Now, it’s time to put all of the information from our vegan article series to good use and try some vegan recipes. This section gives you a sampling of some of the recipes you can prepare on a vegan diet. Feel free to adapt and change them as you see fit. People’s tastes differ and you may also want to change things around depending on your mood or what you have on hand.
Keep a cooking journal for your vegan recipes so you can keep track of what you liked and didn’t like about each of them. That way, if you prepare something you like, you can replicate it. If you didn’t quite like it, you can make adjustments the next time.
VEGAN RECIPES: APPETIZERS
A classic Italian dish that works great as an appetizer or snack. This is naturally vegan.
¼ cup scallions, chopped
1 large tomato, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried basil
6 slices fresh, whole grain bakery bread
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small mixing bowl, combine first four ingredients. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and arrange bread sliced on sheet. Spoon tomato mixture evenly over all four slices. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until bread is toasted.
BLACK OLIVE HUMMUS
Hummus is a classic vegetarian food that is low in fat and high in protein. Spread on whole grain, vegan crackers or serve with bread.
1, 15 oz can cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon water
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup pitted black olives, diced
Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until creamy. Transfer to a serving dish and serve with crackers, bread, or whole grain pita wedges.
VEGAN RECIPES: SOUPS
GREEK STYLE CHICKPEA SOUP
This is an example of a hearty Greek dish that is vegan friendly. Serve with slices of fresh, whole grain bread and a salad.
3, 15 ounce cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
3 tablespoons fresh, chopped parsley
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1, 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes (keep the juice)
3 cups water
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Add all of the ingredients to a large pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low for an hour until flavors are well blended. You can also cook it in a crock pot on the low setting for 4-6 hours.
CLASSIC MINESTRONE SOUP
This is an all time favorite. The nice thing about it is that you can use whichever vegetables you have on hand. This recipe can start you off.
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 zucchini, chopped
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup spinach leaves
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 cup canned kidney beans, rinsed
8 cups water
1 cup small pasta like elbows or orzo
salt and pepper to taste
Fresh chopped parsley for a garnish
Combine all of the ingredients except the pasta in a soup pot. Bring to a boil and then simmer for at least one hour until the vegetables are soft. Add pasta during the last fifteen minutes of cooking and cook for eight to ten minutes. You can also cook the soup in the crock pot. Just add all of the ingredients at once.
VEGAN RECIPES: SALADS
VEGAN CESAR SALAD
The Cesar salad is a classic but the dressing is definitely not vegan friendly. This recipe changes that.
Ingredients for the Dressing:
1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
1/2 cup brewer’s yeast
Juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons cracked pepper
Ingredients for the Salad:
4 cups torn romaine lettuce leaves
1 cup chopped black olives
3 tablespoons grated soy parmesan’
At the bottom of a large salad bowl, whisk all of the salad dressing ingredients together. Toss in the romaine lettuce until dressing is well coated. Top with black olives and parmesan cheese and serve.
The classic salad is by nature vegan friendly. Just choose the vegetables that you want and the dressing that you want, as long as it is vegan. You can make your own vegan dressings, too. Vinaigrettes are especially easy because all they require is equal parts of oil and vinegar whisked together. You can also add salt, pepper, and spices to taste.
Salads are nice because you can use whatever you have in the house. Keep your fridge well stocked with produce and you can make a healthy salad whenever you want.
VEGAN RECIPES: MAIN COURSES
VEGAN LENTIL TACOS
Lentils make a nice substitute for the traditional beef that usually goes in tacos.
1 cup dried, brown lentils
1, 8 ounce can of tomato sauce
1 packet taco seasoning mix (vegan)
Corn tortillas or taco shells
Shredded romaine lettuce
Chopped, fresh tomatoes
Soy sour cream
Soak the lentils in a large bowl until soft, about one hour. Transfer to a saucepan and mix with tomato sauce and taco seasoning. Add about ¼ cup of water. Simmer on low until heated through. Spoon into taco shells or tortillas and top with things like sour cream, salsa, lettuce, cucumber, and tomato.
HEALTHY VEGETABLE CASSEROLE
Casseroles are another healthy dinner option for vegans. The nice thing about them is once you have the recipe down pat, you can make substitutions.
1 cup cooked brown rice
1, 8 ounce can of tomato soup
1, 8 ounce can legumes such as chick peas or kidney beans
4 cups vegetables of choice – try zucchini, mushrooms, carrots, celery, eggplant, tomatoes, leeks, onions, garlic, potatoes
Spray a medium casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Layer with brown rice. Add vegetables on top of the rice. You can mix the vegetables together, choose one type of vegetable, or layer different kinds – it’s up to you. Pour soup over vegetables. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
VEGAN RECIPES: SIDE DISHES
When it comes to side dishes, there are a lot of options you can take. Here is a list of some ideas:
• Cover a baking sheet with vegetables such as carrots, zucchini, eggplant, asparagus, and parsnips. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt, and paper and bake at 400 degrees until soft.
• You can add water or vegetable stock to cooked squash, cauliflower, or potatoes and mash or whip. Use salt and pepper to taste. Miso broth works especially well.
• Serve a nice salad as a side dish, or sticks of fresh vegetables.
• Choose your favorite grain, such as quinoa, millet, or couscous and prepare according to the package directions. Season with salt and pepper and serve with your main course. You can also add vegetables and herbs to give it more nutritional value.
• Don’t forget pickled vegetables – these make a nice alternative to standard side dishes.
Use your imagination. You can also serve fruit as a side dish, or vegan apple sauce.
VEGAN RECIPES: DESSERTS
It is important to make sure that all of these ingredients are vegan friendly. Yes, they even have vegan chocolate!
1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup water
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup cocoa powder for baking
½ cup vegetable oil
½ teaspoon baking powder
Optional: ½ – 1 cup chopped nuts, ½ – 1 cup chocolate chips
Spray a 9 x 13 baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Combine flour, water, brown sugar, and salt. (A wire whisk works best). Stir in vanilla extract, coco powder, vegetable oil, and baking powder using a wooden spoon. Spread evenly into the baking sheet and bake at 400 for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted on the sides comes out clean
THINGS TO DO WITH FRESH FRUIT
Seasonal fresh fruit makes for a nice dessert. You can serve it by itself or try any of these options:
• Make a fresh fruit salad with your favorite seasonal fruits. Season the salad with citrus juice.
• Top fresh fruit with vanilla soy yogurt
• Add fresh fruit such as chopped apple to a small baking dish. Top with walnuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon and bake at 350 until apples are soft.
• Do the same as above, but try pears, peaches, blueberries or different varieties of apples instead. You can also experiment with the nuts and the spices. This makes a nice replacement for apple, pear, blueberry, or peach cobbler or crisp.
• Grill fresh pineapple slices or bananas. Slice the banana in half cross wise and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Just use your imagination. If you take fruit and heat it up in some way, it makes for a rich and satisfying dessert.