Have you resolved to eat more meatless meals this year? We’ve got some healthy vegan recipes to keep you on track starring our favorite veggie: the potato!
More and more people are eating vegan or vegetarian meals in an effort to stay healthy, but if you’re not used to eating this way it can seem difficult and less than exciting. The trick to making plant-based food delicious is finding vegan recipes that are filling and easy to make without sacrificing healthiness.
A whole food vegan or vegetarian diet can be a lot healthier than the Standard American Diet, because you’re skipping the saturated animal fats in favor of healthy fruits and vegetables. And potatoes are a great way to make a vegetarian or vegan dish filling without sacrificing any of the health benefits! One filling, medium potato with the skin on has:
- only 110 calories
- 0g fat, saturated fat, and trans fat
- zero cholesterol and no sodium
- 4g of protein
- 8% of your daily fiber, which may help control body weight
Not too shabby for one little spud! On top of all that, potatoes are just plain delicious.
Beyond Vegan Recipes: Kitchen Essentials
You probably have most of the tools and ingredients that you need for these vegan recipes right in your kitchen. We want to set you up for success, so here’s a checklist of some food items and cooking tools that are handy for making vegan recipes:
- Non-dairy milk – We recommend plain soy or almond milk, because both work well in place of dairy in any recipe that calls for cow’s milk.
- Nutritional yeast – This is different from the yeast you use to make bread rise. Nutritional yeast is available online or in the bulk bin at health food stores, and it gives food a mellow, cheesy flavor.
- Vegan margarine or coconut oil – Smart Balance Light and Earth Balance are good options for vegan margarines. If you’re using coconut oil, choose the refined sort, because it doesn’t have a coconut flavor
- Flax meal – Ground flax seeds are a great source of omega 3s and work as a binder in place of eggs for baked goods and patties. 1 tablespoon flax + 1/4 cup water = 1 “egg”
- Raw cashews – Raw cashews are the secret to creamy vegan sauces. You’ll want to soak them for 4-6 hours, then drain before blending to get the smoothest puree.
- Blender or food processor – Sauces and soups come together quickly in the blender.
- Crock pot – Set it and forget it for easy vegan recipes.
- Rice cooker – This is optional, but you can use a rice cooker for cooking rice and other whole grains (like quinoa or barley). Unlike on the stove top, a rice cooker yields the perfect cooked grain every time.
10 Healthy Vegan Recipes for the New Year
Got your supplies in order? Here are 10 vegan recipes to get you started.
Mashed potatoes are a great side dish to turn any vegan meal into comfort food. Image credit: Glue and Glitter.
Curry’s deep flavors dominate this dish, so you’ll never miss the meat. Image credit: AllRecipes.
This recipe calls for a specific brand of corn flakes, but you can use any corn flakes you want to fit your budget. Image credit: Attune Foods.
Another filling side dish, you can use any light-tasting oil like safflower in place of grapeseed, but the soaked raw cashews are one place where you should not skimp. Image credit: Edible Perspective.
This one-dish meal is easy to make and kid-friendly too. Image credit: The Kind Life.
A sweet alternative to more traditional mashed potatoes. Weelicious.
You can serve this with crusty bread and make it a meal. Image credit: Eat Yourself Skinny.
This is another hearty one-pot meal. Image credit: African Peanut Sweet Potato Stew.
Black beans and sweets work together to make a satisfying stew that’s packed with plant-based protein.
Even a healthy diet can include the occasional indulgence. Sweet potatoes make this vegan cake recipe moist and rich. Image Credit: One Green Planet.