Anyone who wants to transition to a vegetarian/vegan diet, or at least try a vegetarian meal once or twice a week, should definitely invest the time to learn about Indian cooking (or Thai or Lebanese, for that matter). It is always hearty and delicious, and quite vegetarian friendly. The only truly challenging part of cooking traditional Indian food is marinating meat (which has to begin the day before). If you don’t eat flesh, that step is eliminated, opening up this perfect cuisine to the general public. As a bonus (in addition to whole grains, beans, and vegetables being incredibly good for you), many of the spices associated with Indian cooking (especially turmeric) are known to be anti-inflammatories that can reduce risk of heart disease and several types of cancer.
I was able to throw this together fairly quickly, and–unlike many of my recipes–I didn’t have to play around with it. I got it right on the first try! Yay me. Continue Reading
I tend to eat a lot of lentils, and also constantly experiment with vegetarian chili, but hadn’t combined the concepts until recently. I have no idea why I waited, because lentils (though good in a million things, as many of my recipes will eventually show) were made for chili. They are a perfect, uber-healthy substitute for ground beef without the artery clogging and intestinal irritation. This also cooks up fairly quickly if you have pre-cooked red beans on hand (or have canned beans, which even I use from time to time). There is also some great potential to mix this with my Perfect Vegan Mac and Cheese for a vegan version of that all-time white trash favorite: chili mac. If you want to make that, just layer the chili on top of the mac and cheese and then add the breadcrumb topping before baking. Simple.
During my slow transition to veganism over the past year and a half or so, I made one pledge to myself: find a way to approximate mac and cheese. If it can’t be done, abandon the diet. I’m serious. Many vegetarians say things like “I could never give up cheese,” which I sort of understand. But with me, it was more of a mac-n-cheese-specific issue. It’s the ultimate comfort food, and I am firmly convinced that many people continue to eat dairy because they think a vegan mac and cheese can’t be done without it tasting like feet.
Welll, it can. I have been experimenting in the kitchen with different ways to pull this off for over a year. Many, many of the results were inedible and in no way resembled what is known as mac and cheese. But once I got my vegan cheese base right, I finally was able to perfect this recipe. This is delicious (though please remember that–though it is lower in saturated fat, has no cholesterol at all, and is more animal friendly than the original–it is still made with white pasta and is fairly high calorie)!
*Oh, and–as a bonus–this does not contain any of that nasty, science-experiment-in-a-bag otherwise known as Daiya Cheese. That stuff is disgusting, and don’t let any vegan ever try to tell you differently.
This recipe is another super easy, fast, and nutritious way to get vegetables and healthy fats and proteins into your diet. This one works as a dip, a sandwich spread, or can be tossed with pasta. I did the latter, and it was delicious. There is almost no prep time. If you sub the onion and garlic with the powdered forms, it will be ready in seconds.
Veggie burgers can be a delicious way to add healthy proteins, grains, and vegetables to your diet, but buying the pre-made stuff can be expensive (and less healthy, as some of those fake meats are science experiments with long, unpronounceable ingredient lists). I am constantly experimenting with ways to make my own at home for the sake of variety. My experiments don’t always work, but sometimes they do. This one is a success, and has the best consistency so far of any of my veggie burger attempts. And all without flour!
This recipe is loaded with protein and fiber; even the fat in it is the good kind (Omega 3 from olive oil and walnuts). I usually will sautee some onions and garlic for these recipes, but accept that many people (myself included) sometimes want something quicker with less prep time. So this recipe calls for onion and garlic powder instead, which is perfectly acceptable. Try not to judge.
It is usually fairly easy to get people to eat something vegan if white pasta is involved, and this dish is no exception. This can be made even healthier with whole wheat pasta, but there is nothing wrong with indulging once in a while. So go nuts and eat some white pasta, okay? This is delicious enough that you may not miss the parmesan cheese, so give it a try without. If you think it tastes like feet, you can add some later, okay?
Here is another hearty soup that is both filling and tasty without containing any meat or dairy. If you automatically assume anything vegan has to taste like tofu or a salad and insist on eating meat all the time, then fine. Grill up some chicken breast, dice it, set it aside, add it back after the soup has been pureed, and simmer an additional 10 minutes or so. But you really don’t need to bother. The beans are loaded with protein and fiber, and will fill you up just fine.