Half a year ago I made a decision to ditch meat, and dairy, and eggs, and honey, and fish, and seafood. What I was left with was a whole bunch of plants that all of a sudden went from being a side dish to being the star ingredients of everything I was cooking.
Six months in I have to admit that cooking have never been more fun. Every single recipe is still an adventure because it offers an opportunity to experiment and challenge my preconceived views of what a dish should look and taste like. Additionally I have also discovered that many others are curious about plant-based eating and interested in learning more how to replace meat and cheese in their diets. I never expected that sharing my experiences and cooking tips and tricks would be so enjoyable but it is! I love blogging about the recipes I develop and I love engaging with those interested in vegan cooking techniques and strategies.
So, in observation of World Meat Free Day today, I wanted to help anyone who is still thinking whether to take the plunge into plant-based cuisine waters and share five recipes that will make your transition much smoother. These are the recipes that changed my views of what plants can do, and I hope they’ll help you as well!!!
- Tofu Bacon – this recipe is so fantastic that you may want to make a double batch as one will not last long. Shared by The Buddhist Chef, this recipe not only tought me how to make crispy tofu, but introduced me to liquid smoke, an ingredient that I know use all the time, especially when grilling as it gives grilled food, like this Grilled Eggplant, an extra edge.
- Cashew Cheeses – I approached cashew cheese with disbelief but recipes like this Easy Garlic & Herb Vegan Cheese, developed by Minimalist Baker, and this Cashew Ricotta Cheese, by Simple Veganista, completely changed my mind and my pallet. They also introduced me to nutritional yeast, something I know use pretty regularly for that pleasant cheese flavor.
- Jackfruit Carnitas Tacos (Pulled Pork Tacos) – this recipe by The Edgy Veg opened my eyes to the world of jackfruit, a fruit (or a vegetable, not sure which) that I’ve never heard of before. It turns out jackfruit is an absolute must have ingredient for vegan cooking and my crab-less Jackfruit “Crab” Cakes remains one of my favorite things to make and eat!
- Vegan Substitute for Ground Beef – this recipe by Glow Kitchen has been truly transformative as it convinced me that homemade meat substitutes are feasible, tasty, and super affordable, thus definitely worth an effort.
- Healthy Chocolate Pudding – this was the first vegan dessert I made and I am still amazed that some brave soul at some point said to themselves: “Enough is enough – I am putting avocados and bananas together and lets see what happens!”. Credit for this recipe goes to Whole Foods Market.
All in all, the most important thing you should do in order to be a great vegan cooking success is to keep an open mind. As these five examples show vegan recipes combine unexpected ingredients so don’t talk yourself from trying just because you were not raised eating jackfruit or combining bananas and avocados. For example, my most unexpected recipe is Vegan Popovers – who knew popovers don’t need milk or eggs?
Happy World Meat Free Day and enjoy your plant-based existence!!!
Copyright © Eat the Vegan Rainbow, 2017
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