6 Essential Recipes for Newbie Vegans

Double Drive-Thru Veggie Burger

© David Cicconi

By Julia Heffelfinger Posted February 18, 2016

Whether you’re going full vegan or just want more veggies in your diet, here are 6 delicious and satisfying recipes for the beginner vegan.

There are a lot of misconceptions about the vegan lifestyle, the first, according to one vegan restaurateur, being that it has to be a lifestyle. “Becoming a vegan doesn’t require a whole life overhaul,” says Chloe Coscarelli, chef/owner of By Chloe, an NYC-based vegan diner, “It is not all or nothing.”

Coscarelli, whose over-the-top veggie burgers and super-creamy cashew mac & cheese have wooed even the most committed carnivores, suggests working vegan foods into your regular weeknight cooking schedule, “Just like you have Chinese food on Monday or Mexican food on Tuesday, make one day a week your vegan day.” Here are six satisfying and delicious recipes to try.

Tofu Masala

Indian food is great for people who are new to eating vegan. The cuisine, which is largely vegetarian, utilizes rich, toasty spices that add flavor to vegetables or tofu, as seen here.

Food & Wine: Tofu Masala

© Eva Kolenko

Hearty Soup

This Nordic soup is perfect for winter. Barley and root vegetables like celeriac and parsnips add hearty bulk for very little cost and effort.

Food & Wine:

Ultimate Veggie Burger

Sear this lentil and walnut-based veggie burger really well, and it will be just as satisfying as a classic beef patty with cheese. The recipe swaps mayo for silken tofu in its “special sauce,” a vegan take on Thousand Island dressing.

Food & Wine: Double Drive-Thru Veggie Burgers

© David Cicconi

Creamy Vegan Salad Dressing

This versatile dressing replicates the silkiness of dairy with soft tofu. Use this sesame- and garlic-inflected sauce as a salad dressing, a dip for vegetables and pita chips or as a swap for mayo in potato salad.

Food & Wine: Creamy Tofu Dressing

© Eva Kolenko

Carrot Osso Buco

This playful take on osso buco, a traditional Italian dish of braised veal shanks, swaps meat for tender carrots. Dried porcini powder adds a meaty, umami note to the vegetables.

Food & Wine:

Chocolate Cupcakes

A lot of seasoned vegans say that when they were starting out, they cooked “veganized” versions of familiar foods. These super-chocolatey cupcakes are the perfect gateway food. Coconut oil and avocado add moisture and give the cake a tender texture without detracting from the rich chocolate flavor.

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