Thinking of going vegan full time, or part time? That’s great news, as there are so many benefits for switching to a more plant-based diet. However, before you take the plunge, better smarten up about your nutrient requirements.
Plant based diets, when not planned properly, can increase your risk of deficiency in 5 key nutrients – omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, vitamin B12, iron and calcium. That’s why we have decided to feature a must-try vegan recipe for each of these 5 nutrients – to make sure you’re covered. Enjoy!
- Omega-3: Chia raspberry jam with soy linseed toast. Key ingredient – chia seeds, soy and linseed toast.
To make the jam, stir 1tbs honey and 1tbs lemon juice through 2 cups of raspberries (fresh or defrosted), and place into a saucepot. Heat on medium until berries are soft and bubbling, about 5 minutes. Lightly smash the berries with a fork, then add 1tbs chia seeds. Stir to combine. Continue to cook the jam for another 5 minutes on medium/low heat – it should be bubbling but not burning, and reasonably thick. Remove from the heat, let jam cool in the pot for another 5-10 minutes, it will continue to thicken. Transfer to jars and store for 2 weeks. Serve 1tbs of jam on 1 thick slice of soy and linseed toast.
- Zinc: Green quinoa salad with pepitas. Key ingredient – quinoa and pepitas
Cook 1/2 cup tri-coloured quinoa according to packet direction. Once cooked and cooled, transfer quinoa to a large bowl and add 200g boiled and blanched broccoli florets, ½ cup of thinly sliced radishes, ½ cup thinly slices raw asparagus, 1 large handful of rinsed alfalfa, 1 large handful of rinsed watercress, and 4tbs pepitas. Dress with lemon juice and olive oil, toss to combine
- Vitamin B12: Minestrone with nutritional yeast. Key ingredient – nutritional yeast
Heat 1tbs olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add 1 diced onion, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 diced carrot, 2 stalks of sliced celery, and 1 diced zucchini. Fry for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are softened and fragrant. Add 400g tinned tomatoes, 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, 2L vegetable stock and salt and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes, then add 400g tinned cannellini beans and 1 cup of wholemeal spiral pasta. Simmer for a further 10 minutes until the pasta is tender. Stir through 300g baby spinach, 1 cup chopped parsley and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Adjust for seasoning.
- Iron: Lentil Bolognese with wholemeal spaghetti. Key ingredient – lentils
Cook 300g wholemeal spaghetti in a large saucepan of boiling salted water according to packet instructions. Meanwhile, heat oil in a frypan over medium heat and cook 1 diced onion, 2 stalks of sliced celery and 2 cloves of minced garlic for 2 minutes or until softened. Add ¼ cup of jarred pasta sauce and 400g tinned tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Add 400g tinned and rinsed lentils, season and cook for a further 1 minute. Drain pasta and toss with the sauce. Divide among bowls and serve with a garden salad side dish.
- Calcium: Choc-tahini cookies. Key ingredient – tahini and sesame seeds.
Preheat oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Combine 1 cup of LSA, 1/3 cup tahini, ¼ cup cacao powder, 1.5tbs maple syrup, 1.5tbs coconut oil, and ½ tsp baking powder in a food processor. Stir through 1/3 cup cacao nibs gently. With a teaspoon, scoop out a small ball of cookie mixture and press between your fingers to flatten. Place on baking tray. Sprinkle cookies with sesame seeds. Bake for 12 minutes, remove and allow to cool.