7 easy vegan recipes for plant-based foodies this spring

by Alice Ojeda
Easy vegan recipes for plant-based foodies this spring

When you start making vegan recipes, it's like being let into a secret; veggies taste so good when you learn how to season them! And even better, going plant-based means you can often eat a bigger portion and you're much more likely to be getting the different plants you need for gut health.

Starting Authentic House in 2018, my Cardiff-based small business all around sustainable living, I learnt about veganism from my customers. Curious, I watched the documentary Land of Hope & Glory by Earthling Ed. It changed everything for me and has had me vegetarian, and dipping further and further into being vegan ever since. Which is to say, plant-based food is delicious and great for you and the planet, whether you're a full vegan or dabbling. Here are my 7 easy vegan recipes for plant-based foodies this spring. With a new recipe or snack to try every day of the week, I hope my favourites get you inspired!

1. The easiest vegan kimchi recipe for fermenting beginners

I love fermenting food because it's a transformation! Put all your ingredients in, and you'll get something very different back. When you're putting in cabbage, it's even more of a bonus - it's not our favourite vegetable!

This easy kimchi recipe is from The Happy Pear which is run by Steve and Dave, some super inspiring twins! They started out as a farm shop based in Ireland and have gone on to run a regenerative farm. They also have a great Happy Pear podcast all about sustainable wellbeing. I also recommend their epic veg burger recipe...

Anyway, back to kimchi. Kimchi is a traditional Korean condiment and mainstay of lots of vegan dishes, but it can also be expensive! This version is basically kimchi for British and Irish veggies. You can put ANYTHING in and it will come out fermented and delicious and ready to cook with or snack on.

Trust me... I've made it with a tonne of nasturtium leaves and even then it worked its magic!

 2. Vegan matcha cookies for your weekday cups of tea

I'm a big fan of green tea inside and out. While experimenting making my sustainable skincare, I tried all kinds of green tea including heaping matcha into my Way of Tea cleansing creams. It didn't turn out a good colour (think muddy green...) so I had to find another way to use all that green tea powder.

Enter cookies! There's something very subtle about how green tea transforms the taste of cookies and gives them a beautiful colour. They pair unexpectedly well with chocolate chunks too. Although maybe that counts for everything...

I make matcha green tea cookies at weekends using this recipe from Deryn who writes Running on Real Food. Yes, they have almond flour. If you can't get to your local zero waste shop, you can substitute it for plain flour and a tiny amount of plant milk to get the right consistency. Or, if you have the Pick Up Limes app, something I really enjoy, there's a fabulous green tea cookies recipe in there too.

 3. The best vegan tofu tikka masala for creamy comfort dinners

Now we're onto the main course with an easy vegan dinner recipe. I've made this tofu tikka masala from Pick Up Limes about 10 times now and it doesn't get old. If you love Indian takeaways, but are also trying to save money and have more control over the ingredients you use, this is a great way to go.

The one thing that might put you off with this recipe is the tikka masala spice mix. My suggestion is to go big and imprecise. Sprinkle over dashings of coriander, paprika, cumin, fenugreek, chili, ginger, turmeric, nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper and mustard seeds. Keeping them all close by in your spices cupboard helps! If Professor Tim Spector says we need to aim for 30 different plant foods a week, imagine how much this helps.

 4. My favourite extra-special pecan and rocket salad

Back in university, I had a Spanish flatmate who would scoff at my salads. 'A salad isn't a salad unless it has at least 5 ingredients', she'd say. This would baffle me with my studenty leaves, olive oil and balsamic vinegar combos. A decade later, we're still friends and I'm beginning to learn that salads, with at least 5 ingredients, can be extra special.

Pecans and rocket leaves are a particular salad combination made in heaven. They make a great to go on the side of anything you make that needs a little extra - think pies, lasagnes and quiche slices. In this apple, pecan and rocket salad from Minimalist Baker, apples add an extra touch of sweetness. You'll feel like you're in a lovely vegan café, but of course you're at home and saving money too.

While I try to avoid processed food where I can, you could add some vegan feta to make this salad even tastier. Then, if you're feeling it, put your pecans in a hot pan with a drizzle of maple syrup or a dusting of sugar. Candied pecans taste so good in this salad and, with all the rocket and radishes, it kind of balances out.

5. Fluffy vegan blueberry pancakes for lazy weekend breakfasts

When you're a beginner at vegan recipes, you'll eventually learn the mysteries of the flax egg. While eggs help gel recipes together, a flax egg can do the same. It's usually 1 part flax or chia seeds to 2 parts water or plant milk. On that wonderful flax note, you can also use flax seeds to make hair gel... But let's get back to pancakes.

These blueberry pancakes are from Tim Shieff, a plant-based freerunner, for Jamie Oliver. I used to make scrambled crepes at school home economics classes to my teacher's continual disappointment, but I find a hot pan and thicker, American-style pancakes a lot easier. These pancakes are my go-to on pancake day, but also for slow weekend mornings when you want to catch up with your other half or share brunch with a friend. They're extra tasty with maple or agave syrup at the end and lots of berries and hot coffee on the side.

 6. Salt and vinegar kale chips for crisp lovers and gardeners

Kale chips split people. My Authentic House and life partner Daniel cannot stand them! I love them. And I especially like anything that tastes like salt and vinegar crisps. When you think of the antioxidants and vitamins C and K in kale, and how, for you vegetable growers, it can be the harvest that NEVER ends, it's a win, win.

The secret to getting kale chips just right is cooking them slowly, checking them often and tasting them before you take them out. You want your kale chips to be at that sweet spot of being crackly and not chewy, but also green and not burnt. I love this recipe by Ali from Gimme Some Oven. It also has the benefit of being store cupboard simple and useful for when you have leftover kale in the fridge. My tip is to add a generous sprinkling of B12 flakes in too. You will never regret it.

 7. Overnight chia seed pudding for a healthy breakfasts on busy weekdays

We're back to those seed gels. I can't say I ever tried chia seeds until in the last couple of years since going more vegan. Eating these seeds is really good for you as they're packed with omega 3, fibre, protein and antioxidants. When you make chia pudding, you're also 'eating' your water which is a great way to stay hydrated.

If you've gotten this far through my post, you'll know I also have a sweet tooth. Unlike your everyday porridge, the gel-like consistency of chia pudding is a bit like jelly! It's a little detail that can help you really enjoy having this healthy, plant-based breakfast.

When I started out making chia seed pudding, I used this recipe from The Happy Pear twins. Get this ratio in your mind and it's effortless - 2 tablespoons of chia seeds to 150g of plant milk. Then you can leave it for 10 minutes or better overnight and top it with any nuts, fruits and seeds you have about. Let's just say, you're going to get very well acquainted with your local zero waste shop!

And a bonus easy vegan recipe: chocolate chia seed pudding

But then, and this changed everything. You can also make overnight chocolate chia seed pudding! Here's the recipe from Minimalist Baker. Top your chocolate chia pudding with a layer of granola (homemade is best) and coconut yoghurt with berries and here is your birthday breakfast sorted. But really, with ingredients like this, you can make it a whole lot more often!

I hope you enjoyed my 7 easy vegan recipes for plant-based foodies this spring. I loved writing this for you and realised I'm very passionate about vegan recipes these days, especially as I'm trying to make more time for cooking as a hobby so we buy less processed food.

If you liked my post and want to keep receiving more sustainable living ideas and things I learn while running Authentic House, make sure to sign up to my mailing list. Bookmark this post to come back to when your weekly meal plan needs a pep talk and share it with a friend so you can try a recipe together.

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