It’s a brand new year which means Veganuary is upon us once again.
What is Veganuary, you ask? Well, simply put, it’s an annual challenge that encourages people to follow a vegan lifestyle for the month of January.
Whether you’re brand new to the practice of abstaining from consuming animal products or you’re well-versed in veganism, here are 7 easy vegan meal ideas that you can make in Veganuary — and beyond!
1. Vegetable Paella
Firstly, who doesn’t love a good paella?
Traditionally made with meat such as prawns, chicken and chorizo, this Spanish rice dish can be effortlessly transformed into a vegan dish just by substituting the meat with vegetables.
Alongside arborio rice, opt for colourful veggies and vegan vegetable stock cubes with a sprinkle of non-dairy cheese for a tasty, filling meal.
2. Veggie Burgers
If you want to create veggie burgers that are sweet and spicy at the same time, start with a base of quinoa, black beans and oats.
Then add sweet potatoes, fresh herbs and seasoning before cooking the burger and placing it into a bun topped with tomato and avocado.
Not hearty enough? A leafy salad or crispy vegan zucchini fries would make an ideal side dish.
3. Hummus Quesadillas
Did you know that hummus quesadillas are straightforward to produce and 100% vegan-friendly?
Simply grab your tortilla, cover it in hummus and put in any other desired toppings, such as spinach, non-dairy cheese, olives and sun-dried tomatoes.
Then fold over your tortilla to make a half-moon shape. Cook it in a skillet for a couple of minutes on each side until it’s crispy and golden. And voila!
4. Vegan Lasagne
How do I make a vegan lasagne without the consistency of dairy cheese, you ask? Well, it’s easier than you think.
Instead of using conventional mozzarella and ricotta cheese, whip up a cashew-based cream in a blender. You should then sauté lots of vegetables that you have to hand. A combination of the following would work well:
- Bell pepper
- Butternut squash
Layer up your lasagne and bake it just like you would with a regular lasagne. At the end, drizzle some leftover cashew cream on top and add vegan parmesan to taste.
5. Black Bean Chilli
A Mexican favourite, chilli con carne (made with minced beef) is loved globally by chefs and consumers alike. That said, just because you’re vegan doesn’t mean that you can’t have your fix.
Swap out the minced beef for black beans, shallot, garlic and chilli powder — and cook until the beans are soft and warmed through.
Add kale, rice and avocado on the side for extra yum!
6. Vegan Mac and Cheese
Vegan macaroni and cheese is one of the most uncomplicated vegan dishes you can create.
All you need is:
- Broccoli florets cut into small bites
- Raw cashews and water (to blend into a cream and imitate cheese)
You could also add seasoning, such as garlic powder, onion powder, dry mustard powder and sea salt, if you wish.
7. Tofu Noodles with Ginger Sesame Sauce
Lastly, noodles is a popular Asian dish usually made with meat, like beef, chicken, pork or prawns. However, you can substitute the meat with tofu to create a satisfying vegan meal.
As well as the tofu and noodles of choice, include edamame, peas, carrots and cilantro for added authenticity.
In terms of the ginger sesame sauce, use soy sauce, lime, sesame oil, ginger, and chilli garlic sauce whisked together. One word: mouthwatering.
Making the Most of These Easy Vegan Meal Ideas
The only way to find out which vegan dishes you like is to try different options. Mix and match them throughout the week to keep things interesting.
And if you’re struggling? Make your favourite non-vegan dish and just use vegan alternatives for the ingredients.