Healthy start to the year – Vegan recipes

Are you taking part in Veganuary?

Veganuary is a charity inspiring people to try vegan for January and throughout the rest of the year. A few of my friends are taking part in it and I also have a close friend who has been on/off vegan for a few years now.

I am not vegan and I have never tried the diet. The thought of just salad and veg did not appeal to me. I had never considered becoming vegan until I had a browse on Real Foods website.

I was looking for detox drinks when I come across some vegan recipes. The recipes tingled my taste buds and got me thinking about going vegan…or at least trying!

3 Minutes Raw Pasta Sauce Recipe
This Raw Vegan Pasta Sauce tastes fresh and naturally sweet, and takes less than 5 minutes to prepare, less than the time it takes to boil your pasta. Serve with your choice of gluten-free pasta for a quick, easy and healthy child-friendly dinner, or with konjac noodles, kelp noodles or spiralised vegetable spaghetti for a grown-up low carb dinner.

You will need
1 ripe medium tomato, roughly chopped
1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp raw tahini
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 clove garlic

Blend all your ingredients until smooth, thoroughly mix with your choice of pasta and serve, or allow to marinate for a few hours if using kelp noodles.

Thai Style Vegan Jackfruit Curry Recipe
Jackfruit is cropping up as a plant based alternative everywhere, especially as ‘pulled’ jackfruit. Jackfruit is a tropical fruit native to South India. Fully ripe, it tastes sweet, floral and a little pungent. Young or unripe, it is used in savoury dishes like curries and stir-fries. It is the largest tree fruit in the world, one fruit can weigh up to 40 kg ! Jackfruit is low in fat, high in nutrients, and a good source of dietary fibre. Not unlike tofu, young jackfruit flesh has a neutral taste and will carry robust curry or barbecue flavours very well. Here we present to you our quick and easy week night Thai style jackfruit curry using a good quality ready-made red thai curry paste. The recipe calls for Bay, Kaffir Lime and Curry leaves ; just leave any or all of them out if you don’t have them. Delicious served with some rice and wilted spinach or chard.

You will need
2 Tbsp coconut oil OR 2 Tbsp rapeseed oil
5 shallots, roughly sliced OR
1 small red onion, roughly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 fresh or dried Bay leaves
4 fresh or dried Kaffir Lime leaves
4 fresh or dried Curry leaves
1 Tbsp coriander seeds
2 Tbsp Thai red curry paste
1 Tbsp tomato puree
1 400g can young jackfruit flesh, drained and roughly chopped
1 cup or 250ml coconut milk
fresh coriander or fresh parsley, to garnish

Heat the coconut or rapeseed oil in a small to medium saucepan over medium heat.
Add the sliced shallots or onions, crushed garlic, Bay, Kaffir Lime and Curry leaves, coriander seeds. Turn the heat up a little and stir fry until fragrant.
Add the thai red curry paste and the tomato puree, then the jackfruit pieces, continuing stirring.
Finally, add the coconut milk and allow to simmer gently for about 10 minutes.
Serve topped with some fresh chopped coriander or parsley and some crushed chilli flakes if you wish, along with some Basmati or Jasmine rice and some wilted greens.

Raw Vegan Chocolate Maca Smoothie Bowl Recipe
Maca, a South American turnip-like root vegetable, is a member of the cruciferous family, along with kale, broccoli and cabbage. It is known as an adaptogen and is one of the most popular superfoods, boasting positive effects on energy levels and stamina, and on mood, memory and mental focus. Maca is also known to help balance hormones, increase fertility in both men and women, and boost the immune system. This chocolate smoothie bowl is a delicious way to include superhero maca into your diet and enjoy its numerous health benefits. Using frozen banana will give you a thicker, creamier smoothie, but fresh banana will work just fine too.

You will need
1/4 cup (about 15g) organic desiccated coconut
1 cup filtered water
1 organic banana
1 scoop/serving (about 20g) Sunwarrior raw vegan unflavoured protein powder OR 1 scoop/serving of your favourite vegan unflavoured protein powder
1 Tbsp raw organic cacao powder
1 Tbsp organic maca powder
pomegranate seeds, optional
cacao nibs, optional
bee pollen, if you include it in your diet, optional

Start by making the coconut milk : Put the desiccated coconut along with the water in your blender and blend until smooth. Strain the milk through a cheese cloth or a very fine sieve. Rinse the blender jug and return the strained coconut milk to the jug.
If you can, roughly break the bananas into a few chunks using your hands, and freeze beforehand.
Add the banana, cacao powder, protein powder and maca powder and blend until smooth.
Pour the smoothie into a pretty bowl, add toppings of your choice (such as a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds, cacao nibs and bee pollen), and enjoy with a spoon.

Vegan Almond Milk Matcha Latte Recipe
Matcha is a finely ground powder of specially grown and processed Japanese green tea leaves. It adds a lovely green tea flavour to baked goods, porridges, sweets, smoothies and warm drinks. Matcha Latte is really easy to make and only takes 5 minutes to prepare. It is full of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins… and just simply tastes amazing.

You will need
2 tsp Matcha powder
2 tsp almond milk plus 2 mugs worth of almond milk
2 tsp vegan sweetener of your choice OR 2 tsp honey if not vegan

Take the two mugs which you will serve your lattes in. Add one teaspoon of Matcha powder and 1 teaspoon of almond milk to each of the mugs. Mix well so the Matcha powder blends into the almond milk without any lumps.
In a small boiling pan, heat two mugs worth of almond milk until hot, but not boiling.
Add to the mugs you prepared earlier and stir well.
Add vegan sweetener or honey, if not vegan, to each mug.
Enjoy hot.

So it looks like I am going to give this vegan diet a try, what have I got to lose!

You can find more recipes and meal ideas from Real Foods by clicking HERE 

Are you into weight training? If like me you are worried about not getting enough protein while on a vegan diet, check out a post I read recently – How to Gain Muscles with Vegan Diet: Can Vegetables and Fruits Give You Enough Protein for Bodybuilding? If bodybuilders can become vegan, we have nothing to worry about!

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