Eating a plant-based diet can have major health benefits, such as lowering your cholesterol and your risk of heart disease. Take it from the likes of Anne Hathaway, Bill Clinton, Russell Brand, Lea Michele, Ellen DeGeneres, and Brad Pitt – just a few people in the public eye who have signed away their meat and dairy-eating habits. Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or just trying to eat less meat and switch up your usual diet, here are tasty and easy vegan recipes to try.
1. Country-Style French Green Lentils
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 1/2 cup lentils (rinsed)
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 bay leaf
In a medium saucepan combine olive oil, celery, onion, and carrot and cook until onions are transparent, about 5 minutes. Add zucchini and cook for another 5 minutes.
Add lentils, broth, thyme, and bay leaf, and boil slowly for 20-25 minutes.
2. Lemon Chickpea Salad
Recipe courtesy of Eat Yourself Skinny
- 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
In bowl, whisk all ingredients besides chickpeas. Add in chickpeas, stir, and then cover bowl and allow it to marinate at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
3. Maple Roasted Butternut Squash
Recipe courtesy of VegNews [vegnews.com]
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine maple syrup, oil, salt, pepper, cinnamon, and thyme. In a medium bowl, add butternut squash and toss with marinade.
Spread squash on baking sheet in a single layer and roast for 45 minutes until squash is soft and browns around edges. Serve immediately.
4. Sautéed Veggie Pasta
- 1 cup cooked noodles of choice (cook according to package directions)
- ¼ cup broccoli florets
- ¼ cup mushrooms, chopped
- ¼ cup red pepper, chopped
- ¼ cup onion, chopped
- 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
Sautee vegetables (can substitute or add in any of your favorite veggies) in olive oil over medium heat until vegetables are tender (about 5 minutes). Add in cooked pasta, stir, and drizzle with olive oil as needed. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper, if desired.
5. Tofu Scramble
Recipe courtesy of chooseveg.com
- 1 lb. firm tofu, patted dry and mashed
- 1/8 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup of your favorite vegetables (e.g., tomato, broccoli, mushrooms, spinach)
Put tofu in a lightly oiled saute pan and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, stir well, and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked and the tofu is heated through.
6. Black Bean & Mango Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked (cook according to package directions)
- 1 mango, diced
- 1 can black beans, drained
- ½ avocado, diced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- ½ red onion, diced
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Juice from 1 lime
Add all ingredients in one bowl and stir until combined. Let sit for 15-20 minutes to marinate, then enjoy!
7. Simple Baked Granola
Recipe courtesy of VegNews
- 4 cups rolled oats (not instant)
- 1 cup raw almonds, chopped
- 1.5 cups flaked coconut
- 1/4 tsp. finely ground sea salt (1/2 tsp. coarse, pummeled)
- 1/3 cup liquid honey (or maple syrup, agave)
- 4 Tbsp. coconut oil (or sunflower oil)
Preheat over to 350°F.
In a small saucepan over low-medium heat, whisk oil and honey together.
In a large bowl combine oats, almonds, coconut, and sea salt.
Pour oil and honey mixture over dry ingredients and stir very well to coat. Place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes; remove from oven and stir. Place back in oven but remove and stir every 5 minutes or so until the oats are golden brown (approx. 25-30 minutes).
8. Apple Cinnamon Wrap
- 1 whole wheat tortilla wrap
- 1 apple, thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp peanut butter
- 2 Tbsp raisins
Spread peanut butter onto wrap and microwave for 30-45 seconds. Layer on apples and raisins, sprinkle on cinnamon, and roll up into wrap.
So dig in to any (or all!) of these recipes, collegiettes—they may be lacking meat and dairy, but they’re definitely not lacking in delicious flavor or nutrients. Bon appetit!