A Plant-Based Diet at a Glance
Those who maintain a vegan diet don’t eat animal products of any kind. This includes meat, fish, dairy, eggs, and even honey. The basis of vegan recipes are vegetables and fruits, legumes, whole grains and cereals, nuts and seeds, vegan meat alternatives based on soy, seitan or lupins, as well as various plant-based alternatives for dairy products.
Loading Up with Pulses, Potatoes and Nuts
A fear amongst some vegan newbies is that they may not be able to satisfy their appetite without the help of animal products. However, plenty of athletes with vegan diets have proven that it is possible and not a challenge if you know what to look for. A good understanding of the food you eat and the nutritional value of certain ingredients can not only make a plant-based diet easier, but also help lead a healthy and satisfying diet.
One of the “power” ingredients found in many vegan recipes is pulses. Pulses are the nutritionally-dense edible seeds of legumes, including dry peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas. Due to the high nutrient density, pulses can be considered both as a protein and a vegetable. Next to their nutritional value, pulses are super convenient, as they can be stored at home for months or even years, from canned to refrigerated, frozen and more.
Potatoes are another one of those power-packed ingredients. Whether you lead an active lifestyle or compete with elite athletes, there’s a potato option to fuel your body and brain throughout the day. From russets, reds, yellows, whites and purples to petites, fingerlings and more, there are multiple varieties to keep meals interesting. There are also a range of preparations to keep things healthy and easy.
“Small, but mighty” is a good way to describe the next vegan-friendly ingredient: nuts. Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pecans, peanuts and more — these crunchy ingredients each offer a variety of beneficial nutrients, making them a great snack, but also a great addition to almost any meal. Now that you know these plant-based powerhouses, it’s time to get some recipe inspiration.
Sweet potatoes, red lentils, and brussels sprouts – this combination of ingredients is both nutritious and absolutely delicious. Golubka Kitchen brought these favorites together, creating an easy One Pan recipe that is completely plant-based. This wholesome meal has a nice touch of spices and is cooked with coconut milk, which goes nicely with the colorful blend of pulses and potatoes.
This spicy vegan rice bowl has all the goods – spicy flavor, U.S.-grown brown rice, roasted chickpeas and broccoli, and a delicious sunflower cream! Both the rice and the chickpeas help make this healthy dish a filling meal, that will leave you feeling satisfied, rather than stuffed and bloated. Add avocado slices and pumpkin seeds, if desired, as a beautiful, finishing touch to this bowl.
Everyone loves a good tomato soup. Want to know how you can make it extra creamy and delicious, while keeping it vegan-friendly? With the help of California Walnuts! This soup gets its creamy texture from walnut cream – a light and airy “cream” created with pureed walnuts and water. This recipe also includes a plant-based parmesan cheese. Garnish this creamy soup with additional basil and a Shaved Walnut Parmesan made with walnuts, olive oil, nutritional yeast, and salt.
The base of these falafels is a popular pulse: chickpeas. This tasty legume is pretty great on its own, but even better when combined with lots of delicious spices, such as cumin, coriander, and cardamom. This snackable, vegan recipe can be served fresh and hot or taken to go and enjoyed with hummus, tahini sauce, or some pita bread.
These Peanut Tofu Bowls exemplify how peanuts can be both a comfort food and an exotic culinary experience, flavorful and healthy, sustainable and simple. Perfect for both lunch or dinner, this recipe by Jenna Urben (The Urban Life) has a white rice base that is topped with a baked layer of tofu, broccoli, and peppers. The true flavor comes into play with a creamy peanut sauce and a generous handful of chopped American Peanuts. Additional toppings such as shredded carrots, sliced green onion, and sesame seeds are a great finishing touch.
For the Love of Vegan Desserts
Oh yes, there are plenty of vegan desserts out there. And they are not any more complicated or difficult than your non-vegan desserts. So give it a try! Keep reading to find something chocolaty, something creamy and smooth, something chewy and something unique. Whatever your sweet tooth desires!
You might have heard that baking with Prune Purée allows you to replace some of the fat and sugar in your favorite recipes, but did you know that you can also use Prune Purée in place of eggs? You’d never guess that James Collier’s delicious homemade brownie recipe happens to be vegan, too!
Prefer blondies over brownies? Then you are in for a treat with these gorgeous Sweet Potato Chocolate Blondies. This vibrant dessert is the definition of unique and delicious! Made with American Sweet Potatoes, and only five other ingredients, these chocolate blondies bring a pop of color and burst of flavor to the table.
Have you ever heard of champorado? This dessert stems from the Philippine cuisine and is a sweet, creamy chocolate rice porridge. Val & Mani (@plantbased.passport) developed a beautiful vegan champorado with a combination of U.S.-grown jasmine and glutinous rice. Cooked with smooth coconut milk and plenty of cocoa powder, this dessert will have you asking for more.
Love almonds? Then you’ll love the taste of these chewy, yummy popcorn bars that boast whole grain, fiber, protein, and an extra nutrient kick from Maca root. We introduce: Maca Almond Popcorn Bars. All you need is unsalted, unbuttered popped popcorn, sliced almonds, flaked oats, almond butter, brown rice syrup, agave syrup, salt and maca root powder.
Ready for one of the easiest and maybe most unique desserts out there? The Peanut Butter Chocolate Dessert Hummus turns your classic chickpea hummus into a creamy and sweet dip. The chickpeas give this dish its creamy consistency especially when combined with peanut butter and almond milk. Add some vanilla extract, chocolate chips and agave syrup for flavor and blend together. Whether you are craving something sweet for yourself or want to surprise your friends with something new, this tasty dip is a fun one and of course, vegan too!