140+ Ridiculously Easy, Amazingly Delicious Plant-Based Oil-Free Recipes


By Carleigh Bodrug

Foreword by Dr. Will Bulsiewicz, MD

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Plant-based eating doesn't have to be complicated! The delicious recipes in this easy-to-follow cookbook are guaranteed to keep you inspired and motivated.

Enter PlantYou, the ridiculously easy plant-based, oil-free cookbook with over 140+ healthy vegan recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, cheese sauces, salad dressings, dessert and more!

In her eagerly anticipated debut cookbook, Carleigh Bodrug, the Founder of the wildly popular social media community PlantYou, provides readers with the ultimate full color guidebook that makes plant-based meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking a breeze. With every single recipe, you will find a visual infographic marking the ingredients you need, making it easy to shop, determine portion sizes, and dive into the delicious and nutritious dishes.

Get ready for mouthwatering dishes like Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Breakfast Cookies, Best Ever Cauli Wings, and the Big BOSS Burrito that you simply won’t believe are made from plants. 

“An instant kitchen classic…In your quest to find delicious food that also promotes health, both human health and the health of the planet and the animals we share our world with, you’ve come to the right place.” 
—from the foreword by Dr. Will Bulsiewicz



Picture yourself sitting down for a delicious dinner with your loved ones. The table is covered with a spread of mouthwatering, colorful foods—a true feast. You have everything you need to be happy… but I can level it up even more. Let’s make this meal incredibly nutritious with food that heals, feeds your gut microbes, squashes inflammation, and lays out the red carpet for a long and healthy life. Food with benefits beyond just you. A way of eating that also happens to be ideal for the planet and for the animals that share it with us. A conscious approach to eating that aligns with your love for self, planet, and animals and allows you to promote health for all.

Folks, what I’ve just described are the joys of plant-based eating. Here are just a few of the advantages:

It is delicious! All herbs and spices come from plants. There are flavor profiles from around the world for you to try. There’s also tremendous variety, allowing you to mix things up and explore with your taste buds.

It is the optimal diet for human health. In February 2019, the prestigious medical journal the Lancet published a systematic review and meta-analysis of 185 high-quality prospective studies that aggregated 135 million years of human experience into one study. Think about that for a minute… that’s the entirety of human history forty-five times over. They were examining the effect of dietary fiber on human health and found that by increasing dietary fiber in our diet, we can reduce our risk for heart disease, multiple forms of cancer, and type 2 diabetes. More fiber, less problems. But where do we find this mystical salvation? Quite simply—plants. All plants contain fiber. By consuming a plant-based diet, you will get dietary fiber in spades, and simultaneously be reducing your risk of some of our most deadly illnesses. Aren’t you glad you grabbed this book?

It is also the optimal diet for our gut microbes. As I described in my book Fiber Fueled, the gut health hype is real and it’s not going away. Science has shown us that our gut microbes play an important role in our digestion, immunity, metabolism, hormonal balance, mood, and brain health. The key is to feed them their preferred food—fiber! Turns out that a diverse, plant-based diet gives our gut microbes exactly what they need to thrive, and in turn helps you thrive.

You don’t need to restrict. You can thrive on abundance. Over the last two decades, our most popular diets have been telling us that the path to optimal health is through elimination and restriction. But we aren’t any better off for it. Meanwhile, in recent years, studies have emerged showing us that there is a path through a plant-based diet that does not require us to restrict. A plant-based, oil-free diet is inherently high nutrient and high fiber. By eating this way, we can eat until we are full without counting calories, and we will accomplish our health goals and achieve a healthy weight balance in the process.

This isn’t just about you. It’s about US. A plant-based diet is inherently conscious of the impact of our food choices on the world around us. It is impossible to ignore the disasters that have plagued our planet in recent years: unstoppable wildfires, violent hurricanes, zoonotic infections. This is about more than the world that we live in today. It’s about the world that we want to leave for our children, and our children’s children. Each one of us has a responsibility to do our part in trying to create a healthy planet for generations to come. Simply consuming a plant-based diet is a major step in the right direction.

Without a doubt, the benefits of a plant-based diet are powerful. But if this way of eating is a win-win-win on so many levels, why are most of us not doing it? In my experience, there are two factors that affect our motivation to transition our diet: (1) “the why,” and (2) “the how.”

The “why” is the accelerator that drives us. We need to know why we’re going to abandon our current diet and replace it with a plant-based diet. Change is never easy! Each of us has our own story, and there are many paths that lead to a plant-based diet as the solution. My own story begins with being fifty pounds overweight, having high blood pressure, high anxiety, low energy, and low self-esteem in my early thirties. Turns out that a balanced, whole food plant-based diet was exactly what I needed to thrive. For Carleigh, it began with her father being diagnosed with stage 2 colon cancer and the revelation that processed meats and red meats increase the risk for developing colon cancer. We both found our “why,” and it motivated change. You have to find your own “why” and use it to fuel your desire to change to something better.

But even with all the motivation in the world, the “how” can still stand in our way. It’s like a brake that slows us down, potentially even bringing us to a full stop before we reach our destination. I often see people throw up their arms and say, “Well, what am I going to eat?” My friends, this is why I am SO glad you’re here. Want delicious plant-based recipes? You’ll find them in these pages. Want the recipes to be simple and accessible, something anyone could do? You’ll have that too. Want these recipes to be oil-free, to maximize nutrient density and allow you to balance your weight and health with abundance? Yep, we have that for you too.

Folks, a plant-based diet doesn’t need to be intimidating and overwhelming. For years now I’ve been enjoying the easy, fuss-free recipes that Carleigh has been posting @plantyou. Finally, her best recipes are compiled here for an instant kitchen classic. This is the cookbook that you’ll never want to put away!

In your quest to find delicious food that also promotes health, both human health and the health of the planet and the animals we share our world with, you’ve come to the right place. PlantYou is the Ridiculously Easy, Amazingly Delicious Plant-Based Oil-Free cookbook. I can’t think of a more perfect resource for anyone looking to orient their diet toward plants, whether you’re a greenhorn or a vegan veteran. Everyone wins with delicious, plant-based, oil-free meals. You bring the “why,” this book will show you “how” in a fun and fuss-free way, and next thing you know, you’ll be thriving on a plant-based diet and your friends will want to know your secret. You’ll have to tell them that you’ve fallen in love with food again, thanks to your new cookbook—PlantYou.

Onward to health and happiness!

Will Bulsiewicz, MD, MSCI

New York Times bestselling author of Fiber Fueled

welcome to plantyou!

I wrote this cookbook in the midst of a global pandemic. I hope with all my heart that by the time it’s in your hands, the storm has passed.

Like so many others, I grew up on a standard meat-and-potatoes diet, with steak, cold cuts, and Sunday morning bacon on weekly rotation in my family kitchen.

That all changed in 2015, when news broke from the World Health Organization that red and processed meat were now considered Group 1 and Group 2 carcinogens, with the latter ranked in the same category as tobacco smoking and asbestos.

The news was particularly rattling as my father is a stage 2 colon cancer survivor.

At the time, I was in my early twenties and thought I was eating my healthiest. Plain chicken, rice, and broccoli were on the menu every night, as I meticulously planned out my daily macros with an astronomical protein goal in pursuit of my “dream body.” The reality was that my lifelong battle with constipation (to the point that I was prescribed laxatives as a kid) was worse than ever. I felt slow and groggy, and was in a constant cycle of guilt and shame whenever I’d ravenously turn to eating some of my favorite carb-filled foods, such as bread and pasta.

I’ll never forget the feelings of shock, confusion, and frustration as my parents and I sat down and watched the documentary Forks over Knives for the first time. Everything I thought I knew about a healthy diet was flipped on its head as the veil was lifted on the propaganda surrounding the meat and dairy industries.

Armed with a degree in media theory and journalism, I began digging further into the research, reading landmark books that included The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. The science was clear. The healthiest, cancer-protecting, and longevity-promoting approach to eating is a whole food, plant-based lifestyle (carbs and all)!

It seemed so simple. Eat more plants and lessen your risk of cancer, heart disease, and obesity, not to mention drastically reduce your environmental footprint. Why wasn’t everyone shouting this from the rooftops?

I had pursued this lifestyle to help reduce my chances of developing colon cancer. The overall transformation I experienced from the inside out astounded me. My lifelong battle with constipation vanished overnight, my skin cleared up, I had more energy than ever before, and perhaps most shockingly, I was eating a wide abundance of carbohydrate-rich foods to full satiety and had lost five pounds without a single calorie counted.

Having grown up on a hobby farm surrounded by pet chickens, horses, dogs, and cats, I struggled to wrap my head around how I had separated these beloved pets from the meat on my plate for so many years. Suddenly everything was starting to click.

After going through what I can only describe as an awakening, the decision to go plant-based was a no-brainer. Figuring out what to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner… not so much.

At the time, I was working as a morning radio show host and news anchor in northern Ontario, Canada, in a tiny studio apartment.

Overnight, I began experimenting with plants. I noticed that most online recipes were complex, or quite frankly unappealing to someone just transitioning from a meat-and-potatoes diet. Determined to stay the course, I began cooking vegan meals by simply replacing the meat with plants in some of my favorite childhood recipes (such as the Garden Bolognese, here).

I felt compelled to spread the word about this amazing discovery far and wide, with benefits from reducing your environmental footprint to decreased risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

And that’s how PlantYou was born.

It was obvious to me that there was space online for truly simple plant-based recipes. My practical, fuss-free recipe infographics quickly gained viral attention on Instagram and Facebook, and my following skyrocketed to an incredible community of over 200,000 in less than a year.

As I delved further into the literature surrounding plant-based nutrition, I noticed another consistent message from renowned plant-based doctors, including Michael Greger, Caldwell Esselstyn, Campbell, and Fuhrman. They all recommended avoiding oil in plant-based cooking, instead opting for whole food fat sources, such as avocados, nuts, and seeds. I tried my hand at oil-free cooking, and couldn’t believe the impact this simple swap had on the lightness, flavor, and satisfaction of my favorite meals. You can read more here about why I’ve chosen not to include oil in my recipes.

In 2019, I launched my own digital meal plan program, Plant Ahead, which offered subscribers a PDF plant-based meal plan in their inbox every week. It empowered me to take the leap from my full-time corporate job to helping people eat plant-based full-time through Plant Ahead, my blog, and social channels. The program has since evolved into a weekly meal-planning web application on

Over the years I have been bombarded with requests for a cookbook featuring my simple infographic recipes to help people eat more plants, and that is exactly what you have in your hands today. Thank you for empowering me to write PlantYou. It’s a dream come true to be part of your journey.


That one seemingly simple goal—to eat more plants—has the power to transform your life in the most beautiful, incredible way.

You see… I believe whole, plant-based foods are infinitely powerful; they contain the secret to help your body, mind, and spirit perform at their highest level.

And we’re not going to get there by spiralizing zucchini, peeling chickpeas, or juicing celery.

You’ve got your hands on the easiest and most practical guidebook to adopting an abundant, insanely simple plant-based journey for life.

Packed with over 140 infographic recipes, featuring vegan food you’ll actually want to eat (such as burgers, burritos, and big bowls of pasta to five different vegan cheese sauces), this book contains the arsenal you need to start fueling your body with nourishing plant-based foods.


Actually, it’s quite the opposite.

When I switched to a plant-based lifestyle, I finally discovered food freedom. I broke up with counting calories, limiting carbohydrates to a fist size on my plate, trying to meet a ridiculous protein quota, and scaling back serving sizes.

All along, the secret had been right in front of my nose. Simply enjoy an abundance of plant foods closest to their natural state, and reap the benefits of effortless weight maintenance, glowing skin, more regular bathroom breaks, and higher energy.

Mother Nature truly provides everything we need. In each edible plant, from baby spinach to russet potato, you will find a balance of energy, nutrients, protein, and fiber needed to fuel your body. This is without the need of synthetic protein powders, bars, meal-replacement shakes, and “skinny” teas.


The term plant-based might conjure up images of kale salads and lentil soups, but truly that’s a very small part of a satisfying and nourishing whole food, plant-based (WFPB) lifestyle.

In its simplest form, WFPB describes an approach to eating that consists of mostly or entirely foods derived from good old plants.

So, what falls under the category of a plant?


e.g., spinach, kale, bell peppers, lettuce, bok choy, onion, potatoes, mushrooms


e.g., apples, oranges, bananas, grapes, raspberries, strawberries

Whole grains:

e.g., oats, quinoa, brown rice, barley, cereals, whole-grain pasta

Nuts & seeds:

e.g., hemp seeds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, nut butters


e.g., chickpeas, lentils, black beans, kidney beans, split peas, tempeh

As you can see, an abundance of foods is included in the WFPB protocol. On the flip side, the lifestyle seeks to exclude animal products (including meat, dairy, and eggs), as well as added oil and refined sugar.

In this cookbook, I will equip you with tools you need to make an endless combination of taste bud–tantalizing recipes using just plant foods. Rich in naturally occurring carbohydrates, fiber, healthy fats, protein, and nutrients, these simple plant-forward recipes will have your body, brain, and soul feeling their absolute best.

Is plant-based the same as vegan?

In this cookbook, you might see me refer to both the terms plant-based and vegan when describing my recipes. The truth is, these are two very different core ideologies, and you might identify with both.

In veganism, the motivation is to avoid animal cruelty in every facet of one’s life, including the clothes one wears, companies one supports, and of course the food one eats. Following this train of thought, a person could still enjoy a diet made up of mostly processed and fast foods, while still being vegan. Veganism is not a descriptor of the healthiness of one’s diet.

Meanwhile, the term plant-based originates in the health community. It describes a nourishing approach to eating, with the majority of one’s diet made up of whole, unprocessed plants. This way of eating is generally pursued to achieve greater health, and does not have an ethical or moral connotation. A person who eats meat occasionally, or wears animal products, could still be consuming a plant-based diet.

Along this train of thought, a person can identify as eating a plant-based diet as well as practicing the ethical fundamentals of veganism.

At the end of the day, try not to get wrapped up in the labels. What matters is that you find your “why” for eating more plants, and use that as motivation to incrementally reduce the animal products you’re consuming or using in your day-to-day life. Progress is always more important than perfection, and very few people are successful at going completely vegan overnight.

Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.

—MICHAEL POLLAN, In Defense of Food

Why eat fewer animal products?


Avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet.

A study by Poore and Nemecek1 showed that meat and dairy provide just 18 percent of calories to feed the world, yet use 85 percent of farmland. They also contribute to 60 percent of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Meanwhile, it also showed that without meat and dairy consumption, farmland could be reduced by more than 75 percent. For context, 1.5 acres of land can produce 37,000 pounds of plant-based food, but just 375 pounds of beef.


Our health is no doubt one of the biggest drivers of the plant-based movement, and with good reason. A whole food, plant-based lifestyle may help prevent, treat, or reverse some of our leading causes of death, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Research also shows that eating a more plant-centric diet can help with weight loss and weight maintenance. This is especially important as the United States grapples with an obesity epidemic, now affecting one in six children. On average vegetarians consume fewer overall calories and have a lower body mass index than do nonvegetarians.2

You may have also heard of the Blue Zones before, which are the five populations around the world that show the greatest longevity. On average, populations in these zones live ten years longer than the average Westerner, and include Okinawa, Japan; the Ogliastra region of Sardinia; Ikaria, Greece; Nicoya, Costa Rica; and Loma Linda, California.3

Researchers have identified commonalities among these populations, with one of the strongest being their plant-centric diets. Populations in the Blue Zones eat a largely plant-based diet with the majority of their calories coming from grains, nuts, legumes, fruits, and vegetables. They eat a very small amount of animal products consisting of approximately 5 percent of their diet.


It is estimated that over 200 million land animals are killed for food around the world every single day.4 In 2018, the USDA projected that each American would eat 222.2 pounds of red meat and poultry on average throughout the year.5

The majority of the meat, eggs, and dairy on our plates are the result of factory farming. Factory farming sees billions of animals housed for egg, dairy, and meat production. These animals are subject to extreme confinement, often injected with hormones and antibiotics for growth purposes and disease prevention, and then slaughtered at a young age.6

Unfortunately, it’s not just animals raised for meat that are inhumanely treated. Dairy cows are artificially inseminated, then within twenty-four hours of giving birth, typically have their baby calf taken from them.7 The cycle will continue so that the dairy cow can continue producing milk for human consumption until she is too old, and eventually sent for slaughter. Meanwhile, male calves, male chicks, and hens whose egg production has declined are all sent to the slaughterhouse as well.

There’s no doubt a lifestyle that puts the focus on plants instead of animal products is an amazing choice for not only our health and our environment but also the animals we share this earth with.


Before we dig into oil, I want to make it very clear that this is not an anti-fat cookbook. In fact, I absolutely love including healthy fat from whole, plant-based sources, such as nuts, seeds, and avocados, in my recipes.

this is NOT an anti-fat cookbook.

With that said, I do believe oils are an overused and misunderstood product, and that there is value in learning how to cook and bake with less.

Here’s why I personally prefer to avoid oil when I can, and why all the recipes in this cookbook are oil-free.

Olive oil is often touted as a healthy superfood that should be used on a daily basis in anything from cooking and baking to the base of salad dressings. This myth stems from the Mediterranean diet, which has been recognized as one of the healthiest eating protocols for longevity.

The truth is, it’s actually the plant-forward approach to eating that has made the Mediterranean diet so successful, and not so much the oil.8 Globally recognized plant-based physicians, including doctors Colin Campbell, Joel Furhman, Michael Greger, and Caldwell Esselstyn, all recommend avoiding oil where you can in a plant-based diet, and with good reason.

Similar to other processed foods, all oils, including olive, coconut, avocado, and canola, have had the fiber and majority of the nutrients processed from them. The result? An extremely dense source of calories and fat in a super-small serving size devoid of almost all the nutrients and fiber from the original whole food. This makes oil very easy to overconsume without dramatically changing the satiety of your meal.

Instead of using oil, the recipes in this cookbook strive to include the nutrients and fats from whole food sources, such as avocados, nuts, and seeds, leaving intact the fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that would otherwise be stripped away.

You will find oil packed into just about all restaurant foods, processed microwave meals, chips, crackers, and more. I avoid cooking homemade meals with oil, but don’t drive myself crazy trying to avoid it when I’m out to eat or at a family or friend’s house.

Once you learn how to cook, bake, and make delicious sauces without oil, you’ll be shocked at how easy it is!


Once I started cooking without oil, I never looked back! My food tastes light and intensely more flavorful without always being masked by a coating of vegetable oil. In each recipe I go over how to prepare it without oil, but here’s a quick overview you can apply to just about any meal.

Sauté or Stir-Fry: Simply swap out the oil for vegetable broth or water in equal parts when sautéing or stir-frying. Sauté over low to medium heat in a stainless steel or nontoxic, nonstick pan; the temperature is important, since if you go too high, the liquid will dissipate and you risk burning your food. As you sauté such vegetables as onions, peppers, and mushrooms, they will also release their own liquids to help lubricate the pan. Add small amounts of liquid as you go, to avoid steaming the vegetables.

Baking: I opt for fruit substitutes, such as applesauce, bananas, and dates, in my baking to add a beautiful moistness to my recipes without oil. To prevent sticking, use parchment paper in your loaf and pie pans, and silicone or paper liners in your muffin tins.

Roasting: To roast vegetables, I always use parchment paper or silicone liners on my baking sheets. Before adding your vegetables or chickpeas to the oven, season well with your favorite spices, such as garlic powder, dill, and pepper, and a spritz of vegetable broth.


Over the last few decades, diet books, magazines, and online ads have made us believe that excessive protein—whether from animal products, bars, or powders—is necessary for weight loss, muscle growth, and overall health. Conversely, one of the most popular questions vegans get asked on a daily basis is WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR PROTEIN?

As Dr. Michael Greger points out on his website

• Adults require no more than 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, e.g., 43 grams per day for a 120-pound female.

• On average, omnivorous Americans eat double the amount of the recommended intake.

• Even vegetarians and vegans get 70 percent more protein than they need.


  • "I’m a new fan — along with a not-exaggerated million other people — of PlantYou’s delightful Carleigh Bodrug who graces our first segment with infectious enthusiasm for real food and genuine compassion. [When] her new book [is] out... we’ll all be much better fed for it." —Victoria Moran, host of Main Street Vegan, author of Creating a Charmed Life

On Sale
Feb 15, 2022
Page Count
288 pages
Hachette Go

Carleigh Bodrug

About the Author

With more than 7 million followers between her social channels, New York Times bestselling author Carleigh Bodrug of PlantYou is a self taught plant-based cook and content creator, famous for her simple take on low waste and vegan recipes. She has been featured in the Rachael Ray Show, Good Morning America, Business Insider and KTLA news for her Scrappy Cooking and viral vegan creations. Along with producing weekly cooking videos and recipes, Carleigh also runs a digital meal planner all with the goal of helping people eat more plants in an easy and approachable way. She lives in Barrie, Ontario.

Learn more about this author