Doing Veganuary this year? We've got a host of easy vegan recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacking to keep you feeling motivated, energised and glowing with health!January 03, 2021 12:44 pm
Taking on Veganuary
Made the decision to try going vegan for the first time? Good for you! Veganuary is a great time to try it, not least because lots of other people are making the change alongside you. There’s lots of support available for new vegans out there.
If you’ve been interested in going vegan for a while, you’ll know that there are lots of benefits of a plant-based diet. As well as addressing lots of the issues with the standard Western diet, which is generally low on fruits and vegetables and high in fat and sugar, you’re also doing your bit for the planet. The meat and dairy industries are some of the biggest producers of carbon emissions which contribute to global warming. Cutting them out of your diet means you’re decreasing your carbon footprint and your impact on the environment.
That said, changing from your normal diet can seem like quite a daunting prospect. In the West, we grow up surrounded by meat and dairy. Often, we are taught at school that a healthy meal has to involve protein from meat, or that we will lose out on nutrients we need if we only eat plant-based foods.
Luckily, the information we have about nutrition has improved substantially since those days. We now know that a vegan diet is very healthy and can provide all the nutrients you need. But where should you start when you’re overhauling your diet?
Becoming vegan is a constant learning process. Over time, you’ll develop new techniques and recipes to help you eat a fulfilling and delicious plant-based diet. The toughest part is getting started. So, we’ve collated our favourite easy vegan recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacking, to get you started.
Easy vegan breakfasts
Lots of breakfast foods include dairy, from butter on toast to milk in your cereal. Luckily, there are great substitutes out there. Swap your butter for margarine and your milk for a plant-based version such as almond or oat milk.
When you want something a bit more substantial, the classic option for many of us is eggs. In fact, eggs are a permanent fixture on most brunch menus in everything from French toast to eggs Benedict.
However, there are loads of easy vegan recipes for delicious breakfast and brunch options which don’t require eggs or dairy. Here are a few of our favourites.
Tropical smoothie bowl
Fresh, exhilarating and super-healthy, our tropical smoothie bowl contains pineapple, coconut flakes and a special, healthy ingredient to give it that gorgeous pink hue. Rich coconut milk provides an addictive, creamy texture and tropical sweetness.
Top our bowl with fresh banana and a sprinkling of black sesame seeds for texture. Our tangy sea buckthorn shot provides loads of vitamin C, its sharp flavour complementing the tropical fruits perfectly. If they’re in season, we love adding fresh figs for a touch of luxury.
Brilliantly, the sweetness of the combination of fruits means that there’s no need for added sugar. So, you’re getting a couple of your five a day, vitamins, fibre and a refreshing breakfast, all without refined sugar. Not bad for a bowl!
Warming winter porridge with chia and apricot kernel oils
Few breakfasts can be as comforting as a warm bowl of porridge. Supercharge the nutritional value of your oatmeal by adding fresh berries, nuts and seeds. Then, drizzle with our health-boosting oils.
Chia seed oil contains a winning combination of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, which contribute to a healthy heart, brain and nervous system. Meanwhile, apricot kernel oil contains antioxidants which help fight oxidative stress in the body.
To make this easy vegan recipe gluten-free, simply use gluten-free oats. It’ll get your day off to a great start, providing fibre, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids.
Avocado toast with chestnut mushrooms and hemp seed oil
Make like a millennial and spread slices of velvety green avocado on your breakfast toast. Avocados are full of healthy monounsaturated fats, which help your body absorb more nutrients from other foods. They also contain soluble and insoluble fibre, which are important to keep your digestive system working healthily.
We like to top our toast with mushrooms, pan-fried with fresh thyme. It’s a classic pairing which makes a lovely toast topper on its own, but is taken to sublime heights when resting atop fresh green avocado.
Finish with a drizzle of our Organic Hemp Seed Oil. This oil has an ideal ratio (3:1) of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids – beneficial, given that the Western diet usually features too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3. Just a tablespoon of hemp oil provides over 40% of your RDA of vitamin D, making it the perfect choice for a leisurely brunch on a rainy morning.
Easy vegan lunch recipes
Lots of people struggle to pack in their five-a-day because they ignore fruit and vegetables until dinnertime. At that point, it’s tough to fit in five portions. The problem is made even tougher with the news that some nutritionists think we should be aiming for ten portions a day!
Luckily, we have three delicious vegetable-based options for lunch which will keep you full til dinnertime. They all pack several portions of fresh vegetables, helping you along the way to your target. Try out one of our easy vegan recipes for lunch below.
Protein-packed Buddha bowl with pumpkin seed oil
After a workout, or in the middle of a busy day, this protein-packed buddha bowl is what dreams are made of. Golden roasted vegetables (we used sprouts, cauliflower and beetroot, but feel free to diverge depending on the season) give warmth and body, Amaranth grain provides a hearty portion of plant-based protein and fibre. And a dollop of hummus in the centre is rich with lemon and tahini.
If you haven’t tried gochujang before, this recipe will convert you. This spicy Korean paste is spread over our vegetables before roasting to add an addictive, smoky flavour which complements the sweetness of roasted cauliflower and beetroot perfectly. What’s more, it’s fermented, making it a great choice for your gut health.
We finish our buddha bowl with a drizzle of Organic Pumpkin Seed Oil. With its rich, emerald hue, it offers up essential minerals like magnesium and zinc as well as a host of antioxidants.
Tortilla wraps with chia and peanut butter sauce
Perhaps our all-time favourite easy vegan recipe for lunch, these tortilla wraps are super-satisfying and packed with vegetables. Pack your wrap with crispy cucumber and shredded cabbage. Then, make room for baked sweet potato chunks which provide satisfying sweetness.
The real star of the show here is our chia and peanut butter sauce. A little like a satay sauce, a little bit something entirely new, it balances the rich, toasty flavour of peanut with sharpness from apple cider vinegar and sweet maple syrup. It’s an addictive combination and is likely to become a lunchbox regular for years to come.
Green lentil soup
This recipe was made for those days when it’s cold and rainy and you need a meal to warm you up from the inside out. A hearty vegetable broth flavoured with generous chunks of carrot, celery, kale and chard, it is bursting with vitamins. Green lentils form the base of the soup, adding protein and fibre, while paprika and cumin bring a hint of warming spice.
Best of all, despite looking like a full morning’s work, this easy vegan recipe comes together in about half an hour. Pair with Erbology crackers for added texture and flavour.
"All our easy vegan recipes for lunch pack in lots of vegetables, helping you along the way to your five-a-day."
Easy vegan dinners
To us, dinner is the best time of the day. We love downing tools and spending a few minutes in the kitchen, whipping up warming, wholesome food to linger over in the evening. If you’re switching to a plant-based diet for the first time, it’s important to preserve all the comfort and satisfaction associated with the evening meal. That’s why the following recipes are pure comfort food; classics made healthier, but no less satisfying, by the addition of plant-based ingredients.
The ultimate veggie burger with amaranth
The veggie burger has come on in leaps and bounds since the heady days of the 1980s, when it first burst onto the scene. Back then, it was made of wheat gluten, oats, aduki beans and a variety of herbs and spices. Now, we have far more flexibility and the chance to create a patty that stands on its own two feet in the burger world. No meat? No problem!
Our version of the classic is made with amaranth and green lentils for toothsome texture. Carrot provides the vegetable backbone, while tamari, chilli, thyme and parsley offer up complex flavour.
Serve wedged into a fluffy bread bun, topped with sharp pickles or red onion jam and a slice of vegan cheese.
Ask pretty much anyone who grew up after the 1980s what their favourite childhood meal was, and they will likely tell you it was spaghetti bolognese. Luckily, there’s no need to miss out on the nostalgia of a bowl full of pasta with a rich, tomatoey sauce now you’re vegan. Simply swap out the meat for tempeh.
If you haven’t come across it before, tempeh is similar to tofu. Both are made from soy beans, but tofu is made from the curds, whereas tempeh is made from the whole soy bean. It’s also fermented, unlike tofu – excellent news for your gut bacteria! Tempeh also has a nutty taste, whereas tofu is quite neutral and tends to take on the flavour of whatever it is cooked with.
Our easy vegan recipe may be non-canonical in terms of the protein, but the sauce is a classic. Crushed tomatoes, garlic, Italian herbs, bay… in short, all the flavours you need from a spag bol.
If you’re carb-averse, or fancy something light, serve with spiralised courgette as we have above. If you’re looking for a bowl of nostalgic textures and flavours, pile atop a generous portion of wholewheat spaghetti.
Sweet potato gnocchi with walnut gremolata
Before we developed this recipe, we were under the impression that making gnocchi from scratch was a tricky, time-consuming process better left to the pros. Not so! This fresh gnocchi can be whipped up at warp speed simply by mixing cooked sweet potato and flour. To decrease the prep time even further, cook your sweet potato whole in the microwave for five minutes while you prep the rest of your ingredients.
We’ve deviated from the classic gremolata, which is a sauce made from lemon, parsley and garlic. Instead of bright parsley, we’ve gone for earthy, warming thyme, which stands up beautifully against the sweet potato gnocchi. As with all simple recipes, use good quality ingredients. This is especially important for the gremolata. We use our Transylvanian walnuts and Organic Walnut oil to make it. Both are completely unrefined, lending a freshness of flavour hard to come by elsewhere.
This is a dish which can be enjoyed on the sofa in front of a weekend movie, or served to friends at a dinner party. If the latter, there’s no need to let your guests know that the whole thing only took you 40 minutes.
As a new vegan, you will soon discover one of the most annoying things about pre-packaged snacks. Almost all of them – even the ones which have nothing to do with dairy – seem to contain milk powder.
This limits your options somewhat in terms of grab and go energy boosters. Fortunately, health food shops (and an increasing number of mainstream food stores) are beginning to stock plant-based snacks. However, buyer beware: ‘plant-based’ does not equal ‘healthy’ in all cases. Check your ingredients, paying careful attention to the amount of refined sugar and saturated fat lurking in your snack bar.
Alternatively, take the hard work out of browsing with a snack from our range. We make tasty, gluten-free crackers, fruity energy balls (with no refined sugar) and even grab-and-go granola, for the days when you’ve pressed snooze one too many times.
Or, if you’re enjoying your new vegan culinary expertise, expand it further by making your own! Here our our best easy vegan recipes for snacking.
Amaranth protein bars
Somewhere between an oat-free flapjack and a granola bar lies this delicious, decadent-tasting protein bar. We use puffed amaranth, which tastes like a miniature version of puffed rice, but brings protein, fibre and minerals to the recipe. Then, we add dates, seeds, almonds and raisins, and bind the whole lot together with nut butter and a little coconut oil.
These snack bars are great for recharging your body after a workout, or to get past the afternoon slump. We love wrapping them in greaseproof paper and taking them out on long, bracing hikes. They’re just what you want (and deserve!) after reaching the top of a particularly challenging hill.
Sweet potato dip
This dip belongs in the ‘easy vegan recipe’ hall of fame for two reasons. Firstly, it combines the addictive flavours of hummus with the sweet, nourishing flavour of sweet potato. And secondly, it’s almost infinitely customisable.
If you’re a fan of spice, red chilli or chipotle chilli flakes would work brilliantly. Fancy an earthier flavour? Cumin and sweet potato are a match made in heaven. Need more umami? Black olives. You could make a batch of these every day of the week and not get tired of it!
We love this easy vegan recipe as a light lunch, with Erbology crackers, or to serve to friends as a casual starter, It also makes a regular appearance on all our barbecue, buffet and picnic tables.
Easy vegan recipes
We hope these few easy vegan recipes will help you on your journey through Veganuary. Don’t forget, there’s lots more information about following a plant-based diet over on Erbology Editorial.
Good luck! Be creative and enjoy yourself. You’re about to discover a whole new way of eating and of caring for your body and mind. And who knows? Perhaps, once you begin, you’ll never look back…
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