When many people think of vegan food, they shudder at the thought of fake hot dogs and tofu “turkey” slices, but trust us — vegan food has come a long way. Whether you consider yourself vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian, plant-based eating is optimal for your health. From shepherd’s pie to pad Thai, these dishes pack a nutritious punch because of their colourful, antioxidant-rich vegetables and fibre- and protein-packed grains, legumes and beans.
Vegan Shepherd’s Pie with Crispy Cauliflower Crust
Indulge in a hearty, satisfying vegan take on a comfort classic by making your shepherd’s pie with protein-rich lentils in a savoury pan gravy instead of beef or lamb. While you could top it with fluffy mashed potatoes, pureed cauliflower is a tasty low-carb option that will still satisfy your craving. For more satisfying meatless meals, let these recipes for vegetarian versions of classic comfort foods inspire you.
Better-Than-Takeout Vegan Pad Thai
If you’re craving pad Thai and takeout isn’t in the cards, you can make this fragrant dish at home with the help of an unexpected pantry item — dates! When you blend the fruit with miso, sesame and lime, it’s very similar to tamarind paste. It’s a quick noodle dish for weeknight meals and any leftovers are great for lunch the next day. Bring more Thai dishes to your kitchen with these takeout recipes to make at home this week.
Vegan Grain-Free Sweet Potato Gnocchi with High-Protein Pesto
Making gnocchi just got easier with this yummy mix of sweet potato, chickpea flour and almond flour. Once the pillowy dumplings are cooked, serve them in a high-protein pesto made with basil, walnuts, olive oil and creamy cannellini beans. Even after you’ve taken a bite, you still won’t believe it’s both gluten-free and vegan.
Vegan Thai Curry Pumpkin Soup
Thai coconut curry soup is already a pleasing dish, but adding pumpkin gives it more flavour and thickness, making it a great dinner option. To make it an even heartier main, add cubes of firm tofu, shredded bok choy or natural peanut butter. Love the ease of a one-pot meal? Make cleanup a breeze with satisfying slow cooker soups and stews.
Creamy Vegan Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
A velvety sauce is made from cauliflower and nutritional yeast for a vegan, dairy-free version of a classic comfort meal. Mix the sauce into your cooked macaroni and serve it straight from the pot. For an extra special touch, top it with breadcrumbs and shredded vegan cheese, then bake it until golden and bubbly.
Coconut Curry with Almond Butter, Sweet Potato and Apple Noodles
The perfect mix of sweet and savoury flavours, this simple curry is made with coconut milk, almond butter and spirals of sweet potato. It’s also easy to adjust the level of spiciness by adding more or less of the yellow curry powder. Top each bowl with apple noodles, raisins, pumpkin seeds and fresh cilantro. When you’re trying to avoid pasta, rice or bread, why not try one of these satisfying weeknight recipes where vegetables replace carbs.
Easy Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese
This meatless Bolognese is rich in protein and fibre without sacrificing any of the flavour. Made with cremini mushrooms, lentils and walnuts, plus a touch of balsamic, spoon a generous portion over spaghetti. For that cheesy Parmesan finish, sprinkle a bit of nutritional yeast on top before serving. For more delicious plant-based ways to enjoy your favourite noodles, check out these dairy-free vegan pasta recipes that are extra creamy.
Easy Lentil and Vegetable Curry
Take the vegetables from your crisper drawer, then add lentils and a blend of aromatic spices for a delicious curry that’s ready in a snap. Serve it on a bed of your favourite rice or for a lower carb meal, use cauliflower rice instead.
The Perfect Vegan Lasagna
Who said lasagna is just for dairy and meat lovers? This innovative dish uses tofu to make a seriously delicious ricotta and béchamel sauce that will have everyone screaming “delizioso!” To make a gluten-free version, use brown rice lasagna noodles.