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Mar 12, 2014 10:30 PM

Trying to start making vegan recipes. Don't know where to begin!

I recently started cooking for myself and am simply overwhelmed with all the amazing things you people do with food!

It's like you guys are haute couturiers of the food world and I'm simply struggling to find a way to get quality separates in my life.

I've quickly learned with meat-based foods, like chicken rice and veggies, steak potatoes carrots and peas... It's all about the spices, such as...

Mexican - cumin, ancho/chipotle, lime juice, cilantro, oregano
Indian - garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric, coriander, cardamom.
Chinese - sesame oil, soy sauce, fish/oyster/plum sauce, garlic, ginger
East asian - mirin, soy sauce, dashi, 7 spices, etc
Thai - coconut milk, lemongrass, chili paste, soy/fish/oyster sauces
Greek - lemon, oregano, garlic
Scandinavian - caraway, dill and fennel
Italian - basil, oregano, thyme, and parsley

I also have been learning how to make good basic marinades and such, which will definitely come in handy this summer.

The thing I really want to know how to whip up are bulky vegan salads and soups. These are the type of complex carbs that really give me the best energy throughout the day.

I love to make my own traditional, leafy green salad dressings but really want to learn the basics to make a really good bean/legume/grain/pseudograin/veggie recipes.

And soup! It can be frozen! It's super healthy! I can add to meet my macros! Any specific way you like to add things to the stock?

How does one use the spice blends above to make a salad or soup like that? How do I know what veggies / beans / grains to use?

Any cookbooks, resources, tips, or list of skeleton recipes would be AWESOME! I'm trying to eat more vegan dishes throughout the day.

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  1. I find you will find a lot more vegetarian then vegan and then can just use the vegan substitutes. this is a store with a great deli and they post lots of there recipes. I love there kale salad and yam salad..there all good.

    1. to build on the spicing knowledge that you already have:

      black bean soup with corn kernels
      tofu fajitas

      stir fried tofu with fermented black bean sauce and chopped peppers and onions

      red lentil dal (red lentils cook up in no time for a quick meal). tip: to my palate, most good curry recipes contain at least a little fresh ginger. if you are using a recipe that calls for Garam Masala, add it AT THE END. if you cook it, it will change flavor not in a good way.

      here is my recipe for red kidney bean curry. ATTRIBUTION: i adapted it from the recipe from this site:
      Red Kidney Bean Curry

      Generous cup of dried red kidney beans soaked then cook them reserve cooking liquid
      1 ½ Tbl oil
      3 or 4 bay leaves
      2 medium chopped onions
      1 inch piece of fresh ginger minced
      6 to 8 cloves of garlic, minced
      1 tsp mild red pepper (like Aleppo
      ½ tsp cayenne
      ½ tsp turmeric powder
      1 (18oz) jar diced tomatoes in puree
      2 tsp salt
      1 tsp garam masala powder
      optional: coriander leaves for garnish

      Heat oil in a deep pan. Add bay leaves and onions and sauté till golden. Add ginger and garlic and continue to sauté for a minute. Add red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder and stir. Add tomatoes and salt and cook a few minutes. Add kidney beans along with the cooking liquour and mix. Cook on low heat for fifteen minute stirring in between. Adjust salt and add garam masala powder. Cook for five minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with brown rice. -

      minestrone with red kidney beans, carrots, NO PEPPERS, vegetables, definitely use kale or spinach, tomatoes, garlic, herbs, pasta

      white beans and kale make a great stew with mirepoix and garlic

      silken tofu can be whirled in a blender with oil and spices to form a good, easy, "cream" sauce

      general info: i find it SO SO much easier to cook dried beans in a large glass casserole dish in the microwave than to cook them on the stovetop. others on this board swear by their pressure cookers.

      get familiar with using nutritional yeast and brewers yeast. i resisted this for years and regret my hard-headedness regarding this ingredient.

      check out everything that was said on this thread:

      1. Epic reply here, but i am a very enthusiastic about supporting more people eating more vegan meals :)

        This previous thread includes a number of great websites as a resource of recipes:

        For vegan soups i rarely use a recipe but follow a similar method:
        Sautee my chopped onion/celery/carrot with a little olive oil, salt and pepper plus dried herbs-once softened i add tomato paste more often than not and stir until it carmelizes and everything is sticking to the bottom. Deglaze with a splash of white wine and let it simmer until about half the original volume.
        Going from there depends on my soup.
        For a super tomatoey version (which i love!) i add equal parts tomato juice and water, some chopped sun dried tomatoes, and canned whole tomatoes that i smush up. Then i add the quinoa/rice/grain and any longer cooking veggies like fennel, beets etc...
        Let simmer until the broth reduces by about 1/3. Then i add any faster cooking veg like kale or hearty greens etc... And/or cooked beans if i'm using them. Taste again and add salt/pepper/lemon juice/splash of vinegar or whatever it needs.
        I often serve soups ontop of a big handful of fresh spinach in my bowl, it wilts on contact.
        Here are some recipes for soups/stews i have also really enjoyed:

        Swap olive oil for the butter here:

        Not soup but wonderful, cooking the beans from scratch is a must:

        I LOVE this one:

        1. Pt 2:
          Hearty meal sized salads that don't suck are a little tricky. Some people need more fat to feel full while others need more protein or carbs so you will need to tinker with your own formula.

          For myself i make a large batch of basic massaged kale salad, with just some lemon and olive oil or flax oil that keeps great in the fridge a few days and then i use that to start salad assembly.
          I use greens + protein + veggies + chewy + fat although i will toss in a handful of leftover quinoa or whatever if its around.
          For example:
          Kale + crumbled tempeh + shredded carrot, onion, cucumber, bell peppers + chopped dried figs + sunflower seeds and whatever dressing i have around.
          Kale + leftover roasted veggies + edamame + sundried tomatoes + chopped almonds and dressing.
          Or for a super fast meal i top a salad of veggies with meatless balls or a veggie burger patty.

          These are a few recipes that i have either made and loved or have used as inspiration for my own versions, some of these need either protein or a crusty roll to make a real meal:

          I LOVE this one, omit the cheese. I add in some beans/tofu/tempeh

          This dressing is wonderful! I multiply it several times, keeps well for 2-3days:

          This one is waaaayyy better with carrots you shred yourself vs buying shredded ones: