Have you ever been looking online for vegan recipes only to find that a lot of them call for exotic ingredients not found at your local supermarket? So many vegan recipes expect you to travel to the ends of the Earth to gather all the necessary ingredients when you just want a simple meal. Below are 5 easy vegan recipes containing ingredients that you can actually buy at a grocery store!
Let’s start with breakfast, shall we?
Grapenuts cereal paired with a sweetened almond or soymilk and topped with seasonal berries is the perfect easy breakfast. The sweetened milk alternative gives this healthy cereal a sweet taste without needing to add sugar. Blueberries, raspberries and sliced strawberries provide the perfect amount of flavor and freshness to this meal, without leaving you overly full.
For extra sweetness, try a chocolate almond or soymilk.
If you’re not a fan of the heart-healthy Grapenuts, but still want a healthy cereal, try hot oatmeal. Top it with a milk alternative, berries, cinnamon, brown sugar, and nutmeg so you can start your day off right!
A childhood favorite for many are grilled cheese sandwiches, and being vegan doesn’t mean you have to give them up! There are so many cheese alternatives now, and more and more big chain grocery stores are carrying them. If you have a Smith’s, Fred Meyers, Safeway, Albertsons, or Natural Grocers nearby you should be able to pick up these ingredients.
My take on this grilled cheese is to use GoVeggie mozzarella shreds on a buttered slice of Texas Toast. Top that with a Tofurkey Deli Slice (oven roasted flavor), and finish it with a slice of Follow Your Heart’s pepper jack cheese.
Cook this in a buttered skillet like you would any grilled cheese and use a pot/pan lid to cover it so that everything melts sufficiently. When the first side is browned to your liking, place the second slice of buttered Texas Toast on and flip it over.
This sandwich pairs nicely with a side of broccoli, brussel sprouts or green beans for a fairly healthy meal. You can use any variety of cheese or meat substitute brands and in many flavors. And if you’re wondering about the butter, I use Earth Balance butter sticks!
Not wanting to fill up before dinner, but getting that tinge of hunger? Popcorn is one of the easiest vegan snacks out there! Just avoid buying the microwave kind, as many of them (but not all), contain butter. Instead, try the kernels that can be cooked on the stovetop or in an air popper.
Using salt, melted Earth Balance butter and nutritional yeast (a cheese substitute), gives that popcorn a salty, flavor, that becomes addicting. For an extra kick, add paprika and turmeric!
If you’ve ever made Pad Thai then you know the most beloved part of that recipe is its peanut sauce. One vegan recipe I’ve discovered is using this sauce to make tasty broccoli and peanut casserole.
Start by making the sauce: sautéing 1/2 tsp garlic, 1/2 teaspoon minced shallots, and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder and curry powder in 1 tbsp. vegetable oil. After a few seconds add 1 tbsp. soy sauce, 2/3 cup milk and 1/4 cup water, and 1 tbsp. sugar.
The recipe also calls for 1/4 cup peanut butter but I always throw in a little extra. Let this simmer while stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. While cooking the sauce, you’ll want to boil your veggies in water on an opposite burner, so they’re mostly done by the time the sauce is ready. Sprinkle some lime juice in the sauce, then remove the veggies from the stove and drain them.
Toss the veggies into the sauce, while it’s still on the stove (turning the burner off) and stir everything so the veggies are evenly coated. From this point on you can eat this as is, or you can opt to bake it in the oven at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
For a thicker sauce, leave out the water and substitute coconut milk for soy. This will make a creamy, thick, curry like sauce. You can also experiment with other veggies. Try asparagus heads, brussel sprouts, red bell peppers, mushrooms, carrots, peas, soybeans, or any mixture of these for a deliciously delightful meal!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked up vegan dessert recipes only to find an impossible list of ingredients. I finally just gave up and started using non-vegan recipes, but substituting whatever ingredients listed (i.e 1 cup milk=1 cup almond milk). So here is the easiest cheesecake recipe for the lactose-intolerant-vegans, that I’ve partially come up with, whilst combining with other existing recipes.
Make your graham cracker crust: using 1 whole sleeve of graham crackers, place them in a Ziploc bag and smash them with a rolling pin, making about 1 cup. Placing the smashed graham crackers in a glass pie dish, add about 6 tbsp. of butter and microwave until butter is melted. You can add 1/3 cup white or brown sugar and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon if so desired.
Using your hands mix all these ingredients together within the glass pie dish and spread it evenly. Flatten the gooey crust, making sure it covers the whole surface area including the sides. You’ll want to bake this crust in the oven at 375 degrees for 5-8 minutes, then let it cool while you prepare your filling.
The filling for this cheesecake is so simple and so delicious! Put 2 tubs (8 oz each, so 16 oz total) of Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese in a food processor with 2/3 cups white sugar, 4 tsp lemon juice, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 cup liquid (water or milk substitute). This recipe does require an egg substitute, which you should be able to find at a Natural Grocers. For extra flavor, add a berry preserve or jam and mix in with the filling for a fruity taste!
Once your filling is done, scoop it into the partially baked crust, spreading it evenly and bake at 350 degrees, until the top of it goldens-about 45 minutes. Set it aside to cool, and refrigerate until ready to eat!