A plant-based lifestyle doesn’t have to be a saga of underdressed salads. From umami-packed Asian delicacies to comforting Italian fare – there’s a buffet of creative and nutritious creations to take a crack at. In honour of Veganuary, we’re taking a look at a few unique vegan dinner recipes. Winner winner meat-free dinner!
Resolutions are near synonymous with the new year – with go-tos being learning a language, working out more often, or travelling. However, of late millions have been adding a plant-based diet to this rotation, switching out all the steaks and eggs in their refrigerator with fruits and vegetables (not to mention, a ton of tofu) come January. Some are driven by their desire to lead a cruelty-free lifestyle, marked by a conscious decision to steer clear of any ingredient that is sourced from an animal. Others, especially those keen on adopting a healthier approach to eating, are inspired by numerous studies that spotlight the benefits of going green. A few hop on the train to reduce their carbon footprint.
Regardless of the reasoning, it’s become increasingly evident that plant-based lifestyles are here to stay. However, a successful transition from ordering meatballs to digging into a buddha bowl involves considerable time and research understanding your body’s nutritional requirements as well as reading labels. Not to mention, prepping food at home – especially if your favourite green haunt doesn’t deliver to your part of town. We’re setting you up for success with our roundup of dinner recipes that are easy to whip up and scrumptious – the perfect combination for Veganuary. Best part? Most of them are courtesy of top chefs and popular home cooks. Now that’s what we call gastronomy goals.
Veganuary 2023: Dinner recipes worth calling for seconds
Bang Bang Cauliflower
Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay approaches vegetables with as much precision as he does Wagyu beef. His cauliflower creation is no exception. The recipe calls for florets along with limes, bok choy, flour chilli, ginger, coriander, sesame oil, olive oil, onion, hot sauce, sweet chilli sauce, maple syrup, and spices. The prep time is just about nine minutes – with the sauce and vegetable being cooked separately. Drizzle the former over the latter, top with coriander, and serve with a bowl of fluffy rice. “After 30 years of cooking, this makes me wanna turn vegan,” Ramsay notes. If that doesn’t send you straight to the kitchen, we don’t know what will.
You don’t have to give up on your favourite comfort meals when you join the plant-based brigade. Take it from chef Gaz Oakley who often whips up these indulgent meatballs to go with his spaghetti. The recipe calls for vegan sausages, garlic, onions, red chilli, thyme, rosemary, almonds, nutritional yeast, black pepper, vegan red wine, bay leaf, and tomatoes. Cook the sauce and meatballs separately before coating the latter well in the former. Sprinkle on the vegan parmesan and dig in! This one’s perfect for cosy weekend nights and there’s bound to be plenty of leftovers to savour over the course of the week.
Few things are as comforting and nutritious as a bowl of Vietnamese noodle soup. Especially when it’s cold or rainy outside. You’ll have to grab onions, shallots, garlic, ginger, spices (cloves, cinnamon, star anise, peppercorn), neutral oil, vegetarian bouillon cube, tofu, carrots, broccoli, mushroom, rice vinegar, soy sauce, rice noodles, radishes, chillies. Assemble the noodles with the broth, top with bean sprouts, and dig in. Best part? This recipe is courtesy of popular nutritionist and dietician Sadia Badei so you can rest assured of being healthy with this one.
Creamy White Bean And Kale Soup
Healthy and creamy aren’t often used in the same sentence but this vegan recipe manages to merge both. The recipe calls for sweet onion, celery, carrots, garlic, bay leaves, black pepper, red pepper flakes, low-sodium vegetable broth, Yukon gold potato, rosemary, sage, cannellini beans, artichoke hearts, kale, olive oil, parsley leaves, basil leaves, and lemons. Prep this recipe over a weekend to have your dinner sorted for an entire week. Best part? It’s a one-pot creation.
When it comes to classic British fare, we can’t think of a better chef to turn to than Jamie Oliver. Giving the meaty Shepherd’s Pie a vegan makeover,this recipe calls for olive oil, rosemary, sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms, chickpeas, lentils, garlic, pepper, ground coriander, celery, onions, vegan red wine, vegetable stock, tomato puree (or tinned tomatoes), potatoes, and nutmeg. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes and voila! A delicious pie that’s best served with a side of leafy greens.
Adding an Indian flavour to this roundup is a comfort classic Dal Makhani recipe by celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor. The secret to all that creaminess? Cashews! Other ingredients include whole black gram, kidney beans, onions, tomatoes, cumin, green chillies, ginger-garlic paste, red chilli, cumin, coriander, turmeric, dried fenugreek leaves, garam masala, ginger, and coriander. Mash the ingredients well while cooking to add to the texture and flavour. Top with cashew cream and serve alongside some fluffy brown rice – the perfect recipe for a delicious Veganuary dinner.
Popular cooks Steve and Dave have a little something special up their sleeves for the times you want to order takeout but can’t find a spot that offers vegan alternatives. This pizza is packed with nutrient dense vegetables and involves making your own base – the perfect weekend activity with your loved ones. For the base, you’d need flour, salt, herbs, yeast, and water. Preheat the oven to the hottest temperature, top your base with the tomato sauce and sun dried tomato pesto, and fast-cooking produce like peppers and sweet potato. Add basil pesto over the top with pine nuts. 12 minutes from then on and you’ve got yourself a delicious pizza. We can’t think of a better recipe to take a crack at this Veganuary.
Convenient, umami-packed, and nutritious – poke bowls have it all. Chef Wil Yeung’s recipe takes it to the next level with a host of delicious ingredients. The dressing calls for lemon juice, maple syrup, miso paste, gochujang, sesame oil, and soy sauce. Other things to buy at your next grocery run are black rice, wakame seaweed, purple cabbage, carrot, green onion, avocado, beetroot, edamame, corn, white sesame seeds, black sesame seeds, and lime. Finely slice the vegetables (cube the beets), place them with cooked rice and avocado in a bowl before drizzling the sauce over. Serve with a wedge of lime. So simple yet so flavourful!
For the days you’d like to savour sushi for dinner but don’t feel like heading out to do it – Japanese cook Moe and her daughter (who also happens to be her sous chef) have a solution. Temari Sushi is bite-sized ball-like sushi that’s naturally vegan. The recipe calls for Japanese sticky rice, cucumber, avocado, yellow pepper, radish, carrot, pickles, vinegar, kelp, and fried tofu. Thinly slice all the vegetables, sprinkle salt over them, use wet towels to roll the rice and assemble. You’ll be saying Itadakimasu in no time.
Wrapping up this roundup (pun intended) is this punchy mushroom burrito recipe by Gaz Oakley that’s sure to replace any takeout you’ve had. The recipe requires some time and love, so be sure to set out a weekend to prep. The mushroom meat needs mixed mushrooms, cumin, ginger, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, dried oregano, and chilli flakes. The black beans need to be treated with coconut oil, cayenne pepper, cumin, garlic, oregano, tabasco sauce, chilli flakes, and lime. This is complemented by tomato rice – chopped tomatoes, paprika, bay leaf, and long-grain rice as well as guacamole – avocado, lime, cherry tomatoes, garlic, and coriander. Peppers – red and yellow add to the mix. Roll into tortilla wraps with vegan sour cream, spinach, and red cabbage and dig in!
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