Plant-Based Diet Recipes For Beginners
Written By: Suzanne Kvilhaug
Meatless Monday introduced you to all of the plant-based possibilities and now you’re hooked. Or you saw a documentary like What The Health and it’s vegan from here on out. Whatever made you decide to eat more plant-based, at first like any other new way of eating, you have no idea where to start. And if paralysis analysis strikes, you’ll find yourself eating the same boring salads, lackluster fruit cups and that one vegan frozen meal you found at the store will be in heavy rotation.
From difficult recipes with some ingredients you’ve never heard of, to simple and quick recipes with all known ingredients - there’s levels to plant-based cooking as there is any other styles of cooking. Here are some great and easy breakfast, lunch and dinner plant-based recipes that are perfect for someone new to eating a plant-based diet, anyone looking for some new ideas or really, anyone who appreciates food and wants to cook good things. Nothing takes more than 40 minutes (most are way shorter) and they have all been picked based on ingredients, time, presentation and overall appeal.
Chia Breakfast Pudding
I will not start this sentence off with the chia commercial theme although it was tempting to. Bananas, chia seeds, soy milk (or any plant-based kind), cacao powder, hazelnuts and maple syrup are the only ingredients needed to make this Chia Breakfast Pudding from Hurry The Food Up. With a 7 minute prep time this is one of the best ways to learn how to make a healthy and dairy-free pudding.
Simple Tofu Scramble
Can’t let go of scrambled eggs? No need to. A simple tofu scramble recipe from Simple Vegan Blog resembles the classic and is really easy to make (ready in 15 minutes!), packed with protein and only requires tofu, turmeric powder, salt and ground black pepper. Reviews from the corny writer is in... Eggssslent!
When the craving for pancakes hit, have this easy vegan pancake recipe from Delish on hand. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, almond milk and coconut oil together and voila! perfectly golden and delicious pancakes. Serve with pure maple syrup, fresh fruit or your topping of choice.
A little bit of cinnamon and a little bit of vanilla give this Cinnamon Oatmeal from Well Vegan the perfect amount of flavor. Ideal for any busy schedule as it only takes 5 minutes to prep and 5 more minutes to make. Add bananas, hemp seeds, flax seeds or fruit to make it more filling.
5 Minute Basic Avocado Toast
What kind of plant-based food writer would I be if I left out avocado toast? To make this 5 minute basic avocado toast recipe from Vibrant Plate, toast the bread of your choice, rub with a crushed garlic clove, spread the mashed avocado on top, sprinkle with some salt & pepper, and you’re done! If you want, you can add some extra ingredients, like chopped parsley or olive oil to make it more flavorful.
Quinoa Avocado Spinach Power Salad
Quinoa, spinach, and sweet cherry tomatoes with bites of creamy avocado, this quinoa avocado spinach power salad from The Garden Grazer is vegan, gluten-free, oil-free. Looking for plant-based protein? Add black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas or tofu. If you want to play around with the recipe change up the veggies, or use fresh lemon/lime juice in the dressing instead of red wine vinegar.
Veggie Hummus Sandwich
Here is one of those things you bring for lunch and you can’t stop eyeing the clock till it’s time to eat it. This mile-high veggie and hummus sandwich from Eating Well works with different flavors of hummus and a variety of vegetables. Extra hungry? Pair it with a bag of Food Should Taste Good chips.
Vegan Basil Ricotta Pinwheels
You’ll need a food processor for this vegan basil ricotta pinwheel recipe from Vegan Heaven. A lot of plant-based recipes do call for one so if you’re thinking about making a lot of food at home, it’s a good investment. Soaked unsalted cashews, tofu and almond milk create a creamy delicious vegan ricotta cheese that’s flavored with white wine vinegar and garlic. As for what tortilla to use, corn tortillas are almost always vegan. If you want a grain-free, vegan and healthy tortilla, check out all of the innovative options available at Siete Foods.
Sweet Potato Cauliflower Vegan Soup
During the fall and winter months, vegan soup for you! Am I the only one who somehow finds a way to say the classic Seinfeld line of “no soup for you” once a week? Anyway. This sweet potato cauliflower vegan soup recipe from Veggie Inspired is a creamy vegan soup made with whole food ingredients and has anti-inflammatory properties. Described as creamy, sweet and earthy, it only takes about 30 minutes to make and uses a base of coconut milk, turmeric and vegetable broth.
Vegan Spinach Pesto Pasta
Easy vegan spinach pesto pasta from Yup, It’s Vegan takes about 30 minutes in total and is made with fresh pesto full of spinach with hints of basil and lemon. Using cashews and less oil then most pesto pasta recipes, It’s rich but not over the top. And unlike most pesto pasta, completely dairy-free.
Vegan Chickpea Curry
Protein, check. Fiber, check. This vegan chickpea curry is checking all the healthy boxes and looks insanely good. The pictures sold me and I’m making this ASAP! The recipe calls for basmati rice, garlic, curry paste, coconut milk, chickpeas and soy milk and only takes 25 minutes to make.
Easy Vegan Black Bean Burgers
When you start eating plant-based, you’ll find that store bought black bean burgers aren’t that good. And even if they were, they contain a lot of additives so it’s always ideal to make them at home. This easy vegan black bean burger recipe from She Likes Food only takes 30 minutes and contains quinoa, black beans and is flavored with garlic powder and ground cumin.
Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff
Skip right over this if mushrooms aren’t your thing. I’m all about mushrooms and use them in almost everything I can. This vegan mushroom stroganoff from My Darling Vegan is made with a combination of juicy portobellos and button mushrooms with a creamy and tart pasta. If you’re into beef stroganoff, this is a must try.
Thai Tempeh Buddha Bowl
The Thai tempeh buddha bowl from the Fit Mitten Kitchen has 20 grams of plant-based protein, 16 grams of fiber and is full of nutritious foods. The two main ingredients are tempeh and freekeh. A quick 411 on two plant-based staples - freekeh is a firm, slightly chewy grain with a distinct flavor that's earthy, nutty, and slightly smoky and tempeh is made from cooked and slightly fermented soybeans. Red bell peppers, cabbage, roasted sweet potatoes, tempeh, avocado and greens are inside the bowl and drizzled on top is a cashew curry sauce made from a mix of cashew butter, curry paste, coconut aminos seasoning (soy-free sauce), and a touch of rice vinegar.