Last Updated on January 11, 2021 by Nina Ahmedow
When people find out I’m vegan the first question tends to be: “So what do you eat?!?” This is especially true here in Greece where people cannot imagine having even one meal without meat. I often get asked about healthy vegan meal ideas by vegan-curious people. That’s why I’ve compiled this super simple post to help you get started.
In fact, it’s not difficult at all to be vegan, and I’ll share some healthy vegan meal ideas here today. To make it simple, you don’t have to follow specific recipes. You simply work with what you have at home. I think one of the reasons people find veganism expensive is that they try to follow exact recipes. But these recipes often call for more expensive or rare ingredients. Keep in mind that you can adjust most recipes to your own liking. Unless you really want to get a specific result you don’t have to follow precise recipes.
Two Healthy Vegan Meal Ideas for Breakfast
While I like to experiment with breakfast, my go-to breakfast in the summer is this smoothie for two people:
- 1 cup of water or plant milk
- 2 ripe bananas
- ½ cup (100-125g) frozen berries (raspberries are my favorite, but I love strawberries or blackberries as well)
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 2 rotab dates (Iranian, very juicy) or a bit of maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons flaxseed
You can change this recipe as much as you like. The key is to experiment as much as possible to get the result you want. Feel free to replace the berries with any kind of fruit or even vegetable. Spinach is particularly nice in smoothies. And after trying your first spinach smoothie, you will realize that the flavor of the banana is stronger than the spinach. You simply get all the great nutrients from the spinach, but from drinking a sweet smoothie.
You can also use this recipe for a smoothie bowl. In that case, you use less of the liquid but the same amount of all the other ingredients. Pour the smoothie in a bowl, and add some fruit and toppings. Rolled oats are a great addition as they are extremely filling! Even a constantly hungry person like myself will be full for at least two hours after such a breakfast.
Vegan Snack Ideas
As far as snacks go, fruit and vegetables are obviously your best friend. For work, the easiest options are fruits and veggies you don’t have to peel. Carrots, apples, and celery are perfect vegan on-the-go snacks. Because you can cut and wash them at home and then eat them wherever you like.
Dried fruits and nuts are also really nice choices, though not quite as filling in smaller quantities. Of course, there are also tons of vegan granola bars or similar products (Complete Cookie, I’m looking at you).
One of my favorite ingredients is coconut milk. It instantly adds a delicious Asian flavor to any dish.
For this veggie stir-fry, I sauté onions, garlic, ginger, and spices in a wok and add vegetables and legumes. My favorite is broccoli, but anything works: spinach, tomatoes, peas, mushrooms, chickpeas, kidney beans. You could also add tofu. Finally, I add some coconut milk. This goes perfectly with wild rice or noodles. I don’t have a set recipe for this. I simply combine whatever vegetables and legumes I like with coconut milk and spices.
Ingredients That Inspire Healthy Vegan Meal Ideas
Of course, pasta is one of the fastest things you can cook whether you’re vegan or not. In organic stores, you will find a variety of pasta and noodles that you cannot find in normal supermarkets. And that can make it easier to incorporate different food groups into your diet. For example, there are excellent noodles made of black beans. So if you don’t like the taste of beans you can still get some of their nutrients from the noodles.
You can also add nutritional yeast to any pasta sauce you might be making. Nutritional yeast provides you with vitamin B12 and also adds texture and a cheesy flavor. You can even use nutritional yeast as a parmesan replacement.
Another great ingredient to use, especially in sauces, is tofu. You can crumble it or cut it into pieces and it adds texture and protein to a simple tomato sauce.
These are some basic ideas, but I have some more tips on how to eat healthily as a vegan with additional simple recipes. As a woman of Muslim heritage, I also have a post featuring vegan recipes from the Muslim world and another one with specifically Balkan vegan recipes.
For more ideas, check out Ashley Renne‘s superfood Sunday posts on Instagram where she introduces you to delicious and healthy vegan ingredients.
What are some of your favorite vegan meal ideas? Are there any specific recipes you would like me to post? Let me know in the comments below.