31 vegan dinner ideas for veganuary

January the 1st 2020. And many of you are *hopefully* comitting to veganuary… or maybe you have just decided to eat more plantbased and are looking for some meal inspiration…. well then, here are 31 lunch or dinner ideas you can try making or incoporating into your weekly diet!

When you first start eating plantbased you may find it hard to know what to eat and you end up just eating salad, or you take away the meat and dairy but don’t replace it with anything so you end up unsatisfied, hungry and get cravings.

So my best tip is to 1) Remember to substitute what you take away. I.e switch dairy products for non dairy alternatives. And if you take away the meat or fish on your plate, don’t just take it away or substitute with more potatoes. Instead substitute it with tofu, tempeh, beans, soya products or something else that gives you protein.

Another tip is to write down all your favourite meals and find a way to veganize them. Now a days the majority of dishes can be veganized in one way or another. Though of course, you do have to be prepared for the fact that the dish won’t taste exactly the same. So some prefer to note veganize and isntead just recreate new vegan dishes which don’t try to replicate a non vegan dish.

I would suggest you write down a bunch of different meal ideas or recipes you want to try or try to recreate and have that as a back up for when you don’t know what to cook or eat. A good idea is also to have the list on your phone for the days you are tired and hungry and need to quickly shop for food.

Invest in some cookbooks or follow a bunch of vegan recipe creators online (such as myself 😉 Instagram: itsahealthylifestyle)

Also, here is a post with some good staple foods to always have at home &what’s in my fridge/freezer

And for more inspiration or cooking videos, you can follow me on my Youtube channel – IzzyM

Meal ideas

*click the picture for the name of the dish*

There you have many different dishes you can try out 🙂 I have plenty more recipes you can search for on my blog. Also a whole bunch of breakfast, snacks and desserts which you can check out.

So now it is just to get cooking and try different recipes, see what you like and what you don’t like!

If you try any of these recipes, let me know in the comments down below or on my Instagram (itsahealthylifestyle)

Substituting food – but not with the same nutrients? | Vegan

When i promote a vegan/plant based diet, i always mention the importance of substitution. I.e you shouldn’t just take away food, you also need to replace it with something.

Not only for nutrients, but also it can make it more sustainable when you feel like you aren’t “Missing out”. I.e when you can still eat burgers with friends, or you can still eat your favourite dishes – but vegan.

Of course, the important thing – which many don’t think about – when substituting, is that it is not just substitution of the food, but also the nutrients in the food you are replacing.

I.e it is great that there is vegan cheese which you can use instead of dairy cheese. However, vegan cheese is usually just made out of oil and some sort of flavour, or it is made from cashews and nutritional yeast. This doesn’t give you the same nutrients, i.e protein and calcium which dairy cheese gives you. So if you want to use vegan cheese instead of dairy cheese, that is great… you just have to make sure to get your calcium from other sources (such as sesame seeds, tahini, tofu, enriched oatmilk, dark leafy greens etc).

And the same goes with example making tofu fish/using jackfruit instead of fish. Granted, white fish is mostly just protein, but if you are replacing tofu/jackfruit with fatty fish such as salmon or mackerel or herring, then you are also missing out on D vitamin and Omega 3 (and other healthy fatty acids). So it is important to get those nutrients from other sources – such as walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds. And D vitamin from a supplement.

^^Important to note, that when ex. making veggie schnitzels or ex. using eggplant instead of meat, you will be cutting out a protein source in your meal – as well as other vitamin sources. (Once or twice it is fine… but switching meat for just vegetables i.e not legumes/grains is not a good idea).

And the same goes for making ex. potatoe based “cheese” sauce for pasta. Sure it is great and creamy and delicious, but i would also recommend you add some beans or tofu along with the pasta (or use bean pasta) if it is an everyday meal you eat. Of course, if you just eat it from time to time, it is no problem that it is more carb rich.  ^^

 

Also, when you are replacing dairy milk with a plantbased milk, it is good to choose a fortified plant based milk.This is because otherwise you could be missing out on important nutrients such as b12, calcium, d vitamin. (Note, the organic plant based milk aren’t allowed to be fortified, so then you are missing out on nutrients).

When your replace meat with vegan protein sources, it is also important to make sure you are getting iron from other sources. Ex, if you switch meat for seitan, or you switch a portion of meat for a small portion of beans or legumes, you won’t be getting the same amount of iron. So increasing your intake of iron rich plant based foods is a good idea when you cut out meat.

Typically, vegan fake meat based on soya do contain a good amount of nutrients and typically are the same nutritionally compared to meat (maybe higher on the fat, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing).

I do not mean to diss or bash a plant based diet, i just think it is important to bring awareness to. Especially as a nutrition student i think about these things… i.e when i eat vegan cheese i do it because i want the texture/flavour, but i also know that nutritionally it is lacking in vitamins/Minerals compared to dairy cheese.

Also you typically need to eat more food/portions are bigger when you are consuming lots of legumes/grains/whole foods instead of animal products. I.e a small portion of beans/lentils is not the same as a portion of meat – nutritionally.

Hopefully this post will help you, and maybe bring awareness to something you didn’t think about before. Also important to note that you can get all the vitamins and minerals you need on a plantbased diet, but you may just need to think/plan a little more than if you were to eat meat and dairy as well.

 

Spaghetti with lentil bolognaise | Vegan recipe | GF

Buying fake meat isn’t always an option for everyone. Whether it is because it is too expensive, maybe you don’t want to eat fake meat, or  maybe you are allergic to soy.

If i am honest, i haven’t eaten spaghetti bolognaise in years, infact i can’t even remember the last time i did eat it. Typically i would use vegan mince meat as it is easy to just throw together.

However, i decided to try something different and make a bolognaise out of red lentils and beans. (Also, i did have a little bit of vegan mince left over which i did add to the bolognaise, but you can skip this if – like mentioned above – you don’t want to/can’t eat fake meat alternatives.)

I didn’t measure anything for this recipe, i just threw everything together, so i thought i would just write out my recipe and what i did if you are interested in trying! This recipe really doesn’t require any exact measurements anyway.

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Also, you can switch red lentils to beluga lentils or green lentils if you want more texture as red lentils can often get mushy. Or you could do a combo of 50/50.

Also because of all the lentils and beans this also makes the meal rich in protein, and the pasta and beans also make a complete protein source! It is of course very rich in fiber which can be hard for some to digest, but if you can stomach the fiber it is a delicious meal!

Also, this works great as a large – and cheap – meal prep 🙂 And add all the veggies you like!

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Recipe: 

Ingredients:
Spaghetti of choice – 2-3 portions

Red lentils or beluga lentils, c.a 2 dl

1 vegetable stock & water

1/2 pack black beans

Sweet corn – as much as you like

Cocktail tomatoes

1 can crushed tomatoes

1 small red onion

2 cloves garlic

Broccoli – or other vegetables of choice

Oil & salt and pepper

Optional – vegan mince meat

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How to:

Begin by cooking the spaghetti – takes c.a 12-15 minutes.

In a pot add the red lentils. Add enough water to cover the lentils & a little more. Add the  vegetable stock and allow to cook up. Stir every now and then. Note, don’t allow to get mushy!

In a frying pan, fry the onion and garlic along with the cocktail tomatoes. If you are using vegan fake mince, add to the frying pan.

Once the red lentils has begun to cook up add the black beans, sweet corn and broccoli. Add the onion and garlic mix, as well as the crushed tomatoes – as much as you like. Don’t forget to season with your favourite spices!

Allow to simmer a few minutes – but not letting the lentils get too mushy.

Once done, top your spaghetti with the lentil bolognaise!

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Vegan meal ideas | Masterpost | Veganuary

It’s a new year and i know that many are starting the year off with Veganuary. For many, going vegan may be a complete 180 from what they are used to eat and it can be hard to know what to eat.

One of the important and helpful things when trying a plantbased diet, is writing down a list of different recipes and meal ideas you can make. Whenever you are stuck for ideas or what to make, then you can resort to that list. It may also make you more excited for all the meals to test the different meals!

I thought i woul do a masterpost of some of my recipes to help you with some meal idaes!! Of course there are plenty more recipes and ideas out there, but these are some of the ones i have to offer on my blog 🙂 I hope this is helpful to anyone who may need more food inspiration!

Some other helpful posts:
What’s in my fridge & freezer – Vegan| Staple foods at home

Eating vegan on a budget: Cheap vegan snacks

Eating vegan on a budget: Cheap vegan, nutritious meals!

Vegan staple foods to have at home

Vegan replacements Part 1

Top 10 tips to eat Vegan on a budget – getting all your vitamins and minerals on a budget

Tips when going vegan – Food edition – Guide Part 1.

 

Breakfast and snacks:

Oatmeal recipes: Carrot cake oatmeal with coconut milkCinnamon fried appleOvernight oats (& weekly meal prep)Chocolate & coffee oatmeal & different overnight oats

Rice pudding & coconut rice pudding

Savoury tofu scramble breakfast

SconesVegan scones recipe | Simple and quick to make  & Cornbread scones recipe

Chia seed pudding: Chia seed pudding recipe

Pancakes: Oat and banana pancakes & Chocolate chip pancakes & Cinnamon swirl pancakes & The best vegan pancakes – simple recipe 

Chickpea pancakes recipe  &  Chickpea omelette with ch*cken and mushroom filling – savoury, can be good for both breakfast or lunch/dinner

Chickpea cookie dough

Banana bread with chocolate chips & another banana bread recipe

Chocolate peanut butter granola & make your own granola

 

Sandwiches: Barbeque tofu sandwich & Vegan sandwich toppings/fillings

Nice cream: Berry banana nice cream – recipe

Smoothies: Smoothie recipe masterpost & Green smoothie recipe – banana & mango & Chocolate & ginger protein smoothie bowl & Green smoothies recipes

Savoury snacks: Roasted chickpeas Home made vegetable crisps | Vegan | Recipe

Hummus: Roasted carrot hummus | Recipe & Sweet potato hummus  Roasted red pepper hummus  & Beetroot hummus & different types of hummus recipe

 

Lunch/dinner

 

 

Different soups: Carrot, sweet potato and lentil soup with ginger and chilli & Butternut squash and carrot soup Sweet potato and carrot soup with coconut milk Red lentil and sweet potato soup & Pumpkin and red lentil soup & roasted pumpkin seeds recipe 3 bean chilli & Vegan “meat” stew

Pasta recipes: Creamy vegetable one pot pasta | 15 minute recipe & Creamy vegetable & tofu pasta salad & Vegan pasta bake! & Beetroot pasta sauce! & Pasta with avocado and green pea sauce! & Creamy mushroom, garlic and thyme pasta & Pea & avocado pesto with pasta & Pasta with a creamy sun dried tomato and basil sauce & Pasta with sweet potato “cheese” sauce 

Pad thai

Tofu “fish” recipe

Lasagne

Quesadillas

 

Swede scnitzel recipe | Vegan | & Hasselback potatoes

Stuffed aubergine recipe

Different cauliflower wings:  Breaded and baked cauliflower wings & Sesame coated cauliflower wings – vegan recipe & Vegan cauliflower buffalo wings

Different pizza recipes: Rainbow pizza – using prebought crust & Vegan tortilla pizza | 15 minute meal & Vegan spinach-tofu pizza rolls! & Cauliflower pizza recipe

Potato salad and coleslaw

Oumph! ribs

Seitan recipes: Vegan orange “chicken” seitan & Chickwheat shreds/Pulled ch*cken seitan recipe!

 

Falafel recipe & Beetroot, black bean and quinoa burger | Vegan (can be made glutenfree) & Baked beetroot falafel – Vegan recipe

Stuffed paprika with quinoa, tofu and beans

Tofu nuggets – Vegan recipe

Rice paper rolls

Vegetable & tomato casserole with garlic bread | Vegan

Cauliflower and broccoli gratin

Tofu satay recipe | Vegan & Gluten free

Tofu and vegetable skewers with peanut butter sauce | Recipe | Vegan

 

Sweet/dessert:

 

5 minute microwave brownie

Double chocolate chip cookies & Simple vegan chocolate chip cookies! & Vegan oatmeal raisin cookies & The best vegan fudgy chocolate cookies! & Vegan Oreo cookies 

Vegan apple pie

Vegan fudge brownies recipe

Cheesecake: Vegan mojito cheesecake recipe! & Vegan oreo moussecake | Recipe & Vegan mango and passionfruit cheesecake! & Vegan saffron cheesecake recipe

 

Cake: Vegan snickers cake (peanut butter and chocolate mousse!) Recipe & Vegan carrot cake with lemon frosting & Vegan saffroncake with white chocolate and lingonberries & Vegan oreo cookies and cream cake recipe

Candy: Vegan ferrero rocherVegan daim recipe , Vegan kitkat Recipe/ Vegan “kex” recipe!Chocolate covered peanut butter filled dates | vegan | christmas candy2 ingredient chocolate truffles | Vegan | & Peanut butter cups

 

Going vegan 2019? Start the year with veganuary

Soon it is time for a new year, and what better way than to start off the year with veganuary?

A time where you get advice and help from others also doing the challenge. A time for you to really try a plant based diet and/or vegan lifestyle. Many actually stay vegan after trying veganuary… so you don’t have to put an end date to veganuary… i.e you don’t have to eat a ham sandwich the first of february just “because you can”.

Of course the goal should be to make lifestyle changes to minimize your consumtion of animal products and live more vegan. To make sustainable changes which you will keep up the whole year, not just one month of a plantbased diet followed by eating animal products 5 times a day everyday for the rest of the year.

I understand that not everyone can or wants to go vegan, but it is also a chance to really give it a go if you are in a place in your life where you can actually do that. I.e if you are struggling wtih an eating disorder then maybe it is not the right time to start mixing with your food even more.

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I do encourage everyone who can to try veganuary – and to get your friends or family involved as well. Small changes add up, and also by having support from others it can help motivate you and support you to stay vegan. It can also make it a fun challenge to do with others.

Hopefully you realise that it is easier to be/eat vegan than you thought.

I do of course realise that being and eating vegan is a privelege whcih not everyone has the choice to make. Also not everyone has supportive friends or family like i do, but you can still try your best to minimize your consumption of animal products – not only for the sake of the animals, but also for the planet and your health, not to mention that eating more vegetables and whole foods and less animal products is usually cheaper. (Even if of course buying some vegan alternatives can be more expensive than the non vegan options).

The important thing to realise is that YOUR choices DO matter, and all SMALL choices and changes add up. So don’t think that just because you can’t be 100% vegan, that you shouldn’t try at all. Or just because you are “one person” that your choices don’t matter… if everyone thinks like that, then nothing would change. So everyones choices matter and make a difference.

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My goal is to try to write some helpful vegan posts during the month of January for those of you who are trying veganuary. Of course i realise that there are many resources out there and some premade challenges you can sign up, but i will try my best to help and be a support to you as well 🙂 To inspire you and even those of you who can’t do veganuary!!

If you have any questions or cetain topics you want to read about, comment below.

Also you can read my previous posts about veganism and related to vegansim, HERE. and some more vegan related posts HERE

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