7 Vegan Recipes That Change Everything

By: Merritt Watts
Related To:

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.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Recipe Revamp: Make Any Recipe Vegan or Vegetarian

Here are five easy substitutions you can make to turn any recipe into a vegetarian or vegan one.

Nutrients A Vegetarian Should Worry About

We’ll walk through the basic types of vegetarianism and fill you in on which nutrients those with a meat-free diet need to pay special attention to.

The Veggie Table: Foods That Sound Vegan, But Really Aren't

Foods that sound like they be meat and dairy free, like vegetable soup or non-dairy creamer often contain ingredients you're not expecting. Be sure to check labels and ask your server at restaurants what foods contain, especially for the foods on this list.

Going Veg? Don't Make These Mistakes

When I switched cold-turkey from a meat-eating to vegan diet, I was pleased to see I could still eat fries, chips and salsa, and my secret guilty pleasure, Swedish Fish (it’s not real fish, so it’s OK!). But I quickly realized I'd stumbled into a common veggie pitfall -- eating junk food in place of fresh, whole, plant-based foods. Here are some other vegetarian mistakes.

Spotlight Recipes: 25 Vegetarian Favorites

Whether you're a committed vegetarian or vegan or just want to try something new, meatless meals provide great variety to your dinner table meal line-up -- They can be both delicious and healthy (foregoing meat isn't an excuse to eat cheese pizza every day!) We chose 25 tasty recipes covering all of the major food groups vegetarians should be eating (these are healthy picks for meat-eaters, too): fruits and veggies, whole grains, beans/legumes, nuts, and seeds.

The Veggie Table: Favorite Vegan and Vegetarian Smartphone Apps

A round-up of the best smartphone apps for finding vegan and vegetarian recipes and restaurants.

Famous Vegans and Vegetarians

Mike Tyson, Ellen DeGeneres, Bill Clinton and Pam Anderson have all sworn off meat in their diets.

7 Meat-Free Mains to Get You Through the Week

See how easy it is to extend your meatless movement beyond Monday.

Vegan Food Trend: Aquafaba

What is aquafaba and how can you use it in recipes?