Here it is! I have three introductory recipes if you are new to vegan cooking, or if you are in a rut and want some new easy dishes to try out. The good thing about two of these is that they are gluten free as well, and the last one is easily made gluten free by just using a different kind of pasta.
No matter what stage of your vegan journey you are in, having new recipes to add to your arsenal is always a plus. You can really wow some of your non-vegan friends with delicious and satisfying dishes.
I hope you enjoy these short and quick recipes!
The ‘Actually Exciting’ Salad
I’m quite amazed that restaurants still serve ridiculous salads that have basically nothing on them, and have the GALL to ask people so much money for them. They seriously get me heated.
I have not bought a salad from a restaurant in almost three years because it’s not worth the my money or time, especially when it’s not filling at all. Plus the fact that most dressings are not vegan anyways so you have to listen to a huge list of dressings in 3.5 seconds and know automatically which ones you would actually eat. Puh-lease.
I’ve tried making a lot of different salads and some were total flops. I laugh so hard at myself when I look back at the salads I used to make with like four raw, hard veggies, at least two types of fruit, and iceberg lettuce. It was so inpalettable. My jaw would actually be tired from chewing vegetables forever. I have to say, though, I felt amazing, eating so many raw, fresh greens.
So after that phase of eating all the salads, good and bad, I got really tired of them. I had to find a type that I would actually enjoy. After all, that’s why most diets are not able to be kept long term. They are often times very restrictive and unsatisfying.
I’ve found spinach, baby kale, and smaller leaf lettuces are my favorites for salads. They tend to be softer and easier to eat. I like to include a raw veggie like carrots that have lots of flavor, a cooked veggie or two, (or three, who am I kidding) and then I add toppings like sunflower seeds, peanuts, sesame seeds, or beans, and a dressing.
5 leaves Romaine lettuce, washed
½ cup spinach, washed
½ cup brussels sprouts, washed and halved
ABT 10 small cubes of firm tofu, patted dry
¼ cup garbanzo beans, drained
¼ green bell pepper, rough chopped
½ tbsp olive oil- for brussels sprouts
1 tsp olive oil- for tofu
½ tbsp balsamic vinegar
In a small frying pan on medium heat, add olive oil and brussels sprouts. Once they are beginning to soften, add the balsamic vinegar, and onion and garlic powders. Toss the pan so all the brussels sprouts are evenly coated in the seasonings. When they are tender, remove from heat.
Next, add tofu and olive oil to the pan. Make sure each piece is coated in oil. Turn heat to medium low. Sprinkle salt on top, and on each side, when you flip them. Brown the top and bottom sides until it is firm to the touch. Remove from heat and assemble the salad.
Chop the romaine and spinach into bite sized pieces. Add lettuce to a bowl. Add green peppers (patted dry) on top. Put the brussels sprouts and tofu on next, to one side. Add the garbanzo beans on the other side and drizzle the dressing over the beans.
If I had them on hand, I would’ve added sunflower seeds on top of this too, but it was just as delicious without them.
Enjoy this with your favorite main dish, or by itself.
Garden Stir Fry
This stir fry is my shiiiiiiii. It’s so simple, so quick, and you literally just throw together whatever veggies you have on hand.
Sometimes I use green beans, sometimes I use asparagus, sometimes I use green or red peppers, and sometimes I add garlic or onion. No matter what I use though, I always start with broccoli or cauliflower, zucchini, and carrots.
I purposefully don’t add seasonings while cooking because I want to taste the natural flavors of the veggies more than anything else. Then after I turn the heat off, I add some seasonings to brighten it up and make it burst with flavor and aroma! I also love to pair these stir fries with a long grain rice or a gluten free pasta. However, if I use a gluten free pasta, I usually add just a tad bit of a sauce so the noodles aren’t dry, bland, or sticky.
1 zucchini, sliced diagonally
¼ red bell pepper, large chopped
ABT 15 green beans, halved
½ small broccoli crown, bite sized pieces
5 baby bella mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
On medium low heat in a large frying pan, heat the oil. Add broccoli, zucchini, and green beans and cover with a corresponding lid. When the broccoli begins to become tender, add bell peppers and mushrooms. If you want to add fresh garlic, do so at this time.
Once the veggies are all tender and browned, remove from heat. Sprinkle garlic powder and salt, and mix thoroughly.
Serve and enjoy!
Cheesy Tomato Pasta
When I first became vegan, I knew how to make pasta, and not much else. I had to learn how to cook other things, but I still loved pasta since it was is so simple and typically straightforward. Shortly after I married and moved to an area that had a lot more vegan food products, I found vegan mayonnaise.
At the time there were not many brands that offered that kind of variety. Now there are tons of options available, including the mother of all mayonnaise, Hellmann’s. I loved it and I found lots of ways to use it.
So one day I was low on groceries, but I had Hampton Creek Just Mayo. I really didn’t think that it would be as good as it was, but something about the tomato sauce and mayo combination made it so delicious and cheesy almost.
Unfortunately, I didn’t measure what I was doing, and that was 2 years ago, but there’s not a whole lot to mess up with this recipe. It’s very easy to recreate.
This has actually made me realize that I’ve gone a long time without this mayo and I’m really missing it. I think I’m going to pick it up at Kroger next time I go! I need to do more experimenting with it. Maybe then I’ll be able to craft the perfect alfredo!
ABT 8 ounces Angel Hair pasta
¾ cup pasta sauce, I use Prego original
¼ cup Just Mayo
½ tsp garlic powder
In a medium sized pot on high heat, boil water. When it comes to a rolling boil, add the pasta and turn down to medium heat. When I make pasta for my son, I always break it in half, since he hardly chews it at all. After the they are submerged, stir the pasta to ensure it doesn’t stick to itself to form large clumps. Stir occasionally.
In a small saucepan on medium low heat, add the black pepper, garlic powder, and oregano. When the pan gets hot to the touch, add the pasta sauce and mayonnaise, stirring to mix. Keep in mind it may not mix completely until it is actually warm. Let it simmer for about 1 minute, then turn down to low heat.
When the pasta is tender, strain it and place it back in the pot. Add a little bit of vegan butter if you like to keep it from sticking together.
Serve and enjoy!
I really enjoyed sharing a few of my favorite recipes, and looking back at one that I have need to make regulars again! A lot of the way I learned to cook was just trial and error. I experimented with random things I had on hand. Some of them turned out great, and really deserve to have more recognition.
If you like to see these kinds of recipes and articles, let us know in the comment section. If you’re not the biggest fan, let us know what you would like to see instead. You can also email us, or talk to us on our social media accounts!
About The Author…
Briggy (Brigetta) Jones is an easy-going,