Most people perceive vegan recipes to be made with tofu, spinach, and a whole lot of boring and bland flavors. I am here to squash your beliefs, as I will show you that many vegan recipes can be oozing with flavor. Plant based eating is not only good for you, it can also be delicious, and most vegan recipes, when made right, are just that. Centering your plate with greens and vegetables can transform the way that you meal plan, and think about mealtime in general. Allow me to pleasantly surprise you with these vegan recipes!
1. Pasta Puttanesca
This time, I am saving the best for first, and jumping into my favorite vegan recipe- pasta puttanesca! If you are an olive lover just like me, this meal will not disappoint. For this vegan recipe you will need; minced garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, shallots, olive oil, a jar of Rao’s tomato and basil sauce, a good sized handful of chopped kalamata olives, capers (rinsed and drained), and your favorite brand of vegan pasta (Personally, I always like to use Banza chickpea pasta). To start, heat your olive oil in a pan and add one clove of minced garlic and ½ of a shallot finely chopped. You will start to smell the garlic and shallot cooking, and your mouth will also start watering. Next, add in your chopped olives and capers and start to cook them with your sweet garlic and shallot. After about a minute, add in your jarred sauce (you can also make your own if you would like of course, but why do that when Rao’s sauce is so dang good. Any brand of pasta sauce is fine, I prefer Rao’s because it has no added sugars. In the meantime, boil a pot of water, salt it, and add the chickpea pasta (or whatever plant based pasta you choose to go with). Once the pasta is done cooking, mix it all together and voila! I know what you are thinking, what about the cheese? But fear not, nutritional yeast is a great vegan friendly substitute for grated parmesan cheese, and it adds that salty nuttiness we all crave. This vegan recipe is perfect for a cold, rainy night and will fulfill all of your pasta dreams.
2. Creamy Pesto
Use it as a spread, a sauce, or honestly, just eat it by the spoon- this vegan recipe is so creamy you may need to have some evidence to prove it! All you need is two cups of packed basil, 3 tablespoons of walnuts, 2 large garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and 1-6 tablespoons of water! To get this vegan recipe started, you will need to add the basil, garlic, lemon juice, and walnuts to a food processor and pulse until a loose paste forms! Next, stream in the olive oil while the machine is going if possible, and then add the water gradually until you reach the desired consistency. My favorite way to serve this vegan recipe is over brown rice pasts with chopped cherry tomatoes! This pasta is perfectly zesty, surprisingly spicy ,and absolutely delicious. Enjoy!
3. Portabello Mushroom Pizza
I had actually never tried portobello mushrooms until I started to cook more vegan food recently and let me tell you, I have been missing out! If your family is tempted to order a pizza pie for takeout, suggest this vegan recipe and see what they think! These mushrooms are filling, and have a great texture, so I thought why not use them in a vegan recipe as a pizza base! To make these mini pizzas, I first like to wash and dry out the portobellos. Since we will be adding marinara sauce and lots of yummy toppings, we do not want the portabellos to get soggy! After I dry out the mushroom, I like to drizzle some extra virgin olive oil and then add sea salt, oregano, crushed black pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Next, I spoon some Rao’s tomato basil sauce to coat the mushrooms. For this vegan recipe, you can really use any toppings that you like but I like to use all of the veggies that I can find- cherry tomatoes, broccolini, roasted red peppers, and fresh garlic are my personal favorites. Before you put them in the oven, I like to sprinkle on some flaky sea salt and add lots and lots of fresh basil! This vegan recipe is sure to satisfy all of your pizza cravings. Mangia!
4. Pad Thai
Food Network’s vegan recipe, “Better Than Takeout’s Pad Thai Recipe” is perfect for when your pad thai cravings kick in and takeout is just simply not in the cards. This vegan recipe is super fragrant while also being super quick and easy to make! The star in this recipe are the dates. You can use dates in your morning smoothies, or as a sweet snack, but when paired with miso, sesame, and lime, it mimics a tamarind paste which is the base to establishing a flavorful thai sauce. Besides the dates, you will also need water, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, vegan oyster sauce, sriracha, lime juice, miso paste and sesame oil! For the pad thai component, you can get creative but I like to use my favorite, brown rice fettuccine noodles, tofu, coconut oil, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, broccoli florets, bean sprouts, green onion, cilantro, and roasted cashews! Even though pad thai may seem like a laborious work of love, I promise it can be very fun and rewarding to cook, especially when it checks every box of your vegan recipe needs.
5. Banana Bread
One thing I know we all have been doing a lot of this past quarantine is baking banana bread. Whether a vegan recipe or not, for some reason this bread has been a quarantine staple! I toyed around with this vegan recipe in between episodes of Outer Banks a couple of weeks ago, and I never looked back. This banana bread is so tender and delicious, you will have a hard time convincing your friends and family that it is vegan. You might even have a hard time convincing yourself.
To prep this vegan recipe, you will need to preheat your oven to 350 degrees farenheit and then line a dish with parchment paper! Then, mash 3 ripe bananas in a bowl and add ¼ cup of melted coconut oil, ½ cup of honey, ¼ cup of maple syrup, and 1 and ½ tsp of vanilla extract. Next, grab a separate bowl and start mixing 1 cup of oat flour (if you do not have oat flour handy feel free to blend up a cup of regular gluten free rolled oats!). To the oat flour you also need to add ¾ cup of cassava root flour, 1 tsp of both baking powder and baking soda, 1 tsp of salt, and 1 heaping tablespoon of cinnamon! Combine both the wet and dry ingredients and put it in your pan.
Finally, sprinkle with lots of chocolate chips and more cinnamon! I baked the bread for about 35 minutes, but always keep an eye on your oven because every oven is different and you do not want this yummy bread to burn! This vegan recipe is perfect for a rainy Sunday morning, paired with a hot cup of coffee (with plant milk of course). Being that it is one of the most chocolatey and delicious vegan recipes that I have ever had, it is sure to become one of your brunch staples. Enjoy!