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Wellness

Plant-Based Recipes You Need To Kickstart The New Year

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

It’s a new year, which means that you might be trying to reinvent yourself or hoping that some drastic lifestyle changes will transform you into a new person. While this mindset is very unrealistic, and you definitely shouldn’t change everything about yourself to feel good, it’s never a bad time to try new things. Making some minor adjustments to your lifestyle, such as picking up a new hobby or planning out your yearly goals are all simple tasks that can go a long way. I like to start my new year by switching up some of my favourite meals with new ones—specifically meals that are healthy, sustainable and might be out of my comfort zone.

Recently, I’ve been obsessed with plant-based recipes. I don’t follow any strict diets, but I’ve been experimenting with different recipes that emphasize natural ingredients, compared to meat and dairy products. Also, cooking a wholesome meal every once in a while is always a good way to reward your body with a diverse mix of vegetables and other organic ingredients, especially if you’re busy and don’t always have the time to plan your meals every day. As a stressed university student, I’m definitely guilty of neglecting my healthy eating habits, so keeping some of these recipes on hand is always beneficial for my physical health.

If you’re interested in eating more plant-based meals, I’ve listed a few of my new favourite recipes below. They’re quite simple, tasty and perfect for anyone who is looking for a nourishing start to 2022!

Sticky Sesame Cauliflower Wings

If you’re a fan of buffalo cauliflower wings, then this dish is for you. To be honest, I was pretty skeptical when I first heard of cauliflower being substituted for chicken, but don’t let that intimidate you––they are honestly so good! This recipe is the perfect Friday night dinner for when you don’t really feel like cooking an extravagant meal but are still craving something savoury to pair with a movie. They also only take under an hour to make and can be stored in the fridge for up to four days. All you need to do is bread your cauliflower in a batter mixture, bake and then toss them in a delicious homemade sesame sauce. A full list of ingredients and instructions can be found here, and if you’re looking for similar recipes, make sure to check out Jessica in the Kitchen’s full website.

Avocado and White Bean Salad Wraps

Trying to figure out what to eat for lunch has been a recurring struggle of mine. There are either way too many options or hardly any at all. So, I’ve picked up the habit of planning out my lunches for the week and making a folder filled with various different ideas to give me daily inspiration. One of these recipes are Kristy Turner’s avocado and white bean salad wraps from Forks Over Knives. They’re extremely easy to make as long as you have a good selection of ingredients, and you can definitely customize them in whichever way you like. These wraps consist of a spicy avocado and white bean mixture spread on a tortilla, with fresh tomatoes and spinach. I would recommend eating these with some sliced veggies and hummus for the perfect lunch after a long morning of studying!

1-Pot Everyday Lentil Soup

A comforting bowl of soup is one of the only things that can get me through the cold winter months. Like the wraps above, this soup can be customized to your liking. Seasoned with garlic, rosemary and thyme, and filled with carrots, lentils, potatoes, sturdy greens and celery, this soup’s ingredients are both fulfilling and flavourful. You can cook this soup and store it in your fridge for a couple of days. I would recommend making it on the weekend so you won’t have to put in any extra work during the week.

Vegan Peanut Butter Protein Baked Oats

I’ve seen baked oats all over TikTok, so I decided to try it to see if it’s really worth the hype, and let me tell you—it’s phenomenal! The texture is crossed between oatmeal and a fluffy cake, so it feels like you’re eating dessert instead of breakfast, which is perfect for a morning when you’d like something sweet before you start your day. You simply need to blend together chia “egg,” peanut butter, vegan milk, old-fashioned oats, baking powder, vegan protein powder, salt and brown sugar, and then bake it in an oven-safe dish for twenty-five minutes. Plant Based and Broke lists the exact measurements and detailed instructions, but it’s a pretty easy recipe to follow and doesn’t require much prep or time out of your day. You can customize your own toppings, too. I like to add chocolate chips and peanut butter drizzle, but the recipe also recommends honey, maple syrup, fruit and even granola.

All of these recipes are from amazing and helpful websites that offer a wide variety of different breakfast, lunch and dinner ideas, so don’t forget to scroll through their page and show their other recipes some love!

Claire is a first year English student at Ryerson University.
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