Vegan food: Simply good for you and good for the planet
You may wonder why many people who practice yoga are also vegan. As well as the known health benefits of a plant-based diet, many yogi’s choose not to consume animal products because of a practice called Ahimsa.
Ahimsa is one of the 5 yamas (ethical restraints) of yoga philosophy. It translates to ‘non-violence.’ Which means not harming any living creature, emotionally, physically or mentally, including the self. Ahimsa is one of the reasons why we also practice self-compassion in yoga.
Although you don’t have to become a vegan to do Yoga, you might find yourself consuming less meat as your journey leads you to discovering more about the health benefits and also the positive sustainability factors for the earth as a result of a plant based diet.
Many people are curious about trying to eat less meat or animal products but think that it will be too hard to cook or that vegan recipes are too complicated and require lots of exotic ingredients from speciality stores.
This isn’t true at all! The recipes below are simple and easy to make, using common ingredients you’ll find at home and take less than 30 minutes. The recipes are based on real home cooking, so you can easily alter or swap out any ingredients that you’ve already got, and change the measurements to suit your own taste.
Simple Lentil Curry
- 1 medium sweet potato cubed
- 1 small head of broccoli chopped small
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 tsp garlic crushed or diced
- 1 can of lentils (rinsed to remove excess sodium)
- 1 small zucchini diced
- 3 teaspoons curry powder or to taste
- 1 can coconut milk
- ½ - 1 cup water
This recipe uses whatever vegetables you have at home, so it’s great at the end of the week to use up anything you have left, and you can alter the servings to make more or less, depending on your needs.
In a large pot, sauté onions and garlic until soft and brown.
Add coconut milk, and chopped vegetables, lentils and curry powder and stir well.
Add water to cover and bring to the boil.
Stir well and simmer for around 20 minutes, until all the vegetables are soft and the water and coconut milk has thickened into a stew like consistency.
Add salt and pepper to taste if required and serve.
- 2 zucchinis – spiralled or sliced into thin spaghetti noodles
- ½ brown onion
- a teaspoon or 1 clove crushed garlic
- 12 halved cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup pitted olives
- 1 cup baby spinach
- a drizzle of olive oil
- salt and pepper
- parsley and basil
Dice and sauté onion and garlic in a medium fry pan until soft.
Add zucchini spirals, tomatoes, and olives, add a drizzle of olive oil stir through over low heat for 5 minutes or until zucchini is soft.
Add spinach and basil and stir through for 2 minutes.
Take off heat and serve with salt & pepper and parsley.
- 1 medium banana
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ¼ cup almond or coconut milk
- teaspoon cinnamon or sugar
- coconut oil
Heat coconut oil in a pan over medium heat
Combine all ingredients in a blender
Pour into the pan at desired pancake size
Cook for 2 minutes or until lightly browned and flip and cook the other side
Serve with fresh fruit and coconut yogurt if desired
Vegan San Chow Boy
- Iceberg lettuce – separated into leaves for cups
- Firm organic tofu – approx. 200g
- 1 onion – finely diced
- 1 clove garlic – finely diced
- 1 medium carrot – diced into small cubes
- 1 small zucchini – diced into small cubes
- 1 red capsicum – diced into small cubes
- 1 red chilli – finely diced
- Tamari to taste (around 4 tbsp)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tsp coconut oil
Sauté onion and garlic in a fry pan until soft.
Crumble tofu into the pan (consistency of scrambled eggs) and cook lightly for 2 minutes before adding the other vegetables, chilli and enough soy sauce to lightly coat the mixture.
Stir fry for around 10 – 15 minutes , until the vegetables have softened and the soy sauce is soaked through. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon the mixture into the lettuce cups and serve!
(Hint – you can also add a Mexican twist if you want to swap out the soy sauce for a Mexican spice mix, add some guacamole on top and wrap in the lettuce cup for a healthy vegan burrito!)
There you have it. Cooking vegan food can be super yum and simple!