Eating meat and dairy products is cruel, bad for the environment, bad for your health, and downright nasty. As someone who used to eat meat (*shudder*), I know that when you’re thinking about transitioning to a vegan diet, there’s probably that one dish that you just can’t imagine living without. But here’s the thing, ladies and gents: In this day and age, there’s NO dish that you have to give up when ditching that disgusting meat and dairy habit.
In honor of the new year (because the new year means a new vegan you, duh!), we asked some meat-eaters what that one dish is for them, and then we veganized their responses! Check ’em out:
1. Fettuccine Alfredo With Chicken
Nonvegan fettuccine Alfredo is SO last year! With this recipe, NO more chickens will have to die in order to fulfill your pasta needs.
Fettucine Alfredo With ‘Chicken’
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 cup vegan chicken strips (try Beyond Meat’s Beyond Chicken Grilled Strips)
1/3 cup blanched almonds
6 oz. silken tofu
1 Tbsp. white miso paste
1/2 tsp. salt
Dash ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups soy milk
1 lb. fettuccine
2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
- Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, cover, and cook (without browning) until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside.
- Prepare the vegan chicken according to the package instructions, then set aside.
- Finely grind the almonds in a blender or food processor. Add the onion mixture and purée until smooth. Add the tofu and miso and process until blended. Add the salt, nutmeg, cayenne, and 1 cup of the soy milk and process until smooth. Slowly add as much of the remaining soy milk as necessary to achieve the desired consistency. Transfer to a saucepan and heat over low heat. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. Keep warm until the pasta is ready.
- Cook the fettuccine in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain well and place in a shallow serving bowl. Add the sauce and the “chicken” and toss to combine.
- Sprinkle with the parsley and serve hot.
Makes 4 servings
1 lb. firm tofu
1/2 tsp. salt
2–3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast (you know what this is by now, right?!)
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. basil
2 1/2–3 cups tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups small cauliflower florets
1 onion, finely chopped
3 Tbsp. canola oil
3/4–1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
9 or more lasagne noodles
1 bunch Swiss chard or spinach, stemmed
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Mash the tofu in a bowl and add the salt, nutritional yeast, thyme, basil, and 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce.
- Sauté the cauliflower and onion in the oil.Once softened, add the mushrooms and cook thoroughly.
- Add the vegetables to the tofu and mix well.
- Cook the lasagne noodles according to the package directions.
- Sauté the Swiss chard in water until wilted.
- Lightly oil a casserole pan. Place a layer of noodles on the bottom. Cover with a layer of the remaining tomato sauce, followed by a layer of the tofu and vegetable mixture. Spread half of the Swiss chard evenly over the top, then cover with another layer of the remaining tomato sauce. Repeat with the noodles, tofu, Swiss chard, and sauce. End with a layer of noodles and the remaining tofu and sauce. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
Makes 4 servings
Let’s get one thing straight: Mexican food is your BFF if you’re vegan. There are SO many vegan options when it comes to this glorious cuisine. And tacos are one area where vegan Mexican food truly shines. Try these vegan chorizo and potato tacos, just one of the MANY tasty vegan taco options waiting for you—try them all!
Vegan Chorizo and Potato Tacos
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 pkg. vegan chorizo (we like Soyrizo brand)
1 small white onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1 bag frozen diced hash brown potatoes, defrosted (try Ore-Ida brand)
4 oz. canned puréed tomatoes
Salt and pepper, to taste
12 small corn tortillas
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the vegan chorizo, onion, and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the vegan chorizo is slightly crisp and the onions have softened.
- Add the potatoes and continue cooking, stirring often, until the potatoes begin to brown, about another 5 minutes.
- Add the puréed tomatoes, then cover and cook for about 3 to 5 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Top each tortilla with the vegan chorizo and potato mixture and enjoy!
Makes 4 servings
As is true for ALL animals, there are SO many reasons not to eat pigs. The good news is that you can commit to refusing to eat these cuties EVER again while still chowing down on some delish pulled “pork” sandwiches. This recipe will also introduce you to an unexpected ingredient that will forever change and improve your life: jackfruit. Get stoked.
Vegan pizza is an essential part of my diet, and it can be a part of yours, too! Pizza is ridiculously easy to veganize, whether you’re hitting up your local chain for delivery or cooking at home. For tips on ordering from a chain, click here, and to make your own vegan pepperoni pizza without harming any animals, follow this easy recipe:
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Top the pizza crust with the pizza sauce, shredded “cheese,” and vegan pepperoni slices.
- Pop in the oven for about 10 minutes, and you’ve got yourself a delicious pizza.
Makes 8 servings
Milk is gross. The dairy industry separates babies from their moms so that humans can steal their milk (ummm … weird!), and it’s directly connected with the veal industry. Dairy products are also BAD for you: They are linked to the development of acne and weight gain. But, hey, guess what?! Vegan cheese doesn’t cause these problems—it’s good for you, good for animals, and super-tasty. So, if you’re worried about animals, your fitness, or the planet, ditch that dairy habit and rejoice in some BOMB vegan mac! Get the recipe for classic vegan mac ‘n’ cheese right here.
6. Beef Stroganoff
Yep, that’s right, guys—as a vegan in 2015, you can even have your beef Stroganoff. Vegan beef Stroganoff is freakin’ delicious and easy to make, and if you’re unable to find mock beef or you’re really into mushrooms, you can replace the mock meat in this dish with any mushrooms your heart desires!
1 lb. egg-free pasta
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 lb. vegan burger crumbles (any mock beef would work for this)
10 oz. vegan mushroom gravy (try Franco-American brand)
9 oz. canned sliced mushrooms, drained
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. salt
6 oz. vegan sour cream (try Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream Sour Supreme)
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet and cook the onions until browned. Add the remaining ingredients, stir, and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes.
- Drain the pasta and serve the sauce over the noodles.
Makes 4 servings
IMPORTANT PSA: Fish feel pain. Plain and simple—just as with all other animals killed for food, the fish who wind up on your plate suffered immensely. When fish are yanked from the water, they begin to suffocate. Their gills often collapse, and their swim bladders can rupture because of the sudden change in pressure. Not only that, whenever you eat fish, you’re also contributing to an industry that harms countless other marine mammals, like dolphins and seals, who fall victim to fishing nets. (These animals are called “bycatch,” and what happens to them is seriously messed up. Read more here.) But as you probably guessed, there’s hope: Vegan sushi exists. You can order it at most sushi restaurants (avocado rolls, cucumber rolls, mixed veggie rolls … holllllla!), or you can make it at home. Check out this easy recipe:
6 cups water
3 cups short-grain brown or white rice
1 small cucumber, seeded and julienned
1 small zucchini, julienned
1/2 green bell pepper, julienned
1/2 red bell pepper, julienned
2 small carrots, julienned
1/2 lb. fresh spinach
2/3 cup rice wine vinegar
6 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 pkg. pre-toasted nori sheets
- Bring the water to a boil. Add the rice, lower the heat, and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Steam the cucumber, zucchini, bell peppers, carrots, and spinach over boiling water for 5 to 7 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature.
- Mix together the vinegar and brown sugar, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Add to the rice and stir until well combined. Allow to cool to room temperature.
- Place a handful of rice in the center of a nori sheet, moisten your hands with water, and gently but firmly press the rice to the edges of the sheet so that there is a thin layer of rice in a line on the sheet. Carefully wrap the closest edge over the vegetables, then roll the nori delicately but tightly. Seal by moistening the edge of the nori. Once completely rolled, slice into 6 pieces and arrange on a platter. Repeat with the remaining nori sheets.
Makes 6 rolls
Guys, really—you can veganize ANY pasta dish so easily! No need to harm adorable, sensitive animals in the making of this classic dish. Simply replace those nasty flesh meatballs with some super-tasty and cruelty-free vegan ones instead, and it’ll be smooth sailing. Get the recipe here. Nom!
9. Scrambled Eggs
The egg industry is seriously whack. Many male chicks are ground up alive, and hens used for egg production often spend their entire lives in filthy, horribly cramped cages. You might be thinking, “Ugh, enough bad news!” but guess what?! YOU can easily help put a stop to this madness, all while enjoying this seriously tasty vegan breakfast scramble. Try it now. You can thank me later!
Vegan Breakfast Scramble
16 oz. tofu, drained and rinsed
2 tsp. olive oil, plus more for coating the skillet
3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp. granulated onion
1 small onion, sliced
Sliced mushrooms, to taste
1 clove garlic
Ground white pepper, to taste
1 1/2 Tbsp. Bragg Liquid Aminos or soy sauce
- Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, adding a little of the olive oil to coat the bottom lightly.
- Break the tofu into pieces and place in the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden.
- Stir in the nutritional yeast and granulated onion, coating the tofu well.
- Add the 2 teaspoonfuls of olive oil, along with the onions, mushrooms, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are tender.
- Season with white pepper and drizzle with the Bragg Liquid Aminos, stirring until the liquid is absorbed.
- Remove from the heat. Serve warm with toasted bread, if desired.
We’ve been through this: The dairy industry tortures animals, milk-based cheese is horrible for you, and obviously cows used for food suffer horribly behind slaughterhouse walls. C’mon, friends! It’s 2015, and ain’t nobody got time for that! Try this insanely tasty vegan recipe instead. Trust me: With one bite of this bad boy, your New Year’s resolutions for years to come will be to EAT MORE VEGGIE BURGERS!
So if this post has taught us all anything, it’s that you can truly have your cake and eat it, too (see what I did there?). Making cake can be a bit time-consuming, and since you will be busy perfecting that “beef” Stroganoff and pulled “pork” and might not have time to make a cake from scratch, we’ve compiled some ridiculously easy vegan cake hacks for you. Check ’em out here!
Is there a recipe that we missed that you’d LOVE to see veganized? We’re always up for a challenge! Sign up for peta2 text messaging and start sending us your favorite dishes that YOU want to see veganized, along with any questions you may have about helping animals. Here’s to an awesome new year with awesome new cruelty-free foods!
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