With more and more vegan friendly restaurants, options and groceries popping up almost on a daily basis, living a plant based lifestyle has never been easier than it is today. If you are someone who is looking to cut down on your consumption of meat and give veganism a go, you may be wondering where to begin.
The truth is, cooking vegan meals isn’t as daunting or challenging as people make it out to be. In fact, with only a handful of common ingredients and a little bit of research, you’ll find that whipping up tasty and most importantly, satisfying dishes is a piece of vegan cake! Today, we bring to you 4 super simple vegan recipes for beginners to get you started on your journey towards all things plant based. Read on to find out more!
Vegan Macaroni & Cheese
- 3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 servings of your favorite pasta, boiled and drained
- Place all ingredients (except for noodles) into a bowl and blend with a hand blender until smooth.
- Place cheese sauce into a small saucepan and heat over low/medium to your desired temperature.
- Pour vegan cheese sauce over your favorite noodles and enjoy!
Easy Lentil Meatballs
- 3 Tbsp (45 ml) + 1 tsp olive oil (divided)
- 1 medium shallot, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon egg replacer
- 2 cans green lentils, derailed
- 1 1/2 Tbsp dried Italian seasonings
- 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 5-6 Tbsp vegan parmesan cheese
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 Tbsp panko bread crumbs
- Cooked Pasta
- Marinara sauce
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat, preheat the oven to 190 C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Once the skillet is hot, add 1 Tbsp olive oil, shallot and garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until slightly golden brown then remove from heat and turn off stove top.
- Add drained lentils, 1 tsp olive oil sautéed garlic and shallot, Italian seasonings, parsley, tomato paste, vegan parmesan cheese, and a pinch each salt and pepper. Pulse, mixing until combined, but not puréed, leaving a little texture.
- If the mixture is still too wet, add more panko bread crumbs. Use a Tablespoon or cookie dough scoop to scoop out rounded Tablespoon amounts of dough and carefully form into balls. Roll/coat in vegan parmesan cheese and arrange on the prepared baking sheet.
- Heat the skillet from earlier over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp olive oil and half of the meatballs Brown for 4-5 minutes, or until golden brown, shaking the pan or using a wooden spoon to roll the balls around to cook evenly on all sides.
- Serve over pasta with marinara sauce.
Vegan Burrito Bowls
- 1 can black beans, drained
- 250g frozen corn kernels
- 2 cups dry instant brown rice
- 400g jar Salsa,
- 1 red bell capsicum, diced
- Chopped coriander, to taste
CREAMY AVOCADO DRESSING
- 1 ripe avocado, de-seeded and peeled
- ⅓ cup vegan sour cream
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp chili powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2-3 tbsp non dairy milk to thin, (if necessary)
- Combine all ingredients for the dressing, except the non dairy milk, in a small bowl and stir well to combine.
- Use a hand blender to blend until smooth. If it is too thick, thin down with non-dairy milk. Set aside.
- Cook the instant rice according to package directions. When the rice is done, add to the same pot the black beans, corn, and salsa.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until heated through, about 5 minutes.
- Take off heat, add bell peppers and coriander. Pour in Creamy Avocado Dressing and combine.
- Serve with tortilla chips or over chopped Romaine lettuce.
Foolproof Vegan Brownies
- 4 tablespoons ground flax
- 1/2 cup water
- 125g vegan butter, melted
- 200g sugar
- 200g brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 125g cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup non-dairy chocolate chips
- Make the flax eggs by stirring the ground flax and water in a small bowl. Set aside to thicken. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C and line a 7 x 11 pan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk the melted vegan butter and sugars together. Add the flax mixture and vanilla, whisk until evenly combined.
- Over the same large bowl, sift in the flour and cocoa powder. Add the salt and baking powder and stir with a large wooden spoon until just combined, do not over mix.
- Fold in half of the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top with a spoon. Sprinkle the rest of the chocolate chips on top of the batter.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes. The brownies may still be bubbling and not look done, but they will firm up a lot as they cool.
- Remove from the oven, allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then pull the brownies out, using the parchment paper and let cool for another 15-30 minutes before slicing and serving.
As you can see, vegan cooking isn’t as intimidating as it may seem. We hope that you try out these simple recipes that are sure to thrill your tastebuds — no dairy or meat needed!