During the holidays, we might be tempted to eat less healthy, but it’s pretty easy to eat healthy, plant-based ingredients. It’s important not to sacrifice our heart health just to overindulge when there are other tasty, healthier alternatives. That’s why we put together a list of 15 heart-healthy recipes from our Food Monster App divided between low sodium recipes, low carb recipes, and low sugar and refined sugar-free recipes. Enjoy!
1. Smoky Sweet Potato Bisque
Source: Smoky Sweet Potato Bisque
You don’t need cream to make a rich and creamy bisque — in fact, Susan Edelman‘s dairy-free Smoky Sweet Potato Bisque doesn’t even include coconut cream. Sweet potatoes are cooked until tender and then blended with sautéed onions, non-dairy milk, and plenty of spices that’ll bring the heat and keep you warm. Serve with a dollop of cool coconut sour cream and crackers for dipping.
2. Sweet Potato and Chickpea Coconut Curry
Dana Sandonato‘s Sweet Potato and Chickpea Coconut Curry is crunchy, creamy and delicious. The dish combines an excellent blend of spices and fresh ingredients to bring together a curry that is savory and well balanced. The cashews are a perfect crunchy counterpart to the tender sweet potatoes.
3. Swedish Mushroom Meatballs
Source: Swedish Mushroom Meatballs
Making the perfect veggie meatball is an art and the secret is seasoning. These Swedish Mushroom Meatballs by the Cruelty Free Family are blended with fragrant onions, garlic, nutritional yeast for cheesiness, Sriracha, savory liquid aminos, and a few other spices. After being formed and baked until crispy, these meatballs are tossed in a creamy cashew sauce which tastes amazing over mashed potatoes, noodles, or rice. Yum!
4. Red Bean Curry
Source: Red Bean Curry
5. Lentil Potato Nut Loaf
Source: Lentil Potato Nut Loaf
Nele Liivlaid‘s hearty, colorful Lentil Potato Nut Loaf is made from red lentils, chickpeas, vegetables, and potatoes. It’s nutty, savory, and slightly sweet thanks to the addition of roast sweet potatoes and carrots. The loaf goes extremely well with vegan cheese sauce, a salad of Romain lettuce, steamed kale, oven roasted tahini-sauce coated Brussels sprouts, and raw red cabbage.
1. Tahini-Roasted Cauliflower With Lemony Herb Oil
Dinners, in the traditional sense, are usually centered around one main dish. For a stunning centerpiece that looks as amazing as it tastes, you have to try Maikki Vasala‘s Tahini-Roasted Cauliflower. Along with being absolutely gorgeous, it is craftily spiced, rubbed down with a nutty tahini coating, drizzled with lemony herbs, and eventually garnished with roasted almonds.
2. Teriyaki Glazed Tofu Steaks
Source: Teriyaki Glazed Tofu Steaks
This recipe by Maya Sozer is an incredibly delicious way to enjoy the plant protein powerhouse that is tofu. These Tofu Steaks are pan-seared and then glazed with a sweet and zesty homemade teriyaki sauce. Serve with white rice and greens for a hearty and tasty meal.
3. Curried Cauliflower Rice Pilaf
Source: Curried Cauliflower Rice Pilaf
Cauliflower rice is a wonderful grain-free alternative to rice that is lighter, more nutritious, and just as delicious! While you can definitely enjoy cauliflower rice plain, this Curried Cauliflower Rice Pilaf by Lisa Lotts only gets more delectable with more seasoning. This particular recipe uses Indian spices like turmeric, curry powder, and cilantro, as well as some popular Indian garnishes like golden raisins and toasted almonds. Yum!
4. Fresh and Light Zucchini Lasagna Roll-Ups
A light and fresh zucchini lasagna recipe to eat more veggies and for those trying to eat less carbs during Christmas dinner! Rolled with hummus and fresh spinach, then topped with simple tomato sauce, fresh basil, and toasted pine nuts – this zucchini lasagna by Emily Brees will be a favorite!
5. Sicilian Roasted Cauliflower
Source: Sicilian Roasted Cauliflower
Who would have thought that a whole head of cauliflower could pack so much texture and flavor! Lilia Jankowska‘s Sicilian Roasted Cauliflower features a roasted cauliflower topped with crispy, crunch breadcrumbs. It is flavored with plenty of Italian herbs and red pepper flakes.
Low Sugar/Refined Sugar Free Desserts
1. Flourless Dark Chocolate Cake
Source: Flourless Dark Chocolate Cake
This Flourless Dark Chocolate Cake by Pauline Hanuise is the ultimate in rich, chocolate flavor. Feel free to use a lighter percentage of chocolate, but the dark chocolate really makes this dessert ultra-fudgy and intense. Either way, it’s a chocolate lover’s dream!
2. Pumpkin Pomegranate Cheesecake
Source: Pumpkin Pomegranate Cheesecake
How could anyone be sick of pumpkin when this Cheesecake exists? It’s rich, sweet, and the pop of pomegranate arils against the creamy pumpkin spice filling is so delightful! This cheesecake by Amanda Smith will be the star of any holiday dessert spread.
3. Chickpea-nut Butter Ice Cream Cake
The best vegan Ice Cream Cake is made with… chickpeas! Yes, chickpeas. Chickpeas and peanut butter combine to make chick(pea-nut). Yes, that means there are in fact chickpeas in this dessert. And no, you can’t taste them. They’re simply there for nutrition and texture. Made with a buttery cashew chocolate crust, creamy peanut butter ice cream and topped with chocolate and coconut chips, this recipe by Caroline Doucet is the perfect ice cream cake that’s secretly healthy!
4. Plantain Brownies
Source: Plantain Brownies
This perfect Brownie recipe by Claire Ragozzino is gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, and doesn’t taste like cardboard or strange hippie healthy takes on dessert. Plus, it’s under 10 ingredients! It’s also a recipe that’s versatile in texture and flavor possibilities. If you like fudgy, dense brownies, then increase the oil to 1/3 cup. If you like them fluffy, then use less oil. The majority of the sweetness comes from the ripe plantains, but the maple rounds it out with a touch of smoky richness. You can also play around with adding mint instead of cinnamon or a swirl of nut butter, the base is pretty solid and can be tweaked for different flavor cravings as your heart desires.
5. Raw Orange and Chocolate Cake
Source: Raw Orange and Chocolate Cake
Chocolate and orange is one of the best citrusy and sweet combinations for fall, winter, and seasonal holidays. This Raw Orange and Chocolate Cake recipe by Lili Basic Capaccetti lets you enjoy the tasty combo while still being healthy! The orange juice and orange peel give a lovely refreshing citrusy note that goes so well with other flavors.
- Lifestyle or Genetics: Which is More Important for Heart Health?
- The Many Benefits of Cherries for Your Heart Health, Weight, and More!
- 15 Heart Healthy Noodle Recipes
- Greener Neighborhoods Help with Heart Health
- 10 Vegan Red Clover Supplements to Boost Bone and Heart Health
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 wellbeing, 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, 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.
- Reduce Your Fast Fashion Footprint: Take initiative by standing up against fast fashion pollution and supporting sustainable and circular brands like Tiny Rescue that raise awareness around important issues through recycled zero-waste clothing designed to be returned and remade over and over again.
- Support Independent Media: Being publicly funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!
- Sign a Petition: Your voice matters! Help turn petitions into victories by signing the latest list of must-sign petitions to help people, animals, and the planet.
- Stay Informed: Keep up with the latest news and important stories involving animals, the environment, sustainable living, food, health, and human interest topics by subscribing to our newsletter!
- 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 food, volunteer, conserve energy, compost, and don’t forget about the microplastics and microbeads lurking in common household and personal care products!