My vegan/vegetarian journey began nearly two years ago in November when I was watching one of Kalyn Nicholson’s videos about veganism. At first, I went pescatarian, out of worry that my mum couldn’t handle me switching my entire diet up since I wasn’t cooking for myself at that point. I ate fish but no other meat for six or seven months after which I decided to go fully vegetarian. At this point, I was alone for the summer and began learning how to prepare and cook my own food. I started with easy recipes like fries and veggie burgers (I never said I’m a healthy vegan) and pasta. During this time I knew I wanted to go vegan, that was my goal. But once again, I didn’t know how to approach it and I was already struggling to learn all these recipes I thought I needed to know how to make (I didn’t, not everybody has to know how to cook like a Pinterest personality). The fact that I loved cheese on my pasta didn’t help.
I was vegetarian until the start of last month when I decided to bite the bullet and just go vegan. Life is too short not to do the things you want to do, right? After a failed attempt last summer, I decided to go into it this time with a lot more forethought and preparation. I did all my research; reasons why I should go vegan, nutrition and where I would get all my protein from and lastly recipes (I can do a post about all my research if anyone’s interested). As I was scrolling through social media looking at all these scrumptious photos of delicious food, I came across Madeleine Olivia’s Youtube channel which you can find *here*. Not only did she have aesthetically pleasing and easy recipes but she also had guides to veganism such as how to prepare tofu. This seriously helped me in working out how to be vegan myself.
I have tried the following recipes for myself and I have to say that these three recipes are my favourites as of now. Mind you, I am not a chef, not even close to a good cook – I am just a student learning how to cook for herself and so the steps for the following recipes might not be perfectly timed or in the order a real chef might cook these recipes so if you know how to do it better then that’s great! Teach me your ways. Also, I will not add pictures to these recipes – I am not a food photographer and I would like to avoid being embarrassed. Use your imagination, it’s always fun.
Without further ado, here are my three favourite vegan recipes.
- Pasta (any shape will do, I usually use fusilli)
- Vegan tomato sauce (I usually use *Sainsbury’s tomato and basil sauce*)
- Brown onion
- Salt/pepper (plus any other condiment you’d like)
- Olive oil (or any other oil you’d like to use)
- Nutritional yeast (alternative to cheese – I got mine from Amazon) (OPTIONAL)
- Lemon/lime juice (OPTIONAL)
- Button mushrooms
- Cherry tomatoes
- Firm tofu
- Prepare all your toppings by chopping up the onions (roughly), dicing up the mushrooms and the cherry tomatoes as well as the tofu (smaller cubes)
- Cook pasta according to the packaging
- While pasta is boiling, heat up a pan then heat up the oil (I can’t remember why but I saw someone do it this way and it made sense at the time)
- Sauté the tofu cubes until golden
- Add the chopped onions – wait until the onions are translucent
- Add the mushrooms and the condiments (salt and pepper + any other condiment of your choosing) and let them brown
- Add the chopped tomatoes and wait two minutes or so
- Add your sauce
- Drain your pasta and add it to the pan
- Drizzle some lemon/lime juice and nutritional yeast on top
- Mix everything together
I got this recipe from Nikki Limo’s Youtube Channel (she’s really funny, check her out *here*) and she used the recipe from It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken which you can find *here*. I’ll leave the original recipe with all the details and measurements as well as Nikki’s video as a visual guide. This recipe is honestly amazing and so hassle free that I learnt how to do it in only two tries and that says a lot about the recipe given that I am really bad at cooking.
A buddha bowl is like a trusty best friend who makes you feel at home when you need it the most. Buddha bowls are phenomenal for what they are; easy to make, tasty and a guaranteed way of making sure you eat your greens. I first learned about Buddha Bowls from Kalyn Nicholson on Youtube (another vegan youtuber, check her out *here* – she does lifestyle videos and she’s super sweet!). She has an entire blog post talking about how she makes her Buddha Bowls which I will link *here* for you to check out.
Some of my favourite toppings for a Buddha Bowl are avocado, peas, carrots cherry tomatoes, mushrooms and tofu nuggets (cubes of tofu rolled in egg replacer and breadcrumbs).
So here you have it, my three favourite vegan recipes. Granted, they are not the most original or hard to make recipes but they are all very tasty and easy to make. Not to mention great on a student budget. Let me know if you try any of these and make sure to check out all the amazing people I talked about in this post (Nikki Limo, Kalyn Nicholson and It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken and Madeleine Olivia). Thanks a lot for reading and make sure to check out my last blog post which is a book review of Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater!
(GIFS ARE NOT MINE – CREDIT GOES TO WHOEVER MADE THEM!)