One of the best things about going vegan has been experimenting with new recipes. Even before switching to a vegan diet, my husband and I often ate meatless meals, but it's been a fun challenge to find meals that taste amazing without cheese and eggs, too. For quick weekday meals we often keep it simple with a grain, vegetables, and tofu, or a simple pasta dish. And we're never short of inspiration. We've found so many vegan recipes online that have become staples for us. Here are some of our favorites.
I rarely crave salads, but a couple months in, all I could think about was the kale Caesar salad from a restaurant down the street! Luckily, it turns out a great Caesar salad doesn't need anchovies or cheese.
Butternut squash is often used in vegan cheese sauces, but what really puts this recipe over the top is the coconut bacon. I couldn't help but eat the leftover "bacon" by the handful! This is definitely going to become a regular meal in our household.
My husband and I both love chilaquiles, a traditional Mexican breakfast dish made from stale tortilla chips and salsa. In this recipe, avocados take the place of the more traditionally used eggs — and I have to say, it's even better than the non-vegan one I used to make. Since tomatillos aren't in season right now, we use store-bought salsa verde, so the meal comes together in less than 30 minutes.
This recipe was one of my favorites even before I went vegan. In fact, I would often double the recipe and freeze them in bulk so I would have an easy lunch on hand! Using millet makes them firmer and a little crunchy, but you can also use quinoa in a pinch.
I am all about discovering vegan versions of comfort food, and these pot pies are perfect on cold winter nights. The crust is beautifully flaky, the filling is warm and creamy, and since they're baked in ramekins, they're adorable, too!
I made these falafels for a party this summer and they were such a huge hit with my friends that I made them a second time for Christmas. Enjoy them on their own or stuffed into pitas with some veggies and hummus.
I was devastated to find out that Fig Newtons, one of my absolute favorite store-bought cookies, aren't vegan. So I developed this vegan version made with coconut oil and aquafaba, which is a fancy word for the liquid in a can of chickpeas (it's a great egg substitute). I was supposed to save a few for a friend, but somehow they all magically disappeared.
Before I went vegan, I had crazy pregnancy cravings for raw vegan cheesecake. You'll be disappointed if you expect it to taste like "real" cheesecake, but it's a great dessert in its own right. The topping can be replaced with any fruit you like, so it's versatile, too!
I used to make my chocolate chip cookies with brown butter, which imparts a really nutty flavor. Since that's off the table now, I found that macadamia nut oil is a handy substitute. Now, these are my new favorite chocolate chip cookie.
I was never a huge fan of lemon bars because they always tasted eggy to me. So, a few years ago, I developed this super-lemony recipe, which uses silken tofu in place of eggs. I recently tweaked the recipe to make them even better.
I love this tart because it requires zero oven time and is also gluten-free, which makes it great for a dinner party or potluck. You can take it one step further and make a nut-free variation with a cookie crumb crust and go ahead and play around with the ganache flavor. You can use all sorts of different extracts and liqueurs.
What are your favorite vegan recipes?
(Image credits: Angela Liddon; Izy Hossack; Maria Siriano; Kate Taylor; Dana Shultz)