So you’re a bit perplexed by veganism. You’re not against the idea, but it’s baffling how anybody can give up something as delicious as meat.
They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and vegans probably understand this better than anyone. With the tastes of meat and animal byproducts–who doesn’t love chocolate–absent from their lives they’ve been forced to come up with some creative alternatives.
In the spirit of bridging gaps, we’ve found some great vegan recipes that are sure to dazzle vegans and omnivores alike.
1. Vegan Mac and Cheese
Okay, so there isn’t any actual cheese in this, but it’s still a great dish. The ‘cheese’ is made from any kind of non-diary milk and blended cashews. You may have to boil the cashews first to soften them.
This is a very easy recipe to make, and it’s healthier than regular macaroni and cheese. Some even go the extra mile by adding ingredients for flavor, such as cayenne peppers.
You can also add a bacon substitute or mushrooms. When it comes to pasta, mushrooms go with almost anything. Regardless of what you decide to add, if anything, you can find a great recipe here.
If you’re looking for gluten-free options and you happen to live in and around Toronto, we can help with that, too.
2. Sweet Potato/Mushroom burgers
Burgers are an American staple, and vegans have found a whole host of ways to eat them. Some make their burgers primarily from sweet potatoes. Others use mushrooms, and either one can be incredible.
Like most vegan food, they tend to be healthier than the average hamburger, but each one has its own benefits as well. For instance, mushroom burgers look a lot more like authentic beef burgers, while sweet potato burgers are more orange in color.
3. Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
Shepherd’s pie is another recipe that vegans have made their own. The main ingredient in this dish is mashed potatoes of some kind. Many use mashed sweet potatoes.
The rest consists of various kinds of vegetables and spices to help with flavor. Some recipes even use oats to add volume and creaminess to the dish.
There are also mushrooms in vegan shepherd’s pie, and that’s what adds the meatiness to it.
4. Pesto Pasta
A great advantage of a vegan diet is that still allows for pasta. Almost all different types of pasta are permissible to vegans, but pesto may be one of the best.
Vegans do cut out the parmesan cheese, and others choose to substitute some of the pesto noodles for something else. One of the more common options is to use thin slices of squash. Zucchini can also be used to make noodles.
This recipe also calls for garlic, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil and even pumpkin seeds in some cases. All this helps to flavor the pasta while also making it healthy. A full recipe can be found here.
5. Banana Creams/Fake Shakes
Is there anyone in the world who doesn’t love milkshakes? Since vegans don’t drink milk from animals, you may believe that they’ve had to give up milkshakes. You’d be wrong.
There are some amazing milkshake alternatives out there, and they’re every bit as delicious as the desserts that inspired them. They’re not as healthy as some of the other things on this list, but they’re milkshakes, so that’s a given.
There are lower calorie ways to make these, and you don’t necessarily have to make them banana. You could make them any flavor you feel like.
It’s all a matter of personal preference. A quick search is bound to bring up plenty of different ideas.
6. Vegan Tacos
Given the sheer variety offered by tacos, you had to know vegans would find their own recipe. From tofu to avocadoes to butternut squash, tacos have been made from all kinds of yummy and healthy ingredients.
One recipe involves Eggs, panko bread crumbs, avocado and a whole pound of cabbage. You can find the recipe for them here.
Some of the most vegetarian-friendly food out there come from the Middle East and eastern Europe. Falafel is a shining example of one of the greatest vegan recipes ever made, and it was invented thousands of years before anyone knew what a vegan was.
In most cases, the main ingredient in falafel is chickpeas. Spices are added for flavor, then the whole thing is rolled into balls and dropped into a fryer. The aim is to add a crunchy outer layer without making the inner layer seem fried and greasy.
Anybody that’s ever had authentic falafel knows that when it’s done right it’s amazing. If you’d had enough falafel you know that you can also screw it up in a huge way.
The lesson here is to make sure you know what you’re doing, and never buy second-rate falafel if you can avoid it.
8. Vegan Cheesecake
Just the word ‘cheesecake’ is enough to make most people perk up their heads like an alarmed rabbit, and vegans don’t have to miss out on that feeling.
The great thing about cheesecake is that you can make it whatever flavor you want by putting various fruits, sauces and sweets on it. People have even made vegan Snickers (sort of) cheesecake. It has none of the same ingredients as the candy bar, but it comes out looking and tasting very similar.
If you don’t have the time or don’t feel like waiting a few hours while the whole thing freezes, try adding something simple like strawberry drizzle or vegan chocolate.
9. Roasted Pumpkin and Braised Brussels Sprouts
This is one of the simpler dishes on this list, consisting of only 8 ingredients and six steps. The recipe calls for taking pumpkin and brussels sprouts and coating them in a mixture of salt, pepper, and vinegar.
The whole dish takes less than an hour to make and tastes pretty good. You can discover more about it here.
10. Vegan Lemon Bars
Lemon bars are awesome, and there’s a vegan version. Vegans substitute all the dairy ingredients with coconut milk or other plant-based alternatives.
One thing all vegans can be thankful for is that sugar is totally allowed, and vegan lemon bars use a lot of it. There are some great recipes out there, so we encourage you to search around.
The Best Vegan Recipes
There are a lot of delicious vegan recipes out there, and we’ve mentioned only a few in this article. If you’re curious, we encourage you to do some more research and find what else is out there. Share any interesting recipes you may have by tweeting us @ViewtheVIBE.