There is a common myth that vegan food is boring or dry. This isn’t true. In fact some of the best dishes you already enjoy happen to be vegan.
If you have recently made the switch to vegan living, or if you plan to cook for a vegan friend, you can easily get confused by the limitations that vegan food presents. We are here to make the transition easier.
Today, we will show you some staple vegan recipes to keep in your back pocket, along with fantastic vegan ingredients that you should remember.
Before we get started, we want to say a big hello to the readers of blisshousefoods.com. We have recently acquired the website and cannot wait to welcome you into our growing community.
What It Means To Be A Vegan
Veganism is about more than just the food you eat. It’s a way of life. People who practice veganism do their best to abstain from any products that use or abuse animals.
Most commonly, this means avoiding meat and dairy products, but it also means avoiding leather, honey, wax, and any product that was created either wholly or partly by animals.
This practice is about embracing life and avoiding cruelty. It’s about seeing animals as the conscious minds that they are, and refraining from abusing our relationship with them.
However, because a lot of products in our society are created using animals it can be hard to figure out what is vegan and what isn’t.
Sure, seeing a steak on the menu is an obvious choice to avoid, but what about unnatural foods such as Jelly Beans?
It’s issues like this that can make it hard to figure out if something is vegan or not.
To help you on this journey, we have listed recipes which are 100% vegan. You can make and serve these dishes without a second thought.
Vegan Breakfast Ideas
When it comes to breakfast, one of the first ideas that come to mind is bagels.
Bagels are a great morning snack, as they are filled with carbohydrates that can give you energy throughout the day, they can be as light or as dense as you prefer, and they can be eaten on the go.
But are bagels vegan? Normally, no.
However, some brands make vegan-friendly alternatives, which are just as tasty as their non-vegan counterparts. Simply look for a vegan verification label on the packaging, or click on the link above to find out our 3 top suggestions.
You can fill your bagel with vegan substitutes for eggs and bacon, or you could be a little more adventurous by following these delicious filling combinations:
- Tomato pâté with sun-blushed tomatoes.
- Vegan butter, avocado, spring onion, and lime.
- Hummus, tomato, and olives.
- Vegan cream cheese, strawberries, blueberries, and Biscoff biscuits.
- Apples and peanut butter.
Of course, if you don’t want to eat bagels for breakfast, or you cannot find a vegan bagel brand, you can always go back to ol’ reliable – oats.
Overnight oats is a recipe that involves mixing oats, oat milk, and a flavor of your choice together. Put the mixture in a glass container and then cover it with a lid. Then leave it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
In the morning, the oats will have absorbed all of the milk and will be ready to eat!
Here are some flavor options for you to consider:
- Peanut butter, strawberry jam, diced strawberries, and crushed peanuts.
- Diced apples, pecans, maple syrup, and cinnamon.
- Sliced banana, hazelnut spread, and hazelnuts.
- Shredded coconut, chopped almonds, and maple syrup.
You can usually find oat breakfast options in coffee shops such as Starbucks. As long as they don’t use cow’s milk or goat’s milk in their creation, they will be vegan.
For more ideas, have a look at our 15 delicious vegan brunch recipes that you will love!
Vegan Lunch Ideas
When it comes to lunch you normally have three options, eating out, preparing food the night before, or making something quick and simple the day of.
Depending on your lifestyle and the time you have to create these delicious meals, you may not be able to create something lavish.
This is why we have separated our ideas into the three categories mentioned above. We recommend reading through them all, but if you’re in a rush scroll to the subheading that best matches your needs.
Vegan Lunch Restaurants
When you eat out for lunch, you often go for one of two concepts – quick and simple, or a relaxing break.
For quick and simple, we suggest heading to McDonald’s or Sonic Drive-In.
McDonald’s McPlant burger was an instant success. It had the same quality of flavor and texture as their other burgers but without any meat or dairy getting involved.
Unfortunately, the McPlant is no longer available in US stores but is widely available in other countries such as Ireland and the UK.
Sonic Drive-In has a wide range of vegan sides, and they allow you to make your own vegan sandwich.
This means you don’t have to rely on the one sandwich in the store to match your preferred flavors. Instead, you get a choice just like any other customer.
For a relaxing break, we suggest heading to Chipotle.
Chipotle serves Mexican food, which means a lot of their dishes are made with beans or have an easy bean substitute. This means that, again, you aren’t limited to just one vegan option on the menu, you have a plethora of options.
If you want a mixture of the two aesthetics when we suggest heading to Subway.
Again, you will have all the choices in the world, as Subway allows you to make your own sandwiches, but the food is a lot healthier and larger than our quick and simple suggestions.
Detailed Vegan Lunch Recipes
When we talk about detailed vegan lunch recipes, we mean meals that won’t fill you up like a dinner would, but they are fun to make and take some time.
Our first suggestion is to make quinoa meatballs. The recipe is in the link provided, but these meatballs can be eaten with a salad, spaghetti, or even on their own.
You can also have them cold the next day, as their texture will still hold firm and the flavors will be just as divine.
If you like the idea of a delicious but small meal, then we suggest dipping baby potatoes in lemon and herb sauce. The recipe for this meal can be found on our vegan BBQ recipes page.
In that list, you can also find links to grilled garlic and herb corn on the cob, vegan buffalo wings, and grilled avocado studded with quinoa.
Browse through the page to find the flavors that best match your BBQ desires.
Lastly, if you like the idea of a Mexican lunch, but don’t want to buy something out, make your own vegan Mexican recipes at home.
In the link provided, we have recipes for caramelized onion and pepper quesadillas, vegetable paella, Mexican noodle soup, and more.
You don’t need meat to get a good flavor. These recipes will teach you how to create a fantastic meal that tastes divine, with no meat in sight.
Simple Vegan Lunch Recipes
If you were hoping for something simpler, we suggest using couscous or dip as your star ingredient.
Couscous is a fantastic carbohydrate that you can keep in your cupboards for months on end. They are simple to cook, as you only need hot water, and a bowl to soak them in, along with 10 minutes of your time to allow them to soak up the hot water.
While they are soaking, you can cut up roasted vegetables, nuts, and even fruits to mix into the lunchtime meal. For more recipe ideas, click here.
If you like a light lunch, we suggest making dips with your star ingredients and using vegetables as your dipping utensils.
You could create an avocado dip, pinto bean dip, roasted red pepper dip, and more. For a full list of vegan dip recipes, click here.
Simply chop up some cucumber, carrots, or celery, or opt for chips such as Doritos as your dip’s vehicle.
Vegan Dinner Ideas
When it comes to vegan dinners two ideas often come to mind – offering a meat replacement or piling a meal with vegetables. Although both of these options are fine, you can do more than load up with vegetables.
On a meat-eater’s meal, they will have a centerpiece that the rest of the ingredients work to enhance – a lamb stew enhances the lamb, a roast chicken enhances the chicken, and so on.
The same concept should be applied to vegan means too. You can find great examples of well-made vegan meals, by looking at Indian food.
Indian vegan food often circulates around cauliflower or chickpeas. If it centers around cauliflower, you know that the texture is the most important part of the meal, as this vegetable can soak up almost any flavor.
It ends up becoming the centerpiece for its visual effect, but you can add whatever flavors you prefer.
If you use chickpeas, their flavor and colors come through the most, allowing you to use simple enhancements such as spices to allow them to shine through.
In this link, you will find 15 delicious vegan Indian recipes that can teach you how to make these delicious meals, but for a quick list of inspirational meal plans look below:
- Chickpea Tikka Masala
- Curry Tomato Cream Sauce
- Chickpea Coconut Curry
- Vegetable Samosas
All of these recipes and more can be found in the link above.
Italian cuisine is a wonderful example of using less to show more. A classic Italian pizza, for example, will not have an overflowing amount of toppings on a loaf-sized base.
Instead, you can expect a thin base with delicately chosen toppings that create an amazing flavor, rather than something you’d expect in an eating contest.
The only concern with making Italian food comes from their intense love of cheese. Parmesan is needed for many Italian dishes, and although you can buy vegan alternatives many people prefer to avoid them.
We recommend investing some time into finding a tasty vegan alternative, so you end up eating a version of parmesan cheese that you actually enjoy.
But back to the recipes. There are a lot of classic Italian recipes which don’t use meat, and we have some amazing vegan recipes which bridge the dairy gap.
So without straying too far away from tradition, you can still make classic Italian food such as:
- Mushroom and Truffle Oil Pizza
- Roasted Garlic Flatbread
- Tomato And Basil Pasta
Looking through our 15 vegan Italian recipes, we can teach you how to make these recipes along with vegan alternatives to cheesy classics like Spinach and Ricotta Rolls or Cannolis.
Most of the cheese alternatives will include yeast or cashew nuts. We will teach you how to make these vegan-friendly replacements, so you can use them in other recipes too.
One Pot Meals
To many people cooking vegan food sounds like messing with science. However, this isn’t true. Just like with meaty meals, you can make something fancy, or you can chuck everything into one pot.
Some classic examples of one-pot meals are:
- Pad Thai
- Tikka Masala
- Burrito Bowls
For all of these recipes, we suggest using an Instant Pot. These are multi-cookers that essentially allow you to pressure cook or slow cook your meal.
Most of the time, it means that all you need to do is prepare your vegetables, herbs, and spices and then dump them into the pot and leave them to stew for 5 hours.
In the link above you can find recipes for our classic one-pot meal ideas and more.
Festive Vegan Meals
If you’re hosting someone for an occasion or want to make your own festive alternative, you can still create meals that match the season without including turkey.
Take Thanksgiving, for example, you can create a delicious and recogniseable stuffing without using sausage meat and one of the best flavors for fall is pumpkin.
Use a pumpkin as your star ingredient, and stuff it with herbs, potatoes, bread, and pomegranates to create a delicious alternative that everyone can enjoy. You can find the full recipe in the links above.
While the winter season settles in, you should take advantage of the humble stew. Here are a few suggestions to get your creative juices flowing:
- Millet and Lentil Stew
- Mushroom Stew
- Chickpea Stew
- Sweet Potato Stew
Each of these ideas will make tasty meals in the lead-up to the festive occasions, or as a delicious dinner to use up any leftovers.
Great Ingredients To Remember
If you want to cook amazing vegan meals on the fly, you need to remember ingredients that can dominate a plate and produce amazing flavors.
Here are a couple of examples, along with the recipe ideas you can make with them.
First off we need to mention cauliflower and chickpeas. We have mentioned them already today, but both of these ingredients should become staples in your home.
Cauliflower doesn’t have a strong flavor by itself, but it can absorb spices easily, allowing you to mix it with almost anything.
Chickpeas on the other hand can be stored for years in your cupboards, have a unique flavor, and act like starch to your meals giving them depth.
Now we want to showcase the amazing qualities of spinach. Spinach is a leafy green that can be eaten raw or cooked. It doesn’t take long to cook and has a mild and lightly sweet flavor.
You can add it to almost any meal to bulk up the plate, or you can use it as the star ingredient.
Some fantastic recipes you can make using spinach include:
- Spinach And Artichoke Dip
- Pesto Pasta
- A Simple Spinach Rice.
All of these recipes can be found in the link above.
Mushrooms are a fantastic vegetable to include in your meals. They have a meaty texture, a deep nutty flavor, an enticing visual, and a delicious scent. They are the golden nuggets of any vegan cuisine.
You can use mushrooms to create a delicious flavor to an otherwise bland meal, you can use them to add depth to a colorful plate and you can use them as a sole source of flavor in a simple meal.
Here are some examples of delicious recipes which utilize the vast advantages of fungi:
- Mushroom Rice
- Broccoli And Mushroom Stir Fry
- Mushroom Sauce Pasta
- Mushroom Pate
- Cream Of Mushroom Soup
- Mushroom Wellington
You can find the recipes for all of these suggestions and more in our article titled 15 Amazing Vegan Mushroom Recipes to Make At Home.
If you want to have a strong mushroom flavor, be sure to cook the vegetable for a long time to allow the richness of the fungi to seep into every ingredient it surrounds.
So far, our “Great Ingredients To Remember” list has only included amazing flavors. However, when you are thinking of meals to create, you often need to consider the staple ingredient to truly visualize the meal.
We have talked about this already, as many meat eaters will use their butcher cut as their main ingredient. This allows you to think of herbs, spices, and vegetables that pair nicely with the star of the show.
Although you should be doing this with vegan meals, you can easily get lost in the multiple directions a vegetable can take you.
If you feel stuck, we suggest looking at carbohydrates first. For example with rice as your main ingredient, the following meal ideas could come to mind:
- Cauliflower Fried Rice
- Mexican Rice With Black Beans
- Veggie-Packed Spanish Rice
- Smoky Spiced Veggie Rice
- Thai Rice
To make these rice dishes, click on this link which includes 15 amazing vegan rice recipes.
Boil them, mash them, and stick them in a stew. Potatoes are arguably the most versatile vegetable to enter into our kitchens. You can do so much with them, and they can easily slot into almost any dish you want to prepare.
If you’re making a meal and realize that the main dish isn’t going to be very filling, make a potato-based side to reinforce the platter. You could make mashed potatoes, potato wedges, potato rice, or potato roasties.
If you’re not sure how to make these sides, look at our 15 amazing vegan potato recipes to give yourself this background knowledge.
Once you’ve learned these backup ideas, you can feel secure knowing that your meals will never leave a guest still feeling hungry.
Making vegan meals is easy when you have a couple of staple recipes in your back pocket. We recommend creating some of the recipes mentioned above and allowing them to become a recurring treat in your home.
Once you’ve mastered these recipes, you can start expanding your recipe books either by trying more complex recipes or by creating your own.
Whatever way you choose to go, remember the best ingredients to keep in your cupboards – cauliflower, chickpeas, spinach, mushrooms, rice, and potatoes should be constantly stocked up in your home.
These ingredients can add all the flavor and texture you need to your meals, no matter how last-minute the preparation is.