Winter is a great time to experiment with new delicious and healthy plant-based recipes.

Baby, it’s cold outside!  The winter months are an excellent time for stillness, reflection, rest, and rejuvenation. Nourishing your body with healthy, warm, comforting foods will delight your taste buds and help your body store vitamins and nutrients to help you battle through cold and flu season.

Ever wonder why you gravitate towards heartier, carb- and meat-heavy meals during the colder months?  According to scientists, there are several possible reasons:

  • When you eat, your stomach signals your brain to release serotonin and dopamine, two neurochemicals that make you feel happy and content.  Serotonin and dopamine are also released during exercise or exposure to sunlight, both of which are typically in shorter supply during the winter months, which may explain why your body relies more heavily on food for a happiness boost.
  • Mood has a direct link to eating patterns as well.  If you suffer from the winter blues, you may find yourself compensating by emotional eating (which, as stated above, will give you a serotonin and dopamine boost).
  • Perhaps our cravings for carbohydrate-rich, fattier foods harken back to our evolutionary roots.  Consuming heartier foods in winter was historically a protective response to future food scarcity.
  • Social learning theorists believe that we learn by observing and imitating others.  This theory suggests that the foods we were served as children have a meaningful impact on the foods we crave as adults.

Pretty fascinating, right?  Comfort eating isn’t inherently a bad thing, and comfort eating can still be healthy! One Planet Life has a wide variety of delicious, comforting recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to get you through the winter months.  Consider one of these healthy, plant-forward recipes in your rotation.

Comforting & Healthy Recipes

Warm-Up with a Satisfying Breakfast:

Savory Steel Cut Oat Breakfast Porridge

This hearty breakfast porridge is full of essential nutrients to fuel your day. It’s the perfect way to start your morning!

Steel Cut Oats Breakfast Porridge

Classic Shakshuka

Shakshuka is a dish found throughout North Africa and features eggs poached in a luscious tomato-based sauce with onions and peppers.

Classic Shakshuka

Banana Oat Pancakes

These banana oat pancakes topped with fruit and nuts and drizzled with maple syrup are a great, delicious way to start the day.

Banana Oat Pancakes Recipe
Elevate Dinner with these Delicious, Savory Meals:

Easy Crispy Baked Falafel

Easy Crispy Baked Falafel

Minestrone Soup, Comfort in a Bowl

This Minestrone soup recipe makes one of my favorite comfort soups. It is full of vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants and tastes delicious.

Minestrone Soup Image

Hearty Pasta e Fagioli Stew

Pasta e fagioli is a delicious aromatic soup or stew dish that features savory tomatoes, carrots, garlic, spices, and marsala wine.

Pasta e fagioli
End the Day on a Sweet Note:

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

It’s dessert and vegetables at the same time! This chocolate zucchini cake is moist and delicious and perfect for any occasion.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake Recipe

Copycat Famous Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies

These Copycat Famous Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies are the perfect homemade treat to make your kitchen smell delicious and to put smiles on all the faces in your home.

Copycat Famous Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookie

Silky, Rich and Easy Hot Cocoa Beverage

Warm your heart and delight your taste buds with this silky smooth, simple-to-make, deliciously rich hot cocoa beverage.

Silky, Rich and Easy Hot  Cocoa
Stay warm this winter season with these healthy, comforting dishes. 

And don’t forget to track your vegetarian meals in the One Planet Life app to help you meet your carbon reduction goals!

Kristina Shane

Written by Kristina Shane

Editor and OPL Content Contributor

“I’ve always had a strong inclination to protect and nurture the people and living things around me; especially after having kids, I became passionate about conserving our planet for future generations.  It’s my duty to teach my children, through words and actions, how to be good citizens and thoughtful stewards for our planet.  Joining One Planet Life felt like a natural next-step for me, and I’m thrilled to support their mission and strengthen my own sustainability efforts.”