17 Delicious Plant-Based Recipes to Get You Through the Holidays


In my opinion, the holidays are all about two things:

Spending quality time with family and friends, and indulging on good food and drink.

A few weeks ago I shared tips on how to stay happy and healthy this holiday season, so this week I thought I’d shift gears and focus on the good stuff — the indulging. More specifically, the best plant-based holiday meal, drink, and treat recipes to get you — and your non-vegan family and friends — through the holidays.

To do so, I reached out to the full No Meat Athlete team, including Matt and Erin, Esther, Susan, and Stepfanie, and together we’ve compiled a list of our favorite recipes to indulge in throughout the holidays.

Let’s start with my favorite meal:


For my family, Christmas day revolves around a giant brunch. Aside from stockings, we even hold off on opening gifts until brunch is served and savored, making it one of the meals I look forward to most all year.

Here are a few of my favorite recipes:

1. Tofu Quiche — Nothing says brunch like a delicious, savory quiche, and this simple plant-based version gets even the non-vegans in my family excited.

2. Pumpkin Apple Muffins — Every good brunch needs something sweet. Muffins are easy to make, fun, and so very comforting. Tired of pumpkin? Try these vegan blueberry muffins instead.

3. Coffee Cake — Long after brunch is over you’ll want to keep munching on this coffee cake treat.

4. Ginger Mimosas — I’m not afraid to admit I love a good brunch mimosa. Give the traditional recipe a twist by adding ginger, and swap out the champagne with sparkling water for an alcohol free version.

Doug’s Ginger Mimosa Recipe

— 2oz Orange juice

— 4oz Brut champagne

— Splash of bitters

— 2 thin slices of ginger

Add bitters, ginger, and orange juice to the glass, top off with champagne.


The holidays typically come with their fill of down time — either between activities, or while you’re waiting for the big meal to finish cooking. I’ll fill the quiet with a good book, holiday movie, or board game (Settlers anyone?).

But no matter what I’m doing, down time always means breaking out snacks and apps.

5. Stuffed Mushrooms — With the never-on-time holiday dinner in mind, it’s important to have a few hearty appetizers on hand, like these stuffed mushroom caps.

6. White Bean Spread with Pomegranate and Mint on Crostini — Simple and delicious. Put this white bean spread on your crostini and garnish with pomegranate seeds and chopped mint.

Sardinian White Bean Spread Recipe

— 1 medium clove of garlic

— ½ teaspoon salt

— 2 cans (or 3 cups cooked) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (almost any bean will work, so feel free to try others)

— Juice of one medium lemon

— 1-2 teaspoons dried herbs (any you like — usually an Italian blend plus fennel seeds)

— 2 tablespoons olive oil (If you don’t mind oil, you can use use up to a quarter-cup for a richer spread. If you want to it to be totally oil-free, substitute liquid from the beans or water.)

Use a food processor or blender to first mince the garlic, then add all remaining ingredients except for oil (or your substitute liquid) and pulse to form a very rough paste. Then, with the motor running, stream in the oil or other liquid with the motor running. Do it quickly so that the spread retains a bit of texture.

Serve with veggies or pita wedges, or spread on pizza crust, bagels, or just about anything else where you want to add some heft and nutrition.

7. Mushroom Crostini — For something a little heavier, this recipe uses rosemary lemon cashew cream as the spread, and a nice serving of mushrooms on top.

Sides and Entrees

Holiday feasts can be tricky when your family isn’t also vegan, so I make sure that whatever I cook is approachable and exciting to everyone around the table.

Here are a few of the team’s favorite vegan sides and entrees for the holidays:

8. Cauliflower Steaks — Stepfanie suggests adding thyme and rosemary to the herb blend for the cauliflower, and to serve it up with her Dijon Butternut Squash Sauce.

9. Butternut Squash Risotto with Cheesy Sprinkle — Matt’s go-to holiday entree is risotto, and a creamy butternut squash adds fantastic flavor.

10. Glazed Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf, Revisited — Each year Katie and I cook two lentil loaves — one for Thanksgiving and one for Christmas — since they make for the perfect meat substitution on a holiday plate (Esther thinks so too, since we both suggested this one!).

11. This Ain’t Grandma’s Sweet Potato Casserole — Everyone loves a good comfort food side, and this suggestion from Esther should do the trick.

12. Holiday Soup for the Soul — My family keeps a big pot of soup ready at all times, for whenever someone gets hungry. Thanks to Esther, we have a new recipe to try this year.

13. Bourbon Maple Apple Cider — The cocktail your holiday has been missing. Trust me. (Here’s a non-alcoholic version.)

Bonus: Don’t forget the sauces!


Let’s be honest, everyone’s favorite holiday food indulgent is dessert. Yeah, these should do it:

14. Vegan Gingerbread Stout Cookies — Susan admits that she usually eats the whole batch before Santa arrives, so she’ll make a second batch. Or sometimes a third. No judgement here … it’s Christmas!

15. Sinless Sticky Toffee Pecan Pudding — A dessert you don’t have to feel (as) guilty devouring.

16. Saltine Butter Toffee — Erin’s favorite holiday gifts are edible ones, and the vegan treats from Joni Marie Newman’s Vegan Food Gifts never disappoint (trust me, I always love receiving a tin of treats from her around the holidays). This toffee is one of the best.

17. Mulled Wine — I first learned how to make mulled wine during a cold winter (in July) studying abroad in Chile, and if you drink alcohol, it’s the perfect sipping drink to warm the body and soul.

Doug’s Mulled Wine Recipe

— 1 bottle of red wine (nothing fancy, I usually grab a $10 bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon or Carmenere)

— 1 whole cinnamon stick

— 8-10 cloves

— 2 cups of apple cider

— 1 cup Port or Brandy

— 1 orange, zested and juiced (save peel for garnish)

— 1 apple, sliced

Combine in a large sauce pan and simmer before reducing heat for at least 15 minutes before serving. Alternatively, combine in a slow-cooker and leave on low throughout the evening.

This Christmas, Bring on the Food and Drink

Because what’s a holiday without a delicious treat?

From everyone on the No Meat Athlete team, we wish you have a happy, healthy, and delicious holiday.

About the Author: Doug is an ultrarunner, coach, and the co-host of NMA Radio. Pick up his free eBook, Why Every Runner Should Be a Trail Runner (And How to Become One).

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How Not to Suck at Cooking


If you want to start eating healthy, the number one thing you can do isn’t to go on a diet or juice cleanse. It’s to start cooking at home.

Just by cooking your own food you’ll cut back on the amount of salt, oil, and unhealthy junk chefs add to restaurant meals that makes them so delicious.

The problem is a lot of us don’t know how to cook. I’m mean, just listen back to last week’s episode and you’ll see how little Matt and I knew not that long ago.

But a lot has changed since our days of college, and in today’s episode, Matt and I share the basic cooking tips we rely on almost every single day.

As a bonus, Matt shares the skills he’s learned so far at the Rouxbe plant-based cooking school (he’s only about 20% through so far, so expect more from that in the future).

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • Why is it important to cook at home?
  • How to choose a cookbook
  • What Matt has learned (so far) in cooking school
  • Essential equipment for a well designed kitchen
  • Preparing food … the right way

Click the button below to listen now:

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Announcing ‘The No Meat Athlete Cookbook’ (Plus New Speaking Events this Fall)

With Brenda Davis, R.D., at Remedy Food Toronto's culinary competition.

With Brenda Davis, R.D., at Remedy Food Toronto’s culinary competition.

Well, it’s been a busy summer, full of travel, food, and being a dad. And as you probably guessed from the title of this post, lots of work on a new book!

The short version: The No Meat Athlete Cookbook: 150 Whole Food, Plant-Based Recipes to Fuel Your Workouts and the Rest of Your Life is due out next May, written in collaboration with chef Stepfanie Romine and published by The Experiment. They published the #1 New York Times bestselling Forks Over Knives book and more recently, the quirky, virally popular Taco Cleanse. They really understand our vision for the book and what No Meat Athlete stands for as a movement, and Stepf and I couldn’t be more excited to work with them.

A few more details …

It goes without saying, I think, that I’m really proud of my first book, No Meat Athlete, and what it has done. Not quite three years after publication, it’s been translated into three foreign languages, sold over 26,000 copies, and introduced a ton of people to my simple approach to food, running, and habit change.

So why a new book? Lots of reasons.

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The Vegan Athlete’s Guide to Running and Eating in Portland, Oregon

Beautiful Vista of Portland, Oregon

Rose City. Rip City. Bridgetown. PDX. Whatever you call it, it’s all Portland, Oregon.

And people love it.

Portland is an eco-conscious, walkable, bikeable, city with an excellent public transit system. And while it may be better known for its professional sports teams — or perhaps the hilarious cult-classic Portlandia — it’s known locally for its vibrant vegan and active lifestyle community.

It’s a mecca for vegan foodies and athletes alike, and our appreciation for quality vegan food and the outdoors is a major reason for why my fiancee and I were drawn to this city in the first place.

Experiencing Portland as a Vegan Athlete

When you’re planning where to stay and what to do in Portland, it’s helpful to think of the city in quadrants.

Portland is divided into four quadrants by the Willamette River (which splits East and West Portland) and by Burnside Street (which splits the North and South sides). Whether you’re planning a running route or looking for somewhere to dine, consider which quadrant of Portland your destination will be in.

With that in mind, I’ve organized my Portland running and vegan food suggestions in this guide by area of the city.

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7 Simple Ways to Steal Stress-Free Moments (that Will Actually Fit Into Your Busy Day)

beautiful woman sitting in the grass

Athletes need physical recovery. Why?

Because if they can recover effectively from the physical stress of a workout, they can jump back into training more quickly, and achieve greater gains over time.

But, guess who else needs effective recovery?

We all do. We need emotional and mental recovery to handle life’s stresses.

The hitch is that most of us either feel like we don’t have enough time for ourselves to recover, or actually don’t have enough recovery time. And we stress ourselves the hell out.

The solution? Simple:

Learn how to steal moments. Take a moment previously meant for something else, and steal it back. Transforming it into exactly what you need.

The Not-So-Pretty Picture that is Chronic Stress

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7 Years of No Meat Athlete, in a Nutshell

Shell of walnut

So you’re new to No Meat Athlete, and don’t know where to start …

(If you’re not new, well, you can safely ignore this one.)

In more than seven years of being at it, we’ve produced a ton of content. Over 800 articles, close to 150 podcast episodes, systems for the marathon, triathlon, and meal planning, and a print book.

So where do you start?

Well, you’re subscribed to the emails, so that’s a good thing. (Or if someone forwarded you this and you want to get on the list, go here.)

Next, how about the podcast? Subscribe via iTunes or another platform, and you’ll get automatic updates about each new episode we make — one per week, usually.

Finally, dive in. A few nut-jobs (who I love, of course) have told me they started at the first post and read every single one, but these days that’s almost impossible.

So I’ve made it easy for you. Here’s a list of the 30 (give or take) most important, fundamental articles on No Meat Athlete, in five main topic areas, so that you can scan through and start with whatever most grabs your attention.

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On Bouncing Back

On the night of June 29th, I packed my suitcase for what was supposed to be just 10 days in Italy.

We would be spending some time with family before and after the trip, but we could do laundry there. So I needed only 10 days’ worth of clothes, my running shoes, my Kindle, and my computer. My wife, Erin, packed her suitcase and our kids’ similarly.

What we never could have guessed was that come October — more than three months after we left home — we’d still be living out of those same suitcases. Or that that night at the end of June would be the last we’d ever spend in our house.

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The All-New No Meat Athlete Shirts are Finally Here!



It’s here! The new look of No Meat Athlete has made its way to our shirts … but not without some drama.

Almost three months ago, along with a brief history of the running carrot, I announced that it was time for him to hang up his shoes.

He would be replaced by something new, something just slightly more serious and a tad bit tougher, to better convey what this plant-based athlete lifestyle and our No Meat Athlete movement is all about — on the shirts, website, and everything else.

Up until then, my wife and I had folded and shipped almost every shirt, all 25,000+ of them, by hand. But with the retirement of the running carrot, we decided it was finally time to pass that job off to someone who actually knows what they’re doing when it comes to managing inventory and fulfillment. (And you know what I mean if you ever waited months for a certain style and size of shirt to be back in stock. :))

And it’s a good thing we did …

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