33 Easy Whole Food Recipes – Rich in Plants

Want to get more plants into your diet? Then these easy, whole food recipes can help you do this. All of these delicious recipes are easy to make and include a varied selection of whole foods like vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains. Plus plenty of healthy plant protein, fibre and fats.


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What are Whole Foods?

Whole foods are foods in their purest form. They refer to natural, unprocessed, or minimally processed foods that are as close to their original form as possible. These foods are often rich in nutrients and free from additives or artificial ingredients. They retain their nutritious and fibrous qualities, meaning that in general they haven’t been processed in any way.

Choosing whole foods is generally considered a healthy dietary practice, as they provide essential nutrients and are part of a balanced and nutritious diet.

Whole Foods are:

  • Fruit and Vegetables
    • All types and varieties of
    • Fresh, frozen, canned or dried
  • Wholegrains
    • These are grains that have not had their outer husk removed.
    • Some examples are wholewheat flour, wholewheat bread and pasta, brown rice, rolled oats, quinoa, bulgar, freekeh, buckwheat
  • Nuts and Seeds
    • All types and varieties
    • In their whole form or as spreads
    • Some examples are cashew, hazelnut, almonds, walnuts, flax, poppy, hemp, sesame, sunflower, chia seed,
  • Legumes
    • These are all types of beans, lentils and peas
    • Dried, tinned or ready-prepared packets
    • Some examples are chickpeas, kidney, cannellini, pinto, black, butter beans, tofu is derived from soybean, and all varieties of lentils, peanuts and peas
  • Meat, Fish and Eggs
    • All types and varieties

How to get more plants into your diet

Incorporating more plants into your diet is a great way to enhance your nutrition and promote overall health. However, most of us still are not getting enough plants into our diets, according to the NHS

Here are some practical tips to help you get more plants into your daily meals:

  1. Start with Small Changes: Gradually introduce plant-based foods into your meals. Begin by swapping a portion of your meat with plant-based proteins like beans, lentils, or tofu.
  2. Plan Meatless Meals: Designate certain days of the week for meatless meals. Experiment with vegetarian or vegan recipes to discover new flavours and textures.
  3. Include a Variety of Vegetables: Aim for a colourful mix of vegetables in your meals. Different colours often indicate various nutrients, so incorporating a diverse range ensures you get a broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals.
  4. Incorporate Beans and Legumes: Add beans and legumes, such as chickpeas, black beans, or lentils, to soups, stews, salads, or as a side dish. They are excellent sources of protein, fibre, and various nutrients.
  5. Explore Whole Grains: Choose whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, bulgur, or oats instead of refined grains. Whole grains provide more fibre and nutrients, making them a healthier option and helpful for blood glucose management.
  6. Snack on Fruits and Nuts: Keep fresh fruits and nuts readily available for snacking. They’re convenient, nutritious, and offer a sweet or savoury alternative to processed snacks.
  7. Try Meat Alternatives: Experiment with plant-based protein sources like veggie burgers, plant-based sausages, or tofu. These can be incorporated into your favourite recipes or enjoyed as standalone dishes.
  8. Include a Salad with Every Meal: Make it a habit to have a salad with lunch and dinner. Experiment with different greens, veggies, fruits, nuts, and seeds to keep it interesting. And try to eat your vegetables before you eat your carbs as this is also supposed to help reduce blood sugar spikes.
  9. Educate Yourself: Learn about the nutritional benefits of plant-based foods and how they contribute to your overall well-being. THE BENEFITS OF A WHOLE FOOD DIET AND DIABETES and my tips on HOW TO EAT MORE PLANTS – 12 TIPS  can help inspire and motivate you to make healthier choices.

Remember, the key is to make sustainable changes that align with your preferences and lifestyle. Gradually incorporating more plant-based foods can lead to long-term health benefits and a more diverse and enjoyable diet.

33 Easy Whole Food Recipes (that are Full of Plants)

The compilation of delicious whole-food recipes below have all been designed to inspire and support your journey toward incorporating more plant-based options into your diet. Not only will these recipes enhance your meals, but they’ll also boost your intake of essential nutrients and fibre, contributing to overall health and well-being.

Mains

Discover a world of plant-based Main meals in the selection of recipes below. From adding colourful veggies and legumes to every dish, and experimenting with meat alternatives to creating veggie-packed sauces, these recipes make incorporating more plants into your meals a breeze.

  • vegan chilli in a pot with wooden spoon

    Easy Vegan Lentil and Bean Chilli

    Cooks in 55 minutesDifficulty: Easy

    This protein and fibre packed vegan lentil and bean chilli is loaded with delicious flavours for an easy mid-week meal.


  • crispy kale and tomato gnocchi bake in a oven dish

    Crispy Kale Gnocchi Bake with Tomatoes

    Cooks in 50 minutesDifficulty: Easy

    A winning midweek dinner. Easy to make and a great way to transform a plain bag of gnocchi.


  • vegan mushroom stroganoff in a pan

    Easy Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff

    Cooks in 25 minutesDifficulty: Easy

    This easy vegan mushroom stroganoff is full of wholesome ingredients and ready in under 30 minutes. The perfect quick and easy midweek meal!



  • Fragrant Thai inspired noodle soup in blue and white bowl. served with a cauliflower steak and chopsticks resting in the bowl

    Vegan Thai Red Curry Noodle Soup

    Cooks in 40 minutesDifficulty: Easy

    If you’re looking for the ultimate easy and tasty vegan meal then don’t look any further than this vegan Thai red curry noodle soup.



  • Harissa sausage tray bake with vegetarian sausages

    Harissa Vegetarian Sausage Traybake

    Cooks in 35 minutesDifficulty: Easy

    A quick and easy (mostly all in one) vegetarian sausage traybake recipe, perfect for a midweek family dinner


  • Green pesto gnocchi on a fork

    Super Green Pesto Gnocchi

    Cooks in 15 minutesDifficulty: Very Easy

    This super green pesto gnocchi is packed full of extra plant power is super simple to make and can be on the table in 15 minutes.


  • Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce mixed into penne pasta in a bowl

    Butternut Squash and Tomato Pasta Sauce

    Cooks in 40 minutesDifficulty: Very Easy

    Butternut Squash and Tomato Pasta Sauce—rich in flavour, nutrients, low-glyceamic, and a wholesome addition to your meals.


Salads and Sides

Salads and side dishes are a versatile and convenient way to infuse more plant-based goodness into your diet.

The selection of dishes below offers a bounty of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, promoting overall health and well-being. Their low-calorie, high-volume nature supports weight management, while the fibre-rich content aids digestion and helps to stabilise blood sugar levels.

With a myriad of colours, textures, and flavours, sides and salads provide a visually appealing approach to incorporating diverse plant-based ingredients into your diet. Enjoy the selection of recipes below which all incorporate lots of nutrients, and flavour and are all very easy to to prepare!

  • bean and artichoke salad in a serving dish

    Bean and Marinated Artichoke Salad

    This blood sugar friendly bean and marinated artichoke salad combines protein and fibre-packed beans with a unique tangy artichoke dressing. An easy way to add more plants to your diet


  • sriracha rice salad in a bowl

    Sriracha Rice Salad

    Cooks in 40 minutesDifficulty: Easy

    A spicy sriracha rice salad full of wholesome ingredients with spicy and zesty flavours. Enjoy it hot or cold in lots of different ways!


  • creamy cabbage and white beans in saucepan

    Creamy Cabbage and White Beans

    Cooks in 15 minutesDifficulty: Easy

    This creamy cabbage and white beans is more than just a vegetable side and will steal the show by becoming the star of the meal!


  • crunchy edamame salad in a bowl with added red pepper and baby corn

    Crunchy Edamame Salad

    Cooks in 15 minutesDifficulty: Very Easy

    Add some excitement to your meals with this tantalisingly crunchy edamame salad recipe


  • a platter with herby green bean salad served on a bed of lettuce

    Herby Green Bean Salad

    Cooks in 15 minutesDifficulty: Very Easy

    This versatile herby green bean salad makes a delicious salad or side, which can be served hot or cold


  • closeup of healthy homemade baked beans in a bowl

    Healthy Homemade Baked Beans

    Cooks in 35 minutesDifficulty: Very Easy

    This healthy homemade baked bean recipe is packed full of nutrition and better still has no added sugar.


  • baking tray of roasted green vegetables with pesto

    Pesto Roasted Green Vegetables

    Cooks in 25 minutesDifficulty: Easy

    These pesto roasted green vegetables are sure to liven up your greens and add some extra flavour to your meals.



  • oven roasted long stem broccoli in a serving dish

    Oven Roasted Tenderstem Broccoli

    Cooks in 20 minutesDifficulty: Very Easy

    Discover a new way to enjoy your greens with this flavorful and satisfying oven roasted tenderstem broccoli recipe!


  • roasted veg sauce with tomatoes in a roasting pan

    Simple Roasted Veggie Sauce Recipe with Tomato

    Cooks in 60 minutesDifficulty: Very Easy

    Delicious Roasted Veggie Sauce. This simple homemade sauce uses 6 simple ingredients, is easy to prep and is full of wholesome goodness!


  • small bowl of lemon chickpea couscous

    Lemon Chickpea Couscous Salad

    Cooks in 15 minutesDifficulty: Very Easy

    A refreshingly light lemon chickpea couscous salad, full of soft textures and zesty flavours that is cheap, wholesome and easy to prepare.


  • beetroot and lentils on a spoon

    Beetroot and lentil

    Cooks in 60 minutesDifficulty: Easy

    A brilliantly versatile & easy roasted beetroot and lentil recipe. Packed with flavour and low-GI goodness, this dish is a game-changer


Soups

Homemade soups are a fantastic way to elevate your plant intake. Packed with a variety of vegetables, these soups retain essential nutrients and provide a rich source of fibre.

Batch cooking is made easy, offering convenient, leftovers and snacks. With cost-effectiveness, reduced food waste, and the comfort of flavorful broths, homemade soups provide a satisfying way to embrace a plant-centric diet.

Here is a small selection below:

  • bowl of watercress soup without potato

    Thick Watercress Soup without potato

    Cooks in 25 minutesDifficulty: Easy

    A deliciously thick watercress soup without potato that is not only packed full of flavour and nutrients but there aren’t any (diabetic) carb counting requirements.


  • closeup of chunky vegetable soup

    Homemade Chunky Vegetable Soup

    Cooks in 40 minutesDifficulty: Easy

    A super satisfying haomemade chunky vegetable soup that will give you a hearty hug on a chilly day.


  • closeup of broccoli and butternut squash soup on a spoon

    Broccoli and Butternut Squash Soup

    Cooks in 35 minutesDifficulty: Very Easy

    Enjoy the ultimate comfort with homemade broccoli & butternut squash soup! Nutrient-packed bliss awaits in every bowl.


  • bowl of vegan mushroom soup

    Substitute Cream of Mushroom Soup

    Cooks in 25 minutesDifficulty: Very Easy

    Explore a tasty alternative with this substitute cream of mushroom soup recipe. Perfect for dietary needs and you only need 5 ingredients!

Snacks and Sweet Treats

Elevate your snacks and sweet treats with plant-based goodness effortlessly. These delicious choices full of healthy goodness make it easy to infuse more plants into your daily treats.

  • fig energy balls on a plate

    Fig Energy Balls

    Cooks in 10 minutesDifficulty: Very Easy

    Bursting with natural sweetness and packed with nutrients, these bite-sized Fig Energy Balls offer a wholesome alternative to sugary snacks


  • Pile of easy savoury cheese biscuits in a bowl

    Easy Savoury Cheese Biscuits

    Cooks in 25 minutesDifficulty: Very Easy

    These easy savoury cheese biscuits are totally moreish thanks to the secret savoury ingredient and diabetic carb count free!


  • bowl of pepper hummus

    5-minute Roasted Pepper Hummus

    Cooks in 10 minutesDifficulty: Very Easy

    Hummus is even better when its homemade. This carb count free 5-minute roasted pepper hummus will not disappoint!


  • closeup of a healthy banana oat muffin

    Healthy Banana Oat Muffins

    Cooks in 30 minutesDifficulty: Easy

    These healthy Banana Oat Muffins are packed full of flavour, are gluten free and have a lower (Diabetic) carb count.


  • krispie dark chocolate bark stacked

    Krispie Dark Chocolate Bark

    Cooks in 40 minutesDifficulty: Very Easy

    This Krispie dark chocolate bark recipe makes a great sweet treat to share and even looks lovely enough to give as an edible gift.


  • closeup of a sugar free oatmeal cookie

    Low Sugar Diabetic Oatmeal Cookies

    Cooks in 20 minutesDifficulty: Very Easy

    If you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth without the added sugar, then sugar-free oatmeal cookies are the perfect treat for you!


  • healthy berry crumble on a spoon above a bowl

    Sugar Free Berry Crumble

    Cooks in 60 minutesDifficulty: Easy

    An easy and healthy sugar free berry crumble using only frozen fruit. Its gluten free and makes a delicious pudding anytime of the year!


  • banana almond flour cookies on a cooling rack

    Banana Almond Flour Cookies with Peanuts

    Cooks in 25 minutesDifficulty: Easy

    These banana almond flour cookies with peanuts are gluten and refined sugar-free and for diabetic carb counting only 2g of carbs per biscuit!


  • closeup of slices of chocolate chip banana bread on the cooling tray

    Low Carb Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

    Cooks in 60 minutesDifficulty: Easy

    This one bowl low carb chocolate chip banana bread has a lower (diabetic) carb count and is almost sugar-free great for blood sugar levels.


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In conclusion, these 33 plant-based recipes serve as a delectable and diverse guide to seamlessly incorporate more plants into your diet. From vibrant salads and hearty mains to refreshing snacks and sweet treats, this collection offers a myriad of delicious options to suit every palate.

Embracing a plant-centric lifestyle not only enhances the flavour of your meals but also provides a wealth of essential nutrients, contributing to overall health and well-being. Whether you’re a seasoned plant-based enthusiast or just beginning to explore the benefits of plant-powered eating, these recipes offer a delightful journey towards a more sustainable and nutritious culinary experience. Cheers to a delicious and nourishing adventure with plant-based goodness!



Michelle Rorke avatar

AUTHOR

2 responses to “33 Easy Whole Food Recipes – Rich in Plants”

  1. Martin avatar

    Wao Wao Wao I dint realise I can have some fun with this type of deliciousness meals and snacks

    1. Michelle avatar

      Thank you Martin. The choices are endless!

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