" We're here to facilitate your plant-based journey "

PlantPlate.com is here to provide the recipes, information, and practical advice needed to follow a healthy plant-based diet. Whether you're interested in improving your health, losing weight, or eating more sustainably, a whole foods plant-based diet may be the perfect solution for you.

My name's Emma, and I started PlantPlate in 2013 with the help of my husband Scott, a web developer and fellow plantivore. I’m a certified Plant-Based Nutritionist who loves to cook, and I've followed a plant-based diet for over a decade. Having lived in various locations throughout the world - sometimes on a shoestring budget, and often with irregular and demanding work schedules - I’ve had to constantly adapt my diet in order to make it work. It’s taught me a lot, and it’s motivated me to show others just how accessible and enjoyable this way of eating can be.

The recipes featured on PlantPlate are based on minimally processed plant foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. They're free from all animal products, processed oils and refined carbohydrates, and are made with simple and affordable ingredients. Our articles are aimed at providing you with plant-based know-how when it comes to shopping, cooking, nutrition and day-to-day living. We have answers to common questions and share practical knowledge that we have acquired through experience. Finally, the resources section contains links to books, DVDs, and video presentations from some of the world's leading experts on plant-based nutrition. It is our hope that these resources will help you to fully understand and evaluate the health benefits of this wonderful way of eating.

Welcome to PlantPlate!  We hope you enjoy your visit. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email us at contact@plantplate.com.

The information on this website is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat health problems or illnesses without first consulting your doctor.

Guide to Dining Out

Wondering what on earth you are going to eat if you're out in a restaurant or cafe? Check out these tips for choosing healthy plant-based options when you're dining outside your home.

A major are of concern for many plant-based eaters is where, what and how on earth they can eat when dining out with others. If you're one such concerned reader, you needn't continue to worry - there are plenty of options available to you! You will, however, need to arm yourself with some restaurant know-how and planning skills, to make your dining experience as enjoyable as possible.

The first step is to try and plan ahead. For instance, if your friends have picked a restaurant and you know the name, look it up online and see if you can find a menu. You'll know in advance which (if any) options are available to you, or whether something could easily be tailored to suit your needs. In any case, I would recommend calling ahead to see if the restaurant will cater to your dietary preferences. Some of the best restaurant meals I have had came from establishments with no plant-based menu options, but who were happy to accommodate my requests since the chefs were given enough time to plan. Just remember to tip a little extra in these instances if you can, as it always helps to show your appreciation, and will encourage them to do it again in the future!

If you think your options will be very limited, eat something before you go. This may sound counter-productive, but I've found this approach very helpful. If your only option is some sort of salad and maybe a bit of bread, there's every chance you'll go hungry and become irritable! In these instances, it's better to shift your focus to the social aspect of the dining experience, and eat something nutritious and satiating before you go. A small bowl bean and vegetable soup is a great option, as you'll still have room for something should there be an option available to you.

Don’t over-stress about every detail. Yes, it’s ideal to eat whole grains and other minimally processed foods whenever possible, and I encourage people to aim for this at all times. But if you go to a restaurant that only serves white pasta, or white rice, it doesn't have to be a deal breaker. Aim to select the best option available to you; ensure that it's plant-based, but don't worry yourself if you have to compromise a little bit. When food is cooked to order though, I recommend that you always ask for it to be made without oil, as restaurants tend to be very heavy handed with added fats. This may result in you feeling very unwell after a meal, especially if you have avoided added oils or salty foods for a significant period of time.

Finally, and probably most importantly, learn what to order where. This is fundamental when you're following a plant-based diet, as being knowledgeable about options within different cuisines makes for a quick and painless ordering process. To help you out, here's a list of the best plant-based options by cuisine type:



Most Chinese restaurants offer plenty of vegetable and tofu-based dishes, as well as noodles, rice and soups. It's best to ask for things to be prepared without oil if possible, and even with sauce on the side so you can manage the sodium content. Look for the following options on menus:

  • Stir-Fried Vegetable Dishes (ask for no oil, ask for no oyster sauce)
  • Tofu and Vegetable Dishes (ask for no oil, ask for no oyster sauce)
  • Vegetarian Noodle Soups
  • Steamed Rice


Thai or Vietnamese

You will generally find plenty of plant-based options on Thai and Vietnamese menus. It recommend choosing light options, like salads and soups, and always asking for dishes to be made without fish sauce. Some menu items that are good choices include:

  • Fresh Vegetarian Spring Rolls - these are also known as rice paper rolls (just make sure they don't contain egg)
  • Papaya or Green Mango Salad (ask for no fish sauce or shrimp)
  • Stir-Fried Vegetable Dishes (ask for no oil)
  • Tofu and Vegetable Dishes (ask for no oil)
  • Vegetarian Noodle Soups
  • Steamed Rice



Most Indian restaurants cater extensively to vegetarians, but always call ahead to make sure that the vegetarian dishes are not made with ghee (clarified butter.) Some Indian meals can be very heavy and oily, and so I recommend always asking if any options can be made oil-free, or are low in fat. As a general rule, it's best to stick with tomato-based curries, and of course, skip the fried entrees. Some favourable options might include:

  • Tomato-based chickpea, lentil and vegetable curries
  • Dhal (a lentil soup)
  • Roti - a flatbread that's usually made with 100% wholemeal flour (check that it is made without butter)
  • Pickles and chutneys
  • Steamed Rice



Pizzas, pastas and salads in Italian restaurants often contain cheeses. Remember to request no cheese in any dish you order, even if it is not listed as an ingredient on the menu. A lot of dishes are made with generous amounts of olive oil, so again, it's good to phone ahead and see if anything can be made to order without oil. Your best choices at an Italian restaurant include:

  • Vegetarian Pizza without Cheese
  • Pasta with Fresh Vegetables
  • Tomato and Basil Bruschetta
  • House Salad dressed with balsamic vinegar or lemon juice (ask for no oil)



Ethiopian restaurants are another place than generally have an extensive vegetarian menu. You should always check, however, whether dishes can be made without oil or butter. Most restaurants will have the following options:

  • Fresh Salad Starters
  • Vegetable and Legume Dishes
  • Injera (Ethiopian flatbread)
  • Steamed Rice



This is a cuisine that normally offers plenty of low-fat vegan options, but you should double check about the use of fish stocks and flakes in dishes that aren't clearly marked as vegetarian. Some of my favourite dishes include:

  • Cucumber, Avocado, or Mixed Vegetable Sushi (check that there is no egg or mayonnaise added)
  • Miso Soup- check that it is made without benito flakes or other fish products
  • Seaweed Salad
  • Vegetarian Soba Noodle Dishes (ask for no oil)
  • Vegetarian Rice Dishes (ask for no oil)
  • Pickled Vegetables


Mexican (or Tex Mex)

Most vegetarian Mexican dishes can be made completely plant-based simply by removing the cheese or sour cream. However, you should make sure that any beans you order are made without bacon or other animal ingredients. Our Mexican favourites include:

  • Bean and rice corn tortillas, with fresh salad fixings and salsa
  • Vegetarian Chilli with Rice or salad
  • Bean and Vegetable-Based Soups


Grill or Steakhouse

You may not think that there would be anything available to you at a steakhouse, but that's not necessarily true. In fact, these establishments can be one of the easiest places to find a meal that is completely WFPB-compliant! While I'd prefer not to have to eat at meat-centred establishments frequently, I'm happy to be able to piece together a healthy and filling meal from the salad bar or "sides" menu. This can include:

  • Plain Baked Potato with beans, corn or fresh salsa
  • Fresh Salads or Salad Bar Selections
  • Sides of Rice, Beans or Steamed Vegetables (ask for no butter or oil)


Cafe / Sandwich Bar

You may be catching up with someone for lunch in a casual place with a small lunch menu. Your best option in these circumstances is to put together a sandwich or salad using the healthiest vegetable fillings available, such as:

  • Whole wheat bread with tomato, lettuce, cucumber, beets, carrots, avocado, etc. plus mustard, pickles or balsamic vinegar
  • House salad with avocado or legumes added, dressed in balsamic vinegar or lemon juice (ask for no oil)



Article photo courtesy of Praytino via Flickr