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Transitioning to a plant-centric diet can help decrease your environmental impact while improving the quality of your diet. These six vegetarian meal delivery services make it easy to enjoy the benefits of a vegetarian diet at home.

Each product featured here has been independently selected. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

Transitioning to a plant-centric diet can help decrease your environmental impact while improving the quality of your diet. These six vegetarian meal delivery services make it easy to enjoy the benefits of a vegetarian diet at home.

Our picks for the best vegetarian meal plan services

Each product featured here has been independently selected. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

Following a vegetarian or mostly vegetarian dietary pattern is an excellent way to increase your intake of nutrient-dense foods like vegetables, fruits, lentils, nuts, seeds, and beans. However, preparing nutritious plant-based meals can be time consuming and some people don’t have the desire to cook meals every day.

Fortunately, there are a number of meal delivery services that are either entirely plant-based or offer vegetarian-friendly meal and snack options approved by nutritionists in addition to omnivorous choices. Some send you high-quality prepared meals while others make meal prep simple with recipe cards and quality ingredients like black beans, chickpeas, sweet potatoes, zucchini, quinoa, and more included in every box. You can also read our review of the best eco-conscious meal kit services for 2021.

How we chose these vegetarian options

To create our list of the best vegetarian meal kits, we compared each brand on a number of factors. These included:

  • Organic ingredients – Are the meal options made with non-GMO organic ingredients and are they free from artificial preservatives and sweeteners? We looked for important eco-friendly labels from authorities like the USDA, Non-GMO Project and the Marine Stewardship Council for any pescatarian plans.
  • Dietary restrictions – Do they offer entrees and meals that are gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, vegan, paleo, keto, low-calorie, and low-carb?
  • Pricing – How much does the service cost in total and how does that break down per meal? Can customers add a la carte items to their plan?
  • Packaging – How are the meals packaged? Do they generate a lot of waste or do they use recyclable, compostable, and biodegradable materials?

Based on these categories, here are the 6 best vegetarian meal delivery services.

Purple Carrot

Purple Carrot is a completely vegan meal kit subscription service that offers options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus snacks. Follow simple instructions to prepare flavorful, plant-based meals from scratch and Purple Carrot labels meals that are Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, <600 Calories, Nut-Free, High-Protein, or Quick and Easy meals that take 30 minutes or less to prepare.

Why buy: The Purple Carrot menu changes weekly, and is packed with delicious meals. You can enjoy vegetarian tacos, Thai, or Mediterranean, just to name a few options. Meals generally take between 25 to 40 minutes to prepare and start at .99 per serving. Read our full review here.

Buy

Splendid Spoon

Splendid Spoon creates ready-to-eat, vegetarian options including smoothies, noodle bowls, soups, grain bowls, and wellness shots. Splendid Spoon offers five plans, including Breakfast + Lunch and Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, + Reset. The “Reset” is a one day plan that includes 5 plant-based soups.

Why buy: Customers can choose from more than 50 menu items that are gluten-free and vegan. Splendid Spoon offers a nice mix of comfort foods and healthy meals great for weight loss. Plus, their packaging is almost entirely recyclable. The Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, + Reset plan starts at 5.

Buy

Sunbasket

Sunbasket is a certified organic meal kit delivery service that offers a variety of plant-based menu options, including vegan, vegetarian, and pescatarian. Since it’s a meal kit service, it’s a perfect choice for people who like to cook. In addition to their tasty dinner recipes, Sunbasket offers breakfast, lunch, and snack options.

Why buy: These dietitian-approved vegetarian meals contain no meat and provide between 400 and 800 calories, at least 5 grams of fiber, and at least 10 grams of protein per meal. Sunbasket also makes a good choice for eco-conscious pescatarians because they only use wild-caught or sustainably sourced seafood. Meals start at .99. Read our full Sunbasket review here.

Buy

Sprinly

Sprinly is a plant-based meal delivery company that offers vegan-friendly, fully prepared, gluten-free meals that are ready to eat in three minutes or less. Most of the ingredients Sprinly uses are organic and nutrient-dense. Meals provide between 300–650 calories per dish.

Why buy: Sprinly’s packaging includes 100% recycled cardboard boxes, insulation that is compostable, recyclable, and biodegradable, and recyclable plastic containers and ice packs. Meals start at .05 per serving, depending on the plan you choose.

Buy

Daily Harvest

If you’re a smoothie lover, you’ve probably heard about Daily Harvest. This plant-based meal delivery service is known for their delish smoothies that come in mouth-watering flavors like Chocolate + Hazelnut and Acai + Cherry, but they offer many other tasty dishes as well. Keep in mind that some of these meals are low calorie and may need to add extra ingredients to make them filling enough.

Why Buy: Choose from over 80 chef-created, gluten-free, plant-based frozen options. Choose a plan and then customize a box with nutritional options like oat bowls, chia bowls, harvest bowls with quinoa, flatbreads, soups, and plant-based lattes. Prices range from .99 to .99 per item.

Buy

Mosaic

Mosaic is a smart choice for people leading busy lives. This plant-based meal delivery service provides customers with healthy veggie options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Meals are fully prepared and ready to enjoy in five minutes or less. Each meal contains between 5 to 20+ grams of plant-based protein and is made with nutritious ingredients.

Why buy: You can feel good about purchasing Mosaic meals. For every Mosaic box sold, the company works with a non-profit called City Harvest to rescue two pounds of healthy food and distribute it to people in need. The company also uses organic and local ingredients whenever possible. Mosaic has a order minimum. Meals start at .

Buy

Why should you eat vegan and vegetarian?

Eating a vegetarian and plant-based diet is both better for your health and the environment. Studies show that vegetarian diets can lead to a lower risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and can increase longevity, according to the Harvard Health Blog.

In terms of the benefits for the planet, a study published in the journal Advances in Nutrition finds that vegan diets produce 50% less greenhouse gas emissions and vegetarian diets produce about 35% less greenhouse gas emissions than diets that include meat. They also significantly reduce the use of natural resources like water and help protect against deforestation associated with pastures.

If you want to introduce more vegetarian or vegan meals into your weekly routine, try one of these six meal delivery services. They are a great place to start making a positive change for your health and the environment.

Jillian Kubala, MS, RD, holds a master’s degree in nutrition from Stony Brook University School of Medicine as well as an undergraduate degree in nutrition science. She is certified in plant-based nutrition through the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies at Cornell University.

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The holiday season is packed with parties, work events, and family dinners where delicious foods and beverages are enjoyed. Most of these tasty treats include some aromatic spices like cinnamon, clove, or nutmeg.

Aside from the joy that savoring a sip of eggnog or a bite of gingerbread may bring, consuming spices used to make these recipes may do wonders for your overall health thanks to the powerful plant compounds they contain.

The holiday season is packed with parties, work events, and family dinners where delicious foods and beverages are enjoyed. Most of these tasty treats include some aromatic spices like cinnamon, clove, or nutmeg.


Aside from the joy that savoring a sip of eggnog or a bite of gingerbread may bring, consuming spices used to make these recipes may do wonders for your overall health thanks to the powerful plant compounds they contain.

This article covers six of the healthiest holiday spices that can be easily incorporated into a variety of festive dishes.

1. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is one of the most popular spices to use, especially during the holiday season. It’s used to flavor favorites like pumpkin pie, sweet potato casseroles, and spiced apple cider.

Cinnamon brings a warm, spicy taste to recipes, making it a perfect addition to both sweet and savory dishes served during Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Years. It’s also popularly used in seasonal beverages like eggnog.

Aside from its versatility, cinnamon offers a wealth of health-promoting benefits.

For example, studies demonstrate that cinnamon has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and may help lower blood sugar and blood pressure levels when taken in high doses as a supplement. Cinnamon may offer anticancer, neuroprotective, and metabolic benefits as well.

Cinnamon contains compounds including cinnamaldehyde and proanthocyanidins, which have potent antioxidant properties and may help protect cells against oxidative damage, which is critical for disease prevention.

When shopping for cinnamon, choose Ceylon cinnamon or “true cinnamon” whenever possible for the most benefits.

2. Ginger

Ginger is a popular ingredient in health products, and for good reason.

This pungent holiday spice is packed with health-promoting compounds including gingerols, shogaols, and paradols. Dried ginger, which is most commonly used in holiday recipes, is most concentrated in shogaols while fresh ginger is packed with gingerols.

Consuming ginger can positively impact overall health in many ways as ginger has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anticancer effects.

Ginger supplements are commonly used as effective, natural treatments for nausea, infections, heartburn, bloating, and gas.

Plus, many research studies in animals and test tubes have shown that ginger has powerful anticancer properties, and that ginger may help inhibit cell growth and induce cellular death in certain types of cancer including gastrointestinal cancer and ovarian cancer.

Try incorporating fresh ginger into teas, dressings, marinades, and fresh juices, or using dried ginger in baked goods and dry rubs to reap the many impressive health benefits this spice has to offer.

3. Nutmeg

Nutmeg has a distinctive, slightly nutty flavor that gives a powerful kick to holiday recipes like custards, ciders, and roasts.

In addition to its delicious taste, nutmeg contains a plethora of antioxidants that can benefit health in a number of ways. Terpenes, cyanidins, and phenolic compounds are just some of the powerful antioxidants found in this tasty spice.

Due to its high concentration of health-promoting plant compounds, nutmeg delivers a variety of health benefits.

Research has shown that this spice has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and may help improve blood sugar control and heart health when taken in high doses.

Some research in animals has even demonstrated that nutmeg may be an effective natural treatment method for boosting libido.

Nutmeg is delicious when used in savory recipes such as curries and meat dishes, and it gives desserts like crisps, pies, and puddings a pleasant punch of flavor.

4. Allspice

Allspice is the dried unripe berries of Pimenta dioica, which is native to the West Indies, Central America, and Mexico. It’s used in traditional Carribean recipes like jerk chicken and mole sauces, and it’s a staple in holiday dishes such as spiced apple cider, soups, and gingerbread.

Additionally, allspice has been used for hundreds of years as a folk remedy to treat ailments including indigestion, pain, headaches, and more.

Allspice has a spicy taste and pungent aroma and is rich in medicinal compounds including polyphenols, terpenoids, and lignans that offer antioxidant, antihypertensive, antiviral, and anticancer effects.

In particular, the bioactive compounds eugenol, ericifolin, and gallic acid, which are concentrated in nutmeg, have been studied for their potent anti-tumor properties.

For example, one test tube study found that eugenol was effective in fighting an aggressive type of breast cancer while another study found that allspice extract stopped the spread of, and induced cell death in prostate cancer cells. Although these findings are promising, human studies are needed to confirm these potential benefits.

5. Clove

Clove is another popular holiday spice that has a rich history. Clove has been used since ancient times in traditional medicine practices to treat pain and fight infections.

Like allspice, clove is rich in eugenol and gallic acid, as well as a number of other phenolic acids and flavonoid compounds, all of which offer impressive health benefits.

Clove has powerful antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties.

What’s more, some research suggests that clove may offer anticancer effects due to its high concentration of eugenol. In fact, eugenol makes up around 89% of clove essential oil.

Additionally, clove oil has been shown to have powerful antifungal effects against Candida yeast and Aspergillus fungus, which commonly cause infections in humans.

Clove has a strong, slightly bitter flavor, so you only need to add a small amount of this spice to your favorite holiday recipes. Try adding clove to meat dishes, veggies, and baked goods.

You can even add a dash of this healthy spice to your coffee or hot chocolate for a seasonal taste during the holiday season.

6. Cardamom

Cardamom is a spice commonly used around the holidays to add a kick of flavor to baked goods and stews.

It is a staple ingredient in Indian cuisine and has been used in traditional medicine practices throughout history to treat medical conditions such as heart disease, constipation, colic, and fungal infections.

Recent research has demonstrated that cardamon may offer a variety of health benefits due to the abundance of phytochemicals — including myrcene, limonene, subinene, cineol, α-pinene, β-sitostenone, and γ-sitosterol — concentrated in this pungent spice.

A rodent study found that treatment with cardamom powder improved blood sugar, prevented increases in blood lipids, and reduced liver inflammation in rats fed a high fat diet over an 8-week period.

Other studies in test tubes and animals have demonstrated that cardamom may offer antioxidant, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory effects.

Plus, one human study showed that supplementation with 3 grams of cardamom powder for 12 weeks significantly decreased blood pressure and significantly increased antioxidant levels in 20 adults with hypertension.

Interestingly, human studies are currently being conducted to assess the potential impact of cardamom supplementation on blood sugar, cholesterol, and inflammatory markers in people with diabetes and obesity, yet the results are not yet available.

Although the small amounts of cardamom used in cooking are unlikely to have the same benefits as high-dose supplements, adding cardamom to holiday recipes may benefit overall health by providing a wealth of protective plant compounds.

The Bottom Line

The holiday spices listed above are not only delicious, but they offer an abundance of powerful phytochemicals that may protect overall health.

Try adding these flavorful spices to your favorite seasonal recipes to kick up the flavor and nutritional benefits of your meal.

Registered dietitian Jillian Kubala holds a master’s degree in nutrition from Stony Brook University School of Medicine as well as an undergraduate degree in nutrition science. She is certified in plant-based nutrition through the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies at Cornell University.

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Many people fear they will pack on pounds during the holiday season because of the abundance of indulgent dishes and tasty treats served at dinners, parties, and work events.

Although enjoying your favorite recipes can be an important part of the holiday tradition, making sure that you balance your diet with nutritious foods can help you stay happy and healthy this holiday season.

Many people fear they will pack on pounds during the holiday season because of the abundance of indulgent dishes and tasty treats served at dinners, parties, and work events.


Although enjoying your favorite recipes can be an important part of the holiday tradition, making sure that you balance your diet with nutritious foods can help you stay happy and healthy this holiday season.

Here are 10 healthy side dishes perfect for seasonal celebrations.

1. Brussels Sprout Slaw With Manchego

Brussels sprouts are nutrient-dense cruciferous vegetables that offer an abundance of health benefits. For example, Brussels sprouts are rich in anti-inflammatory antioxidants including kaempferol, which has been shown to provide neuroprotective, anticancer, and heart health promoting effects (1).

Even though this vegetable is highly nutritious, many people don’t like the taste of Brussels sprouts, especially when they develop a mushy texture after being cooked.

To make a holiday side dish that everyone will love, try out this Brussels sprout slaw recipe that combines crispy, raw Brussels sprouts with other tasty ingredients like almonds and manchego cheese.

2. Paleo Sweet Potato and Cranberry Stuffing

While traditional bread-based stuffing recipes are usually delicious, they can be high in calories and full of ingredients that aren’t good for overall health.

For a nutritious spin on traditional stuffing, try out this inventive recipe that uses sweet potatoes instead of bread as a base. Sweet potatoes are loaded with nutrients including vitamin C and provitamin A and provide an excellent source of filling fiber.

Leave out the sausage and add legumes for a punch of plant-based protein for a vegetarian-friendly version.

3. Cauliflower Butternut Squash and Sage Mash

If you’re looking for a tasty side dish, try this flavorful mash recipe that uses cauliflower and butternut squash as stand-ins for regular old potatoes.

Both cauliflower and butternut squash offer an abundance of nutrients that can benefit health in many ways. They are both teeming with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber — which can help boost the health of your digestive system (2, 3).

Sage not only adds flavor to this mash, but it boosts the health benefits thanks to the abundance of powerful plant compounds contained within its pleasant-tasting leaves including flavonoid antioxidants and essential oils (4).

4. Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Acorn squash are small in size and make a perfect vessel for a nutritious stuffing mixture when cut in half and roasted. Acorn squash are loaded with carotenoid antioxidants like beta-carotene, which may provide immune-boosting effects and enhance the health of the eyes, heart, and brain (5).

Quinoa, on the other hand, is a highly nutritious, gluten-free pseudo-cereal that’s packed with plant-based protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals (6).

Try this recipe for quinoa stuffed acorn squash to impress even the most hard-to-please dinner guests.

5. Harvest Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

This recipe for stuffed sweet potatoes makes an excellent side dish to bring to holiday dinners and can also be used to make a quick, hearty meal for you and your family on cold winter nights.

To make this recipe more filling, add an additional source of protein such as fried eggs, roast chicken, or chickpeas.

The cranberries and Bartlett pears add a subtle hint of sweetness while the walnuts provide a crunchy texture. Leave out the maple syrup to reduce your added sugar intake and create a more savory tasting stuffed sweet potato.

6. Parmesan Crusted Delicata Squash Rings

Unlike most holiday appetizers, this recipe for parmesan crusted delicata squash is both delicious and nutritious.

Delicata squash have a sweet, nutty flavor and are high in many nutrients, including provitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium — a mineral essential for blood pressure regulation, muscle function, and nerve transmission (7, 8).

Sprinkle the finished product with fresh, chopped herbs like basil and oregano and serve with a no-sugar-added marinara dipping sauce for a super healthy holiday side dish.

7. Herb Stuffed Mushrooms

Mushrooms are packed with health-promoting nutrients like B vitamins, copper, and potassium. They are especially high in selenium, a mineral that acts as a powerful antioxidant in the body and plays essential roles in DNA synthesis and hormone metabolism (9, 10).

This recipe loads mushroom caps with a mixture of almond flour, sun-dried tomatoes, nutritional yeast, and fresh herbs like parsley and mint, all of which provide a number of benefits.

For example, nutritional yeast adds a boost of B vitamins while the fresh herbs offer a wide array of potent plant compounds that can help boost overall health (11).

8. Kale Salad With Apples and Cheddar

There’s no doubt that kale is one of the most nutritious vegetables you can eat, providing over 100% of the daily value for vitamin K1, provitamin A, and vitamin C in just one cup. It’s also a great source of manganese, a mineral that’s important for the health of the skeletal and immune systems (12, 13).

Pairing kale with tart apples, chopped almonds, and creamy cheddar cheese creates a flavor combination that is sure to wow your holiday guests.

When following this recipe, be sure to finely chop your kale to make it tender and pleasing to eat.

9. Crockpot Rosemary, Carrot, and Parsnip Mash

Having a crockpot makes creating healthy holiday side dishes a breeze. This super nutritious recipe combines carrots, parsnips, and rosemary to create a delectable mash.

Parsnips make an excellent substitute for potatoes and are chock full of nutrients including vitamin C and folate—a B vitamin that’s critical for fetal development and the production of red blood cells and DNA (14).

Carrots are also a nutritious choice, providing a dose of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants like beta-carotene and lutein (15).

10. Garlic Roasted Broccoli

This garlic roasted broccoli recipe combines two of the most nutritious foods you can eat into one mouthwatering side dish.

Fresh garlic is a concentrated source of sulfur compounds including allicin and ajoene, which may provide anticancer, antimicrobial, and antidiabetic effects according to scientific research (16).

Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that’s a hit with adults and children alike. This tasty vegetable is a concentrated source of folate, magnesium, vitamin C, potassium, manganese, provitamin A, and vitamin K1 (17).

Broccoli also contains a wide array of antioxidants such as kaempferol, quercetin, and sulforaphane, all of which offer an abundance of health-promoting effects (18).

Registered dietitian Jillian Kubala holds a master’s degree in nutrition from Stony Brook University School of Medicine as well as an undergraduate degree in nutrition science. She is certified in plant-based nutrition through the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies at Cornell University.

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