Vegan recipes have often been viewed in the past as a poor substitute for meat-based dishes, but that’s all started to change. With more people than ever before interested in exploring plant-based food, there’s been a growing recognition of the many delicious vegan dishes available.
Whether you’re a committed vegan, a flexitarian or are just interested in trying new dishes, these six vegan recipes are guaranteed to result in empty plates.
1. Balsamic-Glazed Cauliflower
If you’re looking for a vegan alternative to a roast chicken, this balsamic glazed cauliflower is the ideal substitute. The chunky texture and sweet flavours will leave you feeling full but not heavy.
Prepare the cauliflower by removing the stem and leaves so it can sit flat on the baking tray. Surround it with the veggies you prefer; we suggest tomatoes, onions, and green beans. Season the vegetables well and coat them with oil.
In a separate pan, whisk brown sugar and balsamic vinegar together, heating until it’s boiling. Turn the heat down and allow the marinade to simmer until it’s reduced by half and has thickened. Cover the cauliflower with the balsamic glaze but keep some aside for basting.
Roast for approximately 90 minutes, occasionally basting with the glaze. Serve when the cauliflower has turned golden and is tender enough for a fork to slide through.
2. Bang-Bang Cauliflower
It’s the dish with the name that makes everyone smile, conjuring up instant images of street chefs banging ingredients around with their mallets.
What’s wonderful about this dish is that it only uses a handful of ingredients, and it takes just five minutes to cook. If you keep a bottle of firecracker sauce in your cupboard, you can easily whip up this dish if you ever need to put together some food in a hurry.
There are various ways to cook bang bang cauliflower, and you may find alternative recipes. However, with lots of trial and error, we think that this one is the best as it offers a deep and fiery flavour combined with a satisfying crunch to the cauliflower. You can find the full recipe for vegan bang bang cauliflower at Wagamama Work From Home.
To garnish the dish, you will also need a few sprigs of coriander and a piece of ginger, peeled and sliced.
3. Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
When it’s cold outside, shepherd’s pie served with gravy is the ultimate comfort food. This vegan version is equally as satisfying but is entirely plant-based.
The meatiness of the original recipe is replaced by mushrooms, and when combined with vegetables and mashed potatoes, this is a dish that will please even the hardiest meat-eater. It has a depth of flavour, a variety of textures and a comforting starchiness that will fill everyone up.
To make vegan shepherd’s pie you’ll need potatoes, carrots, onion, mushrooms, garlic, flour, thyme, sage, vegetable broth, red wine, and tomato paste. You’ll also need a splash of rice milk and some vegan butter for the mashed potato.
While the potatoes are boiling, sauté and simmer the rest of the ingredients before spooning them into an oven dish and topping with the mash. Cook for another 15 minutes and you’ll have a delightfully crispy top with soft and decadent mash underneath.
4. Buffalo Chickpea Sliders
Not all vegan recipes require hours of cooking and slaving away preparing veg. This fun vegan recipe offers a plant-based take on sliders and is very easy to make.
To make the chickpea slider filling, combine a drained can of chickpeas with vegan mayo, onion powder, garlic powder, buffalo sauce, plus a pinch of salt and pepper. Mash until you’re left with a chunky consistency rather than a smooth paste.
Spoon this mixture onto a slider roll and top with ranch dressing, before serving with romaine lettuce, tomato, onion, and vegan ranch dressing.
If you can’t find any vegan ranch dressing or simply prefer to make your own, it’s easy. You’ll need vegan mayo, unsweetened almond milk, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, dill, parsley, plus a sprinkling of salt and pepper.
5. Chipotle Tofu and Pineapple Skewers
This Mexican style recipe is a take on traditional street food and uses tofu to deliver a powerful punch of flavour. Although tofu is used as a meat substitute, it offers much more with its ability to absorb huge quantities of sauces and marinades to make dishes extra-tasty.
While your cubes of tofu are draining, make a marinade using chillies, white vinegar, garlic, oregano, chipotle, annatto paste, and sugar by placing in the food processor until smooth. Pour the marinade into a frying pan and cook for five minutes until reduced. Remove from heat and add to a bowl, awaiting the tofu.
Add your tofu into the marinade, soaking for up to two hours, turning occasionally for even flavour. Thread the cubes of tofu onto a skewer, alternating with chunks of pineapple. Keep the remaining marinade. Place the skewers under a grill and cook for 10 minutes. The pineapple should appear slightly charred, and the tofu should be golden.
Serve with the remaining marinade as a salsa and lime wedges to garnish.
6. Carrot Hot Dogs
This dish may sound utterly bonkers, but you’ll be blown away by how tasty the results are – plus you’ll get the enjoyment of eating a “hot dog” without resorting to meat. Served up in a hot dog roll, these carrots look just like a conventional hot dog and are crammed full of flavour.
Start with medium-size carrots, trimmed, and peeled, in a roast pan. Make a marinade from vegetable broth, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, paprika, garlic powder and liquid smoke. Pour over the carrots and allow them to rest in the marinade for at least 30 minutes.
Roast in the oven for 55 minutes, leaving uncovered for the last 25 minutes. Remove from the oven when the carrots can be easily stabbed with a fork. Serve carrots in a hot dog bun and add tomato ketchup and mustard to taste.