There are so many reasons to go for a more plant-based diet. Not only is it better for your health (and great for your waistline) but it’s also smart for the planet, good for our animal friends, and it can be easier on your wallet, to boot.
But first: What exactly is a plant-based diet? Though it’s similar to vegan and vegetarian diets (we’ve got lots of vegan dinner recipes and vegetarian recipes for you too!), there are a few key differences. A plant-based diet changes the focus from what you’re not eating to what you are, which is mostly plants! That means that while meat and dairy aren’t necessarily entirely off limits, they’re generally eaten only very rarely, and mostly only as a garnish, if at all. Also, plant-based eaters tend to focus on whole, fresh foods, eschewing a lot of the highly processed fake meats and/or cheeses that many vegetarians and vegans enjoy. Ultimately this means eating a lot of fresh, colorful foods, and having dishes that are packed with interesting flavors, as opposed to packaged foods with long lists of ingredients.
Whether you’re doing a plant-based trial period or have adopted this lifestyle full time, it’s likely that you’re in the market for some fresh recipes for simple meals. Luckily, we’ve got you covered! Here are a few dozen of our favorite plant-based meals. All are meatless, and most are dairy-free, or the dairy can be easily left out. But what they do have is a ton of flavor, and a wide variety of fresh ingredients. And the best part is that most of them are easy enough to whip up on a weeknight without too much trouble.