The following pages contain some simple recipes to show you how easy, wholesome, and delicious plant-only eating can be. You can halve them if you’re prepping for one or double them if you’re cooking for a crowd (or seeking leftovers).
WF – Wheat-free
SF – Soy-free
NF – Nut-free
You could always opt for cold cereal, if that’s your thing. Just read the label to avoid any animal-derived ingredients, then pour on any of a number of dairy alternatives: almond milk, soy milk, rice milk, and many more. If at first you don’t like one alternative, try another. Not only do products within a category vary in taste, sweetness, and quality, but milks from different plants also taste nothing alike. If you’re interested in more variety at breakfast, read on.
YOGURT WITH BLUEBERRIES AND WALNUTS
(Serves 2) WF, SF – This is one you can prep before bed and enjoy as a quick meal in the morning. Just cover in the fridge overnight. In the morning, rinse the berries and add to the bowl with the nuts.
the Raw on $10
a Day blog.
• 1 cup cashews (soak 1-2 hours for smoother yogurt, if desired)
• 2 large ripe bananas
• 2-3 tbsp lemon juice (1 lemon)
• 1 pinch salt
• 1/2 cup water, as needed for blending
• 1 cup washed fresh blueberries
• A few chopped walnuts
1. In a blender, puree the bananas, water, cashews, salt, and lemon juice until smooth.
2. Pour evenly into two bowls or containers, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
3. Top each bowl with half the blueberries and walnuts, then serve.
ALMOND MAPLE APPLE BOWL
(Serves 2) WF, SF – This is a fairly sweet meal, but it’s satisfying and wholesome, too. As you eat it, you’ll be glad that you took the time to make breakfast. If your mornings are hurried, you can leave this one covered in the fridge overnight.
• 1 medium-large apple (select for preferred tartness)
• 2 tbsp walnuts
• 2 tbsp almonds
• 1 tbsp pecans
• 1/3 cup unsweetened almond butter
• 1/3 cup maple syrup
1. Chop apple and place the chunks into bowls.
2. Chop nuts and add to the apple chunks.
3. Mix the almond butter together with the maple syrup in another small bowl.
4. Add the mixture to the apple and nuts.
(2 servings) WF, SF, NF – A classic morning meal, oatmeal can be prepared in a variety of ways. You can modify this recipe based on your mood and what’s on hand. Flax seeds add high-antioxidant lignans, essential omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber.
• 1 cup rolled oats
• 2 cups water
• 2 tbsp milled flax seeds
• 2 tbsp dried, unsweetened or fruit-sweetened cranberries
• 2 tsp maple syrup (optional)
1. In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil over medium heat.
2. Add oats to water.
3. Cook uncovered for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Remove from heat and stir in flax seeds.
5. Portion out into bowls and top with the dried cranberries.
6. Drizzle with maple syrup and serve.
These breakfast recipes don’t even begin to scratch the surface of all the options available to you on a plant-only diet. As you build up your own repertoire, you’ll find a wide variety of recipes for vegan muffins, smoothies, pancakes, and even crepes.
Lunches, Dinners and Sides
If making healthy food seems too time-consuming, try these flavorful plant-only meals. While hearty and filling, these recipes are all quite easy to prepare. Depending on how many mouths you have to feed, you can save even more time by eating them as leftovers the next day.
SWEET POTATO LENTIL CHILI
(Serves 4-6) WF, SF, NF – This hearty chili is more than just beans. It goes well with a side salad of mixed greens using the Cumin-Cinnamon Vinaigrette recipe (bellow).
Adapted from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan by Dreena Burton (Arsenal Pulp Press).
• 1 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
• 1 3/4 cups onions, diced
• 1 cup celery, diced
• 2-2 1/2 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed into 1-inch chunks
• 3 large cloves garlic, minced
• 1 tsp sea salt
• Ground black pepper to taste
• 2 tsp chili powder
• 1 tsp paprika
• 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
• 1/2 tsp ground cumin
• 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
• 1 1/4 cups dry red lentils, picked over, rinsed, and drained
• 2 1/2 cups water
• 1 28 oz can crushed or diced tomatoes
• 1 14-15 oz can black beans or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
• 1 bay leaf
• 3 tbsp lime juice
• Lime wedges (for garnish)
1. In a large pot on medium heat, add the first 13 ingredients: the oil, onions, celery, sweet potatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, chili powder, paprika, nutmeg, cumin, cinnamon, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.
2. Cover and cook for 7-9 minutes, stirring occasionally (reduce heat if onions stick to pot).
3. Rinse lentils.
4. Remove lid from pot and add the lentils, water, tomatoes, beans, and bay leaf. Stir to combine.
5. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for at least 25-35 minutes, until sweet potatoes are softened and desired consistency is reached.
6. Remove bay leaf and stir in lime juice, season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
7. Serve with lime wedges.
LINGUINE WITH LENTILS AND ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH
(Serves 4) SF, NF [WF with wheat-free pasta] With all the possible combinations of legumes, vegetables, and herbs, pasta recipes are a reliable inspiration for quick, delicious meals.
• 1/2 cup dry brown or green lentils, picked over, rinsed, and drained
• 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, halved, and seeded
• Salt and black pepper
• 2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for roasting squash
• 1/2 cup yellow onion, minced (1 small onion)
• 4 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 tsp crumbled dried sage
• 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
• 1 cup vegetable
Adapted from Vegan on the Cheap by Robin Robertson (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).
1. Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to boil over high heat. Add the lentils and return water to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook lentils until tender, about 45 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. As the lentils cook, preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly oil a 9×13-inch baking pan and set aside. Cut the squash into 1/2-inch dice—approximately 4 cups—spread it in the prepared pan as a single layer. Drizzle with a small amount of oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast until tender, stirring once halfway through to turn the squash, about 30 minutes. Set aside.
3. Heat the 2 tbsp of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, cover, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the sage, tomatoes, and the cooked lentils. Stir in the stock and season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer to blend the flavors, about 5 minutes. Stir in the roasted squash and keep warm over low heat, adding a bit more broth or water as needed for a more sauce-like texture.
4. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the linguine according to package directions, stirring occasionally. Drain the pasta and return to the pot. Add in the lentil-squash mixture and toss gently to combine. Serve hot.
QUINOA PILAF WITH SPINACH, APPLES, AND WALNUTS
(Serves 4) WF, SF [NF without the walnuts]
Quinoa is a high-protein seed that cooks just like a grain. As such, it makes a great pilaf bed for spinach and apples, whose vitamin C helps aid absorption of iron from the spinach. Walnuts boost the quinoa’s naturally nutty flavor and add a little crunch. This meal requires very little prep and can be on the table in under half an hour.
• 1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa
• 3 cups vegetable broth
• Salt, as desired
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 3 scallions, minced
• 1/2 cup walnut pieces or chopped walnuts
• 10 oz fresh baby spinach
• Ground black pepper, to taste
• 1 medium or large apple, diced
Adapted from Vegan on the Cheap
by Robin Robertson (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).
1. Bring the vegetable broth to a boil in a saucepan.
2. While waiting on the broth, rinse quinoa well to remove the coating. Drain and set aside.
3. Once broth comes to a boil, decrease heat to low, add salt as desired, and stir in rinsed quinoa.
4. Cover and simmer until all the water has been absorbed, about 15 minutes, then remove from heat (keeping covered).
5. While the quinoa is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
6. Add the scallions and walnuts and cook until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
7. Add the spinach and season to taste with salt and pepper.
8. Cover and cook until wilted, about 3-5 minutes.
9. Add the diced apple and cook for 5 more minutes.
10. Stir in the cooked quinoa and taste.
11. Adjust seasonings, as needed, then serve.
(Serves 2-4) WF, SF, NF
Sometimes you’ll just want a meal with some rice or a starch, a protein of some sort (such as blackened or grilled teriyaki tofu), and a side of vibrant, healthy greens. This recipe is so quick and easy that it will help make sure you’re willing to put in the effort to produce a balanced meal. You can modify this in so many ways, according to your tastes or whims, so feel free to experiment with a squeeze of lemon at the end, or consider adding red pepper flakes along with the garlic.
• 1 bunch lacinato or curly green kale
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 4 cloves garlic, peeled and slivered or crushed (adjust amount to taste)
• Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
• Fresh lemon juice, as desired (start with 1 tsp)
1. Wash and trim kale, removing the thicker parts of the stem, then chop roughly and set aside.
2. Peel and sliver garlic (or crush).
3. Heat oil in a wide, deep sauté pan or wok over medium-high heat.
4. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes, colored to no more than a light golden brown.
5. Add in chopped kale, stirring to coat with oil and garlic.
6. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover (covering is optional).
7. Cook about 10 minutes, or until tender, stirring occasionally. Less for baby kale. Leaves should still be bright green, tender, but not wilting.
8. Remove from heat and serve immediately with salt and pepper (and lemon) to taste.
Salads are versatile and varied. You could eat a different salad every day of the year, as either a side or as a full meal. We offer one of each here, but you’ll find that the possibilities are endless. While good salads generally tend toward nutrient-dense greens and brightly-colored vegetables, these recipes go well beyond “rabbit food.”
KALE SALAD WITH CHICKPEAS AND ORANGE-GINGER DRESSING
(Serves 4) WF, SF, NF
Looking for a tasty way to get more greens in your diet? Kale is one of the most nutrient-dense foods available, and it can be used in a variety of salads. This one is satisfyingly crunchy, with a touch of sweetness.
• 1 bunch kale (any kind), stemmed and thinly sliced
• 1 large or 2 small carrots, grated or julienned
• 1 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
• 1/2 cup daikon, grated or julienned
• 1 red sweet bell pepper, thinly sliced
• 1 14-15 oz can chickpeas or white beans, drained and rinsed
• Dulse flakes (optional)
• Sesame seeds or black sesame seeds (optional)
Adapted from Becoming Raw by Brenda Davis, RD and Vesanta Melina, RD (Book
• 4 pitted dates
• 1 cup orange juice (optional: fresh-squeezed)
• 2 tbsp tahini
• 2 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped or grated
• 2 tbsp miso
• 2 tbsp cider vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 2 tbsp tamari or Nama Shoyu
• 2 tsp sesame oil (optional)
• 1 pinch cayenne or ground black pepper
1. Soak the dates in half of the orange juice for at least 1 hour.
2. While soaking, thoroughly combine the prepared vegetables in a large bowl and toss well with the chickpeas, sprinkling in the dulse flakes and sesame seeds, if desired.
3. Transfer the dates and the orange juice to a blender.
4. Add the tahini, miso, and ginger. Process until smooth.
5. Add the remaining half of the orange juice and all of the vinegar, tamari, optional sesame oil, and cayenne. Process until smooth.
6. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
7. To serve, pour the dressing into the large bowl of salad and toss to combine.
8. Let marinate for at least 20 minutes before serving.
SIDE SALAD WITH CUMIN-CINNAMON VINAIGRETTE
(Serves 4) WF, SF [NF if walnuts left off]
This one is a quick and simple way to add some fresh greens to a meal, especially if you already have a batch of the dressing in the fridge.
• 5 oz washed mixed greens
• 2 tbsp walnuts, chopped (per salad)
• 2 tbsp dried, juice-sweetened cranberries (per salad)
• Avocado, chunked (optional)
• 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
• 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 3 1/2 tbsp agave nectar or maple syrup
• 1 tsp Dijon mustard
• 1/4 tsp ground cumin
• 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1 pinch allspice
• 1/2 tsp (rounded) sea salt
• 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1. With a blender, hand blender, or whisk, thoroughly combine all dressing ingredients.
2. Place salad mix into serving bowls.
3. Top salad with nuts, cranberries, and optional avocado.
4. Drizzle with the Cumin-Cinnamon Vinaigrette dressing, then serve.
STICK-TO-YOUR-RIBS RED LENTIL AND GREENS SOUP
(Serves 4) WF, SF, NF
This soup is rich and flavorful, and it’ll leave you feeling satisfied.
• 5 cups water (or 1 cup water and 4 cups vegetable stock)
• 1 cup dry red lentils, picked over, rinsed, and drained
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 packed cup kale, destemmed and finely chopped
• 2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
• 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
• 1/2 tsp ground cumin
• 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
• 1 dash liquid smoke (if available)
• 1/2 tsp sea salt, divided
1. Bring the water/stock to a boil on high heat.
2. Add the lentils to the water, reduce heat to low, and cover. Simmer until the lentils start to disintegrate, about 25 minutes.
3. Remove the disintegrated lentils from heat and blend them in the pot with a hand blender until smooth, cover, and simmer on low while prepping other vegetables, garlic, ginger, and other spices. (Or you can transfer the stock and lentils to a blender and then return it to the pot afterward, being mindful of the hot liquid.)
4. Bring the oil to heat on medium-high in the larger pan. Add 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, then add the garlic, ginger, and other spices and liquid smoke to the pan. Sauté for 2 minutes.
5. Add the kale to the pan and sauté for 3-5 minutes, until the kale is bright green and slightly wilted. Remove from heat.
6. Add kale to the lentils and stir until thoroughly combined. Let stand 10 minutes.
7. Taste and add more of the remaining salt as necessary, then ladle into soup bowls.
New American Vegan
by Vincent J. Guihan
MOROCCAN-SPICED PUMPKIN SOUP
(Serves 4) WF, SF [NF if pistachios left off]
This rich, creamy soup can be on the table in less than 30 minutes. Pair it with a salad or present it as a course in a multi-course meal.
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
• 1 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
• 1 tsp ground coriander
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1 tsp maple syrup or a vegan sugar (e.g., raw or organic cane sugar, coconut, Sucanat)
• 1/4 tsp ground allspice
• 1 tsp salt
• 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
• 1/8 tsp cayenne (optional)
• 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
• 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
• 1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk
• 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pistachios (optional)
by Robin Robertson
1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.
2. Add the onion, cover, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
3. Stir in the ginger, coriander, cinnamon, maple syrup or sugar, allspice, salt, pepper, and cayenne.
4. Add the pumpkin and slowly add the broth, stirring to blend until smooth.
5. Simmer until the onion is tender and the flavors are well combined, about 10 minutes.
6. Stir in the non-dairy milk and cook for another 5 minutes.
7. Serve hot, garnished with the pistachios.
Desserts and Baked Goods
CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
(Makes up to 18 cookies) NF
There’s a reason chocolate chip cookies are so popular. Baked just right, the crisp, lightly browned outside gives way to a moist and gooey inside.
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 3/4 tsp baking soda
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/3-1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips, chunks, or 60% or darker chopped/shaved chocolate
• 1/2 cup white or golden sugar
• 1/2 cup fresh light brown sugar, packed
• 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp canola oil
• 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp water
• 1-2 tsp vanilla extract, to taste (optional)
1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium-sized bowl.
2. Add the chips or chunks to the dry ingredients and toss until coated.
3. Use a separate large bowl to whisk together the two sugars with the canola oil and water until the mixture is smooth.
4. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture.
5. Fold the mixtures together with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until no more dry flour mixture is visible, being careful not to over-mix.
6. Use plastic wrap to cover the bowl of dough, then place the bowl in the fridge. Ideally, chill the dough for at least 12 hours.
7. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
8. To help avoid the dough reaching room temperature, scoop it with a spoon or ice cream scoop (rather than your hands).
9. Place 2-inch mounds on the baking sheet.
10. Bake the cookies for 12-13 minutes. They’re ready to come out when the edges start turning golden brown.
11. Optionally, sprinkle a pinch of coarse sea salt over each still-hot cookie.
12. Cool completely before serving. If transferring to a cooling rack, give the cookies a minute or two to cool on the baking sheet first.
Though baked apple dishes tend to evoke brisk autumn days, no one would fault you for warming up your home with this recipe any time of year.
Adapted from The Joy of
Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau (Fair Winds Press).
• 8 cups apples (3-5 apples), cored and sliced
• 2-3 tbsp lemon juice (1 lemon)
• 1/4 cup maple syrup
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp allspice
• 1 cup rolled oats (not quick-cook)
• 1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped and toasted
• 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
• 1/2 cup vegan margarine
• 1/4 cup vegan brown sugar, packed
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1/4 tsp allspice
• 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
• 1/4 tsp salt
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Prepare an ungreased 8- or 9-inch square baking pan at least 2 inches deep.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice, maple syrup, cinnamon, and allspice.
4. Pour filling mixture into baking pan.
5. Combine the oats, walnuts, flour, vegan margarine, sugar, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and salt. It’s best to use a beater or mixer here, or to have the margarine largely melted.
6. The topping should be crumbly, with a texture like wet sand, with chunks of walnuts or pecans in it. If it is too dry, add a little more vegan margarine or a couple of teaspoons of water.
7. Evenly sprinkle the topping over the filling mixture or spread with a spatula to distribute evenly.
8. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Apples should be soft when pierced with a toothpick or fork.
9. Serves well hot, warm, or room temperature, and goes well with vegan vanilla ice cream.
This page is a reproduction of a section of the booklet Vegan Starter Kit: Respecting Animals Means Going Vegan published by the International Vegan Association. Images and formats might differs from the original booklet.
The Vegan Starter Kit: Respecting Animals Means Going Vegan booklet is published by the International Vegan Association. Readers are welcome to reproduce articles from the original publication in their entirety and with attribution for personal or educational use without additional permission. Material may not be reproduced for resale without prior arrangement with the IVA. © International Vegan Association, 2017. For additional resources or to contact the IVA, visit internationalvegan.org.
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