7 Vegan Recipes That Change Everything

By: Merritt Watts
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Photo by: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Stephen Johnson, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

No meat, no cheese -- no problem! Whether you're aiming to eat a little bit cleaner or just want to be more like Beyoncé (who completed a 22-day vegan challenge last year), there's really no wrong reason to add these vegan recipes to your repertoire.

Admit it: You’re pretty sure even the most serious vegans miss burgers from time to time. These hearty lentil burgers are packed with other wholesome ingredients, like spinach and walnuts, and get their flavor from a punchy trio of garlic, black pepper and cumin that will make you forget all about their beefy brethren.

For those in the "Vegan Before Six" club, we'd like to introduce you to your new egg-breakfast substitute. The tofu is spiced up with turmeric, pepper and cayenne; it may actually be better than your standard scramble.

Yep, there’s a vegan version of everything, even dishes that have "cream" right there in the name. The secret ingredients in this soup? A single Yukon gold potato that adds rich, smooth texture and nutritional yeast for nutty, cheese-like flavor.

This dish is this light, bright California cousin of the classically comforting fettuccine Alfredo. Blended almonds make the sauce as rich and "creamy" as the traditional version, but lemon zest and fresh parsley give it a hint of surprisingly sunny flavor.

Bananas are already pros at binding and moistening baked goods, so baking up an egg-less and dairy-free version of banana bread won't be much of a challenge. Toast and slather with peanut or almond butter for a snack with staying power.

We're pretty sure a warm, freshly baked blueberry muffin can make anything better. This vegan version, made with soy yogurt, almond milk and applesauce, is a true crowd-pleaser that will do the trick on any occasion.

What's often missing in vegan food -- rich, smoky depth of flavor -- can be found in spades in this bright green pesto. Here, basil is blended with smoked almonds, roasted pistachios and green tea to create the perfect puree to toss with pasta or spread on crostini.

Merritt Watts is a writer and eater in San Francisco, where strawberries are almost always in season.

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