Whether you’re looking to cook for a vegan friend, to serve people with different dietary preferences, or to just try out some new cooking techniques, we’ve put together three suggestions for delicious vegan dishes you can try making at home. Though all traditionally feature an animal protein, they can easily be made without one.
Vegan Crab Cakes
Yes, you can make crab cakes without using crab. Artichoke hearts make a fantastic stand-in for mimicking the flaky texture of crab. The artichoke heart patties can be made by using a food processor to blend together artichoke hearts, chickpeas, garlic, and shallots until you achieve the desired texture. In a large bowl simply add vegan mayonnaise, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, old bay seasoning, breadcrumbs, and dulse flakes. Dulse flakes are dried seaweed, which helps to give a more authentic taste to the crab cakes.
Use about a quarter of a cup of the mixture to make each individual patty and cook on a skillet over medium heat for about seven minutes on each side. Serve your vegan crab cakes up with a spicy cashew-sriracha aioli or with a vegan mayonnaise.
There’s nothing quite as filling as a carb-loaded dish such as spaghetti carbonara. An ultimate comfort food, carbonara is traditionally made with egg and bacon.
To make the vegan version of classic carbonara egg sauce, just combine cooked onions, cooked garlic, water, tofu, salt, and lemon juice in a blender. Once the sauce is smooth, add it to your pasta and let sit for a few minutes to allow it to thicken. For a great substitute to bacon, look no further than shiitake mushrooms. When baked at 375°F for about 30 minutes, the texture of the mushrooms mimics the crisp and chewy texture of bacon, making it perfect for topping off your carbonara.
Veggie Pot Pie
Another hearty dish, a pot pie doesn’t have to include meat in order to be tasty and filling. Potatoes, carrots, celery, and peas make fantastic pot pie fillers, and you should feel free to experiment with many more of your favourite vegetables. You’ll generally want to combine your fillings and cook until the potatoes are tender.
Set aside the vegetables and combine cooked onions, garlic powder, celery seed, salt, and flour into a skillet over medium heat, stirring for a few minutes to incorporate them. Add vegetable broth and either almond or soy milk, and simmer until the mixture is thick. Then, just stir in your vegetables and pour the mixture into a ready pie crust.
Once you try your hand at making a few vegan dishes, you’ll see how easy it is to put a vegan spin on just about any of your go-to recipes. Most animal products have a simple plant-based substitute that can make the dish taste just as good as the original, if not even better.