Some people are under the impression that eating a diet of whole foods is difficult and expensive. That’s only true if you’re worried about getting all the latest packaged products that have hit the market. Sure, it’s fun and delicious to enjoy all the meatless burgers, dairy-free cheeses, and other convenience foods out there, but that can get pretty costly.
Eating a whole-foods diet, on the other hand, is not only easy, and much less expensive, it’s also healthier. Enjoying meals made with fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and whole grains makes shopping so easy! Check out A Whole Foods Vegan Diet: The Ultimate Guide for tips on how to eat healthy. Before you hit the market, look at our Healthy Grocery Go-To List: 50 Whole Foods to Choose From and How to Eat a Healthy, Whole-Foods, Plant-Based Diet on $50 Per Week for tips on what to buy.
We’re not saying you should never buy convenience products, but learning to depend on them isn’t the best idea. Instead, how about challenging yourself to focus on whole foods and eat a label-free diet for just one week? With the exception of spices and condiments, here are 21 delicious and healthy recipes that are made with whole foods. There are seven recipes each for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Get ready to be surprised at how amazing going label-free can feel.
1. Dreamy Almond Butter and Banana Chia Pudding
This creamy, Dreamy Almond Butter and Banana Chia Pudding is so easy to make. All you have to do is throw the main ingredients into a mason jar, shake it up, and then let it sit in the fridge overnight. For this recipe, almond milk is the ideal non-dairy milk to use. Almond butter, plus almond milk? They just go hand-in-hand. Top this chia pudding with anything you like, such as chocolate chips, but it’s especially good with banana.
2. Breakfast Bowl with Oats, Pistachios and Grapefruit
Treat yourself to this delightful Breakfast Bowl with Oats, Pistachios, and Grapefruit. This has warm oatmeal, crunchy pistachios, and tart, citrus-y grapefruit with a sweet, creamy maple-tahini drizzle! You get a boost of protein from the pistachios, plus the hemp, and chia seeds that are stirred in as the oatmeal simmers. This breakfast bowl will provide you with the long-lasting energy that you need to start your day.
3. Carrot Poppyseed Buckwheat Porridge
With a bit of prep work at night, this Carrot Poppyseed Buckwheat Porridge will be waiting for you in the morning. Soaking the buckwheat overnight gives it a soft and oatmeal-like texture. This breakfast dish is creamy, thick, and it tastes just like carrot cake, no refined sugar needed. The addition of protein from the buckwheat and healthy fats from the hemp hearts are just an added bonus.
4. Winter Glow Smoothie
This Winter Glow Smoothie is filled with leafy greens and fresh fruit to boot! Don’t let the green scare you away; it actually tastes delicious. The smoothie is filled with bananas, papayas, lime juice, and dark, leafy greens. It’s so nutritious, your body will be smiling back at you for being so kind to it.
5. Blood Orange and Raspberry Steel-Cut Oatmeal
Start your morning with something healthy, delicious, and pretty to look at like this Blood Orange and Raspberry Steel-Cut Oatmeal. The main flavor in this fruity oatmeal is raspberry which break down to flavor the entire porridge and turn the whole bowl a powerful magenta hue. Most of the blood oranges are used as toppings, creating a feast for the eyes and a burst of flavor with each bite.
6. Homemade Coconut Cashew Yogurt Parfait
This Homemade Coconut Cashew Yogurt Parfait may be breakfast, but it looks and tastes like an indulgent dessert. The magic of cashews is what gives the yogurt in this parfait its dreamy, creamy texture. It has that sweet and tangy flavor that we all know and love. Paired with crunchy granola and fresh fruit, this yogurt parfait is the perfect start to any day!
7. Overnight Savory Breakfast Mushrooms
No one says breakfast has to be oatmeal or smoothies. These Overnight Savory Breakfast Mushrooms are a great set-and-forget recipe that does not require any cooking, so you get a tasty breakfast dish without all the effort. This easy recipe will fill your belly with plant-based goodness and get your day off to a great start.
1. Wheat Berries and Mushroom Filled Savory Cabbage Boats with Mustard Miso Sauce
These Wheat Berries and Mushroom Filled Savoy Cabbage Boats are simple in the nicest sense of the word. Wheat berries add a nutty earthy taste and texture along with broccoli, Savoy cabbage, chanterelles, and a spicy miso mustard sauce. Clean, pure flavors all wrapped up in cabbage leaf boat that you can eat with your hands!
2. Rawsome Wraps
These Rawsome Wraps get their name because they are a combination of raw and awesome! These are so easy to make, and the most refreshing lunch ever. Raw spinach wraps are filled with veggies and creamy avocado for a delicious meal. The vibrant colors alone are enough to keep you coming back for more.
3. Caramelized Shallot and Portobello Open Faced Sandwich
Eating whole foods doesn’t mean sandwiches are off the menu. Just skip the packaged food and make this Caramelized Shallot and Portobello Open Faced Sandwich instead. The savory flavors of the caramelized shallots and meaty Portobello mushrooms mingle with a creamy, yet refreshing homemade cashew cream sauce that’s both lemony and a little cheesy. This is a sandwich that you need to eat with a fork and knife and it’s best served with a bowl of soup.
4. Raw Super Sprout Pad Thai with Spicy Peanut Sauce
This Raw Super Sprout Pad Thai is made from spiralized squash and carrots, plus red cabbage, bean sprouts, and micro green sprouts. It’s all tossed in a delicious spicy peanut sauce. With all the bold flavors and textures, you’ll never get bored of this delicious and healthy dish.
5. Tuscan Bean and Pasta Salad
This Tuscan Bean and Pasta Salad is a quick, easy, and tasty lunch inspired by the vibrant flavors and produce of Tuscany. It has pasta, chickpeas, spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes with a light Italian dressing. It’s the perfect kind of meal because it’s easily portable and keeps well, so you can stay nourished and happy when you’re on the go.
6. Rainbow Salad
You’ve heard the saying “Eat the Rainbow.” Well, with this Rainbow Salad, you can do that literally. It has a wide range of colorful ingredients like kale, cucumber, peppers, carrots, avocado, and a bunch of different seeds and berries. Light, refreshing, and filling, this will give your body all the benefits of eating the rainbow.
7. Miso Zoodle Soup with Fava Beans and Greens
Regular old noodle soup is an amazingly comforting food, but this all-veggie Miso Zoodle Soup with Fava Beans and Greens is refreshing and revitalizing! Spiralized zucchini noodles stand in for traditional wheat or rice noodles and it has a little zing from a sprinkling of chili flakes, making this a perfect dish to eat on a day where you need a healthy and nourishing pick-me-up.
1. Chipotle Black Bean Stuffed Yams
These Chipotle Black Bean Stuffed Yams are loaded with Mexican-inspired flavors! The best thing about this recipe is that it comes together quickly, so they are perfect for a busy day. Pop the yams in the oven while you make the topping and you’ll have the perfect, filling meal in no time!
2. Cinnamon-Spiced Chana Masala
The chickpeas in this Cinnamon-Spiced Chana Masala stew in a savory, spiced tomato sauce until they absorb the flavors. While most curries have a kick to them, this one is mild, making it great for kids. This dish thickens as it cools, so even the leftovers are amazing. Serve this with a generous portion of freshly cooked brown basmati rice.
3. Cuban Black Beans
These made-from-scratch Cuban-Style Black Beans are totally traditional and totally fabulous. They’re spiced with garlic, onion, cumin, and oregano. The flavor of home-cooked beans is so delicious and authentic and much less expensive than canned. Serve these beans with rice, fried plantains, and sliced avocado to create a full meal.
4. Vegetable-Stuffed Baked Eggplant
The eggplant halves in this Vegetable-Stuffed Baked Eggplant are roasted in the oven until brown and the stuffed with a mixture of lightly seasoned quinoa, sautéed mushrooms, and other vegetables. It’s easy to make, but the results are amazing! Don’t limit yourself to the grains and vegetables in the recipe for the stuffing — any vegetables that you use will do! Experiment with different mixtures and enjoy.
5. Superfood Butter Bean Burgers
Forget buying packaged veggie burgers. These Superfood Butter Bean Burgers are exactly how they sound — full of superfoods and full of butter beans! These dense, meaty burgers are packed with chia seeds, quinoa flakes, whole grains, and, of course, beans! Enjoy them with a side of salsa and sweet potato fries.
6. Nourish Bowl with Beet Hummus
This Nourish Bowl with Beet Hummus will help you get a lot of nourishing goodness in one bowl! Roasted sweet potato and cooked broccoli pair perfectly with raw kale and crunchy red cabbage, creamy avocado, and fluffy quinoa. A dollop of earthy beet hummus topped with cracked black pepper and sea salt adds yet another depth of flavor. This delightful combo of raw and cooked foods is perfect for lunch or dinner!
7. Roasted Tomato with Broccoli and Red Onion Over Quinoa
Easy meals, like this recipe for Roasted Tomato and Broccoli over Quinoa, quickly become a household staple. The caramelized broccoli takes on nutty notes, and the onions get tender and sweeter. Toss them in a lush, tomato-y seasoning, and top it off with the beans and some more slow-roasted tomatoes to finish roasting. This is a simple, comforting weeknight meal, for those days when you just don’t have time.
Once you see just how easy and delicious it is to eat a whole foods plant-based diet, you’ll say goodbye to packed convenience food and hello to healthy, mouthwatering vegan dishes.
Lead image source: Superfood Butter Bean Burgers