My Top 5 Vegan Healthy Dinners You Can Make At Home

If the world went vegan, it could save 8 million human lives by 2050, reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture by two thirds and lead to healthcare-related savings and avoided climate damages of $1.5 trillion. - University of Oxford

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I live in Indonesia so I eat a lot of vegetable dishes, rice, noodles, and tempeh. This is great, but I also miss food from other destinations that I have travelled to.

We all understand how a certain recipe or the smell of someone cooking a meal can bring back wonderful memories - this is the important role that food plays in connecting people.

If you are on a mission to eat more plant-based meals then there is no better way to start than in your kitchen.

I love to cook vegan meals that are simple, affordable, that highlight local ingredients.

So, when I feel "homesick" for a certain cuisine (different from Indonesian) I enjoy the challenge of trying to remake it.

Here are my top 5 favourite healthy, vegan, plant-based meals that honestly you could enjoy at any time of the day.

I assure you that there are no animal products in these recipes and that they can be put together on a budget.

Let's start.

1. Avocado & Vegetable Sandwich


- 1 ripe avocado

- 1 diced cucumber

- 1 handful of lettuce (or any greens you like such as baby spinach or arugula)

- 1/2 sliced red onion

- 1 sliced tomato

- 1 pinch of dukkah spice mix (optional)

- Wholegrain or Sourdough bread (swap out for what you have available or for gluten-free)

This meal can be served as a salad, a wrap or loaded up as a healthy and delicious sandwich.

Simply mash the avocado and spread it over the bread

Top it with fresh lettuce and greens, diced cucumber, thinly sliced red onion, sliced tomato

Sprinkle over the dukkah spice mix, salt & pepper, and top it off with a second slice of bread.

Quick, easily adaptable, and packed with nutritional ingredients and healthy fats that will give you plenty of energy. For something different, try lightly toasting the bread for that extra crunch!

Additional ingredient ideas:

- pumpkin hummus

- sliced beetroot

- a vegan burger patty

- vegan cheese

- mashed chickpeas or tofu

- sliced carrot

- sprouts

- sundried tomato

- grilled tempeh

2. Vegan Pancakes With All The Toppings


- 1 1/2 cups all Purpose Flour

- 1/2 cup water

- 1 cup almond milk (you can use any plant-based milk)

- 1/2 cup granulated sugar

- 1/2 teaspoon salt (I use pink Himalayan salt)

- 1 tablespoon baking soda

Vegan pancakes are a delight anytime of the day - breakfast or as a midnight snack. This is a recipe I adapted so that I could make the batter without always having to add mashed banana (like many recipes for vegan pancakes require). So, if you want to eat vegan pancakes for dinner - try these with lots of fresh fruits!

This recipe does not call for any oil and you can choose to use oil in the cooking process if needed. I use a non-stick pan and a little rice bran oil to cook my pancakes but I have also made them oil-free and they are amazing.

Start by adding all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl, combine until you have a batter that is not too thick. It should be easy to ladle into the pan without any lumps of flour.

Ladle the batter into a non-stick frying pan on medium to low heat and wait for the pancakes to form bubbles. Then, flip the pancakes just once until golden brown. Stack them on the plate and serve them warm.

Topping ideas:

- Vegan Nutella

- Mixed stewed berries

- Banana

- Nut crumble

- Maple syrup

- Peanut or almond butter

- Vegan ice cream

- Lemon juice

- Coconut sugar

- Grated coconut

3. Packet Noodle Soup & Vegetables


- 1 packet of noodles (vegan noodles and vegan flavouring)

- Water

- A handful of broccoli, carrot and bok choy

- Chilli flakes (optional)

- A slice of lime

I promised these meals would be easy to make and affordable; introducing my take on the standard packet of noodles. In Indonesia, noodles (mei) are so popular and are cooked in a variety of ways.

Noodle soup also sometimes referred to as Soto (vegetable broth usually served with meat) or Bakso (noodle soup with meatballs) and is a super fast and cheap dish that you can easily 'veganise' and enjoy at home.

Being vegan does not mean you have to make everything fresh. It is perfectly okay to use premade spice mixes, curry pastes, soup mixes and packets of noodles. Check the ingredient list to make sure it is vegan and be on the lookout for non-vegan additives like egg or shrimp. By adding in the additional fresh vegetables you are bringing the humble packet of noodles to new heights.

First, cook the noodles as instructed on the packet. Personally, I boil the water, then once it is bubbling I add the noodles, cook until they are nice and soft. Drain the noodles and put them aside. Then, add fresh hot water to the serving bowl (it tastes better than the water the noodles are cooked in).

Mix in your spice mixes and add your noodles. Whilst my noodles are cooking I boil or steam a mixture of fresh vegetables - broccoli, carrot and boy choy are my favourite ingredients for this dish. Add the vegetables to the bowl of cooked noodles, top it off with a sprinkle of red chilli flakes and a dash of lime juice. Done.

Additional ideas:

- Tofu

- Tempeh

- Mock meat

- Gluten-free rice noodles

- Chili oil

- Bean sprouts

- Spring onions

4. Spicy Tofu Scramble Burrito


- 1 block of soft tofu

- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder

- 1 red onion diced

- 2 cloves of garlic

- Pinch of salt & pepper

- 1 tomato diced

- 1 avocado sliced

- Hummus or vegan cream cheese

- Fresh salad greens

- Wraps of your choice

Use a fork to mash the soft tofu in a bowl. Add turmeric powder, salt and pepper. Finely chop the red onion and garlic. Next, fry the onion and garlic in a little oil in a non-stick pan. Add the tofu and keep moving it around the pan with a large spoon or spatula.

Add the diced tomatoes. The water and liquid will absorb and over time the tofu will dry out and brown - take it off the heat and set aside. The turmeric turns the tofu a golden yellow and it will soon resemble scrambled eggs.

Next, add a layer of hummus or vegan cream cheese to the wrap. Add your salad mix, sliced avocado and spoon on the scrambled tofu. Serve the burrito warm with a side of extra salad or salsa. To toast the wraps, you can always add the prepared burrito to a sandwich press until golden brown before serving.

Tofu is a complete source of protein and has more nutritional value than eggs.

Tofu has 3.5 times less saturated fat than eggs, 47% fewer calories than eggs and tofu has more dietary fibre than eggs.

Try this vegan, highly versatile alternative today; I am sure it will fast become a staple in many of your plant-based meals.

5. Healthy Tomato & Basil Pasta


- 1 packet of pasta

- Garlic cloves

- Red onion

- Fresh basil leaves

- Green peas

- Carrot

- Broccoli

- 1 jar of vegan pasta sauce (tomato & basil)

- Vegan cheese (optional)