A lot of people are hesitant to try vegan food because they think it will be bland and boring. Vegans are not just limited to a salad bowl with some vinegar and olive oil. Nearly any kind of dish you can think of that is traditionally made with meat can be made with vegan ingredients. The only exception is BBQ. That too can be replicated to some extent but it is challenging. Luckily, we have here 4 simple recipes that’ll show you that vegan meals are just as good as meat-based ones.
1. Bean Sandwiches
One of the most useful things to know how to make is a sandwich. It is easy to put together, it is portable, it stores well for an entire day, and it is highly customizable. This is a solid sandwich that packs a ton of flavor and nutritional value.
- Whole-wheat bread slices (or any alternative you prefer)
- A tin of black beans (red, white, or any other kind will also work)
- Sliced tomatoes
- Sliced cucumbers
- Wash and rinse the black beans. If you like them to be super-soft then you can sauté them in a pan for about 10 minutes with a bit of oil to cook them a little further. If you enjoy them a bit crunchy, you can use them right out of the can. Whether or not you cook them, make sure they are evenly coated when you season them before you put them in the sandwich.
- Start with some fresh bread and add a layer of ketchup and mustard.
- Pile on a serving of the beans. Add slices of tomato, cucumber, and lettuce.
- Put Tabasco on the vegetables, and make sure you season every layer with Tabasco sauce. If you don’t like Tabasco you can leave this out and simply salt the tomatoes.
- Add your other slice of bread with ketchup and mustard on it and the assembly process is complete.
- Butter the outside of one slice of bread and place it with that side facing down into a pan. Then butter the other side and after a couple of minutes in the pan flip it over to toast both sides and get everything inside nice and warm.
2. Red Pepper and Tomato Soup
This is great as a starter or can be a complete meal with some crispy bread on the side. When it comes to comfort food, there’s nothing quite like a decent red pepper and tomato soup to make your day. This is why we feel we need to include this recipe to make you forget all about meat!
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- 6 garlic cloves whole
- 1 large onion skinned and cut in quarters
- 6 tomatoes cut in quarters
- 2 red peppers cut in quarters
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup boiled water
- ¼ cup soaked cashew nuts
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Add the onions, tomatoes, basil, oregano, garlic, and red peppers to a bowl and mix well with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Put all these ingredients in a baking pan and place in an oven preheated to 425F for 10-15 minutes until everything is soft and fragrant.
- Add the vegetables to a blender and add in the remaining ingredients and blend till everything is nice and smooth.
- If you want to add more protein to this recipe, you can add canned white beans when you start blending everything together.
- Garnish with fresh basil and a squeeze of lemon and serve.
3. Vegan Fried Rice
This can be used as a main course meal or be a fantastic accompaniment.
- Boiled white rice
- 1 bag of frozen vegetables
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp oil
- 3 cloves crushed garlic
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tsp red chili flakes
- Salt and pepper
- In a wok or frying pan add the cooking oil, crushed garlic, chili flakes, brown sugar, and soy sauce. Bring this all together in a strong simmer till the garlic has started to go soft. Add a couple of teaspoons of water if the amount of liquid has reduced too much.
- Add in the thawed vegetables and cook with a lid on for at least ten minutes on a low flame till everything is nice and warm but not completely wilted.
- Add in the rice and season with salt and pepper. Mix well and combine and let it all come together for another five minutes.
- Serve in bowls or on a plate and garnish with sesame seeds.
4. Easy Whole Wheat Pasta
This is a fantastic meal for lunch or dinner and only takes a few minutes to put it all together.
- 1 bag Whole wheat pasta of any kind that you prefer
- 100ml vegetable stock
- 2 tsp olive oil
- ½ tsp chili flakes
- 4-5 crushed garlic cloves
- Salt and pepper
- Prepare the pasta according to the instructions on the bag and save some of the water after cooking.
- In a saucepan combine the vegetable stock, olive oil, chili flakes, and garlic. Cook it all through till the garlic is fragrant.
- Combine the pasta and season with salt and pepper. Cook for an additional 5 minutes till everything is mixed well and the pasta is completely done. If it gets too dry in the pan add in a few tablespoons of the water from the pasta pot.
- Serve hot. If you don’t mind vegan parmesan cheese then grate that on top when serving.
When cooking vegan food, you have a wide variety of options when it comes to recipes you can experiment with or different kinds of food you can incorporate into your alternative diet. The most important thing is that you know how to prepare these ingredients properly, getting the most nutritional benefit out of it while also unleashing a bit of creativity in your cooking process. The best food is that which you come up with yourself. Just tweaking a recipe slightly to meet your particular needs could make all the difference. While these recipes are great as they are, there is nothing stopping you from making some changes according to your taste. Food should be healthy and fun.