It isn’t just a month that ushers in the holiday season or makes us long for any and all things pumpkin flavored — November is also World Vegan Month, the BBC reports.
A vegan is anyone who, like a vegetarian, abstains from eating meat — including seafood and poultry — but also omits all forms of dairy and animal-derived products — including honey — from his or her diet, according to previous reporting from Flavor 574.
A plant-based diet has been linked to lower body weight and decreased incidences of anxiety and depression, the Huffington Post reported.
Whether you are already vegetarian or vegan, are friends with a person who is or are simply curious about the lifestyle, these three meat- and dairy-free recipes are sure to win over even the strictest of vegans.
Spicy Sweet Chili
This recipe is my mom’s and she adapted it just for me when I went vegan. The non-vegan/non-vegetarian recipe had ground beef and honey in it. I make this about once a week — it’s a favorite, especially for colder nights.
1 green pepper, diced
2 jalapeño peppers, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans dark red kidney beans
1 can petite diced tomatoes
½ tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. thyme leaves
1 tsp. cumin
Rinse and chop the pepper and jalapeños. If you desire a spicier chili, leave the seeds in the peppers. Heat a splash of olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven. Add the garlic and green peppers and stir until soft and the garlic is fragrant. Add tomatoes and kidney beans (don’t drain either of them) and add the jalapeños and the spices. Stir well. Place lid on pot and let simmer on low for at least 20 minutes. Stir frequently.
This is another of my mom’s recipes as well. When I went vegan a little more than a year ago, my mom had to get really creative with making meals that were non-dairy but also delicious.
1 can enchilada sauce (medium is good, but can be as hot or mild as you’d like)
1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, divided
1 can black beans
6 wheat tortillas (be sure the package denotes it as “lard free”)
Optional: soy or dairy-free cheddar cheese (I really like Daiya, which can be found at most health food stores)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 13×9-inch pan with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, stir ½ cup of the enchilada sauce, ½ cup of the diced tomatoes with some juice and 2 tbsp. of the cilantro. Drain the black beans and add to the mixture. Stir well.
In a small bowl, stir in the remaining enchilada sauce, diced tomatoes and cilantro.
Spoon the black bean mixture into a tortilla and sprinkle some soy cheese onto the mixture. Wrap the tortilla and place in the pan (seam side down). Spoon the enchilada sauce mixture over the wrapped enchilada, topping with more cheese if you like.
Bake for 20 minutes covered with foil.
Remove the foil and bake for 10 additional minutes or until cheese is bubbly and the tortillas are golden.
A common misconception I run into is, as a vegan, I “don’t eat sweets or junk food” which is totally untrue … vegans like sweets just like the next person. I brought these into work for the crew that had to work on Fourth of July and it was well-received. In full disclosure, I’m not much of a baker — I much prefer cooking — but these cupcakes from Babble were fun and tasty.
For the cupcakes:
1 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
½ granulated sugar
¼ cup. canola oil
¾ cup vanilla almond milk
1 tsp. vanilla
½ tbsp. apple cider vinegar
For the frosting:
2 cups powdered sugar
½ cup melted and cooled vegan butter (I use Earth Balance which can be found at nearly any grocery store)
2 tsp. vanilla
Preheat the oven to 365 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with 10 liners.
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. If you’re using a stand or electric mixer, use the paddle attachment and mix on low for a few seconds. Add remaining ingredients and mix on medium until well blended and smooth.
Fill the liners with the batter and bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
Remove cupcakes from the pan and cool completely. While cooling, combine all frosting ingredients. If using a stand or electric mixer, beat on low then increase to medium-high until fluffy. Adjust consistency of frosting by adding more sugar or more butter if too thin or too thick, respectively.
Frost as desired.