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Vegan Chefs Share Easy Plant-Based Recipes

Updated: Nov 10, 2023

Happy World Vegan Month!


VeganMed asked five vegan chefs to share their favorite plant-based recipes and what inspired their vegan lifestyles. We are joined by Julieanna Hever, Malcolm Regisford, Reina Montenegro, Babette Davis, and Jaclyn "Jax" Rosen. They're here to show us that you don't need animal-derived ingredients to make a filling and tasty meal!

 

"As promised, here is my all-time favorite recipe I recently stumbled upon in my kitchen. Since it is chock-full of myriad mushrooms and brewing with Thanksgiving autumnal flavors, it was love at first bite. Months later, I still eat this recipe nearly every single day. I hope you love it as much as I do."

Vegan Cream of Mushroom Cauliflower Rice
Julieanna Hever

Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT, Plant-Based Dietitian and Author of The Choose You Now Diet and Plant-Based Nutrition (Idiot's Guides) which bridges her biggest passions for food, presenting, and helping people.

Julieanna, what was the most difficult challenge you faced when you first went vegan?

At the time I initially was exposed to this information, the internet was not accessible and I did not know any people who ate that way so I had very limited access to any resources. My parents were worried about me and they staged an intervention with our family friend who was a nurse to convince me it was dangerous to omit animal products due to the high risk for nutritional deficiencies. She scared me and I went back to eating a "normal" diet.


But I knew that there had to be more to the story. It took me many years of continued education and, ultimately, a masters degree in nutrition for me to dive directly into the literature and learn about how health-promoting a plant-based diet really is. I am grateful there is a vast plethora of resources available now for all of those interested in pursuing this path.

What advice do you have for someone who is new to the vegan lifestyle?

As a dietitian, how can we make improvements to our diet and health?


 

"One of my favorite recipes and one of the first recipes I learned to make was a Black Bean Burger. But not an ordinary one, a deluxe version with a lot of flavor. It's made with a homemade burger sauce, vegan cheese, and crispy onion on top, you gotta try this one!"

Vegan Black Bean Burger
Malcolm Regisford

Malcolm Regisford is a Holistic Wellness Enthusiast, Former Division 1 Athlete & Plant Based Cook. He founded Tapped In Wellness to make the world of health seem more approachable through a holistic lens.

When and why did you decide to start a plant-based diet?

I became plant based in late 2018 while I was a collegiate basketball player at Colgate University. I had an injury that required surgery and wasn't healing according to plan so I looked for alternative methods of healing. This included a new functional fitness approach to training, introducing more mindfulness and meditation and of course eating full plant-based, all of which helped me make a full recovery.

Malcolm, what was the most difficult challenge when you first went animal-free?

For those starting a vegan lifestyle, what tips do you have?


 

"Growing up in a Filipino household, meat is always in all our dishes. I decided to recreate this dish and use some very delicious vegan ground meat that's available in all supermarkets to make what my mom used to make for us growing up. Now we can have it cruelty free, delicious AND good for you. Hope you enjoy it!"

Vegan Fried Carrot Jicama Lumpia with Garlic Soy dipping sauce
Reina Montenegro

Reina Montenegro is a Vegan Chef, Restauranter, Influencer, and has been featured in the Food Network, NYTimes, NBC News, and many more. She owns several Filipino, plant-based restaurants, the most recent “Chef Reina” in Brisbane, CA.

Why did you decide to start a vegan diet?

It was for health reasons at first. My daughter had a skin problem and I read somewhere that dairy had a lot to do with skin diseases. Then I stumbled upon documentaries about meat consumption and animal cruelty and turned vegan overnight.

What was the hardest part of your vegan journey?

What's your advice for someone who is considering switching to a plant-based diet?


 

"This is such an easy and delicious recipe to throw together and keep in the fridge for a healthy and quick snack or meal when things get busy. You can add whatever veggies you have in the fridge that need to be used, as well as some tofu for added protein!"

Babette presenting her Curry Cous Cous Salad
Babette Davis

Babette Davis is a health coach, fitness enthusiast, speaker, and co-owner of Stuff I Eat Restaurant in Inglewood, CA.

When did you first become vegan?

I started my plant-based lifestyle in 1990 after my first date with my husband. He prepared my first vegan meal and was my entry point into this lifestyle. I remember digesting that meal without any complications and I've been hooked ever since.

What motivated you to switch to a plant-based diet?

What can you share to someone new to eating animal-free?


 

"This is such sweet peanut butter goodness with chocolate in every bite, enjoy! Next year I have a cookbook coming out, all about how to throw together delicious & healthy meals without following a recipe."


Peanut Butter Chocolate Squares with Berries
Jaclyn Rosen plantbasedjax



Jaclyn Rosen, “Jax” is a Plant-Based Lifestyle & Nutrition Coach. She hopes to empower her clients to live a plant-based lifestyle they are excited about without feeling restricted.

Jax, can you tell us about when you first became vegetarian and vegan?

When I went vegetarian in the 90’s, I was unaware about nutrition. Since I grew up on Long Island, I survived on carbs like lots of pasta, bagels and fat-free Snackwell's cookies. Only when I look back do I realize that the biggest challenge was making sure I ate more whole foods vs processed foods, but I didn’t know any better.


Fast-forward to when I went vegan 20 years later in 2014 I had access to more information and understood how easy it was to fall in the “junk food vegan” trap. Currently I aim to eat about 90-95% whole foods diet and 5-10% sometimes foods which include vegan pizza, brownies, chips and salsa, banana bread and wine. Everyone is different so if you’re just starting out come up with a % that works for you.

Have you ever tried to find animal-free health products like medications or supplements? If so, how was your experience?

What advice do you have for eating out and social eating especially during the holidays?


 

Conclusion


Thank you chefs Julieanna, Malcolm, Reina, Babette, and Jax for sharing delicious plant-based recipes! We enjoyed learning about your vegan journey and appreciate your tips and motivation. You can find more information, recipes, and tips on each of their websites and social media profiles! Let us know if you try any of these recipes at home!


Happy World Vegan Month from the VeganMed Team!



 

Disclaimer: The product and/or information provided on VeganMed is of a general nature and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We do not lab test the products to confirm that they are free from animal ingredients, and it is possible that the formulation and ingredients could have changed. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or product. The information provided in this post is accurate and up to date as of the date it was written. However, please note that circumstances and facts may change over time, and new information may become available that could alter the accuracy or relevance of the content. We encourage readers to verify and cross-reference any information provided here with trusted sources or consult relevant professionals for the most current and accurate updates.


 

Looking for certified and verified animal-free products?

Thank you for your awareness and concern for animal-derived ingredients!


As a reminder, please comment on our FDA Citizen Petition, requesting clear labeling of animal-derived ingredients in medications. Together, we can make a difference.


If you have any further questions about ingredients in your medicines and supplements, feel free to reach out to the VeganMed team!




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