Being vegan means cutting down on a lot of foods. Even though this seems like you have only a few food options to work with, the opposite is actually true. Being on a vegan diet allows you to experiment with a lot of different plant-based foods that are both delicious and healthy. Below are a few versatile vegan dishes that you should consider eating more of.
Pasta Made with Rice Flour – A Tasty Gluten-Free Alternative
Pasta is one of the most versatile vegan dishes. It can be served as an appetiser, snack, side, or main dish. So, it’s no wonder that pasta is so popular among all age groups and cultures. It’s easy to make, satisfying to consume, and it’s available in hundreds of different types. But, is pasta a healthy dish?
Instead of the typical white flour option, healthy pasta made with rice flour is slowly gaining popularity among vegans. This pasta is packed with fibres and nutrients while lacking gluten – the number one food perpetrator for many people. In addition, it comes with plenty of nutritional value that vegans might benefit from.
What Are the Health Benefits of Rice Flour?
Rice flour is available in two forms – brown and white. Both are highly nutritious and widely favoured among people who struggle with gluten intolerance. Here are some of the benefits of including rice flour in your diet:
- It’s rich in insoluble fibres. These improve your cardiovascular health and keep your digestive tract in good condition.
- It’s a great source of calcium (improves bone and skeletal health), Choline (prevents fat build-up), and Zinc (boosts your body’s immune response).
- It’s packed with protein, which makes it a great option for both weight loss and muscle gain.
If you’re getting tired of plain old spaghetti, here are several interesting types of rice pasta that you should try.
One popular type of pasta that has an unusual shape is vegan cannelloni. In Italian cuisine, these are used as a shell that’s filled with cheese, sauces, and meat. But you can buy healthy vegan cannelloni and fill it with your favourite fillings. They make delicious meals that are extremely easy to prepare.
The vegan cannelloni on the market are typically free of gluten, lactose, yeast, and GMOs. They’re also low on sugar and salt, making them ideal for vegans that want to eat healthier.
Penne is a popular type of pasta, with a tube-like shape and diagonal cuts on both ends. This pasta holds sauces quite well, so it’s best served in meals with a rather thick, creamy sauce, such as Penne Arrabbiata. It also works well for baked dishes.
Gluten free rigatoni made of rice is a type of pasta similar to penne, as it’s also tube-shaped and has small ridges on the outside. However, rigatoni is wider and cut into squares instead of being cut diagonally. Because of its large shape, it works well with chunky vegetable sauces or baked into a gratin.
Hummus – Delicious Veggie Dip
Moving on from healthy gluten-free pasta, hummus is another delicious vegan meal. This delicious dip is equally good when spread onto a pita bread with falafel as it is served plain with crudités. It’s made from chickpeas, sesame seeds, olive oil, lemon, and garlic. Hummus comes from the Middle East, but it’s widely available in supermarkets and shops, with variations on the basic recipe like caramelised onion hummus, Moroccan hummus, and roasted pepper hummus.
What Are the Health Benefits of Hummus?
Apart from its outstanding taste, eating hummus also has the following health benefits:
- Hummus is made from chickpeas and it’s naturally high in fibre. This increases the number of good bacteria in your gut, which improves your intestinal health.
- Chickpeas take a long time to digest. This means that they release energy in a more consistent manner, which helps in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
- Chickpeas and olive oil contain monounsaturated fats which are good for your heart’s health.
Oatmeal – Quick and Easy Breakfast or Snack
Oatmeal is a healthy, inexpensive, and delicious vegan food option that is especially popular as a breakfast or snack. It’s a nutritious whole grain that you can eat at any time of the day. It’s a good source of soluble fibre and protein and contains a lot of micronutrients that are good for the body.
What Are the Health Benefits of Oatmeal?
- Rich in fibre – Oatmeal has 3 grams of soluble fibre per serving, making it a good source. Fibre promotes intestinal health and suppresses hunger, allowing you to eat less and remain fuller for longer. Beta-glucan is the most common kind of soluble fibre found in oats. It’s been found to help digestion, lower bad cholesterol levels, manage blood sugar, improve fullness, and suppress hunger.
- High in bioactive phytonutrients – These are linked to a lower risk of developing a variety of chronic and degenerative illnesses.
- Packed with B vitamins, including B-1, B-2, B-3, B-6, and B-9 – These vitamins are good for your brain, muscles, and energy levels. B vitamins are also essential for metabolism since they aid in the breakdown of carbs, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids.
Even though you’re unable to eat meat, fish, eggs, or dairy products, the vegan diet offers a lot of healthy and delicious food alternatives. Next time you’re indecisive about a meal or a snack, consider choosing vegan cannelloni, hummus, or oats.