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Our Favorite Vegan Recipes

Our Favorite Vegan Recipes
May 19
06:59 2016

Veganism can be defined as “the practice of avoiding the use of animal products in all aspects of life.” Most vegans are mainly concerned with a diet that avoids meat, eggs, dairy products, and any other foods that contain animal-derived substances. The term for this is “dietary vegan.”

Ethical vegans follow a vegan diet and strive to avoid using animal products for any reason. Another term, environmental veganism, refers to a focus on opposing industrial farming and harvesting of animals because these practices are unsustainable, environmentally damaging, and cruel.

Veganism has become far more mainstream during recent years and has helped many individuals lose weight and overcome health problems. Without the proper recipes, however, veganism can lead to cheap pasta, candy, chips, fake cheese, and other foods that will do anything but provide a well-balanced diet.

If you’ve made the switch to veganism and are looking for recipes that are tasty, easy, and nutritious, check out a few of our favorites below.

Breakfast: Overnight Oats

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 12.28.50 PMSometimes called “refrigerator oatmeal,” this tasty and healthy breakfast takes only a few minutes to prepare. Overnight oats feature chia seeds, rolled oats, and almond milk. When mixed together, the oats soften and the seeds absorb the milk – forming an easy chilled porridge.

I like this recipe because there are so many different ingredients and toppings you can add. I’ve tried all the following ingredients in my fridge oatmeal:

• Pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice
• Vanilla and cinnamon
• Fresh berries
• Peanut butter powder
• Cocoa powder

For toppings, I suggest granola, fresh fruit, maple syrup, coconut flakes, nuts, and/or seeds.

Here’s a basic recipe:

Mash up one large banana. Stir in 2 tbsp. of chia seeds and a pinch of cinnamon. Next, stir in ½ cup rolled oats (gluten free), ¾ cup almond milk, and ¼ tsp. vanilla extract (optional). Cover and place in the fridge overnight. Enjoy in the morning.

Lunch: Sweet Potato Salad

557b7b5700e40197_sweet-tato-salad.xxxlarge_2xPacked in a mason jar, this filling salad will satisfy your hunger and keep you full throughout the day. Plus, the sweet mango vinaigrette dressing will keep you from reaching for dessert.

Here’s the recipe:

Preheat your oven to 400° F. Dice 1 small sweet potato into bite-sized pieces (don’t peel it). Place them in a bowl and drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil. Stir gently. Spread the pieces on a pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper before popping them into the oven. Roast for 20 minutes (stir a few times) or until potatoes are soft.

While the potatoes are roasting, prepare ¼ cup quinoa. While the pasta is cooking, you can work on the dressing: puree ¼ cup mango (fresh or frozen) with 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar and 1 ½ tbsp. water. Set the mixture aside.

After the quinoa and potatoes have cooled, start to layer your salad in a mason jar. Begin with ½ cup black beans. Add the quinoa and pour in the dressing. Top the salad with diced red peppers (about ¼ of a pepper), any greens you desire (2 cups), the potatoes, and 1 tbsp. each of sunflower seeds and dried cranberries. Screw on the lid and place in the fridge. Shake before eating.

Snack: Cinnamon Banana Chips

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 12.39.39 PMA banana is one of the best snacks to eat before a workout, but since bananas go bad easily they aren’t very convenient to keep around. Banana chips seem like a great option, but most store-bought varieties are covered in sugar.

Our baked cinnamon banana chips include no dough and no added sugar. Plus, they are easy to carry with you to work or in a gym bag.

Here’s the recipe:

Preheat your oven to 200° F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel 4 medium (or 3 large) ripe bananas and cut them into quarter inch slices. Dip each piece into orange juice (you’ll need about 3 tbsp.) and place on the pan. Sprinkle the slices with cinnamon.

Bake 3-4 hours (flip them halfway through). You’ll know they’re done when the chips start to turn brown.

Dinner: Vegan Bolognese

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 12.51.57 PMPerfect for a chilly evening, this vegan spaghetti Bolognese won’t leave you stuffed and tired like the traditional recipe.

Cut fat, calories, and cholesterol with the following recipe:

Ingredients:

• ¼ cup olive oil
• 3 cloves garlic (minced)
• ½ onion (diced)
• ½ package tempeh (crumbled)
• ½ cup mushrooms (diced)
• 1 teaspoon Earth Balance
• ¼ cup red wine
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1 eggplant (peeled, diced)
• ½ zucchini (diced)
• 1 tbsp. fresh basil (chopped)
• 1 carrot, diced
• 12 oz. tomato sauce
• 1 tbsp. Italian parsley (chopped)
• 1 tsp. dried rosemary
• 1 tsp. dried oregano
• ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes

Heat olive oil in a large skilled on medium heat. Saute onions and garlic (about 5 minutes). Add tempeh and mushrooms. Add Earth Balance spread and red wine; add salt and pepper to taste. Stir.

Add eggplant, zucchini, carrot, parsley, and basil. Stir to combine. Cook 10-12 minutes until vegetables soften. Add tomato sauce and stir. Sprinkle in rosemary, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 5 minutes.

If sauce is too thick, add extra water or wine. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat and serve over wilted greens or pasta.

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April Kuhlman

April Kuhlman

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