The holidays can be a stressful time of the year. Between family reunions, shopping for gifts, and traveling, we can become overwhelmed. However, the holidays are a wonderful time of the year, and we can improve the way we feel with the way we eat. Plant-based foods are anti-inflammatory and high in vitamins and minerals. Eating plant-based can help with mood regulation in the brain, protect our brains from oxidative stress and free radicals, and help prevent depression. Eating healthy fats, a good amount of carbs, probiotics, greens, and plenty of other vitamins and minerals found in plants is not only good for your body but amazing for your mental health as well.
We want you to enjoy the holidays happily and stress-free, so we’ve put together a list of 15 recipes from our Food Monster App that are great for your mental health.
1. Kale and Grilled Tomato Salad
Source: Kale and Grilled Tomato Salad
This Kale and Grilled Tomato Salad by Robin Burns proves that kale is just as delicious raw as it is cooked. The bite-sized pieces are perfect for soaking up the dressing and provide the right amount of chewiness in comparison to the soft, warm tomatoes. This salad is truly a stunner — beautiful, nutritious, and incredibly tasty!
2. Hearty Lentil Broccoli Bolognese
Source: Hearty Lentil Broccoli Bolognese
This Hearty Lentil Broccoli Bolognese by Renee Press is a deliciously healthy sauce to enjoy with pasta. Add broccoli, cauliflower, or kale to get even more veggies in, and it pairs wonderfully with the tomato sauce. Serve over any pasta of choice with a side salad and some toasty bread, perfection!
3. Butternut Squash and Black Bean Chili
Nothing is better than a hearty bowl of chili for a comforting and boosting meal. Christina Bedetta‘s Butternut Squash and Black Bean Chili gets a special flavorful twist with squash. Onion, garlic, chili, and cumin turn up the heat in this dish, as butternut squash balances it out with a rich sweetness. Served topped with avocado and chips and this recipe is guaranteed to please and make you feel good.
Gratitude: Plant-Based Thanksgiving Cookbook
No other holiday captures the spirit of home cooking the way Thanksgiving does. This is why you need the ultimate Thanksgiving cookbook, One Green Planet’s Gratitude: Plant-Based Recipes to Create your own Thanksgiving Tradition! In the cookbook, you’ll find our 100 most popular plant-based thanksgiving recipes like Soft Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts, Spiced Apple Cake with Cashew Frosting, Sweet Potato Chocolate Pudding with Nut Crumble Topping, Cinnamon Apple Hand Pies, and hearty entrees like Roast Root Vegetable Stack With Dukkah, Vegducken: Butternut Squash Stuffed With Eggplant, Zucchini, and a Mushroom Lentil Stuffing, and Seitan Roast With Sausage and Pear Stuffing and Apple Cider Gravy and so much more!
4. Roasted Chickpea Stuffed Sweet Potatoes With Tahini Sauce
Need a meal that encompasses simplicity, big flavors, and a health boost? These Roasted Chickpea Stuffed Sweet Potatoes With Tahini Sauce by Christina Bedetta will be your new favorite. Naturally loaded with vitamin A, fiber, potassium, B vitamins, and powerful antioxidants, simple sweet potatoes make the perfect base for an easy, nourishing meal. Load them up with a nice source of protein (in this case, chickpeas) and your favorite flavorings, and you are good to go!
5. Pink Roasted Garlic and Cauliflower Soup
Caroline Ginolfi‘s Pink Roasted Garlic and Cauliflower Soup is savory and cooks in under 30 minutes. This recipe is a must-try for a cozy meal. The cauliflower and coconut milk combine to create a thick, decadent creaminess. Beets provide beautiful color and a sneaky nutrient-dense punch, while a whole bulb of roasted garlic lends some depth and rich flavor.
6. Grilled Avocado, Cauliflower, and Sweet Potato Power Bowl
Power up with the wholesome, from-the-earth nutritious goodness found in Taylor Kiser‘s Grilled Avocado, Cauliflower, and Sweet Potato Power Bowl of crispy-smoked veggies, crispy chips, creamy avocado, and an herby, tangy tahini dressing. This power bowl makes for the perfect healthy, gluten-free, and vegan meal.
7. Miso Soup With Garlicky Lentils, Kale, and Mushrooms
Amy Height‘s Miso Soup With Garlicky Lentils, Kale, and Mushrooms is such a quick dinner to throw together, it’s guaranteed to become a household favorite. It’s perfectly packed with protein, fiber, and secret hidden veggies. It’s extra-filling and extra satisfying, and particularly awesome to make a big batch to eat throughout the week. We’re all about not having to spend the whole week planning and re-planning food.
8. Carrot and Soba Noodles With Sea Vegetables
The recipe for Rekka Bell‘s Carrot and Soba Noodles with Sea Vegetables doesn’t require a lot of time and energy, which is great when you are looking to gain energy and not spend it. This quick and easy dish will satisfy your umami cravings and keep you full.
9. Colorful Peanut Tofu Veggie Bowl With Glass Noodles
Just looking at this Colorful Peanut Tofu Veggie Bowl with Glass Noodles by Caitlin and Riley Gladner-Hatcher might make you feel happy! I hope it will do the same for you. This dish is delicious, satisfying, and a great dinner choice.
10. Dill Pickle Roasted Chickpea Gyros
These delicious Dill Pickle Roasted Chickpea Gyros by Maria Koutsogiannis are great for a mental health boost. The Mediterranean diet consists of many plant-based foods and has been linked to the prevention of depression. The dill-roasted chickpeas are crisp balls of tangy bliss, the tzatziki is creamy, smooth, and cool, and the freshly chopped vegetables wrapped in pillowy pita bread make this a truly exceptional pita.
11. Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Source: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Parsley Vegan‘s Roasted Butternut Squash Soup has the sweetness of butternut squashed mixed with the creaminess of coconut milk. The ingredient list is simple; all you need are 6 ingredients to cook up this meal. Pair it with some crispy-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside bread for a winning dish.
12. Roasted Chickpea Caesar Salad
Source: Roasted Chickpea Caesar Salad
Loaded with healthy fats and high in protein, this Roasted Chickpea Caesar Salad by Logan Dunn and Lexus Osman has a creamy tofu-based dressing and roasted chickpea “croutons.” Using silken tofu instead of the usual soaked cashews as the base for the dressing cuts down significantly on the amount of fat without affecting any of the taste!
13. Smoky Black Bean and Hemp Seed Burgers
14. Roasted Broccoli and Sauerkraut Quesadilla
This recipe by Maya Popovich is easy, filling, and healthy, but also comforting. These Roasted Broccoli and Sauerkraut Quesadillas are crispy, fresh, gooey with vegan cheese, and all around a crowd-pleaser. You are going to love them once you give them a try.
15. Spinach Salad With Barley Bacon
Source: Spinach Salad With Barley Bacon
This Zsu Dever‘s Spinach Salad With Barley Bacon is warm, chock full of good-for-you ingredients like Porcini mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, zucchini, and leeks, and is deliciously smoky and flavorful. This tasty dish also includes barley bacon. Barley is nice and chewy when cooked and lightly crispy when cooked in some oil making it a wonderful stand-in for bacon. Whip this salad up and see for yourself!
For more help with improving your mental health and mood, check out our Six Tips for Dealing With Stress.
- 5 Signs You May Need to Take a Mental Health Day
- TikTok Tip: 3 Mental Health Tips From a Therapist
- Sadhguru: A Yogi’s 5 Simple Tips For Mental Health
- The Connection Between Seasonal Allergies, Climate Change, and Mental Health
- 5 Diet Changes That Can Help You Take Charge of Your Mental Health This Year
Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home
Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental well-being, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health, and more! Unfortunately, dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, and prostate cancer, and has many side effects.
For those interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend purchasing one of our many plant-based cookbooks or downloading the Food Monster App which has thousands of delicious recipes making it the largest vegan recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.
Here are some resources to get you started:
- Weekly Vegan Meal Plans
- Plant-Based Health Resources
- Plant-Based Food & Recipes
- The Ultimate Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition
- Plant-Based Nutrition Resources
- Budget-Friendly Plant-Based Recipes
- High Protein Plant-Based Recipes
- Plant-Based Meal Prep
Easy Ways to Help the Planet:
- Eat Less Meat: Download Food Monster, the largest plant-based recipe app on the App Store to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy. You can also buy a hard or soft copy of our favorite vegan cookbooks.
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- Do What You Can: Reduce waste, plant trees, eat local, travel responsibly, reuse stuff, say no to single-use plastics, recycle, vote smart, switch to cold water laundry, divest from fossil fuels, save water, shop wisely, donate if you can, grow your own food, volunteer, conserve energy, compost, and don’t forget about the microplastics and microbeads lurking in common household and personal care products!