Vegan diets are known to be one of the healthiest foods out there. They’re loaded with antioxidant-rich greens and are low in calories when you plan them right. But going full-on vegan overnight is not advisable or manageable. Give yourself time to adjust to this type of diet and go with baby steps.
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To get yourself started, here are just 5 of the best and healthiest vegan recipes to try this year.
1. Three-Bean Chili With Spring Pesto
Who says vegan meals can’t be a happy part of the best diet plan? This three-bean chili recipe is as satisfying as it gets and without the need for meat or other animal products.
• Some extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 small chopped onion
• 2 diced carrots
• 1 can diced tomatoes
• kosher salt and black pepper
• 1 can kidney beans
• 1 can chickpeas
• 1 can cannellini beans
• 1 clove garlic
• 3 tablespoons pine nuts
• 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
• crusty bread (optional)
Sauté the onion and carrots in medium-sized saucepan drizzled with some olive oil. Stir in the whole can of diced tomatoes and add 2 of cups water, add salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
Add all the canned beans and chickpeas after rinsing well and cook for 3 minutes.
Add the chopped garlic, chopped pine nuts, and chopped parsley in a small bowl and drizzle with ¼ of a cup of olive oil to create a pesto. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve the chili into individual bowls and top with the pesto and crusty bread if you like.
2. Hurry-Up Alfredo
This creamy pasta recipe is easy to make and won’t let you end up feeling hungry due to the high protein and starch content. The recipe requires a whole bunch of ingredients, but since it is made in a blender, the dish is done in no time.
• 1 cup soymilk
• 1/3 cup cashews
• 1 Tbs tahini
• 2 Tbs margarine
• 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
• 3 Tbs soy sauce
• 2-4 cloves of garlic
• 1 Tbs lemon juice
• 2 tsp dijon mustard
• 1 pinch nutmeg
• 1/2 tsp paprika
• orecchiette pasta
Add all the ingredients into a blender and blend until you get a smooth paste which can take a couple of minutes. You can also soak the cashews for up to 30 minutes in lukewarm water beforehand for easier blending.
Cook the pasta, drain and return to pot.
Pour the sauce over the pasta and heat up on medium heat.
Serve with lots of fresh cracked black pepper.
3. Lentil Tabbouleh
This fast and super easy lentil tabbouleh recipe by Jamie Oliver is packed with protein, iron, and fiber. The dish is also a great way to meet your daily vitamin C requirements through the lentils, onions, tomatoes, and lemon. Studies on vitamin C show that it improves skin appearance and functioning better than some of the top skin brighteners.
• 1 Cup Lentils
• 1 Cup cherry tomatoes
• 1 bunch of spring onions
• 1 bunch of fresh mints
• 1 bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
• 1 lemon
• extra virgin olive oil
Rinse the lentils well and cook just until tender. Drain and set aside to cool.
Finely dice the spring onions, mint, and parsley. Halve the tomatoes.
Add the lentils and drizzle with 4 Tbs of olive oil.
Add lemon juice to taste and season with some salt and pepper.
A great breakfast meal that you can eat with toast or in a breakfast wrap for on the go. The dish is a lightweight alternative to traditional scrambled eggs.
• ½ Tbs olive oil
• ½ block tofu
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1 Tbs nutritional yeast
• ⅛ tsp of ground cumin
• ⅛ tsp salt
Heat oil over medium-high heat.
Crush the tofu and add to the oil together with the garlic. Stir the mixture, breaking up the tofu with your spoon. Cook until tofu is golden brown.
Insert the nutritional yeast, cumin, and salt and cook until the tofu absorbs the nutritional yeast.
Serve with toast or any way you like.
5. Simple Vegan Chocolate Pudding
To make your vegan meal planning complete, we had to include a delicious and healthy dessert option. For guiltless comfort eating, try this simple vegan chocolate pudding on weeknights.
• ¼ cup rice milk
• ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• ½ cup maple syrup
• 1 banana
• 1 avocado
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• Toppings: coconut whipped cream and caramel syrup
Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour mixture into two serving glasses and let cool overnight.
Before serving, top with the coconut whipped cream and the caramel syrup.
Going vegan is a sure way to take care of your health and well-being. This is because vegan diets allow you to eat more micronutrients and reduce your intake of saturated fat, cholesterol, and hormones found in animal produce. Make sure to include these 5 recipes to start your year with meatless and green alternatives.