By Anna Kocharian

Published on May 14, 2018

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Photography by Marcus Nilsson

Research shows that plant-based diets are linked to lower risk of obesity, hypertension, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. That’s not to say that you need to become a vegetarian—even cutting out meat just one or two days a week can have a positive impact. In fact, there’s an entire movement dedicated to just that: Meatless Mondays. Since 2003, the non-profit has promoted eating less meat as a way to do something good for yourself, and for the environment.

Not sure where to start? Read on for a few recipes to help you out—and also get the lowdown on this ultra fresh spread (which features store-bought hummus, crisp crudites, and jammy eggs nonetheless). 

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Photography by half baked harvest

Vibrant Spring Broccoli Buddha Bowl

Consider your search for the perfect summer salad over. This Vitamin-rich bowl comes loaded with sweet potatoes, broccoli, lentils, and avocado. Topped with a sweet and savory, turmeric-ginger vinaigrette, this veggie-filled bowl is about as mouthwatering as it gets. 

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Photography by WYNN MYERS

Tomato, Watermelon Radish & Pickled Purple Cauliflower

As the weather gets warmer, we feel the need for lighter dishes, preferably as “snackable” as they can come. This picture-perfect dish is one such example—comprised of pickled purple cauliflower with a garlic-miso sauce, fresh tomatoes, and a lemony-vinaigrette that seals the deal. 

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Photography by SARAH BRITTON

Winter Rainbow Panzanella

Chef Sarah Britton created this delicious and hearty winter salad for her cookbook, Naturally Nourished. The traditional Tuscan dish gets a Nordic spin with hearty roasted root vegetables, ginger-pickled carrots, and garlic sourdough rye croutons.

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Photography by CODY GUILFOYLE

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Nothing beats the Monday blues quite like a heaping bowl of mac and cheese. We love the classic so much, we pegged four celebrity recipes against one another to see whose would come out on top (and the result was pretty surprising). Here, Gwyneth Paltrow’s healthy-ish version, which features a cameo from one very surprising veggie. 

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Photography by JULIA SHERMAN

Roasted Beet and Potato Salad

Salad for dinner doesn’t have to be a drag. We’re all for whipping up this mouthwatering take on the potato salad (featuring a dill yogurt sauce and pickles!) from Julia Sherman, author of Salad for President, to elevate the dish. Pair with a side of healthy grains and you’ll have one very filling, and delicious, meal. 

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Photography by ALPHA SMOOT, reprinted from Cherry Bombe: The Cookbook

Buttered Chanterelles

This surprising simple take on mushrooms boasts a well-developed depth of flavor that encompasses the bold notes of thyme, butter, and a sugar-vinegar saute. Serve this one on a bed of quinoa or rice for a well-balanced meal.  

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Photography by David Malosh | Egg Shop: The Cookbook

Roasted Beet Tzatziki Salad

This Mediterranean-inspired salad brings together a medley of exotic flavor pairings (beets and eggs, anyone?) and wows with its myriad of fresh ingredients. Whip it up for a hearty meal that won’t leave you feeling like you’ve over-indulged. 

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Photography by JOHNNY MILLER

Shaved Brussels Sprouts, Pine Nuts, and Green Olives

Come fall, we simply can’t get enough of Brussels sprouts, and Athena Calderone’s recipe is no exception. Served with olives, pecorino cheese, and a dash of Aleppo peppers, this is one take on the veggie you won’t want to miss. 

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Photography by ANGELINE CAVATELLI

Fresh Ricotta Cavatelli 

Hand-rolled cavatelli, Sunday sauce, and fresh ricotta. Angeline’s Chef Michael Symon’s cherry tomato-drenched pasta is a must for the next time you’re stuck in a recipe rut. 
 
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Photography by ALPHA SMOOT, reprinted from Cherry Bombe: The Cookbook

Lemony Lentil Stew
Packed with proteins, lentils make for an ideal substitute for meat. This lemon-ginger stew combines an array of fresh herbs and spices, from fennel to turmeric, resulting in a dynamic dish that’s full of hearty flavor.

 
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Photography by ALPHA SMOOT, reprinted from Cherry Bombe: The Cookbook

Pink Spaghetti

Pasta night is always a good idea, and one that comes with a pink variety simply goes without saying. We can thank beets for the bold color of this dish, which comes paired with ricotta, fresh basil, and walnuts.
 
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Photography by 1901 AT ACEBOUNCE

The Little Stinker Casserole by Chef Rick Gresh of 1901 at AceBounce

If the photo itself isn’t enticing you to make this, we don’t know what would. Decadent layers of potato, cheese (cheese, and more cheese), and a breadcrumb topping complete this utterly dreamy dish.

 

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Photography by CODY GUILFOYLE
Roasted Butternut Squash Tartines

A seasonal spread of roasted butternut squash sit on whipped ricotta and fresh arugula, and come topped with a spicy mix of toasted pepitas. These open-faced tartines are way more filling than they look. 

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Photography by MICHAEL WILTBANK | STYLING BY ANNA HARRINGTON

Spring Quiche

Quiche for dinner? We surely won’t be passing on this refreshing green version from chef Anna Harrington, which boasts a surprising array of rich flavors. 

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Photography by CHRISTINA HOLMES

Onion & Wild Herb Flatbread

Easy weeknight meals (that don’t come out of a frozen package) are possible. This green-friendly flatbread is only proof. Keep frozen pizza dough in the freezer and garnish with toppings of your choice for a quick and easy mid-week treat.
 
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Photography by SARAH ELLIOTT

Mushroom Toast

Who says toast can’t be a meal? This version by Karen Mordechai of Sunday Suppers features a medley of mushrooms sauteed in garlic, butter, and a little bit of wine and topped with creme fraiche.

This post was originally published October 23, 2017. It has been updated with new recipes.

Discover more ways to eat healthy:

The Best Make-Ahead Breakfast for Easier Mornings
Healthy Juice Recipes You Can Make at Home
8 Healthy Alternatives To Your Favorite Mexican Recipes