Magazine Recipes

Plate Up for the Planet: How To Go Vegan For a Week

By Lora O’Brien

Ever since What the Health was released it seems that more and more people are embracing the vegan lifestyle. Just a few weeks ago, singer Ne-Yo posted a video of him pledging to go vegan after watching the popular health documentary and asking fans for advice on recipes to try out. Even meat loving Kylie Jenner of the world famous Kardashian clan is trying out a vegan diet, after she posted back in July that she was experimenting with more plant based dishes. Not forgetting those celebs who work passionately to promote the vegan way of living, it seems as though the world is slowly waking up, and the future is all about that vegan diet, baby.

Plate Up for the Planet is all about changing the way you eat, and asking that you devote a mere seven days to trialling the lifestyle. There are loads of good reasons to do so: a vegan diet is actually rich in protein, but low in saturated fats and toxins. But it’s not just your health that will benefit, but the planet’s, too – going vegan sparks significant change in terms of helping to combat climate change, and the simple act of going vegan could reduce your carbon imprint by a whopping 50%.

Animal agriculture is not only the cause of 91% of Amazon deforestation, but it’s killing the planet in other ways, too. For every 100 calories fed to animals, we only receive 12 calories back by chowing down on their flesh and their milk. Statistically speaking, if we fed those crops to people rather than farmed animals, we could feed three billion more people. So, it’s time to wake up and taste the future. Go vegan for a week, eat to save the world, and join the 6,820 people who’ve already pledged to take part. To help you out, if you sign up, Plate Up will send you a whole week’s worth of recipes to get you started.

And I’m here to make it easier. I’ve found some of the most delicious vegan recipes to help to inspire you on your week of vegan eating. These recipes are full of goodness, and there are not only three meals a day here, but a snack’s thrown in, too. So go grab your plate, and prepare to Plate Up for the Planet!

Monday

Breakfast: Mexican-Style Avocado Toast

Kick off your week with some delicious avocado on toast. This recipe is packed with healthy fats and complex carbs and will really get your day off to a fiery start. Avocado is mashed with some lime juice and then spiced with cumin and hot sauce. Top with fresh salsa, and you’ll enjoy every single bite.

Get the recipe here.

Lunch: Mean Green Pesto Pasta

Pasta is a quick and delicious dish to make. The best part? It’s great as leftovers the next day, too. You can pretty much use any pasta you like, but if you want to keep it healthier switch the white stuff for a gluten free one made of brown rice. The green sauce is made from roasted garlic and walnuts, and green beans and asparagus are thrown in for more green goodness.

Get the recipe here.

Dinner: Tofu Cashew Coconut Curry

This curry recipe makes a great dinner. It’s filling and healthy and will really nourish you after a long day. There are loads of diverse flavours and textures here, from the soft tofu and cauliflower to crunchy cashews. Serve over rice and extra green leafy greens like spinach for more depth.

Get the recipe here.

Snack: Coconut Date Balls

I love making a batch of bliss balls to keep on hand. They make a great snack, and will really power you through when your energy levels crash and you’re in need of a boost. Dates will become your new best friend; they add a delicious caramel-like flavour to recipes without needing to overload on sugar. Make these vegan friendly by switching out the honey for some maple syrup, and you’re good to go.

Get the recipe here. 

Tuesday

Breakfast: Green Smoothie Bowl

You could drink your breakkie smoothie, but I much prefer to make them into a bowl where I can top it off with lots more goodness and eat it up by the spoonful. Adding greens is a great idea if you’re not so keen on eating ’em. You can barely detect their taste, so except for the gorgeous green colour, it’s like they’re not even there.

Get the recipe here.

Lunch: Vegan BLT Sandwich with Aquafaba Mayo

This is a great recipe to show how easy it is to live a meat-free existence, but still enjoy delicious food. It’s super easy to make many bacon alternatives, but this recipe uses tofu. If you don’t fancy the stuff, just sub in a vegan meat substitute from your local health food store. Save the juice from a can of chickpeas and use it to make this super rich and creamy mayo – yes, really, it CAN be done!

Get the recipe here.

Dinner: Vegan Lentil Chili

Chili is a super easy recipe to make – just throw it all into a pot and leave it to simmer away. There are so many delicious ingredients in this one, from the yellow onions, green and red peppers to the corn, spicy chili beans and crushed tomatoes. Pour it into a bowl and enjoy, and use a chunk of bread to mop up the remains.

Get the recipe here.

Snack: No-Bake Vegan Cookie Dough Balls

I used to live for cookie dough ice cream, and since going vegan, I’ll admit – I missed it. Until now! This recipe replicates the taste and texture perfectly, and the best part is that it requires zero-baking – just pop them into the freezer to firm them up a little. And with just 5 ingredients, they’re pretty simple to create.

Get the recipe here.

Wednesday

Breakfast: Quick & Easy French Toast

French toast doesn’t always need eggs, as this recipe proves beyond a doubt. Topped with some simmered berries, a little maple syrup and coconut yogurt, this is a super special and filling breakfast, too.

Get the recipe here.

Lunch: Coconut & Pineapple Thai Fried Rice

This rice recipe is so packed full of flavours and beauty you’d think it took ages to make, but on the contrary, it’s a snap. The pineapple lends a wonderful sweetness which works with the creaminess from the coconut milk, and both pair perfectly with the spiciness from the Thai curry paste. Adding lime juice enhances the flavours and the lightly roasted cashews add a nice crunch.

Get the recipe here.

Dinner: Southern Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are SO good for you! They’re packed with antioxidants, vitamins and don’t have as many calories as normal spuds. This recipe takes just fifteen minutes to throw together, and go wonderfully with a salad.

Get the recipe here.

Snack: Date Caramel Sauce with Apple Slices

Apple chunks dipped into some kind of cause is a much loved snack in my home. Whilst we typically enjoy an apple with a touch of almond butter, I’ve recently been turned on to this caramel sauce. Gooey medjool dates are mixed with a little vanilla extract to enhance their sweetness even more and coconut cream. You won’t even believe this is healthy –  it tastes so sinfully sweet!

Get the recipe here.

Thursday

Breakfast: Chickpea Flour Mini Veggie Frittatas

Breakfast doesn’t always have to be a sweet affair. Why not make these savoury veggie frittatas? You can throw a range of ingredients into these – such as broccoli, corn, bell pepper, zucchini, spinach, red onion…you get the gist; pretty much anything goes. There are no eggs here, just chickpeas and nutritional yeast for a bit of cheesiness without the use of dairy. Make a batch and freeze them to reheat for a quick breakkie when time is short.

Get the recipe here.

Lunch: Green Falafel Sandwich with Beetroot Hummus

Hummus is going to save your soul in your journey towards veganism. You can throw it in sandwiches, dip crackers into it or smear it across veggie crudites. The base for this sandwich is a pita round, but you could use a naan bread; either way it’s delicious toasted and then smothered with hummus and veggies.

Get the recipe here.

Dinner: Cajun-Style Vegan Red Beans and Rice

Another delicious and yet fuss-free recipe to show just how wholesome and tasty a vegan lifestyle can be. The beans are delicious and smoky with a subtle spice and pair so well with some rice. A simple dinner, but one that you’ll happily devour.

Get the recipe here.

Snack: Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

Okay, so one thing you need to do is freeze some ripe bananas. These will be the base for smoothies and ice cream, without needing to add any additional sweetness. They’re so creamy and once blended down they taste so much more decadent than simple blended ‘nanas. Mix with almond milk and cacao and you’ve got yourself an easy chocolate ice cream that’s actually good for you!

Get the recipe here.

Friday

Breakfast: All Day Glow Green Smoothie

This smoothie is going to flood your body with goodness. Your skin is going to be glowing. The liquid base is a mix of coconut water, which is super hydrating, and mango juice. Greens such as romaine lettuce, fresh parsley and cilantro are packed into it. Green apples give it a natural sweetness, whilst avocado and mango chunks make it super creamy. Turmeric finishes it off with an anti-oxidant boost, too.

Get the recipe here.

Lunch: Green Chickpea Salad and Avocado Panini

Forget chicken salad – it’s all about that chickpea life now. And sometimes you just need a wholesome, filling sandwich that is packed full of texture and flavour. Well, this sandwich 100% fits the bill. And the best part is that it’s super easy to pack and up and take to work.

Get the recipe here.

Dinner: Vegan Taco Salad with Lentil-Walnut Meat

It’s easy to give up meat when you have recipes like this. The ‘mince’ meat which would traditionally be used is replaced by a lentil and walnut mixture that looks surprisingly similar and tastes loads better. Lots of crispy, crunchy ingredients such as corn, peppers and onion make up the salad base, and then it’s topped with a delicious cashew sour cream.

Get the recipe here.

Snack: Spicy Buffalo White Bean Hummus

Remember I said hummus would be a lifesaver? Well, that’s because it’s totally versatile, and totally delicious. This version gives the stuff a wonderful BBQ type of flavour, perfect for smearing all over a bunch of crispy crackers.

Get the recipe here.

Saturday

Breakfast: Vegan Snickers Pancakes

Weekends were made for pancakes, right? Nothing feels better than waking up and making a huge snack of fluffy pancake delights and devouring them in one sitting. Pancakes are just the bomb, and these Snickers inspired babies are infused with chocolate chunks and then topped with nuts and a caramel sauce. Decadent and delish – what more can you ask for?

Get the recipe here.

Lunch: Carrot Soup with Coriander

Soup is so simple to make – you can’t really go wrong with it. It’s just a great recipe to whip up when you have veggies you need to use up, as you can pretty much get creative and make your own recipe up from what you have on hand. But I’d recommend this carrot soup with a little coriander love. It’s the perfect recipe for fall.

Get the recipe here.

Dinner: California Burger

Many people have told me that they could never imagine going vegan due to their favourite burger. But being vegan doesn’t mean missing out. On the contrary; vegan burgers are SO damn good. This bun is stuffed with leafy greens and sprouts and then topped with guacamole and a vegan burger patty.

Get the recipe here.

Snack: Flourless Banana Bread Muffins

Bananas, almond butter and agave add the perfect amount of sweetness to this rich, fulfilling bread, whilst cinnamon adds a wonderful warmth. Make these and snack on them when you’re craving something delicious, or even chomp ’em down for breakfast.

Get the recipe here.

Sunday

Breakfast: Vegan Breakfast Skillet

A cooked brunch is practically a requirement for a lazy Sunday. Take your time with this one – and expand it if you like with some rye sourdough toast and maybe a fresh juice, and a steaming almond latte…heaven!

Get the recipe here.

Lunch: Mexican Quinoa Salad with Orange-Lime Dressing

If you were ever under the illusion that salads were bland and dull, then you seriously need to make this salad. It takes around 30 minutes to make from start to finish, and is mixed with South American favourites like quinoa, corn, black beans and avocado and is then topped with a creamy orange, lime and chili dressing.

Get the recipe here.

Dinner: Vegan Aubergine ‘Meatballs’

These vegan meatballs are made from aubergines, and they taste so good with the homemade tomato sauce and noodles that you’ll not miss the meaty version at all! Tip: if you’re avoiding starchy foods or gluten, you could swap out the spaghetti noodles for a lighter version, such as zucchini noodles.

Get the recipe here.

Snack: Homemade Chocolate Hobnobs

Who doesn’t love a chocolate biscuit? Hobnobs were my favourites: chocolatey without being sickeningly sweet, and they taste wonderful with a nice cup of fresh coffee. So why not make your own healthier version? Oats are, of course, the foundation here, bound together using coconut oil.

Get the recipe here.

Main image: Taco beer flatbread pizza. Get the recipe here



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