Vegan For Her: What Women Need To Know About Plant Based Diets

Why A Compassionate Diet Equals Good Health and A Healthier Planet

Many women are choosing plant-based diets, not only because of the compassion factor but also because of the tremendous health benefits. For women that choose to be conscious about what they eat in order to maintain good health and also want to contribute to a healthier, more sustainable planet, this is clearly the right decision to make. However, there is a lot of false information circulating which can mislead women and discourage this very healthy way of living.

Common Concerns With Vegan Diets

The most commonly asked question about a vegan diet is, can a plant-based diet offer enough protein? This is a genuine concern many women have about plant-based diets due to social acceptance and education, or lack thereof. For some women, it is a hard adjustment to make, especially with society consistently pushing a diet that relies upon animal flesh for protein. It seems like a very drastic measure because this is how we are conditioned to think. We are even taught this as children in elementary school courtesy of the USDA’s Food Pyramid Guide.

Vegan For Her Book

It is interesting that the Food Guide Pyramid, was released by the USDA in 1992, and then replaced on April 19, 2005, by MyPyramid. Talk about antiquated! Fortunately, we have Virgina Messina, MPH, RD, to keep the public up to date with what she refers to as The Plant Plate for proper nutrition!

Plant Plate Infographic

Virgina Messina, MPH, RD, has put together a very easy to follow infographic that can be used by everyone! This guide is a great tool for new vegans as well as folks that would like to eat more balanced, plant-based foods.

Some of the other common questions about vegan diets as it pertains to women are questions about valid sources of protein, the impact of soy on women’s hormones, and how we age. These are some of the topics which will be discussed during the interview.

Listen To The Interview: 

In this segment of The Organic View Radio Show, host, June Stoyer, talks to Virginia Messina, co-author of Vegan For Her, The Women’s Guide To Being Healthy and Fit on a Plant-Based Diet.

Are you hungry? Try some of these delicious and easy to make recipes from Vegan For Her!

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Creamy Kale Miso Soup Recipe

Creamy Kale Miso Soup Recipe From Vegan For Her

Creamy Kale Miso Soup Recipe

With just six ingredients, a saucepan, and a blender you will be enjoying a delicious, super-healthy soup in 20 minutes! Be sure to use a low-sodium vegetable broth, since the miso has a very salty flavor.

From the book Vegan for Her, by Virginia Messina, MPH, RD, with JL Fields.  Reprinted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group.  Copyright © 2013.

Please use certified organic, non-gmo ingredients with this or any recipe.


  • 32-ounces (4 cups) low-sodium vegetable broth (low-sodium is very important!)
  • 1 cup coarsely diced yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh garlic
  • 1 (14-ounce) package soft (not silken) tofu, pressed and drained
  • 4 cups loosely packed kale (curly and red Russian kale are great in this soup)
  • ¼ cup yellow miso
  • Pieces of raw kale, chopped, for garnish


  • Bring the vegetable stock, onions, and garlic to a boil in a large saucepan.
  • Cube the pressed tofu, add it to the saucepan, and bring the mixture back to a boil.
  • Add the kale (torn into large pieces), stir, cover, and simmer on low for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the miso—it’s okay if it doesn’t all dissolve because you will soon be blending it.
  • Transfer the soup from the saucepan to a blender, cover tightly, and blend for 30 seconds to a minute, 3 cups at a time (or to the half-full point of your particular blender). If you have an immersion blender, blend in the pot (cover with a dishtowel to prevent hot splatters).
  • Spoon into a bowl and garnish with a few pieces of raw kale.

Yield: 6 servings

Note: Never fill a blender more than half full with hot liquid, as the liquid expands. As an added precaution, place a towel over the top of the blender when using hot liquids.

Spinach Bow Tie Pasta Salad

The creamy “green” sauce—featuring spinach and tofu—makes this vegan pasta salad a nutritional powerhouse! Be sure to chill for the recommended time to ensure a flavorful experience.

The Creamy Spinach Bowtie Pasta Salad

The Creamy Spinach Bowtie Pasta Salad Recipe

Ingredients: Please use certified organic, non-gmo ingredients with this or any recipe.

  • 4 ounces Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Whole-Grain Bow Tie Pasta
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • Onion, diced in big chunks (I use half a small red onion)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, diced in big chunks
  • 6 ounces extra-firm tofu, pressed, drained, and cubed
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dill weed, plus a pinch for garnish
  • 1/8 cup diced red onion
  • 4 ounces finely diced haricots verts
  • Dash of dill weed
  • Ground black pepper
  • Chopped baby spinach leaves, for garnish


  • Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. When finished, drain, rinse in cold water, drain again, and set aside.
  • Begin making the “cream” sauce by bringing the vegetable broth, onions, and garlic to a boil in a medium saucepan.
  • Add the tofu and bring back to a boil.
  • Add the spinach, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Transfer the cooked tofu and spinach mixture from the saucepan to a blender or food processor, cover tightly, and blend for 30 seconds to a minute. (If you double and/or increase this recipe, be sure to blend in small batches, 2 to 3 cups at a time.) Store the leftover sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.
  • This will make about 3 cups of sauce. Pour 2 cups of sauce over the cooked, rinsed, and drained pasta. Stir in the salt, dill, onions, and haricots vert.
  • Add a pinch of dill weed, pour into a bowl with an airtight lid, and refrigerate for at least two hours.
  • Once chilled,serve with fresh ground black pepper and garnish with a few chopped baby spinach leaves.

Yield: 2 entrée servings or 4 side servings

19 thoughts on “Vegan For Her: What Women Need To Know About Plant Based Diets

  1. I have wanted to go vegan but had health concerns, esp since I am in menopause. Thank you for the helpful information!

  2. I’ve been a vegan my whole life. I still cannot understand why people think eating animals is healthy, physically and emotionally. Now that the paradigm has shifted, more people will come around and become vegans. It is the only way human beings can survive!

  3. I have tried to be vegan before but it was hard. However, I liked the interview and learned a lot. I will check out the book and in fact, just ordered it on Amazon. Thanks for the inspiration and much needed education!

  4. It’s about time they got rid of that stupid food pyramid! Love the plant plate! Great interview with Virginia Messina! Bought her other book too. Good guide for new vegans.

  5. I was raised in the south and it has been hard to be the sole vegan in the family. I had to hear about how unhealthy it is and that I am going to waste away. It is good to know how to deal with this. Thanks for giving us solo vegans direction!

  6. Love to experiment with all types of veggies and these recipes, but only use fermented soy like miso. I do not eat tofu.

  7. Hi – Just tried the recipe for the pasta salad. Unfortunately the amount of liquid is way too much- I even reduced it to 3 cups. I ended up with soup basically and therefore the flavour was watered out. I’m going to try the recipe again but with 1.5-2 cups stock at the most. Cheers, Janine

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