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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

50 Beginner Vegan Recipes That Are Super Simple

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These super simple beginner vegan recipes will make meal time delicious and easy! Whether you’re starting a vegan lifestyle for the first time, or looking for some easy meatless meals, these recipes will inspire your taste buds!

beginner vegan recipes collage including ratatouille, tofu skewers, vegan wellington, vegan sloppy joes, dahl, and enchiladas

Beginning a vegan diet can seem overwhelming. Especially if you’ve been used to an omnivore diet for quite some time. Finding easy and delicious recipes is the key to success.

I’m not vegan, but I do follow a vegetarian diet. The recipes here at The Picky Eater are a combination of both vegan and vegetarian. Sometimes when I’m whipping up a meal, I don’t realize until it’s completed that it’s actually vegan.

Whether you want to dive into a vegan lifestyle, incorporate more meatless meals into your diet, are looking for dairy-free alternative recipes, or having a vegan guest over for dinner, these beginner recipes will do the trick.

I’ve added breakfast, lunch/dinner, dessert, and snack recipes for all of your needs!

How To Stock A Vegan Kitchen?

When you’re beginning a vegan lifestyle the first essential task is stocking your kitchen with pantry and fridge staples. A vegan diet consists of grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds, and non-dairy milks.

Seasonal Produce: You want to start by stocking your fridge and pantry with seasonal produce. This may include squash, potatoes, carrots, and other root vegetables in the winter. In the spring, you may include asparagus, and leafy greens. In the summer take advantage of fresh tomatoes, peaches, and berries. Luckily, we’re able to get a lot of produce year round. However, fruits and vegetables will taste the best when in season.

Whole Grains: A large part of a vegan diet consists of whole grains. This includes whole wheat, bulgar, farro, quinoa, barley, oats, brown rice, and more! You can use whole grain bread to create sandwiches, and toast. Add quinoa and brown rice to make a buddha bowl. Enjoy oats for your morning breakfast. You may also include whole grain pastas.

Beans and Legumes: Black beans, white beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, and lentils provide both fiber and protein to a vegan diet. They can be added to your breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even dessert! Include them in your curries, soups, tacos, burritos, and more!

Nuts and Seeds: I recommend using raw unsalted nuts when possible. Nuts and seeds may be used in the form of nut butters as well. Look at the ingredients to be sure there aren’t any added oils or sweeteners. Sprinkle seeds on your salads. Add flax and chia seeds to your smoothies and oats.

Dairy-Free Milk: There is a wide variety of dairy free milks out there. Some of my favorites include almond, cashew, oat, soy, coconut, and rice milk. There are also dairy-free cheeses, butters, ice creams, and yogurts. Just about every dairy item now has a dairy-free alternative. I recommend making your own homemade dairy alternatives when possible. They don’t take a ton of time, and don’t require many ingredients, but the result is both tastier and healthier. Many of the dairy-free alternatives contain added preservatives and other ingredients that are not beneficial to your health.

How Do You Start A Vegan Diet?

Sliced vegetables sticks and grape tomatoes in clear cups - beginner vegan recipes

I recommend when starting any new lifestyle change to take it slow and one step at a time.

Depending on what your diet may look like before the change, you may want to do the following.

  1. Try incorporating one meatless meal into your diet for a week or more. If you are used to eating a heavy meat and cheese diet, substituting one meal, whether that’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, is a first step to getting used to a new lifestyle.
  2. Once you’ve mastered one meal a day, I recommend trying to cut out either meat or dairy all together. You don’t want to do both at the same time, as that can be a big change that could lead to you giving up all together. If you eat a heavy cheese and dairy diet, you may want to consider cutting that out first, and experimenting with dairy free milk alternatives. Try your hand at making your own vegan cream sauces, or even cheeses!
  3. Once you’ve given up dairy, try letting go of meat. This is likely going to be the most difficult change. Be sure to start adding a lot of beans and legumes into your diet at this time. When you give up a main protein source, you want to be sure to add in a plant-based protein source. This is also a good time to experiment with tofu, and tempeh. I recommend trying to stay away from the processed versions of vegan meat alternatives. These are full of processed ingredients, and provide a bit of a crutch when trying a vegan lifestyle. Be sure to add natural whole food protein sources into your diet.
  4. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Incorporating healthy vegan choices into your diet at home, and enjoying alternatives when you go out to eat is okay, if that’s what works for you and your lifestyle. The more healthy unprocessed plant-based choices you make the better for your health!

Additional Tips For Beginning A Vegan Lifestyle

sweet potato dahl with kale, served in a white bowl
  • Embrace whole grains. Opt for sprouted wheat bread (which is high in protein), whole wheat bread, brown rice, and other whole grain options. If you’re used to white bread, make the switch. You’ll get additional nutritional benefits from whole grains, as well as more fiber.
  • Reduce your sugar intake. While sugar is allowed on a vegan diet, white sugar is a bit tricky if you live in the United States. Some white sugars are processed with bone char. If you choose to use sugar in your diet, opt for organic sugar which is vegan friendly. As well as sugar alternatives such as coconut sugar, and maple syrup. However, reducing your overall sugar intake will have great benefits for your health.

What Should A Beginner Vegan Eat?

My favorite beginner vegan recipes are so easy, and simple you don’t even need a recipe!

  • Chickpea pasta and marinara with spinach
  • Black bean tacos with corn tortillas, avocado and salsa
  • Oatmeal with ground flaxseed + your favorite fruit for breakfast
  • Lentils with vegetables and brown rice
  • Bean burritos
  • Fresh veggies with hummus for dipping
  • Stir-Fried Vegetables and Tofu

Tips And Tricks To Preparing Beginner Vegan Recipes

Vegetarian Spaghetti Sauce with whole wheat pasta, served in a black bowl with basil on top - beginner vegan recipes
  • Start with simple meals that don’t require a ton of ingredients.
  • Don’t make it overly complicated! Think about filling half your plate with vegetables, a quarter of your plate with whole grains, and a quarter of your plate with plant protein.
  • Add lots of spices! To create a depth of flavor, be sure to add lots of spices, both fresh and dried to your meals. It will make your vegetables and legumes taste different and amazing every time.

50 Quick And Easy Beginner Vegan Recipe Ideas

Here are some of my favorite beginner vegan recipes! I’ve got you covered for breakfast, lunch or dinner, dessert, and even snacks! These recipes are quick, easy, simple, and super flavorful.

Even if you’re not vegan you won’t notice that these recipes are missing meat and dairy!

Beginner Vegan Breakfasts

Smoothies, oats, and quick breads are a great way to incorporate meat free choices into your breakfast rotation.

strawberry and banana smoothie in a glass mason jar with a straw
Strawberry and Banana Smoothie
This Strawberry and Banana Smoothie is naturally sweet, filled with fruit, and so simple to make. With just 5 ingredients, you can easily customize this energizing smoothie recipe and be sipping on it in under 5 minutes. 
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Banana Bread Oatmeal
This banana bread oatmeal is perfect when you need a hot breakfast in a hurry! It tastes just like a slice of banana bread but is ready in a fraction of the time!
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vegan pumpkin bread, sliced on a wooden cutting board
Vegan Pumpkin Bread
This moist and flavorful vegan pumpkin bread is a simple and easy autumn quick bread that comes together in less than an hour. It makes a delicious breakfast or anytime snack!
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homemade healthy flapjacks, cut into squares and pictured on a sheet of parchment paper
Healthy Flapjacks
Get your day started right with some homemade Healthy Flapjacks. They are so full of flavor, easy to make, and are the perfect breakfast even on those busy mornings. Vegan, gluten-free, and can be a healthy snack option too!
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vegan banana bread, served on a white plate with a blue napkin in the background
Vegan Banana Bread Recipe
This Vegan Banana Bread is the best and easiest recipes ever! Made in just 1 bowl, with only 10 minutes of prep time, there is nothing better than this moist, flavorful, and fluffy banana bread!  
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Vegan Baked Oatmeal
This vegan baked oatmeal with fresh berries is naturally sweetened with maple syrup. It makes for an excellent brunch recipe of special occasion breakfast!
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spinach banana smoothie with peanut butter served in a glass mason jar
Spinach Banana Smoothie
This Spinach Banana Smoothie has the perfect balance of sweetness and nuttiness, and it will absolutely keep you full until lunch.
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Low Calorie Granola
Store-bought granola often comes with far too much sugar and feels very heavy. Make your own low calorie granola at home to control the ingredients.
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Beginner Vegan Lunches and Dinners

Adding lots of vegetables, plant-protein, and whole grains will help you create filling and delicious meals to enjoy for lunch or dinner!

tofu skewers on a blue plate
Tofu Skewers with Ginger Soy Marinade
These healthy Tofu Skewers are an easy meal that can be made in under 30 minutes! Each kabob has tofu, peaches, onions, zucchini, and a sweet and salty ginger soy marinade that pulls all the flavors together!
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vegan ratatouille with seasonal vegetables in a blue bowl
Vegan Ratatouille
This fresh vegan ratatouille is full of seasonal vegetables simmered in a richly flavored tomato broth. It’s the perfect healthy way to fill up on your veggies while still getting a comforting, warm, and satisfying meal!
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vegan wellington with lentils and mushrooms, served on a wooden cutting board
Vegan Wellington with Lentils and Mushrooms
This comforting, super satisfying Vegan Wellington is filled with lentils, onions, carrots, tomatoes, garlic, and mushrooms, inside a flaky pastry. Seasoned with herbs and completely nut-free, it’s perfection in every bite!
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sweet potato dahl with kale, served in a white bowl
Sweet Potato Dahl with Kale
Comforting and delicious, this Sweet Potato Dahl is a fast and easy meal. Perfect for lunch or dinner, this dahl is filled with warm Indian spices, kale, sweet potatoes, and yellow split peas. It’s vegan, gluten-free, hearty, healthy, and nutrient rich!
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apple curry with lentils and chickpeas served on a white plate
Apple Curry with Chickpeas and Lentils
This Apple Curry with chickpeas and lentils is the perfect autumn dish! It’s warm, comforting, and full of spice, and so simple to make!
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vegan mushroom stroganoff served in a blue bowl with garnishes on the side, top view
Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff
This creamy vegan mushroom stroganoff is packed with fresh flavors. It's a warm, hearty, healthy and comforting recipe that comes together in less than 40 minutes. Perfect for a weeknight dinner, or a meal to impress your non-vegan friends and family
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moroccan stew with chickpeas and quinoa couscous served on a white plate
Moroccan Stew with Chickpeas and Quinoa Couscous
There is nothing more comforting than warming up to a bowl of this homemade Moroccan Stew. This hearty dish has sweet dried apricots, quinoa, zucchini, carrots, sweet potatoes, and chickpeas in a spiced broth. It’s perfect for a cool weather days when you want something healthy and satisfying.
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vegan enchiladas, fresh out of the oven, served in a casserole dish and topped with green onions and olives
Vegan Enchiladas with Black Beans and Sweet Potatoes
Lip-smacking Vegan Enchiladas are easy to make, delicious, and a real crowd-pleaser. Each enchilada is filled with sweet potatoes, onions, bell peppers, fire-roasted tomatoes, black beans, spices, and they are topped with a 5 minute homemade enchilada sauce! 
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tofu paneer, mattar paneer in a white dish with peas and curry sauce
Matar Paneer (made with Tofu Paneer!)
This healthy version of matar paneer (made with tofu paneer!) is so rich and creamy it pretty much melts in your mouth when you take a bite of it. Made with only five ingredients, you can enjoy gourmet, restaurant-quality Indian food at home in just 20 minutes! 
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Pav Bhaji (or Indian Spiced Vegetarian Sloppy Joes) served on a wooden cutting board with a wheat bun
Pav Bhaji (or Indian Spiced Vegetarian Sloppy Joes)
This Pav Bhaji is the perfect Indian inspired street food, but it has a healthy and nutritional twist that is insanely good. Munching on this Indian spiced vegetarian sloppy joe style sandwich will keep the entire family happy and makes for an easy dinner idea. 
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top view of instant pot vegan dal makhani recipe, served in a white bowl with fresh herbs on top
Dal Makhani Recipe (Healthy, Vegan)
This easy vegan dal makhani is a perfect healthy and nutritious weeknight meal. Made with brown lentils and herbs and spices, this hearty main course is full of flavor and simple to make.
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vegan tacos with black beans, avocado, veggies, and cilantro, served on a white plate
Vegan Tacos with Black Beans and Avocado
These healthy and delicious vegan tacos are great for an easy weeknight meal. Packed with black beans, veggies, and spices, they're full of flavor, ready in 30 minutes, and perfect for the whole family!
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vegan bolognese with lentils, served over pasta in a white bowl
Vegan Bolognese with Lentils
This hearty and healthy vegan bolognese has great texture with the addition of walnuts, lentils, and celery. It's an easy family friendly weeknight meal that's done in 30 minutes!
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Homemade vegetarian black bean burger on whole wheat bun, topped with baby spinach, tomato, onion and served with home fries on the side
Black Bean Quinoa Burgers
These vegetarian black bean quinoa burgers are easy and quick to make, so they are perfect for a healthy weeknight meal. 
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butternut squash and chickpea curry, served on a white plate with couscous on the side
Butternut Squash and Chickpea Curry
This delicious Butternut Squash and Chickpea Curry is packed with goodness and great flavors! The texture of this healthy curry is just perfect, it's full bodied and the chickpeas give it just the right amount of bite!
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Vegan Thai Green Curry
This delicious and hearty Vegan Thai Green Curry with chickpeas is slightly spicy and super filling. It makes great leftovers too!
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Indian Rice and Curry Casserole (Chana and Saag Biryani)
Cauliflower Biryani
This traditional Cauliflower Biryani is one of my favorite vegetable curry recipes! It's made with chickpeas, brown basmati rice, and quinoa for a well balanced and tasty vegetarian meal, full of Indian spices!
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indian stew with rice and lentils, served in a white bowl with cilantro on top
Rice and Lentils with Indian Spices
Rice and lentils are combined to create a complete protein in this one pot vegetarian meal. Fresh vegetables and Indian spices give this pilaf a rich depth of flavor.
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roasted cauliflower curry with sweet potatoes topped with cilantro, served on a white plate with a fork
Roasted Cauliflower Curry
This Roasted Cauliflower Curry with Sweet Potatoes is perfectly seasoned with Indian spices. It makes for a wonderful main dish served over rice, or as a side dish paired with a hearty stew or salad.
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thai sweet potato soup with poblano peppers served in a white bowl, top view
Spicy Thai Sweet Potato Soup
This spicy Thai Sweet Potato Soup gets an extra kick with the addition of poblano peppers. It combines the flavors of a traditional curry with some unconventional spices and seasoning for a rich and healthy soup with a real depth of flavor.
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instant pot tomato soup pictured in a white bowl against a wooden background with a grilled cheese sandwich on the side
Instant Pot Tomato Soup
This Instant Pot Tomato Soup is creamy and delicious with the perfect amount of subtle spice. Less than 75 calories per serving it's a healthy, hearty and easy to make classic recipe.
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healthy vegan black bean soup topped with greek yogurt, avocado, cilantro and tortilla chips in a grey bowl, top view
Chunky Vegan Black Bean Soup
This chunky vegan black bean soup is a healthy, hearty, filling, one-pot meal! Made with simple ingredients, flavorful spices, and you can customize it with your favorite toppings.
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Vegan Tikka Masala with Tofu
This vegan tikka masala with tofu is quick, healthy, easy and oh so tasty! Packed full of delicious Indian spices, this recipe is a perfect option for a weeknight meal. Made with coconut milk, this mild curry will be a hit with the whole family!
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butternut squash chili served in a white bowl topped with green onions
Vegan Butternut Squash Chili
Made with sweet butternut squash, savory and warm spices, fiber and protein-packed black beans, crunchy corn, and acidic tomatoes, this chili has just about every flavor you could possibly want!
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Instant Pot Pinto Beans Vegan Posole
This easy Instant Pot Pinto Beans Vegan Posole is a delicious Mexican stew that is packed full of flavor. Ready in just 30 minutes, with rich spices, crunchy veggies, and chewy hominy – this healthy soup is perfect for a quick one-pot meal.
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Vegan Chana Masala Recipe
This Vegan Chana Masala tastes like something you’d order from a fantastic Indian restaurant. It’s a healthy, gluten-free, naturally vegan, yet still rich and flavorful with the perfect amount of heat. 
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Lemon-Ginger Vegetable Stir Fry Sauce
This healthy vegetable stir fry sauce tossed with fresh veggies, tofu and quinoa is a quick and easy vegan weeknight meal. It's loaded with flavor from lemon and ginger, and is ready in just 15 minutes!
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Beginner Vegan Desserts

Just because you follow a vegan diet doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy dessert now and again! These sweet treats use natural unprocessed sugars, and whole grains to create out of this world sweets!

vegan nutella with hazelnuts and dark chocolate, served on a wooden cutting board
Vegan Nutella
Dark, rich, creamy vegan nutella is made with raw hazelnuts, dark chocolate, and naturally sweetened with maple syrup. It is a decadent chocolate hazelnut spread for dipping fruit, or slathering over pancakes, toast, and more!
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vegan gluten free lemon bars stacked on a white plate
Gluten Free Lemon Bars with Coconut Custard
With a sweet, tart coconut milk lemon curd filling, and almond flour crust, these Gluten Free Lemon Bars are the perfect dessert for picnics, bake sales, and more! Naturally sweetened, these bars are vegan friendly.
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mango nice cream in a glass container with sliced bananas
Mango Nice Cream
Creamy, homemade mango nice cream made with frozen bananas, mangos, natural sweetener, and almond milk, is a dairy-free healthy treat! With 4 simple ingredients, and a few minutes, you’ll have a decadent dessert in no time!
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vegan snickerdoodles with chocolate and sprinkles stacked on a plate
Vegan Snickerdoodles
Chewy, soft, sugar-coated, vegan snickerdoodles are dipped in white chocolate and dusted with sprinkles to create a fun and festive treat. Super easy to make and guaranteed to be the best snickerdoodles you will ever eat!
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vegan chocolate mousse topped with raspberries
Vegan Chocolate Mousse (Healthy, Sugar-Free)
This rich, decadent, silky Vegan Chocolate Mousse is the perfect dessert.  Made with silken tofu, bananas, tahini, cocoa powder, and maple syrup this mousse is healthy, chocolatey, and so easy to make! 
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vegan carrot cake with cream cheese frosting on a white plate
Vegan Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
This is the best Healthy Vegan Carrot Cake recipe you'll ever make! This dairy free, lightened up carrot cake is soft, moist, and beautifully sweet. Lots of cinnamon, allspice, and walnuts in every bite!
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side view of vegan rice krispie treats with pumpkin spice on a white platter
Vegan Rice Krispie Treats with Pumpkin Spice
When you sink your teeth into these homemade Vegan Rice Krispie Treats with Pumpkin Spice, you will feel like you are in food heaven. They are perfectly sweet and gooey, great for fall, and so easy to make!
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Vegan Tahini Oatmeal Cookies
These vegan oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips use tahini (a sesame seed paste) to bind these cookies together. It adds a wonderful rich flavor that compliments the walnuts and chocolate chips for a soft and chewy cookie!
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vegan chocolate truffles in a white bowl with blue napkin
Vegan Chocolate Truffles
These delicious Vegan Chocolate Truffles with quinoa and peanut butter are the perfect healthy treat. They also happen to be gluten free! These no bake truffles are perfect as a dessert or a snack.
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Beginner Vegan Snacks

Don’t grab a bag of chips! Give these simple snacks a try! From easy to make energy balls, dips, home baked fries, and fresh fruit, snack time will become your favorite time of day!

No Bake Peanut Butter Balls
These healthy, 100 calorie treats are easy to make, super delicious, kid-friendly, and decadent; but are also vegan, gluten-free and low in sugar!
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air fried sweet potato fries in a yellow basket
Air Fried Sweet Potato Fries
These Air Fried Sweet Potato Fries are spicy, crispy, and bake up to a perfect golden brown. Easy and quick they're a healthy alternative to traditional fries!
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Mexican Fruit Salad with cubed melon, mango, jicama, dragon fruit, lime juice, and a hint of spicy chili - served in a blue bowl
Mexican Fruit Salad
A simple Mexican Fruit Salad with cubed melon, dragon fruit, jicama, kiwi, lime juice, and a hint of spicy chili. It's an unexpected and delicious take on the traditional fruit salad.
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healthy guacamole recipe
Healthy Guacamole Recipe
This healthy guacamole recipe is easy and simple to make. It's a great variation on the authentic Mexican recipe. It's perfect to serve as a topping on tacos and enchiladas, or great as a dip with some chips.
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instant pot applesauce with cinnamon and honey, in a white ramekin with a sliced apple on top, pictured with an instant pot in the background
Instant Pot Applesauce with Cinnamon and Honey
This delicious, homemade, instant pot applesauce with cinnamon and honey is one of the easiest things to cook and is ready in just 20 minutes!
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Healthy, Easy Fruit Salad Recipe
This easy fruit salad recipe is so simple to make, and you can use any fruits you like (or that are in season!) A versatile dish, perfect for a brunch side-dish, on-the-go snack, or healthy dessert. Ready in less than 15 minutes and kid-friendly too!
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Check Out These Other Helpful Vegan Tips!

If you have tried any of these beginner vegan recipes, or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family friendly food!

Posted In…

Vegan ·

Try my favorite vegan recipes, like my BBQ Jackfruit Burrito Bowl and decadent healthy raw chocolate pudding. Want to convert an existing recipe into a vegan-friendly version? Flax eggs make it easy!

Also posted in Recipes · Breakfast · Dessert · Entrees · Snacks · Vegetarian
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