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Healthy Vegetarian Recipes For Weight Loss

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With the major holidays just around the corner and the colder temps creeping in, it’s easy to fall into less-than-awesome eating patterns. Between the stress of gift shopping and the temptation to eat all of the leftover Halloween candy (let’s face it: we bought the economy bag of peanut butter cups for ourselves, not the kids!), making the healthiest decisions during the fall and winter months doesn’t always come second nature.

And as it often goes, emotional eating usually leads to weight gain – and feeling frustrated. In many cases, figuring out a weight loss program that actually works can seem elusive, especially when we’re stressed out! However, there are plenty of great (and delicious) ways to get – and stay – on track. For example, did you know that a vegetarian meal plan can not only improve your digestion and gut health, but help you to feel more satiated between meals? 

Since fruits and vegetables are naturally packed with fiber, they also take longer to digest, enabling you to feel fuller longer on fewer calories. And the biggest bonus? A plant based diet helps to promote healthy weight loss. But the benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle go far beyond your digestive system.

 

The Mind-Body Connection: The Benefits Of A Vegetarian Diet

According to a study in Nutrition Journal, vegetarians “reported less negative emotion than omnivores…and…had lower scores on depression tests and mood profiles when compared to fish and meat eaters.” In addition, some research has suggested that a vegan or vegetarian diet can not only lower the risk of heart disease, cancers, and strokes but promotes overall physical and mental health.

While you may not be ready to give up meat, cheese, or seafood for good, even a temporary vegan meal plan can instill lifelong healthy eating habits while helping you to achieve your long-term weight loss goals. Understanding the connection between your nutrition and the impact it has on both your emotional and physical well-being is one of the core principles at Found

Based on science, our comprehensive approach helps you to pinpoint not only the emotional triggers in your life but how to identify lasting weight care solutions. From proper nutrition, sleep, and exercise to psychological factors such as stress and emotional health, our compassionate team of experts build a customized, medically-guided path just for you.

If you’re thinking of exploring a plant based diet this season, there are literally tons of easy healthy vegetarian recipes for weight loss. Read on for our top 10 low calorie vegetarian and vegan weight loss recipes that are not only good for you but will make you feel good!

 

1.) Quinoa Salad With Apples & Sweet Potatoes

Who says fresh and healthy can’t be filling, too? This fall, consider the myriad of benefits (and flavors) in this oh-so-colorful quinoa salad! Ideal as a vegan side or a vegetarian main course, this sweet and tart salad packs a punch with zesty Granny Smiths, zippy red onions, and a bright splash of apple cider vinegar to give you all the autumn feels.

Found Fact: Vinegar isn’t just a kicky condiment – in fact, it can actually reduce blood sugar levels! More than a tangy flavoring in your fave salads and marinades, vinegar – whether it’s apple cider, white or red – can help lower post meal insulin levels and glucose spikes. In fact, one medical study found that consuming two teaspoons of vinegar with carbs may reduce post-meal blood glucose levels by as much as 20%!

 

2.) Sesame Tofu & Broccoli

Looking for easy healthy recipes for weight loss? Featuring a savory sesame sauce that’s low calorie (but big on taste), this protein-rich vegetarian dish is a winner for tofu and broccoli lovers alike! Whether you’re already a vegan or simply trying to incorporate more veggies into your diet, this Asian-inspired entrée is a light and healthy alternative to traditional Chinese take-out. Bonus: low in saturated fat, this vegetarian recipe also includes the health benefits of white vinegar and heart-healthy garlic.

 

3.) Vegan Smashed Chickpea Salad

Craving egg salad but trying to go vegan? We’ve got you covered: this high-fiber, high-protein vegetarian recipe is packed with flavor and oh-so-satisfying. With the beloved legume as the star of the show, this simple salad shines with citrusy lemon, creamy vegan yogurt, a dash of turmeric, and luscious tahini to take it over the top. Wrap up in a grain-free tortilla or serve over a big salad for a guilt-free lunch that’s sure to please.

 

4.) Spicy Black Bean Soup

Nothing quite says fall weather’s here like a steaming hot bowl of soup! Sure to warm you up on even the coldest of days, this spice-laden recipe is loaded with vibrant vegetables and herbs for a meal that won’t disappoint. A truly versatile soup, the author gives tips on how to tweak the texture to your personal preference – whether you like it smooth and brothy or chunky with lots of cilantro, she explains all the steps you’ll need to make this inspired recipe your very own!

Found Fact: A popular ingredient in Mexican and Indian cuisine, cilantro is an herb that, for many people, evokes either love or hate relationship. With its distinctive citrusy flavor and aroma, this herb comes from the leaves of the coriander plant. 

However, while some folks love it – and others loathe it – it’s not simply a matter of ‘taste.’ In fact, it’s a genetic issue: for those who have a strong aversion to it, it’s actually due to certain olfactory-receptor genes that make it taste like soap when they eat it!

 

5.) Oven-Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

When you’re looking for a filling vegetarian dish you can customize to your own palate, roasted cauliflower steaks are the perfect plant-based option! Incorporating fresh produce and seasonings, you’ll likely have in your spice rack. This simple yet healthy recipe makes the ideal vegan entrée or side – without skimping on flavor or texture. 

Bonus: in addition to several seasoning suggestions, the author also includes vegan recipes for delicious chimichurri and pesto sauces to accompany your veggie steaks. The author also shares how to make cauliflower rice in four different ways, making it easy to see how cauliflower can become your new go-to when looking for low-carb, healthy grain substitutes.

 

6.) Vegetable Lentil Soup

Putting a hearty spin on a classic favorite, lentil vegetable soup is a great vegan meal option that’s as customizable as it is comforting. Whether you’re crazy for kale or gung-ho for garlic, it boasts a beautiful array of colorful veggies for a soup that is both satisfying and flavorful. Adjust the herbs and variety of vegetables to your preference, and make a big batch for easy leftovers – the author notes it reheats wonderfully, so it’s ideal for those busy work weeks. 

Bonus: chances are, you’ll probably have the majority of these ingredients already in your pantry and freezer. Plus, it’s high in potassium, calcium, and protein, but low in saturated fat and sugar, making this soup a slam-dunk!

 

7.) Veggie Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

For many people, the chilly weather makes us crave classic comfort foods like pasta and spaghetti. But when you’re trying to eat whole foods and avoid refined carbs, dishes like mac and cheese and lasagna are totally off-limits, right? Not so – in this creative veggie interpretation, spaghetti squash noodles are used as a substitute for lasagna pasta! 

Bonus: this inspired, 5-star recipe is not only vegetarian, gluten-free, and high in calcium, but low in calories – and supports healthy immunity, pregnancy, and aging for the win-win! As they say in Italy, “Mangia!”

Found Fact: Here’s a little bit of spaghetti squash trivia: did you know that both winter and summer squashes are in the melon family? That’s right – they’re actually related to melons such as watermelon and honeydew, making them (yep, you guessed it) – a fruit! 

They’re also rich in fiber and help maintain regularity. In fact, research has shown that regular consumption of spaghetti squash can help treat numerous digestive issues, such as hemorrhoids, GERD, diverticulitis, and even intestinal ulcers. 

 

8.) Oil-Free Vegan Roasted Vegetables

Who says you can’t roast veggies without oil and still have them taste fabulous? This recipe shows you how, without skimping on texture or flavor! Using seasonal produce and whatever spices you fancy, the author shares her secret for a wide array of perfectly-roasted vegetable dishes. 

Using beautiful step-by-step photos, she explains her tricks of the trade, including preferred utensils and a nutritional breakdown at the end. Bonus: this recipe is not only vegetarian but vegan, as well as gluten-free, dairy-free, and naturally sweetened.

 

9.) Avocado Pesto Power Bowl With Black Beans

When you’re famished and want to whip up something quick – and healthy – vegan power bowls are the way to go! Delicious, versatile, and affordable, this nutrient-rich bowl recipe features a dairy-free avocado dressing that’s as addictive as it is fiber-rich. 

With its array of textures, flavors, and colors, we bet this bowl will quickly make its way into your rotation of veggie faves!  Bonus: from prep to cook time, this recipe takes 30 minutes from stove to plate and allows for easy vegetable, bean, grain, and topping swaps so you can easily customize your bowl to your personal taste.

 

10.) Dark Chocolate Vegan Hemp Energy Snacks

We totally get it: it’s that time of year! From Halloween candy and Thanksgiving pumpkin pie to Christmas cookies and Hanukkah chocolates, temptation awaits around every corner. That’s why we love these decadent chocolate bites. Rich and fudgy, they get their natural sweetness from – wait for it – dates! 

Packed with nutritional benefits, including phytonutrients, protein, biotin, and a healthy serving of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids from hemp seeds, this is an indulgent and guilt-free goody you can sink your sweet tooth into. 

Bonus: Made with only 6 simple ingredients, this healthy treat is ready to snack on in under 30 minutes. It’s also gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, naturally sweetened, and dairy-free, making it a great energy snack or dessert option for those with dietary sensitivities.

Found Fact: According to an article in Medical News Today, hemp seeds provide a myriad of nutritional advantages. Rich in protein, unsaturated fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, research has shown they may also offer numerous positive health benefits, including but not limited to improved heart health, brain function, skin conditions, and even aiding in the management of certain chronic diseases.

Looking for more healthy recipes to try? Read our top healthy snack recipes for weight loss and healthy juice recipes for weight loss.

Sources Cited:

1)      “Weight loss: Feel full on fewer calories.” Mayo Clinic (mayoclinic.org), February 15, 2020, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/weight-loss/art-20044318.  Accessed October 25, 2021.

2)      Petruzzello, Melissa. “Why Does Cilantro Taste Like Soap to Some People?” Britannica (britannica.com), (no published date), https://www.britannica.com/story/why-does-cilantro-taste-like-soap-to-some-people. Accessed October 25, 2021.

3)      Ronco, Steph. “8 Fun Facts About Squash.” Food And Health (foodandhealth.com), October 2021, https://foodandhealth.com/8-fun-facts-about-squash/. Accessed October 25, 2021.

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