If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, it can be hard to find good recipes with no meat sometimes. Not to worry though, these 5 easy recipes should keep you gong for a while.
1. Vegan Chili.
The first of our easy recipes is a Vegan Chili. Chili is always good, and now even vegans can enjoy it. This one doesn’t even require much spice mixing! You can also freeze the leftovers so it will keep for a long time.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1-inch pieces, roughly 4 cups
- 4 garlic cloves, finely diced (roughly 1 1/2 tbsp)
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained, rinsed
- 1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained, rinsed
- 1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained, rinsed
- 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (20 oz) can red enchilada sauce
- 1/3 cup chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp salt
- green onions
- Heat the oil in a large dutch oven or or soup pot. Sauté onions, bell peppers, sweet potatoes until the onions begin to soften, about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 2 minutes longer.
- Add the beans, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, chili powder, cumin, bay leaves and salt, stir to combine. Cover with just enough water to cover beans. (About 1-2 cups.)
- Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for 1 hour, stirring often to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom.
- Serve topped with cilantro, green onions and avocado.
2. Vegan Garlic Pasta with Roast Tomatoes.
The next of our easy recipes is a dead-simple pasta and tomato dish. This delicious dish uses almond milk and only takes half an hour to make.
- 3 cups grape tomatoes (halved)
- 10 ounces whole wheat pasta
- Olive oil
- 2 medium shallots (diced)
- 8 large cloves garlic (minced/grated)
- 1 pinch each sea salt and black pepper
- 3-4 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups unsweetened plain Almond Milk
- 2-3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1-2 Tbsp vegan parmesan cheese (optional)
- 1-2 Tbsp lemon juice (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C) and toss tomatoes in a bit of olive oil and sea salt. Place cut side up on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes while you prepare the rest of the dish. Then set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions. When done, drain, cover and set aside.
- In the meantime, prepare the sauce. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, add 1 Tbsp olive oil and the garlic and shallot. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper and stir frequently, cooking for 3-4 minutes until softened and fragrant.
- Stir in flour and mix with a whisk. Once combined, slowly whisk in the almond milk a little at a time so clumps don’t form. Then add nutritional yeast, another healthy pinch of salt and black pepper, and bring to a simmer. Continue cooking for another 4-5 minutes to thicken.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt to taste, more minced/pressed garlic for zing, or more nutritional yeast for cheesy flavor.
- If you want an ultra creamy sauce, transfer sauce to a blender (or use an immersion blender) to blend the sauce until creamy and smooth. Place back in pan and reduce heat to a low simmer until desired thickness is reached.
- Once the sauce is to your desired thickness, taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Then add pasta and roasted tomatoes and stir.
- Serve immediately and garnish with extra black pepper, fresh basil, and/or vegan parmesan cheese. Best when fresh, but will keep for up to 2 days in fridge.
3. Vegan Chickpea Curry.
Number 3 on our list of easy recipes is a vegan curry. It’s not often that you can find good curry-based easy recipes, and as a curry lover, I approve of this one. It serves well with rice and Naan.
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 large garlic clove
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
- 6 cups (5 ounces) baby spinach leaves (or chopped spinach)
- 28-ounce can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- ¾ teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas
- ½ cup coconut milk
- White or brown basmati rice, to serve
- If you’re serving with rice, start the basmati rice.
- Mince the onion. Mince the garlic. Peel and mince the ginger (or grate it).
- In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and spinach and saute for 2 minutes until the spinach is fully wilted.
- Carefully pour in the tomatoes, then add the curry powder, cumin, coriander, salt, and chickpeas. Cook for 5 minutes until bubbly.
- Stir in the coconut milk until fully combined, then remove from the heat. Serve with basmati rice.
4. Vegan Meatballs.
Fourth on our list of easy recipes may seem like an oxymoron. How do you make vegan meatballs? Is such a thing possible? Yes, and here is how to make them.
- 8 ounces tempeh, finely chopped
- ¼ cup minced white onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup Italian breadcrumbs
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
- ¼ cup olive oil, divided*
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 2 to 3 cups favorite marinara sauce
- Steam the tempeh: Place 1 ½ cups water into a saucepan with a steamer basket: the water surface should be right under the basket. Bring the water to a boil. Chop the tempeh into small pieces. Once boiling, add it to the steamer basket and steam it for 10 minutes while you prep the remaining ingredients.
- Mix the meatballs: Mince the white onion. Mince the garlic. Add them to a medium bowl with the breadcrumbs, fennel seeds and dried oregano. Once the tempeh is cooked, remove it from the steamer and add it to the bowl with the breadcrumbs. Stir in the soy sauce or tamari and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and mix. Once the tempeh cools slightly, use your fingers to mash it together into a uniform dough.
- Form the meatballs: Use your fingers to form the dough into golf-ball sized balls, about 13 to 14 total, placing them on a plate.
- Cook the meatballs: Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a non-stick large skillet over medium high heat. Add the meatballs and cook, turning them occasionally with chopsticks, until lightly browned on all sides, about 5 to 6 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium if it starts to smoke.
- Serve: Once cooked, you can remove the meatballs from a pan and refrigerate up to 5 days until serving if you’d like. Or serve immediately: turn off the heat and add the marinara sauce to the pan (beware of spitting). Simmer for about 1 minute until warm, then top with chopped basil or parsley and serve. Store leftovers refrigerated without sauce for 5 days, or allow to cool then freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
5. Baked Tofu.
For the last of our easy recipes we have a simple and delicious baked tofu. This is a solid pick for those who are a fan of asian foods.
- 1 15-ounce block extra firm tofu*
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon liquid smoke
- ½ teaspoon Sriracha (or other hot sauce)
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup cornstarch (or arrowroot starch)
- Preheat an oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cut the tofu into 3/4-inch cubes (slice the tofu in half into two large rectangles, then into 6 long slices and across 5 times, for 60 pieces total; the exact size may vary based on brand). Place the cubes on a clean dish towel, then gently pat them with a second towel to remove excess moisture.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, soy sauce, garlic powder, liquid smoke, Sriracha and salt. Add the tofu cubes and gently toss with a spatula until coated.
- Place 2 tablespoons cornstarch on a plate and add 1 handful tofu cubes, tossing until coated. Place the cubes onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Continue with additional handfuls of tofu cubes until all are coated, adding the additional cornstarch as you go. This doesn’t have to be perfect: just make sure the pieces are mostly lightly coated.
- Bake 30 to 35 minutes without stirring, until the tofu is golden brown and crispy on the outside. Allow to cool 3 to 5 minutes before eating. (Make it ahead or store leftovers for up to 3 days refrigerated. The texture becomes softer in the fridge and it becomes less salty over time. To crisp it up before serving, place it on a baking sheet, sprinkle with a few pinches of salt, and bake a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes until warmed through and crispy on the outside.)