Vegan Recipes For Beginners. An Easy and Complete Guide.

Irene Aguirre 2021-03-17 8 min

If you are new to veganism or looking to go vegan, it can seem like a little too much at first. You were used to eating whatever without thinking about it, but now you need to pay special attention to every ingredient on the list. It can be overwhelming, right? So, the key is to be prepared and have a handful of go-to vegan recipes for beginners that you can eat without thinking twice. This will make the transition way easier.

Thinking About Going Vegan?

Veganism is a way of living that seeks to exclude all forms of animal exploitation, and cruelty towards them. This includes using animals for food, clothing, and whatever other purposes. And by extension, this philosophy promotes the development of animal-free alternatives that in the end benefit not only animals but also humans and the environment. There are multiple ways that you can adopt a vegan life. But one of the biggest branches of veganism it's the diet. So let's start with an easy guide on vegan recipes for beginners.

But first let's understand the vegan diet.

The vegan dietary aspect is a plant-based diet, and it avoids all animal foods, from meat, fish, shellfish, and insects to dairy, honey, eggs. So they avoid absolutely everything derived from animals.

What are the Benefits of a Vegan Diet?

Since being vegan requires a much more meticulous way of eating, it is proven that a well-done vegan diet can be richer in certain nutrients. Considering you are giving up meats and any animal products, inevitably you will be relying on other foods. In this case, it will be whole-foods, veggies, and fruits instead of processed foods. This will result in having a higher daily intake of beneficial nutrients. This is why a well-planned vegan diet is especially important when you are beginning. It helps you forge new (healthy) habits.

A balanced vegan diet is made up of these four food groups: legumes, nuts, and seeds; grains; vegetables; and fruits.

Make sure that when you are planning your vegan diet for beginners, you keep in mind this list of nutrients:

  1. Vitamin D-B12
  2. Omega 3 Fatty Acids
  3. Calcium
  4. Iodine
  5. Iron

According to multiple research, having a vegan diet could be a key factor in reducing your environmental impact on the planet.

By cutting meat and dairy from your diet could reduce your individual food carbon footprint by up to 73%. And a vegan diet not only would result in a significant drop in greenhouse gas emissions, it would also free up wild land lost to agriculture, one of the primary causes for mass wildlife extinction.

If you are considering going vegan, you might like our post on How to go Vegan With No Setbacks For Beginners.

So let's start with some vegan recipes for beginners.

The Key to Succeeding is Having at Least a Few Vegan Meals for Beginners.

So let's check out these vegan recipes for beginners:

For me, the best strategy for beginning a new diet is always being prepared. This might include going shopping for a big list. Then I have at home everything I need for my meals.

It is also convenient for, changes like this, to cook in bulk. This way you make sure you always have something vegan and healthy ready to eat.

Ok, now that we have the ground settled, what are some good vegan recipes for beginners?

Vegan Recipes for Beginners:

Let's tackle the different foods we have every day. So breakfast, lunch, dinner, and some snacks.

Vegan Breakfasts for Beginners

As we said, paying attention to nutrients is very important for a vegan diet. So let's start this list with a nutrient-filled option for breakfast.

Vegan Oats 3 Ways

Glass with chocolate banana oats, topped with creamy peanut butter.
Photo by Ella Olsson on Unsplash

What is better than waking up and not having to worry about what to make for breakfast. For this vegan meal for beginners, you will need virtually no effort to have a delicious and healthy breakfast waiting for you to wake up.

So for this to happen, you will need to plan ahead, get some stuff done the night before, but it's super easy.

We are using a couple of base ingredients and then adding the ones that make the difference.

Base ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup of rolled oats
  • 1/2 vegan milk of choice

Creamy Vegan Banana Oatmeal:

Who doesn't like a banana oatmeal combo? This recipe is very simple and filled with potassium, protein, and fiber for you to start your day with a full tank of energy.

  • 1 banana (ripe)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 pinch sea salt
  • 5 chopped walnuts
  • 2 tsp maple syrup

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip:

It's so easy to be vegan and eat delicious food. If you don't believe me check out these dark chocolate oats overnight.

  • 2 tsp of chunky peanut butter
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 T dark chocolate chips
  • 1 pinch of sea salt

Blueberry Muffin:

Full of antioxidants and amazing flavor.

  • 1/4 cups blueberries
  • 1 T cashews
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Instructions for all the recipes:

Combine the 2 base ingredients plus all the ingredients of your chosen flavor in a bowl (or any container that can be sealed well).

Refrigerate overnight

Add an extra splash of milk if needed before serving.

Enjoy!

Easy, right?

Now let's see what's for lunch.

Easy Vegan Lunch and Dinner for Beginners

Since breakfast was so easy we have some headspace to have a conscious vegan meal. Don't worry it's all for beginners.

Remember we said that a good balanced vegan diet must contain: legumes, nuts, and seeds; grains; vegetables; and fruits. So we already added fruit, seeds, and some grains to our breakfast. Therefore we should try to incorporate legumes and veggies into the rest of our vegan meals.

I'm going to introduce you to my two best vegan friends. Meet Rice and Beans LOL.

rice-and-beans
Photo by EVERSON DE SOUZA on Unsplash

All jokes aside, this combo is the most malleable, cheap, and convenient there is. So you better incorporate it into your vegan diet.

There is a big variety of beans you can pick from, there are white, brown, red, black, pinto beans, chickpeas even peas and lentils. There is an entire bean-universe that you can explore to have a healthy vegan diet. And you can travel the world just using these two magical ingredients. You can go from Mexico to India, to Greece, and back right there in your kitchen.

That is why I find them particularly useful and are a perfect fit for our list of vegan recipes for beginners.

So here are 3 rice and beans recipes for you to learn and hopefully, this will help you build your own vegan diet.

Base Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 Cups of Beans
  • 1 Cup of rice

Mexican Rice and Beans:

rice-and-beans-on-a-plate.jpeg
Photo by Joice Kelly on Unsplash

You'll need black or read beans for this recipe. Or a combination of both.

These are the ingredients.

  • 1 ½ cups vegetable broth Use water if desired. We recommend the broth for extra flavor.
  • 1 tbsp plus 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp of avocado or extra virgin olive oil or 2 tablespoons of vegetable broth
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper seeded and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper – removed and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • Toppings: Avocado, lime, and cilantro leaves.

Rice and Chickpea Mediterranean Salad:

Rice and Chickpea Mediterranean Salad
Photo by Alesia Kozik from Pexels

For this recipe I use brown rice, you can use whichever you like best. And you'll need chickpeas.

  • 1 medium cucumber, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Toppings: olive oil and olives (chopped).

Indian Lentil Dahl:

Indian Lentil Dahl
Photo by Alesia Kozik from Pexels

For this recipe use white rice and lentils. And lots of spices.

  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger root
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Toppings: Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish, Lime wedges for squeezing

Instructions for every recipe:

Cook the rice in a separate pot and serve hot or cold. In a diferent pot cook the beans with veggies until soft.

Lunch and dinner, solved! Do you see? Most of the ingredients in this recipes are rare and you can find them at your local grocery store. And let's be honest, you probably have most of them already.

Snacks

If you are like me, this will be your favorite part: Snacks! Ugh, I'm a sucker for a good snack. Let's check out a few options for you to complete your vegan diet with all the nutrients that you need.

couple having snacks
Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

We can start with the ultimate natural snack, a fruit! But if that's too dull for you, you can pick one from this list.

Vegan Recipes for Beginners. Snack Edition:

This list needs no introduction, you probably already snack this constantly. So just a reminder on what you can include into your diet.

  • Popcorn
  • Hummus with veggies
  • Avocado Toast
  • Baked veggie chips
  • Baked chickpeas
  • Roasted peanuts
  • Bruschetta topped with tomato and basil
  • Spicy edamame

And my all-time favorite:

  • Peanut butter straight from the jar.

And if you feel a little bit junkier check out this list of accidentally vegan snacks you can find in any supermarket.

Remember you should mind the balance of your vegan diet. The best for that is eating at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and veggies every day. Try to think of meals that like the rice and beans alternative are based on potatoes, rice, pasta, or other starchy carbohydrates.

Always have available some dairy alternatives, soy drinks yogurts, and spread cheeses come very handy.

Drink plenty of fluids. At least 6 cups of water are needed for a healthy body.

As you can see you probably already eat this way. You don't need to be a great cook. You just need to have a few vegan recipes for beginners under your sleeve and you'll be good.

Building a vegan diet is not that hard. You just need a few guidelines. It´s not about changing completely what you eat or adding new exotic things you never had before. Is about do in it in a way that can be sustainable for you. And if that means eating rice, beans, and veggies for a while, it's ok. You'll have time to get adventurous in the kitchen, but baby steps!

Irene Aguirre

Copywriter, nature lover and feminist activist

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