If you’re vegan, you surely already have an arsenal of plant-based recipes, but hopefully, these four will freshen things up in your kitchen and bring some novelty. But if you’re not – don’t be intimidated. You don’t have to consider yourself vegan to be on the lookout for meals that are completely plant-based. It’s always good to try new things, and easy vegan recipes serve as great inspiration for omnivores who’re looking to get some more veggies into meals. Especially if you’re well into gardening, you’ll want to have some new ideas on hand to help use up your fresh produce in a healthy and delicious way. And if you’re looking for some recipes that will trick your kids (or even yourself) into eating more veggies, know this: vegans have invested so much effort to make their meals delicious and tempting to everyone, so it surely doesn’t hurt to use their knowledge and experience.
The best part? All of these recipes require less than 30 minutes total before you have a hearty meal on the table.
This is a wonderful dinner idea to switch things up for a bit, and it leaves the belly full just as much as your regular stew would.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
- 1 tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1 cup rice
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 4-5 cups water
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 1 ½ tsp sweet paprika
- Salt to taste
- Put the cumin and cayenne pepper in a large pot with no oil; medium-high heat
- While the ingredients slowly toast in the pot, dice the onions and finely chop the garlic
- After 2-3 minutes, add olive oil, garlic, and onion. Let them cook for 5 minutes and stir occasionally
- Add the tomato paste, lentils, rice, and vegetable broth. Slowly add water while stirring
- When the ingredients come to a boil, switch to medium heat. Add turmeric powder, the bay leaf, and thyme, then cover and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes.
- Stir occasionally. Once the rice is done to your liking, add salt (have a taste to see if it’s right for you).
- Remove from the stove, add the paprika, and serve hot.
Add just a squirt of lemon juice if you like a tangier flavor – it goes great with the stew!
Vegan breakfast hash
Running out of breakfast ideas? If you’re not actually vegan, you’ve surely made eggs in a million different ways… so a little change is always welcome. Here’s a wonderful alternative with potatoes as the primary ingredient and tofu for extra protein – because some of us don’t want to skip that protein at breakfast.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
- 3 medium potatoes (you can leave the peel on if you like and if they’re fresh)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium onions
- 7oz tofu (extra firm)
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 4 cherry tomatoes
- Pour the olive oil into the pan over medium-low heat. While waiting for the oil to heat, clean and dice the potatoes
- Once the oil is heated, add the potatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Peel and dice the onions in the meantime, and add them to the pan when the potatoes start to sweat (after about 5 minutes)
- Crumble the tofu into the mixture. Stir, then add the cumin, oregano, salt, and black pepper. When everything is added, put a lid on the pan and let the mixture cook for approximately 15 minutes.
- Transfer everything to a plate and cover with the lid, but keep the heat on. Cut the cherry tomato into halves, and once you put the empty pan back on the stove, add a drizzle of olive oil and fry the tomatoes for about 5 minutes.
- Once the tomatoes are slightly fried, turn the heat off and add them to the previous mixture. Done!
Also called the Tabbouleh salad, this recipe is a lovely idea for a quick lunch or a side to dinner with some Mediterranean flair. The old Mediterranean dish uses parsley for a punch to your taste buds. So, what’s the reason we love it, aside from it being delicious and quick?
Well, parsley is one of the top herbs used for a natural body detox. It’s a great help in flushing your body of sodium and toxins, and with this recipe, you can incorporate it into your lunch effortlessly.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 as a side dish
- 1 cup instant couscous
- 1 carrot
- ½ cucumber
- 2 green onions
- 2 small tomatoes
- 7 sundried tomatoes
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 ½ tbsp tomato paste
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Follow the packet instructions to cook the couscous. It’s done once all the water is absorbed, and make sure to fluff it up with a fork at the end.
- While the couscous is cooking, grate the carrots and dice all the other vegetables. Chop the parsley finely.
- When the couscous is removed from heat, add all the vegetables and parsley. Move onto a plate and mix in lemon juice, tomato paste, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Mix in the entire ingredients well, and you’re done!
This salad is best if you prepare it a few hours ahead so all the flavors soak in really well, but it will still be great if you prepare it last minute. A little tip: add just a tiny bit of fresh mint from your garden (or windowsill) for an extra kick.
You don’t have to be any kind of expert for exotic or vegan dishes. Follow this recipe to invite a little bit of India and a little bit of Thailand to your kitchen and dinner table – the vegan way! While curries are usually made with chicken, this vegan curry presents a valuable opportunity to incorporate more plant-based ingredients into your meals. Your family will surely love it. It’s simply one of those dishes that transport us to far-off lands…and it takes less than half an hour.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
- 1 cup whole grain rice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 sweet potato
- 2 carrots
- 1 spring onion
- 1 cup broccoli
- ½ zucchini
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1 tbsp yellow curry paste
- 2 sticks lemongrass
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 can chickpeas
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 lemon, juiced
- ½ tsp salt
- Cook the rice according to package instructions. In the meantime, grate the sweet potato and carrots.
- Chop the zucchini, broccoli, and spring onion.
- Add olive oil to a large pan over high heat, and once it’s heated, lower to medium and put in all the vegetables. Fry them for about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add the curry powder and curry paste to the mixture. Beat the lemongrass with a heavy spoon to let out the flavor and then add that as well.
- Stir and fry for a couple of minutes.
- Add the coconut milk, chickpeas, lemon juice, maple syrup, and salt. Let it all simmer for approximately 5 minutes.
- Done! Take out the lemongrass before serving and pour the mixture atop the rice.
If you love cashews or peanuts and nobody in the family is allergic, they’re a really flavorful addition to the dish. Also, if you like your food a little spicier, use red curry for a hotter sensation…or green if you like it super hot!
The great thing about all these recipes is that they use spices and herbs – some may be new, and others you may be growing in your backyard already. Because of the unique variety of flavor that they contribute, spices and herbs really make a difference when it comes to people (and especially kids) accepting a new dish. So, try these dishes out, and you’re likely to be quite positively surprised.
Caitlin is a bookworm and dancer. She is also a medical student in love with science. When she is not trying to find the meaning of life and Universe, Caitlin is researching and writing about various health-related topics. She is happily addicted to art in all its forms, grilled tofu, and caffeine.