Meat-lovers: give vegan food a chance! With several environmental, health, and economic crises going on, it has become increasingly necessary to have taste flexibility. You can keep on loving meat, but taking small steps to reduce your consumption of animal products by learning some simple vegan recipes for beginners can help lessen the negative impact of cattle production on the environment and improve your own health.
On average, vegans and vegetarians weigh 5 to 20 percent lower than regular meat-eaters and have much lower rates of obesity. Skipping on some animal fat a couple times a week also helps you fight the risk of type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Also, nearly 20 percent of ALL pollution comes from cattle production, so it’s actually very important to the future of the planet that we re-educate our taste buds. There are plenty of reasons to venture into a new world of food. Whether you just discovered you’re intolerant and/or allergic to dairy or you simply cannot afford to eat steak every day anymore, we got you covered with yummy recipes that will make you forget how much you mocked vegans! Check out these healthy and veggielicious simple vegan recipes for beginners:
The Perfect Vegan Appetizer: Fresh Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce
Ingredients: Peanut Sauce
Very hot water
Ingredients: Spring Rolls
Extra-virgin olive oil
Cooked rice noodles (just follow instructions)
Ming bean sprouts
Spring roll wrappers
Prep: Peanut Sauce
Mix ¼ cup peanut butter with ¼ cup very hot water until it is smooth. Once you’re satisfied with the consistency, add one tablespoon of both rice vinegar and soy sauce, two teaspoons of the agave nectar, and one teaspoon of lime juice. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper. Ready!
So, for those who are new to vegetarian/vegan eating, here is a very important secret: you have to drain the tofu. You just need to grab a couple (no, a lot) of paper towels and press on the tofu sticks. Then, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Find a small bowl where you will mix one tablespoon of soy sauce and extra-virgin oil each, with a tiny pinch of black pepper. Whisk, whisk, whisk! Transfer the tofu to a baking sheet or casserole and pour the mixture over the sticks. Let it marinate for 10 to 15 minutes and bake it for 30 minutes. Make sure to flip the sticks halfway through baking.
Prep: Spring Rolls
Tear the lettuce into 3×3 inch pieces. Cut the cucumber and carrots into sticks, chop the mint, and evenly slice the avocado. Find a shallow and wide bowl to fill with warm water. You will be soaking the spring roll wrappers individually, each piece should take about just five seconds. In a dry and clean work surface, lay each wrapper down and get ready to carefully craft your spring rolls.
Always leave one inch near the bottom end uncovered. Near the center-top portion, put one piece of lettuce. Now, in a vertical line, place one piece of carrot, cucumber, tofu and avocado, some bean sprouts and a handful of noodles. Finally, add one teaspoon of mint and another of cilantro. Fold the bottom of the wrapper onto the top of the filling. Pinch the left edge of the wrapper over the filling and the bottom edge. Try to make it as compact as you can. Pull the left side over the right, rolling it, and keeping it tight. Press all the edges together to seal the roll. Once you’ve rolled all the wrappers, serve them with the peanut sauce.
The End-All, Be-All Vegan Salad: Sriracha Lime Butternut Squash Salad
Lime juice (fresh!)
Honey (or agave nectar)
Extra-virgin olive oil
Find a small bowl and mix ½ teaspoon of honey (or agave nectar), one teaspoon of sriracha, two tablespoons of lime juice, and a pinch of salt. Start to whisk and slowly add one tablespoon of olive oil.
Take 1 lb. of butternut squash, peel it and cube into pieces. If you bought canned black beans, drain and rinse. Find a baking sheet and coat it with cooking spray. Transfer the butternut squash into it and sprinkle 1 ½ teaspoon of olive oil, ½ teaspoon of ground cumin, ¼ teaspoon of salt and pepper each. Toss it, mix it, and send it into the oven. Pick a salad bowl and toss the black beans, pepitas, and arugula. Once you have roasted the squash, add it immediately along with the dressing and toss it all together to mix. It’s ready to serve!