Good whole food plant-based recipes for beginners can be hard to find, and often difficult to make! I’d like to take the guesswork out of meal planning + prepping by sharing my family’s fav plant-based dinner recipes. These are easy, simple recipes loaded with flavor and health benefits.
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Are Whole Food Plant-Based Diet Recipes Worth the Hype?
While I’ve called myself a vegetarian for years, my diet consisted of bean burritos from Taco Bell, and Lucky Charms. Sure, I wasn’t eating meat, but I was fueling my body with junk. And boy did I feel it! I slept a lot. I was always hungry. I craved candy.
Processed foods contain ingredients mostly found in industrial food manufacturing (aka, not nature). This includes hydrogenated oils, high-fructose corn syrup, food dyes, flavoring, and emulsifiers.
A diet of predominately processed food can lead to:
- Heart disease: leading cause of death worldwide. A result of continual eating of processed food according to a recent study by the British Medical Journal.
- Unhealthy weight gain: The National Institute of Health conducted a study showing a correlation between a processed food diet and weight gain.
- Increased risk of cancer: the correlation between cancer patients and increasingly processed food diets goes up 12% for every 10% of the diet that contains processed food.
- Malnutrition: processing actually strips food of its nutritional value! This creates empty calorie consumption and minimal nutritional value, even if one feels ‘full.’
- Addictive eating habits: processed foods can actually make people addicted to food.
A diet consisting of minimally processed, whole foods can lead to:
- Healthy weight loss + gut health: a whole food plant-based diet is high in fiber, which helps the body with excess weight, and better digestion.
- Lower risk of Type II Diabetes: vegetarians are at an almost 50% decreased risk of diabetes over those on a non-vegetarian diet.
- A Lower risk for heart disease: a balanced whole food plant-based diet significantly lowers the risk for heart disease.
- Lower risk for cancer: a study by the US National Library of Medicine showed a 43% reduced risk of cancer in those sticking to a vegetarian diet.
How to Prep Meals like a Pro:
A huge part of success in whole food plant-based eating is knowing how to prep. Whole foods are just that, whole. That means I need to know how to prep/cook/pair them together (unlike the boxed freezer meal that does all the leg work). Here are my pro tips on introducing your family to a lasting new lifestyle:
- Invest in a few kitchen tools: On a daily basis, I use my blender (Vitamix is my jam!), a food processor, pairing knives, a cast iron skillet, and glass storage containers.
- Prep ahead: Seriously though… I succeed when I am prepared. I get the whole family involved in food prep for the week; my kids also eat better when they help prepare (and decide) what we eat, so it’s a win-win. I’ve got great tips for prepping smoothies, prepping snacks for work, and prepping for an entire whole foods, plant-based lifestyle in every seasonal cleanse I’ve created.
- Get knowledgeable about plant-based protein: People often ask how I get enough protein in a day. I smile and say, it’s easy! Yet I know that whole food plant-based protein options aren’t always talked about. I make sure to keep my pantry stocked with my fav protein options. I also have a great guide on how to build an incredibly satisfying Chipotle Veggie Bowl using these options.
- Don’t go it alone: Whether you live by yourself, or your family isn’t quite on board with this new lifestyle, find people that want to rawk this with you. I learn new stuff from my Rawk the Year fam all the time!
12 Whole Food Plant-Based Dinner Recipes
If I haven’t sold you on trying a plant-based recipes yet, I dare you not to drool over this recipe list:
These recipes are real winners, and not a single one compromises on flavor. You can be healthy + happy fueling your body this way, and starting with these recipes will have you achieving whole food plant-based pro status in no time.
Drop a comment below with your top pick from this list, or let me know how your recipe turned out!
Great article! I’ve found that many people have trouble adapting to a plant based diet. This cookbook really helped me out. It’s full of delicious recipes that will satisfy your appetite even if you’re just starting to go vegan.
I pinned the post!!
Woo hoo, Steph!
I made this for my husband and I this week. Truthfully we were both skeptical with the taco “meat”. But we both LOVED it. I did double the spices on the sweet potato (not the cayenne)and doubled the jalapeno and garlic in the pico de gallo. Overall this was a delightful dish. Bravo!
That’s awesome, Michelle! It really is a delicious dish. 🙂
I’m a bit confused on your serving info. Are the ingredients listed for 2 servings or 1? Thanks! Can’t wait to give it a try!
The recipe listed makes two servings. 🙂
I pinned this post! Thank you!
I pinned this post! Love using Pinterest!
Pinned, looking forward to saving more articles.
Awesome, Annette! 🙂
Just pinned, although I’ve followed y’all since the beginning. Keep rawkin’!
Kale yeah, Rachelle!
Is there a substitute for the tamari? I’m allergic to soy. Thanks!
You could use coconut aminos instead of tamari. 🙂
Yes… coconut aminos are really a fantastic alternative.
I’ve been eating mostly plant-based since I did the 21-Day Cleanse with you last year. It has truly changed my life for the better! My favorite recipe from this article is definitely the Famous Loaded Sweet Potato— you’ll be amazing at home hearty eating vegetables can be. Thanks Jen and the rawkstar team for helping me and so many others eat more plants.
That’s great to hear!
i pinned the post 🙂
I pinned the post! Also, zoodles in a jar is a fav lunch of mine. SO easy and flavorful.
I pinned the post!
This sounds wonderful. I can’t wait to try it.
It’s delicious! Try it and let us know what you think!
I pinned the post!