There are many different plant based recipes that might surprise you. Check out some of your options here in this detailed overview.
There's a meaty monster in our midst.
Researchers estimate that we need to cut global emissions by at least 80% before 2050 if we hope to stop climate change. Animal agriculture generates over 14.5% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, and a single hamburger patty requires over 660 gallons of water to produce. Not to mention, high-meat diets are wreaking havoc on Americans' health.
One of the best ways individuals can make a difference is to switch to a plant-based diet, and plant-based recipes don't have to be boring!
Check out these tasty plant-based diet recipes to add to your weekly rotation!
11 Delicious Plant-Based Recipes
The benefits of a plant-based diet are numerous, from a healthier heart to a healthier planet. It can seem challenging to transition to a plant-based diet, but have no fear! These incredible plant-based recipes are sure to please even the pickiest palettes.
1. Vegan Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes
Start your day right with a plate full of sunshine! Lemon poppyseed pancakes are incredibly fast and easy to make and enjoy with the whole family. Lots of lemon zest and juice turn ordinary vegan pancake batter into a sunny morning delight.
Lemons provide a healthy dose of vitamin C, potassium, and vitamin B6. Lemons have even been shown to prevent anemia and kidney stones!
You can substitute poppy seeds for chia seeds if desired. Chia seeds are a great source of fiber, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids. Serve your pancakes with a side of vegan yogurt, maple syrup, and fresh blueberries!
2. Tofu Scramble with Veggies
Craving something savory in the mornings? Crumble tofu into a large frying pan to mimic the fluffy texture of scrambled eggs! Add your favorite veggies like peppers, onions, and mushrooms to the mix for a more savory flavor.
Tofu has about 17 grams of protein per serving, which is almost three times more protein than an egg! Protein will help you kick morning grogginess and keep you until lunchtime.
Turmeric gives tofu scramble a classic golden eggy color and helps the body by reducing inflammation. Add your tofu scramble to a warmed tortilla, or enjoy a bowl on its own!
3. Thai Spring Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce
Fresh Thai spring rolls and peanut sauce are a perfectly pack-able plant-based lunch, snack, or appetizer. To make them, you'll need rice paper sheets from your local Asian market or the Asian foods aisle of your grocery store. Soften the rice paper, then fill your rolls with lettuce, cabbage, carrots, fresh basil, and whatever other veggies you'd like!
Add a tofu strip to your spring rolls for extra protein. Pack your spring rolls into a lunch box or Tupperware container and store them in the fridge. Serve cold and enjoy by dipping each roll into the spicy peanut sauce!
4. Rainbow Buddha Bowl
All Buddha Bowls follow a basic formula: grains, greens, veggies, protein, healthy fat, and crunch. You can make a Buddha bowl with nearly any ingredients, but the Rainbow Buddha Bowl is a well-loved classic. Feast your eyes on all the colors of the rainbow!
Start with a cup of cooked, chilled quinoa or brown rice for your grains. Add spinach, sprouts, sliced purple cabbage, carrot strips, cucumber, radish, edamame, avocado, and pumpkin seeds. Drizzle with your favorite creamy plant-based dressing, and you're ready to dig in!
5. Santa Fe Stuffed Peppers
Give Tuesday taco night a run for its money with savory stuffed bell peppers. Making this dish is easier than it looks, meaning it's perfect for impressing dinner guests. Plus, it's super healthy, filling, and keeps well as leftovers!
Cut red, orange, and yellow bell peppers in half from stem to base. Leave the stems attached for an extra authentic look. Baste the inside of each pepper half in olive oil before filling with zesty quinoa, black beans, and whatever other ingredients you'd like.
Arrange the stuffed pepper halves on a baking sheet and pop them in the oven. Top with shredded lettuce, sliced avocado, and a drizzle of vegan cashew queso before serving!
6. Japanese Veggie Udon Noodle Soup
The ultimate comfort food on a cool, cloudy day, udon noodle soup is delicious with or without animal-based proteins. Udon noodle soup makes a great light lunch or dinner option and is an easy-going introduction to Japanese cuisine.
Low-sodium vegetable broth sets the stage for the thick, filling udon noodles. The endless possibilities for veggie add-ins include bok choy, wood ear and shiitake mushrooms, Chinese broccoli, carrots, and more.
Pack on the flavor by topping with soy sauce, red ginger, green onion, and tasty dried seaweed. Serve in hand-held bowls with chopsticks to maximize the cozy vibes!
7. Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili
Just because you're starting a plant-based lifestyle doesn't mean you have to skip out on chili season! Speaking of comfort foods, sweet potato and black bean are a killer chili combo.
This plant-based recipe will help you use some of your pantry basics like tomato paste, canned roasted tomatoes, green chiles, and black beans. Sweet potatoes round out the acidity of the chili and aid the immune system with a healthy serving of vitamin A. Sweet potatoes are also a great source of carotenoids, which protect cells from damage.
Top your sweet potato and black bean chili with fresh chopped cilantro, avocado, and a drizzle of vegan sour cream. Pair with vegan cornbread or jalapeño muffins for the perfect hearty meal.
8. Chana Masala with Coconut Rice
In general, Indian food is very accommodating for plant-based diets. Chana masala and coconut rice are Indian food staples that also happen to be vegan and vegetarian-friendly! With so many fragrant herbs and spices, nobody will miss the meat.
Chana masala is made with chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, simmered in a spiced, tomato-based sauce. This dish only takes about 30 minutes to create, and you can easily adjust this plant-based recipe to be as mild or spicy as you'd like. A half-cup of cooked chickpeas offers about 8 grams of protein, so this meal is super satisfying.
Top your chana masala with fresh cilantro leaves and serve over a bed of hot coconut Basmati rice. Pair with a side of garlic naan or vegetable samosas for an all-out feast!
9. Homemade Falafel and Tahini Sauce
Research has shown that the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest in the world because it is high in plant foods and healthy fats. Mediterranean foods like falafel are also super delicious!
Falafel is an affordable, protein-packed dish made with fried ground chickpeas and spices. You can enjoy falafel in a sandwich, pita wrap, salad, or on its own! Because it's so filling and savory, falafel is great for satisfying any meat-like cravings you're bound to have as a plant-based beginner.
The trick to moist falafel is to use dried chickpeas! Dip or drizzle your falafel bites with fresh creamy tahini sauce and enjoy with cucumbers, tomatoes, and dill.
10. Autumn Pumpkin Pasta
You read that right; pumpkin pasta takes a more savory approach to the traditionally sweetened squash. Autumn pumpkin pasta only requires a few shelf-stable ingredients and is ready to serve in about 20 minutes. You can quickly adapt this recipe to be gluten-free and high protein by using chickpea or lentil pasta.
Canned coconut milk and pureed pumpkin combine to make a creamy, delectable base for the sauce. Simple spices like salt, paprika, and garlic bring out the best of pumpkin's savory side, but you can add whatever spices you'd like to this versatile dish!
Garnish with fresh sage leaves and serve hot. Although you can enjoy this meal year-round, pumpkin pasta is a great side dish for Thanksgiving dinner!
11. Hearty Vegan Stew
It's hard to beat a big bowl of hearty stew on a cold winter's day, and who doesn't love one-pot plant-based dinner recipes? Fire up your stovetop, grab a big pot, and let this hearty vegan stew warm you up from the inside out.
As with most plant-based recipes, you can add nearly any vegetables to your dish. This is especially true for stews, as all the flavors will marinate beautifully together. For the basic recipe, throw in garlic, onions, cremini mushrooms, carrots, celery, potatoes, and kidney beans.
Serve in a generous bowl with a chunk of rustic bread. Soy sauce, coconut sugar, and red wine are the "secret" ingredients that bind this incredible stew together. Go ahead and pour yourself a glass while you wait!
Healthy People, Healthy Planet
These eleven delicious plant-based recipes will positively impact your wallet, your health, and the environment. The future of humankind is moving toward more plant-based lifestyle choices. Doing your part has never tasted so good!
Are you hungry for more ways to improve your health and embrace a wholesome, plant-based lifestyle? Leafykitchen is your go-to source for nutrition and health coaching. Don't forget to check out our other blog articles!