Making the transition to a fully vegan diet can seem daunting, especially if you are not the most confident cook but knowing a few simple recipes will help you no end. Trying a vegan day will also give you a better idea of whether this is the lifestyle for you, or may tempt you to try a longer experiment, such as Veganuary.
Below are some tasty example recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, all designed to spark your culinary creativity while upping your vegan credentials.
DISCLAIMER: Vegan days should not mean deficient diets. Follow a nutritionist’s advice when considering a dramatic lifestyle or dietary change. The recipes are basic examples and if followed, should be peppered with additional nutritious snacks — such as nuts and fruit — to ensure healthy caloric levels are maintained.
Many a vegan day starts with a tofu scramble. This recipe involves firm tofu, which creates a realistic scrambled egg texture. The final dish contains 121 calories, 10.4 grams of protein, 2.8 grams of sugar, 5.3 grams of fat, 594 mg of sodium, and 4.7 grams of fibre. This meal is also gluten free.
For four servings:
- One teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoons black pepper
- One teaspoon cumin powder
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¾ cups chopped mushrooms
- ½ cup diced red pepper
- ½ cup diced green pepper
- ½ cup diced onion
- One clove garlic, minced
- 15 ounces of extra-firm tofu (pressed if you prefer)
- Add a quarter of a cup of water to a large pan
- Add the onion and cook until translucent.
- Add the garlic and cook for two minutes.
- Throw in the diced peppers — both red and green — along with the mushrooms and some extra water if any of the ingredients are sticking to the bottom of the pan. Cook until all of the vegetables are tender.
- Crumble the tofu in your hands and add it to the pan, along with the turmeric. Stir well.
- Add the cumin, salt and pepper and cook for 4-6 more minutes.
- Serve with a slice of whole grain toast and a glass of orange juice for a vitamin injection.
Strawberry spinach salad
This is an easy-to-make summer salad that incorporates both fruit and vegetables for a balanced vegan day lunch. The recipe includes 168 calories, six grams of fat, four grams of protein, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 20 grams of sugar, five grams of fibre, and 176 mg of sodium per serving.
For four servings:
- A pinch of sea salt
- Two tablespoons mustard
- ¼ cup raspberry jam
- Two tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup plain dairy-free yoghurt
- ¼ cup sliced almonds, pecans and/or walnuts
- One cup sliced strawberries
- ½ cup pomegranate seeds
- Four tablespoons diced red onion
- One cored and diced apple
- Six cups lightly packed baby spinach
- Grab a large salad bowl and toss the spinach, strawberries, nuts/seeds, onion and apple in.
- In a smaller bowl, add the yoghurt, apple cider vinegar, jam, mustard and salt before whisking together to create a dressing.
- Drizzle your dressing on top of the salad and toss again.
- Serve with any sides that you fancy.
Fully-loaded sweet potato
A delicious baked sweet potato, loaded with black beans, avocado, pumpkin seeds, salsa, cilantro and more. The perfect healthy and well-balanced dinner to round off your vegan day. This contains 235 calories, 11 grams of protein, 48 grams of carbohydrates, 11 grams of sugar, one gram of fat, 13 grams of fibre and 503mg of sodium per serving.
For four servings:
- Four medium sweet potatoes
- ¼ cup mashed avocado
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- ½ cup freshly chopped cilantro
- One cup salsa
- Two cups cooked black beans
- Preheat the oven (if using) to 400°F
- Wash and prick the potatoes.
- In the oven – cook potatoes for 45 to 75 minutes (depending on size) until they are tender.
- In a microwave – place potatoes in a dish with ½ cup of water and cover them loosely with a lid. Cook for ten minutes, turn, then cook for another 12 minutes, until tender.
- Split the potatoes open down the middle and top with the rest of your ingredients.
- Serve with a simple salad.
If you’re still hungry, some popcorn or mixed nuts make a perfect bedtime snack.