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​10 simple plant-based recipes

Posted by James Eacott on

The plant-based movement is popular, but many are stumped by what ingredients to use and, crucially, how to make them taste fantastic. Fear not, for we have 10 plant-based recipes you’ll love

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Why are people going plant-based?

Contrary to the stereotypical view that all vegans are raving tree-huggers and unbearable do-gooders (though some definitely are), most actually adopt a plant-based diet for the health benefits.

As we discovered in our interview with elite performance nutritionist Nigel Mitchell, it’s not an easy switch to make. Indeed, there’s no point cutting out meat and dairy if you’re not going to replace those items with healthy, suitable alternatives. But as Nigel – head nutritionist at pro cycling team EF Education First – says, there’s performance gains to be reaped if done right.

So, here’s 10 recipes to help you give a plant-based diet a go.

Plant-based recipe #1: Tofu turmeric scramble on toast with guacamole

Ingredients for the scramble

  • 200g firm tofu
  • 100g chestnut mushrooms, diced
  • 1 medium red pepper, diced
  • 100g cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small courgette, diced
  • 2 hand full of fresh spinach
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ red hot chilli, seeded and sliced or a pinch of dry chilli
  • sea salt
  • 1 avocado pitted
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Pinch of sea salt

Method to make the scramble

  1. Dice the tofu, mix it with the nutritional yeast, turmeric and a pinch of sea salt
  2. Dice the mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, the red pepper, the small courgette and the hot red chilli
  3. Place the diced vegetables in a pan with 1 tsp of olive oil and warm over a gentle heat until cooked and juicy
  4. Add the tofu mixed with turmeric and nutritional yeast. Cook for about 2-3 mins, stirring. Add the spinach leaves and keep cooking for another 2 mins
  5. If you want your tofu to be a bit drier, keep cooking gently, stirring often, until it is cooked to your liking
  6. Toast 1 or 2 slices of your favourite bread
  7. Spread a thick layer of guacamole
  8. Serve the tofu scramble on top of the guacamole

Method to make the guacamole

  1. In a bowl, combine avocado, lime juice and a pinch of sea salt
  2. Stir, then slowly turn the bowl as you run a fork through the avocados (this will ensure the mixture stays chunky) until it’s reached your desired consistency

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Scrambled tofu on toast with avocado...a taste sensation!

Plant-based recipe #2: Creamy fettuccine pasta alfredo

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash (2 cups of roasted butternut squash)
  • ½ cup of cashew nuts
  • 100 g chestnut mushroom- diced
  • 1 glove of garlic
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1tsp nutmeg
  • few leaves of sage
  • pinch of sea salt
  • ½ cup of hot water
  • black pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to Gas mark 6, 200°C (180°C in a fan oven)
  2. Halve lengthwise the butternut squash and place in a tray
  3. Pour two cups of water in the tray where is placed the butternut squash
  4. Bake the butternut squash until done, about 40 minutes
  5. Remove the skin and scoop out the seeds
  6. In a food processor, combine the cashews, nutritional yeast, sea salt, hot water and two cups of the roasted squash
  7. If the consistency is too thick, add more water in quarter cup increments
  8. Finally, add the black pepper, nutmeg, sage, and garlic. Blend again and adjust the seasonings to taste
  9. Place the diced mushroom in a pan with 1 tsp olive oil and 1 glove of garlic chopped, heat until cooked and juicy
  10. Prepare the fettuccine pasta according to the package directions. Drain the pasta in a colander and turn it out into a large serving bowl
  11. Pour the warm vegan alfredo sauce over the fettuccine noodles. Garnish with the mushroom, fresh sage leaves and sea salt, and cracked pepper

Plant-based recipe #3: Roasted vegetables with rice

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Ingredients

  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 3 leeks
  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • 1 aubergine
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • ½ cucumber sliced and parsley to garnish
  • sea salt
  • fresh rosemary
  • fresh thyme
  • olive oil

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C
  2. Dice all the veg
  3. Put all the veg in an extra-large roasting tray
  4. Pick and roughly chop the rosemary leaves and thyme leaves. Scatter all of the herbs over the veg
  5. Drizzle it all well with olive oil, then toss to coat
  6. Roast the vegetables in the hot oven for around 50 minutes, or until soft, golden and cooked through
  7. Cook the basmati rice to pack instructions; drain
  8. Serve the roasted veg with the basmati rice
  9. Garnish with fresh parsley and slice of cucumber

Plant-based recipe #4: Vegan Indian curry

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 5cm piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 heaped tsp ground cumin
  • 1 heaped tsp ground coriander
  • 1 heaped tsp ground turmeric
  • 4 big carrots, chopped into 1cm pieces
  • 2 green peppers
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 200ml vegan-friendly vegetable stock
  • 1 courgette, chopped into 1 cm pieces
  • 300g black rice or basmati rice
  • 100g spinach
  • 150g peas (fresh or defrosted if frozen)
  • chopped fresh coriander, to serve

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 mins until starting to soften. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a further 3 mins then stir in the chilli and dried spices. Season, then cook for 1 min
  2. Add the aubergine along with the chopped tomatoes and stock. Bring to a simmer, cover the pan and cook for 10 mins. Add the courgette and cook for 20 mins, taking the lid off for the final 10 mins, stirring occasionally
  3. Meanwhile, cook the rice to pack instructions
  4. Once the sauce has thickened and the vegetables are tender, stir through the spinach and peas. Allow to heat through for 3-4 mins so that the spinach has wilted and the peas are tender
  5. Season to taste, then serve with the cooked rice and a scattering of coriander

Plant-based recipe #5: Nut roast loaf

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra
  • 50g pine nuts
  • 75g cashews
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 200g butternut squash, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 150g chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 2 fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh tarragon, roughly chopped
  • Nutmeg, to taste
  • 25g oats
  • 75g brown rice flour
  • ½ tbsp ground chia seeds

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Method

  1. Heat the oven to 180C (200C non-fan). Oil a 23cm-long loaf tin or line it with baking parchment
  2. Place the pine nuts and cashews on a baking tray and toast them in the oven for about 10 minutes. They should look golden and give off a toasty aroma when you take them out. Set aside to cool
  3. Meanwhile, add the olive oil to a large non-stick pan and place over a medium heat. Sauté the celery, squash and carrot in the oil with a pinch of salt and pepper
  4. When the celery has started to turn translucent, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. Finally, add the herbs and nutmeg and stir well
  5. Place half the nuts in a food processor with the oats and whizz up as fine as they will go. Coarsely chop the remaining nuts, so they aren’t too chunky, then add these and the ground nut mixture to the pan. Add the flour and chia seeds and mix well
  6. Press into the prepared tin, cover with foil and roast for 35 minutes. Take the foil off and cook for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave in the tin, on a cooling rack for 15 minutes

Plant-based recipe #6: Thai vegan curry

Ingredients

  • 2 x 400ml tins coconut milk
  • 2 x 400g tins tomatoes
  • 2–3cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1–2tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 large butternut squash (about 1kg)
  • 2 medium aubergines (600g)
  • Handful fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • 400g tin chickpeas, drained
  • 3tsp brown miso paste
  • Brown rice, to serve

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6
  2. Put the coconut milk, tinned tomatoes, grated ginger and chilli into a large (ovenproof) saucepan with a sprinkling of black pepper and allow it to heat until boiling
  3. As it heats up, peel the squash and cut both the squash and the aubergines into bite-size pieces. Add these to the coconut and tomato in the pan
  4. Allow the mixture to cook for about 30 minutes in the oven, at which point add the coriander and chickpeas to the pan with the miso. Place the pan back in the oven for 30 minutes. It’s ready when the squash is soft
  5. Serve the coconut curry with the brown rice

Plant-based recipe #7: Banana vegan ice cream

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe bananas, sliced and frozen
  • 1/3 cup cashew nuts

Method

  1. Place frozen banana slices with the cashew nuts in a food processor and blend until smooth
  2. Initially, the mixture will be a bit crumbly but if you persevere it will soon (5 minutes tops) change into smooth and super creamy banana ice-cream
  3. If you are after a soft serve, consume immediately

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Plant-based recipe #8: Banana and almond butter

Ingredients

  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 100g roasted almonds

Method

  1. Put the almonds in a food processor and blend for around 15 min until a smooth mixture forms
  2. You really do need a food processor to make this –a blender could break
  3. Slice the banana in half and spread the almond butter

Plant-based recipe #9: Apple with peanut butter

Ingredients

  • 1 Apple sliced
  • 100g roasted peanut

Method

  1. Put the peanuts in a food processor and blend for 15 mins until a smooth mixture forms
  2. You do need a food processor to make this –a blender could break!
  3. Slice the apple in half and spread the peanut butter

Plant-based recipe #10: Chocolate chia pudding

Ingredients

  • ½ cup of chia seeds
  • 1 can of Coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons of raw cacao powder
  • 3 tablespoons of maple syrup

Method

  1. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the coconut milk, chia seeds, raw cacao powder, maple syrup, whisk until blended. Be patient, it will take a good minute or so to blend in the raw cacao powder
  2. Cover and place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes
  3. Give a good stir after 10 minutes. This step is very important or you’re pudding will not set properly and you’ll have a soupy mixture. Cover again and continue to chill
  4. If you have time let chill in the fridge for 4 hours. Once chilled, the pudding will miraculously become thick and creamy

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