Being a vegan means that you will have to give up meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, eggs, honey and any other ingredient that is derived from animals. Sounds tough, but don’t fret. There is still a wide variety of ingredients you can put on your plate. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, pulses, beans, lentils, grains, herbs, spices, coconut, fermented foods, oils, vinegar, condiments and sauces – there are so many substitutes in a vegan diet.
Some of the ways you can incorporate vegan foods in your lifestyle are:
- Tofu for paneer
- Ripe bananas, flaxseeds and apple sauce can easily replace eggs in baking
- Nut butter and oils for dairy butter
- Maple, brown rice and barley malt syrup for honey
- Almond, cashew, coconut, soy or hemp milk for dairy milk
- Soya chunks, oat flakes and beans for meat.Potatoes, beans, and sprouts for chicken
You can find all vegan groceries, including vegetables and fruits online from at Nature’s Basket.co.in.
Here are some finger-licking’ tasty recipes to get you started on your vegan journey.
1. Tofu Makhani
- 200-gram tofu
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp chopped garlic
- 1 tsp chopped ginger
- 1 tsp green chillies
- 4 ripe tomatoes
- 3 onions
- 5-6 raw cashew nuts
- 1 tsp kasoori methi
- 1 cup of water
- Cut tofu into small cubes and stir fry it in 1 tbsp oil
- Chop tomatoes and onions roughly into cubes
- Take a frying pan and add 1 cup of water. Bring it to a boil
- Add the chopped tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger, green chillies and raw cashew nuts in the boiling water
- Switch off the gas stove after 10 minutes and let it cool for 10 minutes
- Drain the water in a bowl and keep it aside for later use
- Put all the boiled ingredients in a mixer jar and blend it to make a smooth paste
- Take the frying pan and add 1 tbsp oil
- When the oil reaches smoking temperature, add the cumin seeds and let them splutter
- Add the smooth paste to the frying pan and let it simmer for 5 minutes on low flame
- Add salt, coriander powder, and chilli powder to the paste. Let it cook for 15 minutes
- After the paste starts leaving the oil from the sides, add the stir-fried tofu pieces. Let the mixture cook for another 5 minutes
- Turn off the heat and garnish with kasoori methi
- Serve hot with rice, chapati or naan.
2. Rice Flour Cookies
- 250 grams of rice flour
(You can make rice flour at home by grinding regular rice to an excellent consistency. Alternatively, you buy rice flour that is readily available online to save your time and effort.)
- 100 grams of powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 100 grams unsweetened almond butter
- A pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp water
- Mix almond butter and powdered sugar in a bowl till they blend to a smooth consistency
- Add corn starch, vanilla extract and salt to the almond butter-powdered sugar paste
- Add water only if you feel the cookie dough feels dry. Rest it for 2 minutes
- Wrap the cookie dough in cling film and let it set in the refrigerator. This process ensures that the dough is dense enough to roll into cookies
- Preheat the oven at 170 C/340 F
- Roll the dough into a large round flatbread style on marble or any even surface dusted with rice flour. This way, the dough will not stick to the surface
- Use the cookie cutter of your choice or some fun shapes as your kids or family may prefer. You can even use theme-based cookie cutters such as Christmas, animals, shapes and alphabets
- Grease the baking tray with almond butter and line it with parchment paper
- Place the cookies on the parchment paper and put inside the oven
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until you see that the edges of the cookies are turning a light brown colour
- Take the cookies out of the oven and transfer them onto a regular plate. Let the cookies cool off for a few minutes. If you don’t follow this step, the cookies may soon turn moist or soggy
- After the cookies cool off, transfer them into an airtight container. The shelf life of cookies is about two weeks.
3. Buddha Bowl
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 cucumber
- Half cup of sweet corn kernels
- A few leaves of red cabbage
- A few leaves of lettuce arugula
- 1 tsp of fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp of olive oil
- ½ tsp of black til (black sesame seeds)
- ½ tsp of white chia seeds
- Cut the tomatoes into vertical wedges.
- Slice the cucumber into medallions (round shape).
- Take a big serving bowl and make a bed of lettuce arugula in it.
- Arrange tomatoes, sliced cucumber, sweet corn kernels, red cabbage leaves, black til and chia seeds on the bed of lettuce arugula.
- Squeeze 1 tsp of lemon juice on this preparation.
- Drizzle 1 tsp of olive oil.
- Your wholesome Buddha bowl meal is ready to devour!
If you are looking for more vegan snacks, smoothies and pizzas, check out Prepare Vegan Cheesy Blast During Snack Time.