If you are looking for easy and fuss-free meal options that are healthy and ethical, then vegan food may be just the thing for you. Whether you are a seasoned vegan or someone who is just starting to explore meatless dishes, there is a wide array of delicious and nutritious options available. And contrary to popular belief, vegan cooking does not have to be complicated or time-consuming. In this article, we will be sharing some simple vegan recipes that you can try out at home. These recipes are not only quick and easy to make, but they are also budget-friendly and perfect for busy weeknights.
The Basics of Simple Vegan Recipes
Veganism is a lifestyle where one abstains from using or consuming animal products in any form, including eggs, dairy, and meat. While veganism may seem like a daunting task, it is not as complicated as it sounds. Vegan cooking can be simple and enjoyable, with a bit of creativity and a few go-to recipes.
Why going vegan can be simple
Many people assume that going vegan means entirely changing their diet, which can be overwhelming. However, veganism can be a gradual shift towards incorporating more plant-based foods while reducing animal-based foods. By doing so, one can enjoy plenty of vegan options while still following a balanced diet.
Also, the internet is a treasure trove of resources for vegan recipes. With just a few clicks, one can find countless vegan recipes for any meal of the day, from quick snacks to elaborate entrées. Many grocery stores also have specialized sections or labels for vegan food, making it easier to shop for and identify vegan products.
Common ingredients in vegan cooking
Plant-based foods form the basis of vegan cuisine. Some of the common vegan staples include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes. These ingredients provide a range of tastes and textures that can keep meals interesting.
One can create a diverse range of meals using these staples along with dairy substitutes like almond milk, soy yogurt, and cashew cheese. Nutritional yeast, a cheesy-tasting ingredient, is also a popular addition to vegan recipes.
Making the most of flavor and texture
Simple vegan recipes can be as flavorful and satisfying as their non-vegan counterparts. The key is to experiment with seasonings, herbs, and spices. Adding fresh herbs like basil, cilantro, and parsley can add depth to a dish, while spices like cumin, paprika, and turmeric can lend unique flavors and colors.
Another essential aspect of vegan cooking is texture. Varying the texture of ingredients can result in a more interesting dish. For example, adding diced nuts or seeds to a salad can add crunch, while mushrooms can offer a meaty texture in stews and curries.
In summary, vegan cooking can be simple, enjoyable, and a great way to explore new flavors and ingredients. With a bit of creativity and some basic knowledge of vegan staples, one can prepare delicious and satisfying meals without sacrificing taste or nutrition.
Starting your day off with a healthy breakfast gives you the energy and focus you need to tackle the tasks ahead. Vegan breakfasts are not only nutritious, but they’re also delicious. Here are some breakfast recipes you can try out:
Who doesn’t love pancakes? Vegan pancakes are easy to make and taste just as good as the non-vegan version. Here’s a simple recipe:
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp. of sugar
- 2 tsp. of baking powder
- 1 cup of almond milk
- 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
- A pinch of salt
Mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another. Combine the two mixes and stir until there are no lumps. Heat your pan on medium-high heat and pour in the batter. Flip once bubbles form on top. Serve with your favorite fruit, syrup, or vegan butter.
A tofu scramble is a vegan alternative to scrambled eggs, and it’s just as tasty and filling. Here’s how to make it:
- 1 block of tofu
- 1 tbsp. of olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 small tomato, chopped
- 1 tsp. of turmeric
- 1 tsp. of paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
Drain the tofu and crumble it up with a fork. Heat oil in a pan and add the onion and garlic. Sauté until fragrant. Add the tofu and spices and stir until the tofu is evenly coated. Add the tomato and cook for a few more minutes. Serve hot with toast, avocado, or your favorite vegan breakfast side.
Vegan Yogurt Parfait
Yogurt parfaits are a great way to start your day off with something sweet and healthy. Here’s a recipe for a vegan version:
- 1 cup of dairy-free yogurt
- 1 cup of mixed berries
- 2 tbsp. of granola
- 1 tbsp. of chia seeds
Layer the yogurt, berries, and granola in a bowl or jar. Top with chia seeds and more fruit or granola if desired.
Lunch and Dinner Recipes
Are you looking for delicious and easy vegan recipes for lunch and dinner? Look no further! Here are some of our favorite recipes that will make your taste buds dance with delight.
Vegan Mac and Cheese
Who says vegans can’t have mac and cheese? This recipe is not only creamy and cheesy, but it’s also healthy. Instead of dairy, we make the sauce with cashews and nutritional yeast. Trust us, it’s delicious!
- 1 pound macaroni pasta
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1/4 tsp black pepper (or to taste)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp vegan butter
- Cook macaroni in salted boiling water, according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Soak cashews in water for at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Drain and rinse the cashews and add them to a blender with 2 cups of water. Blend until creamy.
- Pour the cashew cream into a saucepan and add nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt, black pepper, lemon juice, and vegan butter. Whisk together until smooth and creamy over medium heat.
- Add the cooked macaroni and stir until well coated with the sauce. Serve hot.
Chili Sin Carne
Craving something spicy and hearty? This chili recipe is packed with protein and flavor. The secret ingredient? Quinoa. It adds a nice texture and makes the chili more filling.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 2 cans of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cans of diced tomatoes
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp salt
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Add red bell pepper and jalapeno pepper, and sauté for another 2 minutes.
- Rinse the quinoa and add it to the pot. Stir well.
- Add the kidney beans, diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, chili powder, smoked paprika, ground cumin, and salt. Stir until everything is well combined.
- Bring the chili to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes, until the quinoa is cooked and the chili is thickened.
Lasagna with Tofu Ricotta
Who needs dairy when you can make a delicious ricotta cheese out of tofu? This lasagna recipe is not only healthier than the traditional one, but it’s also cruelty-free.
- 9 lasagna noodles
- 5 cups marinara sauce
- 1 block (14 oz) firm tofu, drained
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
- In a food processor, combine tofu, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic, basil, salt, and black pepper. Pulse until smooth.
- Cook lasagna noodles in salted boiling water, according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- Spread 1 cup of marinara sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles, overlapping slightly.
- Spoon half of the tofu ricotta over the noodles, followed by half of spinach and half of remaining marinara sauce.
- Repeat with another layer of noodles, tofu ricotta, spinach, and marinara sauce, reserving a little marinara sauce for the top.
- Arrange the final layer of noodles on top. Spread the remaining marinara sauce over the noodles. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the foil and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes until bubbling and the edges are golden brown. Let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
Snack and Dessert Recipes
Following a vegan diet doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in delicious snacks and desserts! In fact, there are many easy and healthy options available that will satisfy your cravings and keep you feeling great. Here are some simple vegan recipes that you can try at home:
Roasted chickpeas are a crispy and crunchy snack that is perfect for any time of day. They are packed with protein and fiber, making them a great choice for vegans. Here is an easy recipe to make roasted chickpeas:
- 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Pat chickpeas dry with a paper towel.
- In a bowl, mix olive oil, garlic, paprika, and salt.
- Add chickpeas to the bowl and toss to coat.
- Spread the chickpeas on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until crispy.
Popcorn is a classic snack that is perfect for movie nights or when you’re craving something crunchy. Making popcorn at home is easy and affordable. Here is a simple recipe:
- 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
- Salt to taste
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
- Add popcorn kernels to the pot and cover. Shake the pot occasionally.
- Once the popping slows down, remove from heat and transfer to a bowl.
- Add salt to taste.
Cupcakes are a classic dessert, and you don’t need eggs or dairy to make them delicious. This vegan cupcake recipe is easy to follow and can be customized with different toppings:
- 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup of vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 cup of almond milk
- 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Line a cupcake pan with liners.
- In a bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
- Add almond milk, vegetable oil, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar.
- Mix until well combined, but do not overmix.
- Pour batter into cupcake liners, filling each about two-thirds full.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool completely before decorating with your favorite vegan frosting.
Vegan Ice Cream
Ice cream is a classic dessert, but the dairy-free versions in stores can be expensive. Making your own vegan ice cream is easy, and you can customize the flavors to your liking. Here is a simple recipe for vegan coconut ice cream:
- 1 can of full-fat coconut milk
- 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- In a saucepan, heat coconut milk, sugar, and salt until sugar is dissolved.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
- Let cool to room temperature.
- Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer instructions.
- Transfer to a container and freeze until firm.
There are many simple and delicious vegan snack and dessert recipes to try, so don’t be afraid to experiment in the kitchen and find your favorites!
Meal Prep and Batch Cooking Ideas
Going vegan can seem daunting when it comes to meal planning and cooking. However, with a little bit of effort and organization, preparing delicious, healthy vegan meals can become a breeze. One of the best ways to save time and always have a meal available is by implementing meal prep and batch cooking techniques.
Meal prep involves cooking multiple portions of meals in advance, which can then be stored in the refrigerator or freezer for later consumption. To ensure a balanced and healthy diet, it is recommended to prep meals with a good combination of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. Here are some vegan meal prep ideas:
- Grain Bowls: Create a base of grains, such as quinoa, rice, or couscous, and add various vegetables, proteins like chickpeas or tofu, and toppings like nuts or seeds. Prep multiple bowls at once for easy access throughout the week.
- Soups and Stews: Cook up a big pot of vegetable soup or stew filled with protein-packed beans and lentils for a hearty and filling meal. Freeze individual portions for easy lunches or dinners.
- Burrito Bowls: Similar to grain bowls, burrito bowls are a delicious and filling option. Prep protein, like black beans, tofu or seitan, salsa, guacamole, rice, and veggies ahead of time and assemble as needed.
Batch cooking involves cooking large quantities of one dish that is easy to store and freeze for later use. Here are some vegan batch cooking ideas:
- Chili: This classic comfort dish is easy, delicious, and perfect for batch cooking. Use lentils or beans as the protein base, add six to eight cups of vegetables, tomato sauce, and spices of your choice.
- Roasted vegetables: Roasting various vegetables together and portioning them out provides a healthy and nutrient-rich side dish for any meal. Roast vegetables like sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower or beets with olive oil and spices.
- Baked tofu: Baked tofu is an excellent protein source and can be used in many different dishes such as stir fry, tacos, or salads. Slice tofu into small cubes or large slabs and bake in the oven with your favorite seasonings.
- Oatmeal: Oatmeal is a great breakfast option that can be batch cooked for the whole week. Cook a big batch of rolled oats and top with fruit, maple syrup, and nuts.
- Vegan lasagna: Lasagna can be easily made vegan. Substitute ground beef with lentils or textured vegetable protein and use vegan cheese. This dish is perfect for batch cooking, dividing into portions, and storing for later in the freezer.
Meal prep and batch cooking ideas are excellent ways for a busy and health-conscious individual to maintain a vegan diet. Planning ahead and cooking in larger batches saves time and ensures having healthy and delicious meals always available.
Tips for Making Vegan Recipes on a Budget
Making delicious vegan meals is more than possible on a tight budget. Follow these tips to stretch your dollars and create simple vegan recipes that will please the entire family.
Shopping seasonally is a great way to save money while also getting the freshest, most flavorful produce. When you buy produce that is in season, it is often much less expensive. You can also buy in bulk and freeze or can the produce for later use.
- Research what produce is in season in your area.
- Visit farmers markets for the best deals on fresh produce.
- Stock up on seasonal produce when it is on sale and save for later use.
Buy in Bulk
Purchasing dry goods, like rice, beans, and grains, in bulk can help you save money in the long run. Not only is it usually less expensive to buy in bulk, but you also reduce packaging waste.
- Buy in bulk from stores that have a dedicated bulk section.
- Consider joining a food co-op or similar organization to get discounted prices on bulk items.
- Check online for bulk buying options that can be delivered to your doorstep.
Make Pantry Staples from Scratch
Many pantry staples, such as sauces, dressings, and spice blends, are simple to make from scratch with basic ingredients. Making them at home can be less expensive than buying pre-made options, and you can adjust the flavors to your liking.
- Consider making your own nut milk, like almond milk or cashew milk.
- Make your own vegetable stock from leftover scraps.
- Create your own spice blends using herbs and spices you already have on hand.
One of the easiest ways to save on food costs is to make the most of your leftovers. Rather than letting them go to waste, transform them into new meals or snacks.
- Serve leftover veggies as a filling for sandwiches or wraps.
- Create a new soup or stew using leftover veggies and grains.
- Repurpose leftover grains into salads, stir-fries, or grain bowls.
Plan Your Meals
Meal planning is a great way to save money on groceries and cut down on food waste. When you have a plan for your meals, you can buy only what you need for the week and use up all your ingredients before they go bad.
- Make a shopping list before you go to the store.
- Plan your meals around what you already have on hand.
- Consider batch cooking on the weekends to make meal prep during the week easier.
Use Versatile Ingredients
Choosing ingredients that can be used in multiple dishes is a great way to save money and cut down on waste. Look for versatile ingredients that can be used in several different meals.
- Choose grains like quinoa and rice that can be used in salads, stir-fries, soups, and more.
- Buy veggies like onions, carrots, and celery that can be used as a base for several different dishes.
- Stock up on versatile proteins like beans, tofu, and tempeh that can be used in multiple recipes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Being a vegan can be challenging, especially when it comes to cooking and baking. To help you out, we have compiled answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about vegan food.
How can I replace eggs in baking?
Eggs are a common ingredient in baking, but fortunately, there are several vegan alternatives you can use. Some substitutes include:
- Applesauce: Use ¼ cup of unsweetened applesauce per egg
- Bananas: Use ½ mashed banana per egg
- Flaxseed: Mix 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water to replace one egg
- Chia seeds: Mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water to replace one egg
- Silken tofu: Use ¼ cup of silken tofu to replace one egg
How can I get enough protein on a vegan diet?
Protein is essential for our bodies to function properly, but it doesn’t have to come from animal products. There are plenty of plant-based sources of protein, including:
- Nuts and seeds
By including a variety of these foods in your diet, you can easily meet your daily protein needs.
What tools and equipment are essential for vegan cooking?
You don’t need any special equipment to start cooking vegan food, but there are a few things that can make the process easier:
|Blending, pureeing, chopping
|Vitamix, Ninja, Cuisinart
|Instant Pot/pressure cooker
|Cooking grains, beans, soups quickly
|Instant Pot, Crock-Pot, Fagor
|Cooking various dishes
|Pots, pans, baking sheets
|Cutting fruits, vegetables, and tofu
|Chef’s knife, Santoku knife
|Protecting your countertops when cutting
|Bamboo, plastic, glass
|Measuring cups and spoons
|Measuring ingredients precisely
|Pyrex, OXO, All-Clad
Of course, there are many other useful tools and gadgets available, but these are some of the basics you’ll need to get started.
Can I eat out as a vegan?
Yes, you certainly can eat out as a vegan. Most restaurants have vegan options, and some are entirely vegan. Some cuisines, such as Thai, Indian, and Ethiopian, are particularly vegan-friendly. When eating out, you can also ask your server to modify dishes to make them vegan-friendly, such as ordering a burger without the cheese or requesting a stir-fry with tofu instead of meat.
How can I make sure I’m getting all the nutrients I need as a vegan?
To ensure that you’re getting all the nutrients you need as a vegan, it’s essential to eat a varied diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. You may also want to consider taking a B12 supplement, as B12 is primarily found in animal products. If you’re concerned about your nutrient intake, you can also consult with a registered dietitian who specializes in plant-based diets.
Is a vegan diet more expensive?
It can be if you’re buying a lot of pre-packaged vegan foods or relying heavily on meat substitutes. However, staples of a vegan diet, such as grains, beans, and produce, are often less expensive than animal products. With a bit of meal planning and smart shopping, a vegan diet can be quite affordable.
Can kids and pregnant women follow a vegan diet?
Yes, kids and pregnant women can follow a vegan diet as long as their diet is well-planned and includes all the necessary nutrients. However, it’s essential to speak with a medical professional or registered dietitian before making any significant dietary changes, especially during pregnancy.
Thanks for Dropping By, Vegan Foodie!
We hope we inspired you to cook some yummy vegan meals with our simple vegan recipes. Cooking healthy doesn’t have to be complicated, and we’re glad we could make it even easier for you with our tasty creations. If you’re craving more delicious vegan food, come back soon and check out our other articles. Don’t forget to share your own favorite vegan recipes with us too! Happy Cooking!