Food by VICE

20 Recipes for a Vegan January

Giving up animal products for a month doesn’t have to suck.

by Munchies Staff
Jan 3 2018, 8:00pm

Studies have shown that most people who go vegan for their health bail on the lifestyle at a higher rate than those who stop eating animal products for ethical reasons. So if you know you’re not one to be in it for the long haul, you might be one of the intrepid souls giving Veganuary a try right about now. We rounded up some of our best vegan recipes to help you keep that New Year’s resolution, and maybe carry your healthier habits through to February, too.

Walter Scheib, former White House executive chef to Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, shared this presidential curried soup recipe with us. It’s perfect for winter, but also can be totally vegan if you use vegetable stock instead of chicken. Healthy food can be hearty, too, which is good, because it's still January.

If you’re looking for ways to lighten up some of your go-to bad habit foods, like pizza, it’s a good idea to try mastering the art of the cauliflower crust. This version gets topped with a vibrant basil pesto and savory roasted squash and mushrooms, but you can use this as a blank canvas and top it with whatever you want.

Sometimes you get a craving for something sloppy and filling. We get it. Instead of fatty pulled pork with mayonnaise-heavy coleslaw, give this smoked mushroom vegan barbecue sandwich a try. Just check to be sure the store-bought sauce you’re picking up is vegan, too.

Silken tofu and nutritional yeast are what binds this casserole together, and you won’t miss eggs or cheese even a little bit. There’s hardly a better combination of winter veggie flavors than caramelized onions and roasted cauliflower, and this is guaranteed to leave you satisfied.

The hardest part about sticking to a food-related resolution is that some days you just don’t wanna cook anymore. This BLT recipe is for those days when spending an hour and a half in the kitchen is just not in the cards. Whip this up in 20 minutes, and you’ll feel better that you at least didn’t cave and order takeout.

The best way to prevent the desperate mid-afternoon purchase of something covered in cheese powder from the office vending machine is to start the day with a solid breakfast. This chia pudding is packed with protein and fiber, anti-inflammatory turmeric, and “super-foods” like blueberries and goji berries.

This savory porridge could be breakfast or lunch, but either way, its super easy to make and guaranteed to be filling. Top it with a homemade applesauce or granola, and it gets even better.

If you’re entertaining while trying to stick to a Veganuary diet, you might be tempted to break your own rules because you want to make something that appeals to everyone. These flautas swap out meat and dairy for seitan and vegan mozzarella, but your guests will never know the difference.

This THC-laced hot cocoa is, in fact, vegan, and with fresh turmeric and ginger in the mix, this actually shapes up to be a remarkably healthy alternative to Swiss Miss.

Use these “bacon” strips in a sandwich, on a veggie burger, or crumbled on a salad like good ol’ bacon bits. When fully dehydrated and stored in an air-tight container, they will keep for about a month in the freezer, or two weeks in the refrigerator.

Winter weather is hitting the U.S. hard right now, and nothing is homier on a “shit, it’s cold” kind of night than a shepherd’s pie. The mashed potato topping on this gets a perfect golden crust, and you can hide away from the snow for days with these leftovers.

So it’s both veggie roasting AND cabbage season, and this preparation from chef Elise Kornack is hearty enough to serve as a center piece to a Veganuary meal. Charring the hell out of these cabbage wedges and throwing together an herby, spicy dressing takes a humble, inexpensive head of cabbage to a whole new level.

Most year-round vegans probably have a dozen back-pocket vegetable curry recipes that they can throw together with whatever’s lying around. If you’re just giving it a go for January, this recipe serves as a great template. Try using whatever veggies you have on hand.

The seeds of the egusi melon are used for a lot of culinary purposes in West African cooking, but especially for egusi stew. This is a hearty, healthy dish that comes together in just 40 minutes.

January is prime time to hunker down in the kitchen on a Sunday afternoon and tackle a cooking project. Which means it’s the perfect time to give something as labor intensive as homemade lasagna a go. This version, from Cro-Mags frontman John Joseph, is totally free of animal products.

This “high-grade” sauce has a lot of ingredients, but it comes together pretty easily and will turn any assortment of vegetables and grains into something instantly fucking delicious. Keep some of this on hand even after Veganuary is over.

Going vegan for a month might already be enough of a lifestyle change for you to tackle, but if you’re up for a bit of meal prepping, chef Bruno Loubet suggests making a big batch of this lentil dhal that you can portion out and store in the freezer.

Congee, the stick-to-your-ribs rice porridge dish eaten all over Asia, is perfect for a warm January meal that’s hearty but not overly heavy. This version is garnished with sweet potatoes, squash, and collards, but you can definitely leave the soft-boiled egg out.

This is another John Joseph-approved recipe that will help you stick to your one-month goal, because it’s hard to give up burritos for that long, we know. You could swap out other meat substitutes here too, of course.

There is no shortage of vegan baking substitution hacks out there in the world, so don’t be afraid to indulge your sweet tooth during Veganuary, too. This version of the classic British dessert uses vegan margarine, nut milk, and coconut milk to recreate the spongy, golden, syrupy perfection.