Plant-based recipe ideas for any meal

Media Credit: Photo Illustration by Sabrina Godin | Assistant Photo Editor

Try one of these plant-based recipes for a healthy and sustainable meal.

If you’re looking to improve your health or incorporate environmentally friendly practices into your everyday life, consider cooking plant-based meals.

One of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to incorporate plant-based meals into your diet, according to data from the Food and Agriculture Organization.

Plant-based meals don’t have to be boring or bland. Try these quick, easy and delicious meals whether you’re just starting your plant-based journey with a meatless Monday or are diving in to a full-on vegan lifestyle. 

‘Sweet Overnight Oats’ by MJ & Hungryman

  • ⅓ cup uncooked, old-fashioned rolled oats or cooked quinoa
  • ⅓ cup plant-based milk of choice (sweetened or unsweetened)
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • Sweetener of choice
  • 2 tablespoons greek yogurt or dairy-free alternatives (optional)

Whether you’re living in a residence hall on campus or in your childhood home, this reliable overnight oats recipe will up your breakfast game. This recipe includes soaking oats with desired flavor additions in plant-based milk overnight and adding toppings to taste. To elevate the base recipe, you can add ingredients like grated carrots, cinnamon and dates to make the carrot cake version or pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin puree for the pumpkin pie version.

‘The Best Tofu Scramble’ by Nora Cooks

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (16-ounce) block firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons plant-based milk

Did you know that a serving of extra-firm tofu has more protein than an egg? Veganize your morning by starting the day off with a 10-minute tofu scramble. Pan-fry this soy-based meat or egg alternative with turmeric to give this dish an egg-like color and savory flavor. Simply mash the tofu into a pan, sautee for four minutes or until most of the moisture has evaporated and add in the rest of the ingredients. Add any toppings you like – avocado, hot sauce or vegan cheese. 

‘3-Ingredient Chia Seed Pudding’ by Feel Good Foodie

  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • ½ cup plant-based milk
  • 1 teaspoon honey or sweetener of choice

This recipe is ideal for breakfast, dessert or as a midday snack. After soaking chia seeds in your favorite plant-based milk, like coconut or oat milk, overnight, the seeds will expand and gel, creating a pudding-like consistency. Mix in matcha powder for matcha pudding, or cocoa powder for chocolate pudding, and top with fruits and granola. The options are endless.

‘Easy Vegan Falafel’ by Minimalist Baker 

  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (rinsed, drained and patted dry)
  • ⅓  cup chopped fresh parsley (or sub cilantro)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium shallots (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons raw sesame seeds (or sub finely chopped nuts, such as pecans)
  • 1 ½  teaspoons cumin (plus more to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon each sea salt and black pepper (plus more to taste)
  • 1 pinch each cardamom and coriander (optional)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour (or sub oat flour or gluten-free blend with varied results)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons avocado oil for cooking (or sub any neutral oil with a high smoke point)
  • Panko bread crumbs for coating (optional)

Missing your GWorld lunch stops at Roti? A falafel pita wrap is a refreshing meal to enjoy as spring weather approaches. This recipe calls for slightly more complicated instructions, but the result is worth the extra effort.

‘Tofu Poke’ by Onolicious Hawai’i

  • 12-ounce block of deep-fried tofu
  • 1-ounce ogo seaweed, chopped into ½ inch pieces
  • One 2-inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 2 to 3 stalks green onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt (preferably Hawaiian)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon shoyu (soy sauce)

Plant-based poke is a delicious substitute for the usual tuna poke you could find at Kin’s Sushi in District and can be enjoyed on top of salad or rice. Tofu poke can be made ahead of time and enjoyed throughout the week. You’ll need to blanch and cube the tofu and combine it with your remaining ingredients. The longer you let the tofu marinate, the more sauce will be absorbed. 

‘Easy Vegan Chili’ by From My Bowl

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 green bell peppers, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 3 small carrots, sliced
  • ¼ cup ancho chili powder*
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 (15-oz) cans red kidney beans, drained
  • 2 (15-oz) cans pinto beans, drained
  • 2 (28-oz) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

Nothing beats a warm bowl of chili on a cold night. This hearty dish can be made plant-based by swapping the meat for hearty vegetables, beans or even vegan meat substitutes. Mix and match beans like kidney, black-eyed peas or boiled lentils and garnish with toppings like vegan sour cream, chives, vegan cheese and vegan cornbread.

‘Veggie burger’ by Chocolate Covered Katie

  • 1 can pinto or black beans (other varieties also work)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste or ketchup
  • ½  teaspoon salt
  • ½  teaspoon garlic powder, optional
  • ½  teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons flour of choice (or oat bran)
  • ½  cup cooked diced vegetables of choice

It’s easy to grill up some plant-based burgers at home with several meatless burgers on the market like the Beyond and Impossible burgers, some of which even mimic the taste and texture of the perfect medium-rare burger. But if fake meat isn’t for you, here are some delicious and easy veggie patties that you can meal prep and freeze whenever the craving hits. And if you don’t feel like cooking, fast food establishments like Starbucks, Dunkin’ and Burger King are now offering a plant-based Impossible beef substitute.

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