As you’ve seen, vegan cooking is a little bit different. However, I cannot tell you enough how much fun it is cooking and experimenting with a plant based diet! 😍
The senses of smell and taste play the biggest role in appetite and eating, but vision plays a large role as well. Vegan cooking is all about tricking your eyes and your taste buds. If food looks and smells familiar, your brain, through a series of learned and natural responses, has already decided what it will taste like.
Cook with lots of color, season with bold flavors, experiment with different textures and tastes of meat substitutes. Start with what you like and go from there. Find vegan versions of your favorite recipes. And remember, our taste buds have the amazing ability to change!
Eating a plant based diet is important to me, and I’m really excited to share my journey with all of you. 🌱 I hope you enjoy this curated list of vegan recipes and find some inspiration! 💚
Roasted chickpeas are one of my favorite snacks. Crunchy, sweet or savory, low in fat, and packed full of protein and fiber. Super easy to make and oh so delicious! There are endless flavor combinations. 🤗
Popcorn with Skittles
Definitely not the most sophisticated snack, but it has a lot of sentimental meaning to me. Growing up, this was always a special treat when my brother and I would go to my Aunt Lisa’s to spend the night. She always had fun activities planned and arranged scavenger hunts around the house. The night would end snuggled up on the couch watching a movie, eating popcorn and Skittles.
Aunt Lisa passed away suddenly when I was in college, and there is still so much that reminds me of her. When I miss her more than usual and desperately want just one more of her famous gigantic hugs, I make some popcorn and settle in. Nothing brings my childhood more to life than this simple treat. ❤️
I used to be a Pop Secret microwave popcorn sort of girl (homemade was a special treat only enjoyed when mom would make it!) My mom then recently taught me this trick:
In a large brown lunch bag, place ⅓ cup popcorn kernels; fold down the top of the bag and microwave for about 2 minutes. Voila! Fresh popcorn! Thanks mom 🥰
My sister-in-law made these last year for Thanksgiving, and they are to die for!
I have tried a lot of different vegan queso recipes this past year. And to me, this is the most similar to “normal” queso. But unlike regular queso, it has a cashew base and is actually good for you! 🙌
Nothing more comforting than potato soup!
This was sooooo good! I truly didn’t miss a “normal” BLT. (Also FYI-my favorite vegan mayo: Chosen Foods Traditional Vegan Mayo.)
The more dark leafy greens you include in your salad, the better! Add lots of fresh veggies, and top with nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. Sprinkle with flax meal for added nutrition. Sunflower, pumpkin, chia, and hemp seeds are my go-tos.
Grilled Peanut Butter and Jelly
Prepare as you would grilled cheese, but with PB&J. This is also something my Aunt Lisa used to make for me. Every time I eat this, I think of her. ❤️
For a healthier version, I used farro instead of arborio rice. (An extremely nutritious grain, farro is an excellent source of protein, fiber, and essential nutrients.)
Simply omit the parmesan (or replace with store bought vegan parm or make your own), and this is a tasty, low calorie, low fat meal. Spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles, or any other spiralized vegetable are not only healthier, but are a great way to add more veggies into your diet.
My mother-in-law first made this for us, and it became an instant hit!
A great addition to your Taco Tuesday! 🌱
One of my favorite snacks of all time! (Right up there with kale chips and roasted chickpeas).
Lightly toss in olive or peanut oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in skillet until blistered, and serve with sea salt flakes. 💃
My favorite season for food is summer, and this is summer on a plate. ☀️
If the cucumber salad is summer on a plate, this is summer in a bite. Who else waits all year for the best seasonal corn on the cob?!
After going vegan, I worried I would never again eat my favorite fall dessert. Using my mom’s recipe, I simply replaced the eggs with flax eggs, and it tasted the exact same! 💃 For crunch and texture, use chia seeds instead of flax meal.
Flax eggs: 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed meal mixed with 3 tablespoons water = 1 regular egg.
Ok, I dream about this dessert. 😂 Everyone needs warm chocolate chip cookie skillets in their life! This is our go-to when we’re craving chocolate.
I’m not usually one for homemade brownies; I was always the boxed brownie lover. 🙈 However, these are probably the best homemade brownies I’ve ever had.
This mixed berry crumble recipe quickly skyrocketed to the top of our favorite desserts list. 😍
Store bought food
If I’m going to splurge, here are my favorite plant based options:
These are great vegan cookbooks, especially for those new to a plant based diet. The recipes aren’t intimidating and are easy to follow. A great place to start is your local library; check out a wide variety of vegan cookbooks for inspiration and some creative motivation. 💃
Veganize It by Robin Robertson (2017)
Everything from cheese and bacon to omelettes and vegan fish sticks; from hollandaise and butter bearnaise to chocolate fudge and marshmallow fluff. Everything you can think of is veganized in this cookbook.
I recommend the Nut Parm.
But I Could Never Go Vegan! by Kristy Turner (2014)
Having worked in the “fancy” cheese industry at a French restaurant and fine cheese store, cheese was Kristy’s livelihood and something she was very passionate about. She would constantly say, “I could never be vegan.” I’ve probably said that myself before, and well, here we are!
I loved the tofu chevre. 😋
The Plant Based Diet for Beginners by Gabriel Miller (2019)
Great tips for getting started on a plant based diet as well as 75 healthy and delicious recipes.
I recommend the falafel burgers and creamy potato salad.
Plant Based on a Budget by Toni Okamoto (2019)
When cooking a plant based diet, this book includes suggestions for budgeting not only money but your time as well.
I especially enjoyed the entire section on one-pot meals.
Now that we’ve concluded our vegan cooking journey (just for now at least!), have any of these recipes enticed you to try a plant based diet? Do you feel enlightened? Nervous? Inspired? Skeptical?
If you’re considering a vegan diet, creating a vision board is a great way to visualize your goals, inspire motivation, and it is a great accountability tool.
Comment below with more questions and let me know where you are in your journey! Subscribe to A Case for Plant Based (see the green subscribe button at the top right of this page), and follow me on , , , and . Thank you all for your support! 🥰