If you’re new to eating a plant-based diet, you might feel overwhelmed with how to proceed. Not only are you trying to figure out what foods to eat, but also may be struggling with how to make a plant-based meal or how to make recipes that everyone will love, plant-based or not.
So I’ve gathered these classic plant-based recipes/recipe categories for you to concentrate on.
Eating a plant-based diet requires eating at home more often. Let’s face it, most restaurants don’t have your health in mind. Their interest lies in impressing your taste buds with fat, salt, and sugar so you’ll return. So eating a healthy plant-based diet requires more time in the kitchen.
Be aware, that even “healthy” restaurant choices are still often filled with fat, salt, or sugar.
Then there’s dealing with new types of food like tempeh, tofu, or seitan and wondering how you’ll get enough protein. I feel you, so I’ve pulled together this list of seven classic plant-based recipes/categories every plant-based eater should know.
When you’ve mastered these, you’ll be on the way to making easy plant-based meals for your health and that of the planet!
Master these seven recipes and you’ll be on your way to mastering your health.
7 Classic Plant-Based Recipes
A classic red sauce made with organic canned tomatoes that can be used over pasta, in your favorite lasagna, the base of a stew, soup, or even an Indian Chana Masala.
Here’s the recipe for this Basil Marinara Sauce.
The cornerstone of every long-lived community (called the Blue Zones) is, you guessed it, BEANS. They provide B vitamins and lots of fiber and protein to boot. No worries about lectins, either, because they are gone once you’ve cooked the beans.
They’re perfect for topping salads, adding to soups and stews, and delicious in burritos or tacos. They can also be the base of your vegan meatloaf or salad dressings. Very versatile and essential on a plant-based diet!
We know there are lots of plant-based milk on the market these days. Everything from oat, cashew, or hemp to the more traditional soy and almond. But VERY FEW are made without additives or thickeners. This article, Three Great Reasons to Make Your Own Almond Milk and Other Plant-Based Milk will give you more insight into why it’s important to make your own plant-based milk.
Don’t be intimidated because it’s very easy… just a little soaking and blending in your high-powered blender or Nutr Machine (see my review). It’s so delicious in your coffee, too. Read this article that goes into more detail about making other kinds of plant milk, How to Make Delicious Homemade Nut, Seed, and Grain-Based Milk.
Or, hop on over to this recipe for making homemade almond milk.
You can add them to your smoothies, eat them in salads, throw them in salads, incorporate them into casseroles and eat them sauteed as in this recipe, Sauteed Greens.
If you’re new to using tofu, read my article, “Three Ways to Cook with Tofu,” to bring you up to speed. Then, you can feel good about including tofu in your recipes.
It really can be delicious and is a great source of protein. It can be used in so many ways, including in scrambles, desserts, dressings, or a topping for your savory bowls. This Baked Tofu recipe is a good starting point and goes well in savory dishes like this Sweet & Sour Tofu recipe.
Here’s the Baked Tofu recipe.
Even though we don’t eat dairy on a plant-based diet, that doesn’t mean you can’t eat delicious vegan “cream” sauces. This article, How to Make Plant-Based Vegan Cream Sauce, will get you up to speed with three different ways to create them. A basic simple cream sauce can be the start of something delicious such as this creamy Pasta Primavera or this Cheeze Veggie Divan.
It’s recommended that we eat no or very little oil on a plant-based diet and that means oil-free salad dressings. So why now get in the groove and become an expert in oil-free salad dressing makin’? I have a handy freebie that you can use or just read my article, “Oil-Free Salad Dressing Formula,” which includes several homemade dressings.
Here’s the recipe for this Easy Oil-Free Vinaigrette.
There you have it, seven of the most basic recipes a plant-based eater should master for easier cooking and less time in the kitchen.
I’ve also written a second article called, Seven More Classic Recipes Every Plant-Baed Cooking Should Know.
What do you think of these 7 Classic Plant-Based Recipes? I’d love to hear in the comments below. And if you’d like to see your favorite recipes converted into healthy plant-based versions, I’ll give it a go, so let me know!