Plant-based suggestions please


I would love to start incorporating more plant-based meals, maybe 1 dinner a week until I get some easy recipes down that I like. I have done a few of the Nourishing Guru's programs, but I never stay on them afterwards due to boredom. Does anyone have any suggestions of a blog, website, app, cookbook, etc. for quick, easy & tasty meals for someone that's not sure if they even like all those plant foods? Nothing is worse than buying strange things, spending time & money & then hating it. Anyone ever try the PlateJoy app? How about home delivery kits like Purple Carrot or Home Chef? I have tried Hello Fresh and started out great, but had so many customer service issues that I cancelled & refuse to go back! Any other tips on how I can get started into this lifestyle if I have no idea where to begin & how to make sure I am getting enough protein if I don't care for beans & tofu?
Here in New Zealand we have Revive Café run by Jeremy Dixon which caters to vegan and vegetarian. Jeremy has released a number of cookbooks which are available on Amazon. I was a non-veggie eater and really struggled to introduce more veggies into my diet. I have 5 of his cookbooks and I find his meals are really good.
My suggestions for cookbooks:
1-America's Test Kitchen: The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook. If you only want to buy one book, this is the one to get. An alternative would be their Mediterranean cookbook.
2-Martha Stewart Living: Meatless.
3-Kaushy Patel: Prashad at home and Vegetarian Indian Cooking: Prashad. I found out about this great cook from one of Gordon Ramsay's British shows. I bought her 2 cookbooks on kindle.
4-Ottolenghi: Any of his cookbooks. I have all of them except for his most recent. He is an Israeli chef in England. The recipes are Middle Eastern with lots of vegetables and herbs.
My suggestion is to make sure that the one vegetarian meal has a mix of beans/dals with starches. Think white food like rice, pasta and potatoes. Then add beans or dals which bring a lot more fiber and protein. The starches are the main source of soluble fiber and resistant starch in our diets. The key is to cook them properly and allow them to cool for few minutes before eating. Don't put them in the microwave which destroys the resistant starch.

I have to type up my herbs, lentils and garbanzo soup. I'll post it later. It is a meal all by itself. I never get tired of it because I can change the flavor profile with the herbs and spices.
I eat exclusively whole plants and hardly ever repeat a meal within a week and never ever get bored!

Top 2 Cookbooks:

1) Ultimate Weight Loss by Chef AJ (I never needed to lose weight, but she has a useful story/background. The back of the book has many many recipes and variations.) Very simple and fast recipes. Substitutions recommended. I cook from this an absolute minimum of once per week, but often more.

2) How to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Jane and Anne Esselstyn. (I do not have any diseases, but what better way to eat than a plant diet to prevent heart disease!) Very simple and fast recipes, along with longer ones. Many condiments (sauces, dressings, dips well worth the price of the book alone).

Runner Ups:
*anything from the Esselstyn Family (Rip, Jane, Anne, and Caldwell)
*Straight Up Food by Cathy Fisher (I actually have heard this is a favorite cookbook by many plant eaters, but never bought it. I met her recently and bought her book - made several and they are great. Need to make more recipes before I elaborate. But everyone I know who has her book loves it.)
*Bravo Express by Chef Ramses Bravo (same as above...heard great things, recently met him and bought it...haven't used it yet). He has a more "complicated" book, "Bravo!", which I hear is more labor intensive with more ingredients. Stick to the Bravo Express in the beginning.


1) Chef AJ. She has hundreds of Youtube videos of recipes she cooks in real time to show just how fast and easy it is. She also talks about health, which I could listen to all day!

2) Jane Esselstyn. Her and her mom, Anne, have hundreds of YouTube videos where they cook in real time also showing how fast and easy this is.

3) Nutmeg Notebook with Tami Kramer. She is a bit newer and focuses more on health, but does have a few recipes. She is the sweetest person on earth and teaches at a slow and steady rate.

I have tons more (I am a nutrition addict!), but the above I find to be super fast, super easy, easy to substitute and delicious. Chef AJ and the Esselstyns would be my top 2. Also, many of the above have the majority of their recipes on their website ( & and the Esselstyn family).
@BlakKat , I've been following this thread and loving it! Just in case you hadn't thought of this, your local library might offer at least some of these books so you can try before you buy. My library has a surprisingly good amount so hopefully yours will too! Thanks to all for your suggestions on books and podcasts
Wow @Gobias thank you so much for such an extensive list of info - I wish you lived next door, I would be a nuisance;) I am just so overwhelmed with everything out there & not sure where/how to start. I will be on a youtube-binge this weekend!
Thank you @lisa_la_machina! I'm glad you are enjoying it & finding it helpful. I am actually going to a library book sale tomorrow to see what they have. Two reasons I want to start this is now that I am officially in menopause, I feel so bloated & stomach hurts all the time no matter what I eat. It's much harder to keep the middle trim & harder workouts I always loved are giving me a problem plus heart disease runs in both sides of my family & even though all of my bloodwork is awesome - my LDL is high because of family history.
@BlakKat - somehow I believe if we lived next door, I would become a nuisance to you! Everyone knows if they even whisper the word "nutrition" or "recipe", I come running with my say. LOL.

I have a list of tons more I reference (books, authors, blogs, etc) but I won't overwhelm everyone. However, there is one more person I would recommend if you like YouTube videos. Dillon Holmes from Well Your World. He has long (60min) Q&A's or short (10-ish min) of quick recipes or quick sound bites on health. I really enjoy him.

I will say when I started eating exclusively whole plants, I was overwhelmed because traditional recipes used an ingredient list 20 line items long, used an obscure ingredient I could never find, or used an ingredient I would never use again. The 3 I recommended (Chef AJ, Dillon Holmes, Jane & Ann Esselstyn) all teach how you can make anything, using any plant ingredient, in any quantity, substitute as needed, and it be quick. Even "experiments" or "fails" are pretty dang good! And it can all be so fast once you get the hang of it.

Quite frankly, I am a bit mad I didn't find this way of eating decades ago since it is so much easier, faster and yummier. And it healed my insane gut issues I had for decades and tremendously helped my puffy joints (I am just a fluid collector in my joints, especially when I travel and would have to get fluid removed after each trip). Not to mention allergies, asthma, fatigue, etc etc etc.

If you are going to binge watch this weekend, I would start with "Chef AJ: From Fat Vegan to Skinny B!tch". She doesn't talk about recipes in it, but does tell her story and it explains where she comes from and why she is the way she is now.

Can't help it, I have to add for binge-watchers: Also recommend YT videos from Alan Goldhamer, Doug Lisle, John McDougall, Caldwell Esselstyn. Various different health topics depending on what you are looking for.
Wow, I'm going to be very busy for quite awhile. This is awesome-thank you so much everyone!!! I also found someone by accident on YouTube. She doesn't just do whole food-vegan recipes, she has other topics that pertain to women over 50. She is a holistic nutritionalist and has been on several TV shows. Her name is Sophie Uliano.
Thank you @Ly10up! I have heard of Forks over Knives, I need to look these over also! I feel like this is going to take some time. So far a few recipes I have tried, I have not loved...didn't hate them, just wouldn't look forward to having them again. I also do not think I am eating enough because I am starving and then end up eating something I should not.

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