The Unexpected Plant-Based Diet Rachael Ray Enjoys - Exclusive

These days, it's easier than ever to follow any kind of diet. Whether you're totally vegetarian, focused on a protein-centered paleo diet, mindful of lactose intolerance, strictly keto, or anything in between, there are a plethora of recipes, techniques, and crafted ingredients that make cooking within any guidelines not only possible but also enjoyable. But have you ever found yourself asking which diets your favorite celebrity chefs follow at home? Sure, they might be making certain meals on TV, but does that mean that's what they make for themselves on a typical weeknight?

Take Rachael Ray, arguably one of the most prolific food TV personalities. Since the launch of "30-Minute Meals" in 2001, Ray has hosted a range of shows, written more than 20 cookbooks, and shared hundreds (if not thousands) of recipes along the way. We got the chance to catch up with her at the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival — Ray was spearheading the signature event that she hosts every year, Burger Bash.

Under the circumstances, it might be safe to assume that eating burgers, or at least meat, is a beloved part of her diet. While that isn't necessarily untrue, it's not the full story. Ray is also a fierce advocate for improving school kids' diets — and more recently, she has been turning to vegan meals as a way to do that.

You might be left wondering where Ray herself falls on the spectrum of dedicated carnivore to full-on vegan. When she and husband John Cusimano are cooking up meals at home, what's typically on the menu? We asked, and she answered. Speaking exclusively with Tasting Table, Ray opened up about the type of diet she and her husband try to follow, and it's a little more plant-forward than you might expect.

Rachael Ray says she and her husband eat less meat than you might think

As someone whose cuisine knows no bounds — as shown through her range of recipes — it makes sense that Rachael Ray wouldn't put too many labels on her diet, either. "John and I are flexitarians," she told Tasting Table. For Ray, that means, "We eat everything." She joked that "John's favorite four-letter word remains 'pork,'" but she also admitted, "I eat a fair amount" of vegan food as well, adding that she and her husband "eat more plant-based than people would imagine." Considering all the known health benefits of following a plant-based diet, it's not hard to believe that anyone with expert knowledge of food would lean into those kinds of eating habits.

On top of that, given the way that vegetarian and vegan cooking has evolved over the years, Ray also pointed out that you don't necessarily need to sacrifice creativity and flavor to eat better. There are more ways than ever to modify whatever your favorite foods may be. Ray says the Burger Bash is a perfect example of this.

"We always love Burger Bash because we free-formed the meaning of that from the get-go," she said — there are endless ways to make a burger now, and so many of them don't involve beef whatsoever. "You can make a burger out of shrimp. You can make a plant-based burger," she mentioned, just to name a few. We're also thinking of the countless recipes for turkey burgers, chicken burgers, black bean burgers, veggie burgers, and more. Knowing Ray and her flexitarian cooking skills, she's no doubt got a great recipe for them all.

For the latest from Rachael Ray, follow her on Instagram. Plus, click here to learn more about the annual Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival Presented by Capital One, and be sure to check out the highlights from this year's event.