Why go vegan?
A vegan dietone that eliminates animal products of any kindrequires a little creativity in the kitchen. But the health benefits may be worth it: Nonvegan ingredients like dairy products and meat can be high in saturated fat and cholesterol, and eating a high volume of veggies is associated with a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease, several common cancers, and other chronic diseases. Even if you're not ready give up your Brie, try these vegan recipes that are just as tasty as they are healthy.
Jamaican rice and peas
Light coconut milk gives this Caribbean dish a creamy taste while still being vegan-friendly. But don't let the name of this recipe fool you: "Peas" are island-dweller slang for kidney beans, which add plenty of protein and fiber. Plus sprinkles of thyme, garlic, and allspice give this dish just the right amount of kick.
Try this recipe: Jamaican rice and peas
Zucchini with corn and cilantro
Give your veggies a Tex-Mex flare with this southwestern side-dish recipe. Buttery olive oil added to cilantro and tangy lime juice gives that fiesta flavor to fiber-rich zucchini and corn. Add a side of refried beans and you have a filling and delicous meal.
Try this recipe: Zucchini with corn and cilantro
Triple bean salad
Fiber and iron-rich beans make up this quick and easy salad. The mixture of olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice gives the dish a tangy flavor without the saturated fat found in creamy dressings. Serve it as a side dish or over romaine lettuce for a light lunch.
Try this recipe: Triple bean salad
Sweet and sour slaw
This six-ingredient recipe is perfect for a potluck lunch. Cider vinegar and sugar add sweet and sour taste to this mix of veggies, while keeping it low in cholesterol. Plus, cabbage and carrots are low-calorie ways to get vitamin C. To mix it up, throw in a few slices of Granny Smith or Pink Lady apples to get tart flavor with a crunchy bite.
Try this recipe: Sweet and sour slaw
Spicy black bean burritos
These protein-packed burritos contain both black beans and tofu. Topped with lycopene-rich tomatoes, lettuce, and plenty of cilantro and cumin, this recipe has abundant zest. Although it calls for the burritos to be topped with sour cream (a nonvegan ingredient), leaving that part out won't compromise the spicy Mexican flavor.
Try this recipe: >Spicy black bean burritos