WHEW! What a holiday weekend! If you are like most, you ate foods you haven't eaten since last Thanksgiving and there were many indulgences along the way. But that is what the holiday's are for! Life happens. Even if you follow a healthy eating routine, the holiday's are meant to break the rules. None of us can keep to a healthy eating schedule 100% of the time. In fact, it is good to indulge and take a break from your normal routine during the holiday's. This allows you to remember why you like eating healthy in the first place.
I always notice when I cannot follow my healthy eating routine. I feel more sluggish and heavier - not that I physically gained weight - just a heaviness in my body. It makes me appreciate eating plant-based and makes me want to return to it as soon as I can. There are some small ways I can stick to my routine such as eating plant-based foods the day before a holiday when I know I am going somewhere where healthy eating is an after-thought. Another way is to stick to my workout schedule. The gym is usually open on the day of a holiday for limited hours.
I am plant-based at least 3 to 4 days a week. Being plant-based means I avoid eating meat and fish. I eat fruits, vegetables and grains for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This routine has really worked for me because I eat a much larger variety of foods than if I only ate meat. Also, I have health results to prove it has made me healthier. For example, the first year I started eating plant-based I had a 20 point drop in my cholesterol levels. My cholesterol levels weren't high to begin with but I was blown away that by simply making a few dietary changes I could impact my health.
But enough about me! I would encourage you to try to eat at least 1 plant-based dinner per week. Especially during the holidays. Eating plant-based can help you manage your weight during the holidays and is better for your health. Below are 10 plant-based dinners. Some that can be made ahead of time so all you have to do is heat and eat. Others can be made withing 30 minutes making them a perfect weeknight meal when you need something quick, Make sure to select organic fruits and vegetables whenever you can so you can avoid pesticides.
Below are 10 plant-based dinners to try. Most of them make enough to have left-overs for lunch! I love when that happens. If you want to receive healthy living tips and recipes for free, follow my blog on Bloglovin.
Creamy Broccoli Pasta from Hurry The Food Up. This recipe comes together in 25 minutes and uses cream cheese for the creaminess. I would make this even faster by using organic frozen broccoli. It is pre-cut and heats up fast. Click here for the recipe.
Kale and Chickpea Stew from Naturally Ella. I would make this over the weekend and then heat and eat. This recipe makes a perfect leftover lunch as well. Click here for the recipe.
30 minute Vegetarian Chili from Belle of the Kitchen. Chili is an easy and hearty meal. Especially during holiday season. A lot of the canned vegetables and beans called for in this recipe can be purchased organic. Click here for the recipe.
Brown Rice Stir-Fry with Vegetables from Simple Vegan Blog. Stir-fry is an easy dish for busy weeknights. You can either make this over the weekend or pre-chop the veggies on the weekend so all you have to do is cook them. Click here for the recipe.
Roasted Cauliflower Enchiladas from Gimme Some Oven. This is a unique way to make enchiladas healthier. Cauliflower is a dense vegetable that makes a great substitute for meat. Frozen cauliflower would work with this recipe since there is a sauce used. Click here for the recipe.
One Pot Vegetarian Spaghetti from Family Food on the Table.This spaghetti uses mushrooms and spinach with tomatoes to maximize veggie content. Click here for the recipe.
Broccoli Quinoa Skillet from Well Plated by Erin. This skillet recipe incorporates beans to add more substance to the dish. I find quinoa to be very light in texture which may make you feel like you have to eat more to get full. Adding the beans gives the dish more bulk. Click here for the recipe.
Crispy Gluten-Free Eggplant Parmesan from Minimalist Baker. This version of a classic Italian dish is vegan. But if you can't live without using an egg, go ahead and make the substitution. The key here is that there isn't meat in the dish! Click here for the recipe.
Crock-pot Mexican Stuffed Peppers from Happy Healthy Mama. This is a great fix it and forget recipe. Cook it on slow in the crock-pot for 3 and 1/2 hours, leaving you time to do something else! Click here for the recipe.
Vegetarian Red Beans and Rice from A Couple Cooks. This is the easiest recipe and it reheats perfectly. Serve with a green salad to get more veggies into dinnertime. Click here for the recipe.
I hope this post inspired you to serve more plant-based dinners to your family. If you make any of them, don't forget to tag me on Instagram as @heather_lee_donahue and use the #heathershealthhabits hashtag. I love seeing your takes on the recipes I share!