Eating whole foods is simple: think fresh, unprocessed ingredients. It’s a natural fit for people who want to eat plant based, vegetarian, and vegan diets — and we’re down with that. Plus, these recipes are so, so good.
When you avoid processed foods, it means swapping out granulated sugar for naturally sweet fruits and vegetables. Hardcore whole-foodies also avoid common items with sneaky additives, like nut milks and dressings.
These 23 recipes from the web show just how delicious whole food eating can be. Homemade doesn’t have to mean boring anymore! Here, it means healthy and chock-full of flavor.
1. Cake batter chia pudding
Is it your birthday? Sure feels like it when dates, almond butter, and oats blend together into a naturally sweet “cake batter.” Not that we have any idea what cake batter tastes like. And we’re sure you don’t either. (Wink, wink.)
2. Healthy banana bread breakfast cookies
We love that this recipe is on a blog called Ambitious Kitchen — yet it has three ingredients and takes 15 minutes. That’s the kind of ambition we can get behind.
Bananas and ground oats make surprisingly sweet breakfast cookies, and that’s where your favorite additions come in. Cacao nibs? Hazelnuts? Both? Gasp: Four ingredients? Now we’re baking.
3. Lentil and veggie packed omelette
There’s been a resurgence of the egg lately, and we’re stoked about this shift in popularity. One large egg provides 6.5 grams of protein and 25 percent daily value of vitamin B12.
This omelet embraces zucchini, kale, and tomatoes. Lentils (wild card alert!), make it even healthier and filling.
4. Sweet potato cakes
Got a few leftover sweet potatoes? They make such sweet pancakes you won’t even need syrup. Or you can go sweet-savory at breakfast. Top these fluffy babies with avocado and salsa.
5. Zucchini boat tacos
Baking hollowed zucchini with a delicious blend of ground meat, veggies, and taco spices, topped with melted cheese, lets the flavors blend into a boat of deliciousness.
6. Berry, arugula, and quinoa salad with lemon-chia seed dressing
A little bit sweet and a little bit savory, this salad travels really well. We love mixing bitter greens like arugula with fresh, sweet fruits. Here, quinoa and walnuts give this salad staying power.
If you’re feeling crafty, layer it into a mason jar for easy, pretty portability.
7. Chilled asparagus soup
Minimal cooking, some blender time, and easy to transport — this creamy vegan soup is a winner. Asparagus is an excellent source of vitamin K. And our friend avocado makes it creamy without dairy.
Plus, you know what they say: An avocado a day keeps unhappiness at bay. OK, we say that, but still.
8. Mexican quinoa salad with orange lime dressing
We’re going to do our best not to over-quinoa you, but we do love its light texture and health benefits.
This salad is super colorful, easy, and delicious. The dressing is a tantalizing combo of spicy (chili powder) and sweet (oranges).
9. Farro salad with tomatoes and herbs
Farro, an ancient variety of wheat, is super easy to make. Topped with tomatoes and herbs, this Mediterranean dish travels well and tastes good hot or cold.
10. Black bean plantain veggie burgers with avocado
Homemade veggie burgers are way healthier than packaged ones. These rely on sweet, ripe plantain, black beans, and a kick of chipotle powder. And sliced avocado makes everything better.
We also love that half of the plantain ends up on the plate as chips.
11. Soba noodles with kale, sesame, and slivered brussels sprouts
This is one of those super easy recipes to have in your pocket. Shredded kale and brussels sprouts, tossed with an Asian-inspired dressing, meet soba. The noodles are made from buckwheat, and have a nice nutty flavor.
This is one of our faves. Quicker, cheaper, and healthier than takeout.
12. Cozy quinoa buddha bowl
This recipe calls for quinoa, lentils, brussels sprouts, kale, and avocado. Bowl o’ plenty.
13. Two-ingredient slow cooker salsa chicken
This shredded chicken is terrific on top of a Mexican-inspired salad — and it couldn’t be easier. Throw two ingredients in a slow cooker and dinner is ready when you get home.
Just two ingredients? Yup, store-bought salsa (read the ingredients). And a pound of chicken. We prefer thighs to chicken breasts, but the choice is yours.
14. Lentil tamarind BBQ burgers with chickpea fries
This is a fun recipe for when you’re cooking with your vegan friends. It’s got several components, an herb-filled lentil-shitake burger, tamarind sauce, and chickpea “fries.”
So gather in the kitchen, put on some music, and start chopping.
15. Spicy cauliflower power bowl
Light fluffy quinoa pairs perfectly with chickpeas, avocado, and kale. But it’s the spicy cauliflower that takes this bowl to super status.
16. Garlic zucchini noodles
This is one of those dinners that comes together in a matter of minutes, as spiralized zoodles hit a hot pan.
The recipe calls for garlic powder and garlic salt, but we prefer to swap in a clove of garlic, sautéed in the olive oil first. Toss with grated parm and serve warm.
17. Sweet potato tofu curry
This warming bowl of coconut curry is filling, thanks to protein-rich tofu and beta carotene-rich sweet potatoes. Serve this easy dinner over your favorite grain or on its own as soup.
18. Crispy beets with polenta and dill pistachio pesto
This is a gorgeous bowl of comfort. The colors and textures of the crispy baked beets contrast with creamy pumpkin polenta. Wow. Wow. Wow.
19. Chocolate cashew cream cupcakes
No eggs, no dairy, and no flour means these babies won’t taste like your usual cupcakes — unless cupcakes were rich, frozen chocolate treats topped with vegan cashew cream. These are beyond vegan-friendly. Everyone likes them.
P.S. You can find cacao butter in a health food store or online.
20. Berry and coconut cream cake
There’s nothing like sweet, fresh berries in summer. This vegan cake is studded with jewel-like fruit.
Yes, that topping’s coconut cream, lightened with coconut yogurt. The cocoa cake is naturally sweetened with dates.
21. Salted caramel tahini cups
What was caramel before someone added a dash of sea salt? We don’t even want to think about it. Here, sweet dates and coconut oil join tahini for a Mediterranean-flavored dessert. Store these guys in the freezer.
22. Banoffee pie
Make this for a celebration. Even the non-vegans at the table will rave as their fork brings up layers of goodness: almond-oat crust, raw caramel toffee, fresh bananas, and coconut-toffee cream. Yum.
Even better, this recipe is food processor magic. The main thing to remember is to chill the coconut milk overnight. Also, don’t throw out the coconut water like the blogger says. Save it for another recipe.
23. One-ingredient ice cream
Banana soft serve is a go-to, and we’re excited about adapting it with nut butters, cocoa power, or cardamon. Then, we’re topping it with crunchy roasted nuts and chocolate shavings.
Easiest. Dessert. Ever.
We’re into recipes that take advantage of the natural sweetness in fruits and veggies. These whole food recipes embrace the goodness of plant based principles and give us a new food mantra to live by: fresh and nutritious means oh-so-delicious.