Must Know Vegan Basics for Beginners!

Today’s new video is for the people who are planning (or are already starting out) to go vegan this January! Here are some delicious recipes and ideas that are not only simple and beginner-friendly, but are also delicious and highly satisfying! I call these the Vegan Basics You Must Know.

For those of you that are starting out on a vegan journey, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed. Now that you know what to ELIMINATE from your diet, what do you eat now??? I hope this blogpost/video will be of assistance to you – these are some really simple basic recipes that were very helpful in my vegan journey. You can start with these and work your way toward more and more delicious vegan dishes. Hope you find these helpful.

Cashew Parmesan

Make this once, keep it in your fridge (or pantry), and you basically have vegan parmesan at your disposal any time! I keep it in my pantry and surprisingly, I don’t think it actually goes bad (makes it budget-friendly, too!) – but depending on climate, you may need to store this in your fridge. Sprinkle it on top of everything and you now have that extra delicious cheese-y flavour without the dairy! 

Here’s the super simple recipe:


  • ¾ cup cashews
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder (optional)


  1. Add all ingredients into a food processor and process until crumbly.
  2. Store in a sealed jar in the fridge.

📌Made this? Try out my Vegan Garlic Butter Parmesan Pasta Recipe

Make Ahead Scrambled Tofu Seasoning

Scrambled tofu (veganized scrambled “eggs”) are basically a staple in any vegan diet. There are many ways to make scrambled tofu, but most of them include throwing in a lot of spices to get that delicious, scrambled tofu flavour. 

My method — being the cheap lazy vegan that I am — is to combine all the spices I need in one jar! That way, i don’t have to rummage through my kitchen cabinets to take out ten million spices just to make scrambled tofu for breakfast! LOL

📌Check out the simple make-ahead recipe HERE.

Buddha Bowl

If you haven’t heard of this yet, a Buddha Bowl is a vegetarian meal served on a single bowl or high-rimmed plate. (FUN TRIVIA: Buddha Bowls are named so because it imitates the round Buddha belly shape!)

The great thing with Buddha Bowls is that these are easily customizable and you can put in whatever you want. I usually just use a whole grain (such as brown rice) as a base, then pick and choose whatever protein I want to add (tofu, tempeh, etc.) and just add in whatever veggies I like, along with some healthy fats. It’s just a balanced delicious meal for me and I love how you can make some sauces in advance so you can just drizzle them on top! YUM!

There are tons of Buddha Bowl recipes out there, but I highly recommend trying my Quinoa Buddha Bowl (you can always substitute the quinoa with rice if you prefer!).

ALSO* if you grab my FREE sauces guide, you can get the easy recipe for my Tahini Dressing along with other vegan sauces & how to use them. 

Chickpea Salad

This Chickpea Salad is one of the first things I made when I first went vegan, and I still make it often today. It’s a great and easy way to put more protein into your diet, and actually just makes an easy, simple meal! And because I usually have these ingredients around most of the time, it’s something I can make often without going grocery shopping. 

TRIVIA: The Chickpea Salad is also known as the vegan version of tuna salad. This is because there’s just something about chickpeas that makes it taste like tuna (vegans, you know what I’m talking about!). Whether or not you think it tastes like tuna, it’s still delicious either way so I highly recommend this!

Ingredients (1 serving):

  • 3/4 cup chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • 1 tbsp vegan mayo (or mash in 1/4 – 1/2 avocado)
  • 1/2 tbsp relish
  • 1/2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp kelp granules or salt
  • pepper to taste if desired


  1. Mash chickpeas in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add in vegan mayo (or mash in avocado), relish, mustard, kelp granules (or salt), and pepper. Mix well. 
  3. Use as sandwich filling, toppings of english muffins, and many more! Enjoy!

3 Ingredient Bean Burgers & Bean Balls

Yes, you read it right — this vegan burger patty / bean ball recipe uses only THREE main ingredients — oat flour, beans, and pasta sauce! What’s even more amazing is that you have complete control over it — you can shape them into balls instead of flattening them to make them into bean balls; bake instead of frying, and they taste just as delicious! 


  • 1 can of beans
  • 1 cup pasta sauce
  • 1 cup oat flour (you can use oats and grind them into oat flour – if so, use slightly more than 1 cup of oats and make enough oat flour to match 1 cup))
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp oil (for cooking)


  1. If using oats, grind up oats in a food processor into oat flour then add into a mixing bowl.
  2. Mash up the beans in the same food processor – if it’s a little chunky, that’s okay!
  3. Add in the mashed beans into the mixing bowl along with  pasta sauce. Add in some garlic powder or any other spices, if desired. Mix until everything is well-combined.
  4. Scoop out half a cup of the mixture and shape into a burger patty. This mixture should make around 5 burger patties *.
  5. Heat oil in a pan. Add in the patties and flatten with a spatula (NOTE: If the mixture is sticky, just wet the spatula with a little bit of water so the patties won’t stick). If you’d like to bake instead of cook in a pan, see *Note and follow same instructions. 
  6. Cook the patties on medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Serve alone or in a burger (see my Kimchi Burger recipe!)

*Note: If you are making bean balls, shape into small balls and bake these in the oven at 370 degrees F for 15 minutes, flip over and bake for another 10 minutes (total 25 minutes baking). Follow the same instructions for baking patties. 

3-Ingredient Pancakes

What better way is there to celebrate a cozy morning than having pancakes?! They’re super simple, easy, and very affordable to make! It’s been my favourite thing to make for slow mornings because you can easily add any toppings and it’s like you create something new and special every day. 

There are, of course, so many ways of making vegan pancakes but I find this to be the most simple! It’s so so easy and takes only 3 ingredients to make the pancake batter. I used to do this all the time when I wanted some quick pancakes. Here we go~ 

Ingredients for 3 ingredient pancakes (2 servings):

  • 1.5 cups oats
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 ripe banana


  1. Add banana, oats, and flour into a blender. 
  2. Blend ingredients until a smooth batter is formed. 
  3. Scoop dollops of the batter onto a heated pan with a little bit of oil or vegan butter. Cook for 4-5 minutes on one side over medium heat, flip over and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Serve with your favourite toppings and enjoy!

For more vegan breakfast ideas, check out this YouTube Playlist

5-Ingredient Pasta

I cannot emphasize this enough: pasta is your best friend as a vegan! There are so many ways you can cook pasta, and this one is a very basic recipe that I used to make often on super lazy nights and it has only FIVE ingredients!


  • ¼ cup dry red split lentils
  • 1 serving spaghetti or other pasta of your choices
  • ¾ cup tomato pasta sauce or more depending on your preference
  • ¾ cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1-2 tbsp nutritional yeast and/or cashew parmesan 


  1. In a small mixing bowl, add in the lentils and soak in hot water for about 10 minutes to soften. To make this even more lazy, feel free to simply use canned lentils or canned beans to skip the cooking process of the lentils. 
  2. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a pan and add in the drained lentils. Cook until softened, adding in small splashes of water until cooked.
  4. Once lentils are cooked, add in the pasta sauce and mix. 
  5. Throw cooked pasta into the sauce and mix well.
  6. Add in the frozen mixed vegetables and toss until thawed and everything is mixed well.
  7. Plate and top with nutritional yeast and/or cashew parmesan. Enjoy!


If you love rice, then I’m sure you’ll love this recipe! Although traditional sushi recipes are made with raw fish most of the time, it’s actually very easy to veganize. There are also tons of different ways to make vegan sushi so go wild! 

Note that you’ll need to have some sushi rice or short grain rice, since longer-grained rice tends to not stick well and makes the rolling more difficult (if you don’t have sushi or short grain rice, feel free to make sushi bowls!).

Ingredients (1 roll):

  • 1 cup cooked sushi rice
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1 sheet nori 
  • Your choice of what to add to your roll – some options include: avocado, julienned carrots, cucumber, cooked sweet potato/yam, smoked tofu, pan fried tofu, seaweed salad, bell peppers, etc.


  1. In a small bowl, add in the rice and season with salt, sugar, and rice vinegar. Mix well. 
  2. Scoop rice onto a piece of nori sheet. Wet your hands with some water and spread the rice so that it covers most of the nori sheet but leaving some room on the top (see video for context). 
  3. Add in vegetables of choice (I just used whatever’s left in my fridge). 
  4. Roll the sushi, pausing to wet the empty nori portion with the bit of water before sealing.
  5. Cut up with a dampened sharp knife and serve with soy sauce!

Need more vegan tips and recipes for beginners? Check out my Beginner Bundle

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