While many people are taking the vegan January (#veganuary) challenge, it can be daunting to know what to cook for yourself. This is a simple guide on what vegan meals you can make.
Vegan January starts today and it is a great challenge for those who want to explore a vegan.
Thinking of vegan dishes can be a little challenging for those who reply on animal proteins, so I have compiled a few of my favourite meals here to show how easy eating plant based can be. Happy vegan January!
Once you get your mind off of bacon and eggs for breakfast, there are so many plant based options you can try! Literarily, whatever you eat for breakfast, you can make plant based.
Vegan Breakfast Options
- sweet toast—try nut butters, jams, and vegan butter on toast. Play with adding sliced apples, pear, or banana to nut butter toast and garnish a sprinkle with cinnamon. Look for breads that are free of eggs and milk—sourdoughs are always a good option.
- savoury toast—if you like the more savoury root, try avocado toast with sea salt and lemon. You can always jazz it up with some sesame seeds, everything bagel spice, and fresh herbs. Other options include vegan mayo and tomato, or making a breakfast sandwich with a chickpea flour egg.
- pancakes and waffles—pancakes and waffles don't need eggs or milk as they work perfectly good without them. You can either go for sweet pancakes (like these blender banana pancakes) or the savoury route and make a socca!
- oatmeals and overnight oats—oatmeals and overnight oats are super filling and a easy swap to be vegan, just replace dairy with plant based milk and change sweeteners like honey for maple syrup or sugar.
- smoothies—smoothies are a wonderful vegan option if you live in a warm climate. You can add things like nut butter and granola to make them more filling.
- savoury porridge—savoury porridges like congee and kitchari are great in these cold winter months for when you want something savoury and hearty.
- granola—granola is super easy to make vegan (most of it is by default). You can also easily make your own by following my ratio here. Serve with in season fruit, plant based milk, or plant based yogurt.
- muffins—it's easy to find a vegan muffin at most coffee shops these days which make them a great grab and go breakfast if you're out and about. If you want to whip up your own, these gluten free banana ones are always a fan favourite.
My favourite vegan lunch options include sandwiches, soups, wraps, and salads—not too much different than typical lunches.
Vegan Lunch Options
- sandwiches and wraps—veggie sandwiches are a great option. Hummus makes a great base along with grated carrot, red pepper, avocado, and classic condiments like mustard and vegan mayo. Other plant based fillings include plant based egg salad made with tofu and chicken salad made with chickpeas.
- veggie based soups—soups are my all time lunch. Lentil is my favourite, especially this lentil soup!
- salads—salads make a great lunch option as you can either have them made ahead or have dressing at the ready. Some salads I love include this curried rice, this potato salad, this noodle salad, and this green salad.
- left overs—there is nothing wrong with left-over dinner for the next days lunch!
Vegan snacks are pretty much the same as none vegan snacks! Chips, yes! Cookies, sure! Fruit, veggies, nuts, and chocolate—no problem.
Vegan Snack Options
- plant based cookies and sweets—vegan cookies are so easy to make. A few of my favourite include classic chocolate chip, peanut butter, or these banana bread cookies.
- fruit—since all fruit is vegan, eat your heart out. I'm partial to an apple or banana with some nut butter, but mango with chilli pepper, or orange slices a great.
- nuts—I love a few walnuts or almonds with a few pieces of dried fruit. A date stuffed with almond butter, sea salt, and a slice of chocolate is the ultimate snack.
- veggies sticks—carrots, cucumber, pepper, and celery sticks along with some hummus, mustard, or pesto is a wonderful veggie heavy snack.
- chocolate—when buying vegan chocolate look for dark chocolate (70% or higher). Most plain dark chocolate bars will, by default, be vegan.
Vegan Dinner Recipes
- soups and stews— plant based chili—like this lentil one—creamy bean soups, and Moroccan chickpeas stew are great protein based mains.
- pasta—plant based pastas are a great, quick, supper. We love this pumpkin ziti, but a simple pesto, or roasted veggie and tomato sauce are a much loved meal.
- grain bowls—no matter what you call them—the classic Buddha bowl, dragon bowl, or grain bowl—are perfect, easy dinners. Some crispy tofu, steamed veggies, grains, and a good tahini sauce, makes for a wonderfully balanced dish.
- burgers—I love a good burger for the weekend, and plant based ones are super easy! Yams and quinoa, black bean, mushroom, or chickpea all make for protein full mains.
When looking to swap out your animal based staples, look no father than your local grocery story. These are easy to find, simple, swaps.
- milk for oat, almond, or soy milks
- eggs for tofu or chickpea flour eggs
- meat for veggie alternatives like tempeh, tofu, or seiten
- coffee creamer for plant based creamers
- butter with a plant based butter
- cheese for plant based or nut based cheeses
- honey for maple syrup or other liquid sweeteners