10 Vegan Dishes That Will Have You Questioning Your Beliefs About Animal Products


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By Kat Gal

“Isn’t eating vegan all about rabbit food?”

Not at all!

Check out these amazing vegan dishes, classic comfort foods and heart-warming dishes filled with nutrients and protein, completely free of any meat, dairy, eggs or other animal derived products.

They will make everyone drool – vegan and non-vegan alike.

But don’t just drool over this amazing food-porn – make them for yourself and your family, perhaps for this Thanksgiving or any other regular night, because, after all, every day is a celebration!

Give some (or all!) these recipes a try and let us know how it goes in the comments below!

#1. Quinoa Salad With Cranberries, Apples & Pecans

Quinoa Salad With Cranberries, Apples & Pecans
This quinoa salad is far from rabbit food - it’s a complete meal with so many flavors, that it will make your tastebuds have a happy dance party.
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4
  • 1 cup organic quinoa (+ 2 cups of water)
  • Sea salt
  • 3-4 tbsp fresh, organic parsley, chopped
  • 1 ripe, organic apple, washed, stemmed and cored, cut into pieces
  • A handful or two cranberries (raisins work as well)
  • Ground pepper
  • A handful (or more) pecans (walnuts or almonds work too)
  • Dressing: 2 ½ tbsp virgin olive oil, 2 tbsp pineapple balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp pure organic maple syrup
  1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
  2. Add quinoa and salt.
  3. Cover, bring it to low and let simmer for about 20 mins until the water is evaporated and the quinoa is tender.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients.
  5. Fluff with fork.
  6. Mix the dressing and add.
  7. Fluff again.

#2. Baked Black Bean Taquitos

#2. Baked Black Bean Taquitos
Double this recipe (trust me!) and you’ll be able to dive into these crispy baked black bean bites whenever the mood strikes. Bake and eat or freeze and reheat. Choice is yours. Goodness guaranteed.
Serves: 4
  • 1 can (822g) black beans (or 2 ½ cups homemade)
  • 1 cup mushrooms, minced
  • ½ cup tomatillo salsa (or salsa of your choice)
  • 3 tbsp dairy-free cream cheese (I use Tofutti or Daiya)
  • 1 cup dairy-free shredded cheese (I use Daiya)
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 clove garlic, minced or ½ tsp powdered garlic
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1 package gluten-free tortillas (many corn tortillas are okay, but check for wheat flour as some brands are labeled as corn but also include wheat)
  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Drain the beans and toss them in a good sized bowl.
  3. Add remaining ingredients (except the tortillas!) and stir until combined.
  4. I find that steaming my gluten-free tortillas makes them pliable enough to roll, so I set up a pot with about an inch of water, get that boiling and then set a cookie-cooling rack on top of the open pot. I then set the stack of tortillas on the rack and cover them with an oversized pot rack so that they can steam for a few minutes.
  5. Now, take one tortilla and lay it out on your work surface. Add about 3 tbsp of filling in a line down the left edge. Then fold the left edge over the filling and roll it tightly to the right.
  6. Lay the rolled taquito on a sheet tray and continue until you’ve used up your filling and tortillas.
  7. Put the pan into the oven, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until the edges just brown.
  8. Remove and let them cool for a few minutes before serving.

#3. Yummy Quinoa Burgers

Yummy Quinoa Burgers
Once you make this, you will completely forget about your meat burger.
  • 1 cup of quinoa

  • Burger Fillings:

  • ¼ cup shredded carrots
  • ½ stalk of celery, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, minced or finely cut
  • ¼ cup of mushrooms, finely cut or minced
  • ¼ small onion, finely cut
  • 4 tbsp flour (multigrain, all-purpose, GF)
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp of flax seeds + 3 tbsp of water)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A little turmeric (optional)
  • A little bit of parsley
  1. Measure 1 cup quinoa.
  2. Rinse it in lots of cold water.
  3. Add 1 cup rinsed quinoa to 1 cup water.
  4. Bring to a boil then simmer until the water is absorbed (about 20 minutes).
  5. Turn off the heat. Cool the quinoa.
  6. When the quinoa is cool, mix in the burger fillings.
  7. Shape burgers from the mix. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat with 1-2 tbsp of oil.
  8. Fry both sides until golden brown.
  9. Serve with vegetables, a salad or burger style in a bun.

#4. Cheesy Cauliflower

Cheesy Cauliflower
You are just 5 ingredients away from a quick and easy, faux-cheesy, vegan and gluten-free side dish!
Serves: 2-4
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp olive or coconut oil
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • Sprinkle of hot sauce (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Prep cauliflower by creating small florets.
  3. Mix remaining ingredients together in a bowl and then add cauliflower to coat (use your hands).
  4. Spread cauliflower on a baking sheet and cook for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

#5. Cranberry-Nut-Orange Couscous

Cranberry-Nut-Orange Couscous
In this amazing couscous recipe, you won’t be missing animal products. It is flavorful and rich, filled with crunchy, protein-filled nuts, sweet cranberries and zesty oranges.
Serves: 3-5
  • 1 cup of Israeli couscous
  • 1 cup of dried cranberries
  • ½ cup of walnuts
  • ½ cup of almonds

  • Orange-Mandarin-Pineapple Dressing

  • ½ cup of mandarin and pineapple juice
  • Some orange zest (in this case, mandarin zest)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of orange muscat champagne vinegar
  • Salt and pepper as desired
  1. Boil some water, add couscous, simmer for about 10-12 minutes, drain. Set aside.
  2. Mix the nuts and the cranberries, add to the couscous. Mix well.
  3. Mix the mandarin-pineapple juice, orange zest, oil, vinegar, add salt and pepper as you like.
  4. Add the dressing to the couscous, mix well (you can add the dressing ‘as you go’ during dinner).
  5. Eat it warm (perhaps with a salad of your choice) or cool it for a few hours for a cold couscous salad.

#6. Mushroom, Spinach Pasta

Mushroom, Spinach Pasta
Pasta is the ultimate comfort food for me. This one includes mushrooms and spinach, takes just minutes in the kitchen and tastes amazing!
Serves: 2
  • 2 cups brown rice pasta
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 8 oz mushrooms of choice
  • 4 cups spinach
  • Sea salt (or truffle salt) + pepper to taste
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • Onion powder to taste
  • Garlic or garlic powder to taste
  • Red chili flakes to taste
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1 ladle of pasta water before draining.
  2. While pasta cooks – heat coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms, spinach, salt and pepper and cook until soft.
  3. Add nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic, red chili flakes and 1 ladle of pasta water and mix.
  4. Add additional salt and pepper if needed and serve.

#7. Taco Bell Peppers

Taco Bell Peppers
Faster than the drive-through and WAY healthier and tasty to the max. These taco-inspired peppers can also be made with those cute little peppers - I’m seeing appetizer Taco Pepper Poppers in your future! Great game day nosh!
Serves: 3
  • A few crisp bell peppers, your choice of color
  • Avocado, sliced
  • Greens of your choice
  • Tomato, sliced or cubed
  • Salsa, fresh or purchased (optional)

  • NutMeat:

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 portobello mushroom cap, black gills removed, minced
  • ½-1 tsp chipotle chile powder (adjust to suit your taste)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Bragg’s Liquid Amino’s
  1. Pulse all of the NutMeat ingredients in your food processor until mixture resembles ground meat. It only takes a few pulses.
  2. Alternatively, you can put the nuts in a plastic bag and crush them by bashing them with a fairly solid can (I use canned tomato for this) or roll over the bag with your rolling pin.
  3. You can also use a chef's knife and mince the nuts and mushroom by hand.
  4. Using hand methods will take a bit longer and will yield a slightly uneven texture, but the taste will be the same once you mix all the ingredients together. When I made this using hand skills, I used my mortar and pestle to grind the spices into a small amount of the nuts and then mixed everything.
  5. The smaller the mushroom bits, the more the mixture will resemble ground meat - texture does make a difference, especially when you are introducing a raw food as a substitute for something as familiar as taco meat!
  6. Set the nut mixture aside while you clean and prep the peppers.
  7. This step involves nothing more than washing your produce, slicing off the green stem portion and cleaning out the seeds with your hands.
  8. For portioning the peppers I used, I found that 3 segments worked, but you will need to gauge that with your peppers since some peppers have 4 lobes and some 3.
  9. Work with the natural segmentation of your pepper and make slices that will become the vessel for your tacos.
  10. Prepare your remaining veggies and then assemble by laying down some greens in the cavity of the pepper shells. I go greens, salsa, avocado, tomato, nut meat… repeat, plate and eat!
  11. If you want an easy variation that is not raw, consider adding some cooked black beans on top of the nut meat. Equally tasty and a nice transition into a high raw meal.

#8. Quinoa Sushi

Quinoa Sushi
Sushi without fish? And without rice?! Try these nutrition-rich, protein filled quinoa and vegetable sushi rolls - you won’t be disappointed.
Serves: 3 - 6
  • Nori rolls
  • 1 cup quinoa (I used tri-color)
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 carrot, thinly slices
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • Handful of baby spinach
  • Olives, sliced
  1. Bring 2 cups of water to boil.
  2. Add quinoa and salt.
  3. Cover, bring it to low and simmer for about 20 mins until the water is evaporated and the quinoa is tender.
  4. Spread the quinoa all over the sushi roll, add vegetables, roll it up and slice it.

#9. Roasted Sweet Potatoes And Chickpeas

Roasted Sweet Potatoes And Chickpeas
Sweet potatoes are the typical Thanksgiving sides and perfect for a heart-warming fall or winter meal. Along with the chickpeas, sweet potatoes graduate from a side dish to a main course.
Serves: 4
  • 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed (or cooked chickpeas, same amount)
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled, diced into small cubes
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into tiny pieces
  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • Salt, pepper and paprika to taste
  • Parsley, for garnish
  1. Preheat your oven at 400F.
  2. Melt coconut oil in a saucepan, then pour it into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the diced sweet potatoes, cut peppers and rinsed chickpeas. Mix them well with the oil.
  4. Spread the potatoes, peppers and chickpeas in a baking dish.
  5. Sprinkle with turmeric. Add salt, pepper and paprika or any other spice you would like.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally so it roasts evenly.
  7. Garnish with parsley flakes when served.

#10. Mac & Cheese

Mac & Cheese is the ultimate American comfort food, so it is our obligation to give you not one but TWO delicious vegan mac & cheese recipes.

A. Mac & Cheese
Hello, comfort food! I’ve tested this recipe on my husband and friends - they all especially love the flavor, the simple ingredients and that this mac and cheese is gluten-free and vegan!
Serves: 4-6
  • 16 oz package of gluten-free pasta (quinoa, brown rice)

  • Bread crumb topping

  • Packaged rice crumb topping
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of sea salt

  • Cheese sauce

  • 1 ½ cups raw cashews, soaked, rinsed, drained
  • 1 ¾ cups water, unsweetened almond milk or 50/50 combo
  • ⅓ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 large lemon, juiced –or– 1 tablespoon apple-cider vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ to ½ tsp chili powder
  • ⅛ tsp turmeric
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F degrees.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, cook your noodles according to package directions (al dente) and set aside.
  3. While waiting for the water to boil, make the “bread crumb” topping. Take the packaged rice crumb topping and mix with a drizzle of olive oil and pinch of salt. It may be slightly lumpy – incorporate as best you can.
  4. Next, make the cheese sauce. In a food processor or blender, combine all of the cheese sauce ingredients except for ½ of the water/milk and blend until creamy. Add remaining water/milk and blend again. Taste for flavor adding anything extra to suit your taste.
  5. Once pasta is cooked – drain it and add it back to the pot it was cooked in. Add the cheese sauce and combine well (it may seem like too much liquid, but the pasta will take care of most of it).
  6. Pour the mac and cheese into a baking dish and top with “bread crumbs.” Bake for 25 - 30 minutes. If after 15 minutes the crumbs are getting too dark - cover with foil for the remainder of the time in the oven.
  7. Cool for 10 minutes after cooking and serve. The sauce will thicken upon standing.

B. Freedom Mac & Cheese
Serves: 4
  • 8 ounces pasta, any shape and gluten free if necessary
  • 1 package Daiya cheddar style Shreds (about 2 cups)
  • 1 tbsp Earth Balance
  • 2 cups unsweetened milk product of your choice (rice milk, hemp milk, coconut milk)
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional, but definitely helps cheesy flavor and boosts B12)

  • If you are baking the mac and cheese, here is a topper/crust idea:

  • ¾ cup gluten-free bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil or melted Earth Balance (to moisten and bind)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp ground pepper or to taste
  • 1 tsp dried Italian herbs (optional)
  1. If you’re going to be baking the mac and cheese, preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Get your water boiling and cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  3. While pasta is cooking: Prepare the cheese sauce by warming the alternative milk, Earth Balance and Daiya.
  4. Over medium low heat, stir or whisk until cheese melts, then add the nutritional yeast and whisk to combine. If sauce is too thick for your liking, just stream in a bit more of your milk choice and whisk to loosen the sauce.
  5. My kids like a thicker, creamier sauce - we’ve gone up to 3 cups of liquid and gotten a nice, thinner consistency that is more like Kraft mac and cheese from the box mixes.
  6. Toss the cooked pasta with the creamy sauce and either transfer it to serving bowls or to a casserole dish (if you’re baking it).
  7. For baked mac and cheese: Top with the bread crumbs and paprika. Bake for 15 minutes uncovered, or until the cheese is bubbling and top is starting to brown.

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Kat Gal

Kat Gal

Health Writer & Freelance Writing Mentor at Kat Gal Writer / Freelance Writer School
Kat Gál is a holistic health writer who helps health, wellness, and nutrition businesses to market their products and services through quality online content. She is also a freelance writing mentor teaching wanna-be-freelancers how to make a living writing at freelancewriterschool.com. Reach out if you are looking for amazing blog content at katgalwriter@gmail.com or katgalwriter.com. Visit freelancewriterschool.com for freelance writing tips. Follow me on Instagram @freelancewriterschool and on Facebook at facebook.com/katgalwriter.
Kat Gal


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