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The 8 Best Blue Zones Recipes | 8 Easy Plant-Based Recipes for weeknight dinners

The Blue Zones are places where people live 90 to 100 years, and are free of disease.

So the recipes from there are valuable. They give us an insight into what people eat there. What they eat is only part of the story. Their way of life is a big key, too.

Living a long, healthy life sounded good to me. So, for a full year I cooked a Blue Zone recipe each week.

I found which ones were tasty and easy to make. And found others that just didn’t work out (cornmeal pancakes 😕) or were not enjoyable.

After all that research I want to share my favorite Blue Zones recipes so you don’t have to go through the same disappointments I did. The recipes I choose are easy to prepare, plant-based and delicious.

These recipes are adaptations from the website or Blue Zones Cookbook.

See my version of the recipes by clicking on the links below. Enjoy!

1. Five-Ingredient Okinawan Bowl

This recipe is made with buckwheat soba noodles. I hadn’t really worked with soba noodles before, but they are amazing. They are whole grain and just take 4 minutes to cook. There’s only a handful of ingredients in this recipe. So, it instantly became a favorite weeknight meal for me.

2. Better than Takeout Lo Mein

Lo mein is another noodle I’ve never cooked before trying this recipe. But, knowing I can make this, I don’t order Chinese food anymore! This is a healthy stir fry with a ton of vegetables and a flavourful sauce. You can feel better eating this version and not the greasy who-knows-whats-in-it take out version.

3. Vegan Gumbo

This recipe takes a few more ingredients and time to prepare but it lasts for days. It makes a ton so it’s a great meal to share, or take to a pot luck. I love that it’s full of veggies. In just one bowl I can get my 5 to 9 veggies for the day! I love eating it with the vegan cornbread recipe from Loma Linda. Recipe here=> Vegan Cornbread

4. 20-Minute Pumpkin Marinara Pasta

Did you know you could add pumpkin purée to pasta sauce? The result is a creamy sauce without any dairy. The pumpkin naturally sweetens acidic tomatoes, too. I love the balance. Pumpkin adds all kinds of healthy vitamins, and increases the fiber in this pasta dish too. It’s hard for me to NOT like a pasta dish, so this healthy version was a quick favorite for me.

5. Pantry-Style Street Noodles

These noodles are an adaption of street noodles you’d find in Indonesia. I love how it’s packed with flavor, but it’s still healthy. It’s definitely one of those addicting kind of noodle bowls because of the spicy-sweet combo of flavors.

6. Warm Curry Bowl with Cauliflower and Chickpeas

I’m a personal chef. And this is one of my clients’ meal prep favorites. I love making this on a Sunday or in the beginning of the week for myself so I can enjoy it in the days to come. It holds up well and one bowl is all I need to get full.

7. Sardinian Walnut Pesto

Did you know tomatoes don’t come from Italy? The first sauces were pestos made from pine nuts or walnuts like this recipe. Grinding up walnuts and sautéing them in olive oil oddly gives them a meaty, filling mouth feel. In other words, you don’t miss meat. This recipe was a surprise because it’s so minimal, but tasty. The only thing is it doesn’t keep well and should be eaten once it’s made.

8. Greek Island Lentil Salad

I love lentils because they only take about 25 minutes to cook from dried, as opposed to hours for beans. Once you have your cooked lentils, it simply goes on top of your greens. I love making this recipe in the warmer months and keeping it in the fridge when I need a quick lunch or a healthy snack. I like to eat it with sourdough bread or crackers. It always fills me up in a healthy way.

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I did. I hope they inspire you to eat more vegetables. And it saves you the time from experimenting and failing (like I did) with some Blue Zones recipes that need more refining.

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To your wholesome & healthy life, 


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