“Vegan” is the buzzword of the past couple of years. But do you know what it is and why it’s a good option for you and the planet?
A vegan diet is one that is free from all animal-derived products – meats, cheeses, eggs, milk, even honey. If everyone in the world went vegan today, then human-made global greenhouse gas emissions would drop 14.5-15.6%. With climate change being such a huge problem for our planet, any and every reduction in emissions would help greatly in trying to mitigate the damage being done. And, with all the recent studies about red meat and cancer and vegan diets being linked to lower blood pressure and rates of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, why wouldn’t you give it a try?
Even Vegas has gone vegan – it’s becoming quite easy to grab a vegan burger between roulette games. So what are you waiting for? Here are our 5 favorite vegan instagrammers and some of their yummy recipes.
Vegan Richa takes recipes from around the world and turns them vegan, presenting them very clearly with photos or even videos of each step on her blog. One of her recipes that is shared constantly is her Vegan Cauliflower Parmesan Pasta Bake. This Italian-inspired casserole is also soy-free and can be made gluten-free by switching out the pasta and breadcrumbs for gluten-free versions. You’ll need:
- half a head of cauliflower
- Old Bay seasoning
- garlic powder
- salt & pepper
- 8 oz pasta
- marinara or tomato basil sauce
- vegan mozzarella slices or cashew mozzarella
- vegan parmesan
- onion powder
- Italian herb blend
You’ll coat and bake the cauliflower slices first while cooking the pasta. Then in a casserole dish, layer the pasta, sauce, baked cauliflower, and vegan cheese. Bake at 400F/200C for 20-25 minutes and then enjoy!
With all recipes requiring 10 ingredients or less and made in 30 minutes max, Dana’s ideas are all perfect. Our fave? Her Creamy Dragon Fruit Smoothie Bowl – 5 ingredients, 5 minutes. You’ll need:
- frozen dragon fruit
- frozen raspberries (or your favorite fruit)
- medium ripe bananas that have been previously frozen
- vegan vanilla protein powder
- dairy-free milk
Toss everything in a blender until smooth, add more to taste as you wish, and eat as-is or with some extra toppings like coconut flakes, fresh fruits, hemp seeds, or granola.
From My Bowl
Who never ate raw cookie dough while baking as a child (salmonella, what’s that?)? Well, thanks to Caitlin, you can enjoy a safe, vegan, and healthy version in her Chickpea Cookie Dough recipe! You’ll need:
- cooked chickpeas
- nut or seed butter
- vanilla extract
- oat flour or almond flour
- maple syrup
- dairy-free chocolate chips
Pop all ingredients except the chocolate chips in a blender or food processor until a thick, even dough forms, then fold in the chocolate chips, and dig in! If there are any leftovers, you can keep them in the fridge for up to a week.
Fork and Beans
Cara’s creations aren’t only delicious, they are also adorable! Perfect for if you have kids or just love food that can make you smile. Who wouldn’t want to munch on a Monster Bell Pepper Salad Cup rather than just a boring salad in a bowl? You’ll need:
- bell peppers
- green olives
- mini bell peppers
- shredded carrots
- your choice of salad dressing
Slice the tops off the bell peppers and deseed them to make the cup and stick green olives in the tops with toothpicks to form the eyes. Mix your salad ingredients in a bowl and toss with the dressing. Distribute the salad evenly in the peppers. Add cucumber slices or sliced halves of mini bell peppers for the tongues. Pop the tops back on and they’re ready!
The Vegan 8
Brandi is also into easy meals – all of her recipes are eight ingredients (not including water, salt, pepper) and NO OIL. For her spicy Vegan Red Pepper Curry Bowl, you’ll need:
- red bell peppers
- broccoli florets
- jasmine white rice
- yellow curry spice
- cashew milk
- lemon juice
- water, salt, and pepper
Roast the bell peppers and broccoli in the oven and cook the rice. In a large pan combine water, garlic, onion, salt, and pepper and simmer until the water is gone. Add the curry powder and cashew milk and heat through. Once it’s cooled, blend the mix with the roasted peppers and lemon juice. Serve with the rice and broccoli.