteed vegetables and cook until the crumbles are cooked through and incorporated.

Stir in the wine, garlic,  and diluted tomato paste, and reduce the heat to very low. 

Cook partially covered for 2 hours. From time to time stir in a tablespoon or so of the soy milk; by the end of the two hours the soy milk should be incorporated. 

Season with salt and black pepper.

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