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Ten easy vegan recipes for a healthier you

Abir Hamza-Goodacre, Nutritionist at Benenden Hospital

People who take care to eat a healthy vegan diet are also likely to eat good sources of fat (olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocado) and will avoid certain processed foods such as processed meats. A healthy vegan diet tends to be high in vegetables which has many health benefits. Abir Hamza-Goodacre, our Nutritionist at Benenden Hospital, has put together a variety of delicious, simple vegan recipes so mealtimes are healthy and stress-free.

“You have to be more careful to include good quality sources of complete proteins (i.e. contain the nine essential amino acids) which are typically only found in animal foods. Eating a grain (e.g brown rice) with a legume (e.g. chickpea) will give you the complement of essential amino acids which are needed by the body to function well.

“Many vegan diets fall short of this though and individuals can become protein deficient and their diets are often lacking in vitamin B12. Consider supplementation with a good multi-vitamin to ensure micronutrient needs are being met.” Says Abir.


DF: Dairy Free
V: Vegetarian
Vg: Vegan

All recipes are gluten free

Home Cooked Cannellini Beans (DF, V, Vg)

Serves 4


Coconut oil for frying
1 onion chopped
2 garlic cloves crushed
1 x 400g tin cannellini beans
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp tamari sauce
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp paprika
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Slice toasted Paleo bread to serve, per person


1. Heat a saucepan over a medium heat and add the coconut oil

2. Once melted, add the onion and sauté for a few minutes until softened, then add the garlic and stir. Rinse, drain and add the beans then the chopped tomatoes, followed by the tomato purée, maple syrup, tamari sauce, Worcestershire sauce and paprika

3. Simmer for 5-10 minutes and season to taste. Serve on toasted Paleo bread

Super Green Soup (DF, V, Vg)

Serves 4


2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cups frozen peas
1 cup of organic watercress
2-3 mineral broth
Sea salt and pepper


1. Sauté the onion in the olive oil until soft

2. Add the peas and the broth. Bring to the boil and simmer for five minutes

3. Skim off any foam that comes to the surface

4. Add the watercress a couple of minutes before the end and blend either in a free-standing or hand-held blender. Season to taste

Roast Fennel and Tomato Soup (DF, V, Vg)

Serves 4


700g fennel bulbs
1 medium brown onion, peeled and chopped
500g large, ripe tomatoes, halved
3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 tbsp olive oil
500ml mineral broth
Sea salt and pepper
Chilli flakes to garnish


1. In a large saucepan, sauté onion in the oil until beginning to smell of caramel

2. Meanwhile, trim the fennel bulbs and remove outer layer if fibrous. Then chop the bulbs and add to the saucepan with the garlic, fennel seeds, salt and pepper

3. Sauté until the fennel starts to soften

4. Add the vegetable stock and tomatoes, and simmer until all the vegetables have softened

5. Place half the mixture into a blender and blitz until smooth

6. Transfer to another saucepan then do the same with the remaining mixture

7. Heat the soup, adding more water if necessary

8. Serve with a sprinkle of chilli flakes

Nori Salad Roll (DF, V, Vg)

Serves 2


1 avocado
Juice of 1 lime
4 sheets nori
20g finely chopped lettuce
1 medium carrot, julienned
20g kimchi (available at Ocado – Tickles’ Pickles)
4 sprigs mint, chopped finely with stalks removed
6 sprigs fresh coriander, chopped finely with stalks removed
Coconut aminos (for serving as a dipping sauce – available at health food shops and online)


1. Mash together avocado and lime in a small bowl

2. Place the nori sheets flat on a board and top each sheet with a spoonful of the mashed avocado, spreading it evenly and leaving ¼ inch border. Top with the lettuce, carrots, kimchi and herbs

3. Working with one sheet at a time, lightly wet the top border of nori with water and starting at the bottom, carefully roll up the nori around the filling as tightly as possible, using more water as necessary to hold the roll together

4. Repeat with remaining ingredients

5. Serve the rolls with the coconut aminos dipping sauce

Tabbouleh (DF, V, Vg)

Serves 4-5


4 bunches parsley, washed well and dried completely
20-30g mint leaves, washed well and dried
90g quinoa, steamed
500g red tomatoes
1-2 tsp sea salt
2 medium spring onions, finely chopped
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
Pinch cinnamon
Pinch sumac (optional)
1 ½ lemons, squeezed
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Himalayan or sea salt


1. Gather the parsley stems into small bundles so the leaves are packed together at the same level. Place a bundle on a wooden chopping board, grip the upper part with one hand and with the other slice off the stalks, leaving about 3cm

2. Chop finely and set aside

3. Meanwhile, rinse the quinoa, cover with fresh water and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and steam with the lid on for 20 minutes. Set aside to cool

4. Then add the spring onions, cinnamon, and black pepper. Mix well

5. Next chop the mint finely (discarding the stems) and place into a mixing bowl. Finely chop the tomatoes, sprinkle with salt and add to the bowl

6. Add the chopped parsley, quinoa/spring onion and mix

7. To make the dressing, combine the lemon, oil, and salt. Pour over the salad and toss

8. Serve with lettuce leaves. Sprinkle sumac on top if using. Tabbouleh can be stored in the fridge for up to three days and served alongside other meals

Mushroom, Kale and Quinoa Salad (DF, V, Vg)

Serves 3-4


150g quinoa
150g curly kale
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
200g fresh mushrooms, thinly slices
2-3 coarsely chopped dill
1 tsp celery seeds
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Juice ½ lemon
Sea salt and black pepper


1. Rinse quinoa in a sieve then tip into a saucepan. Cover with cold water (three times as much water as quinoa). Add a pinch of salt and bring to the boil

2. Reduce heat, then simmer for 10 minutes until quinoa is tender but not mushy

3. Drain quinoa and transfer to a large bowl

4. Next strip the kale leaves off their stalks placing the torn leaves into a bowl with vinegar, salt and pepper

5. Massage the kale with your hands until the leaves darken (about 3 minutes).

6. Add the sliced mushrooms to the kale, with chopped dill, celery seeds, extra virgin oil and lemon juice

7. Then combine with the cooled quinoa and mix. Season to taste

Butternut Squash and Quinoa Chilli (DF, V, Vg)

Serves 2-4


70g quinoa, rinsed
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 red onion, peeled and finely diced
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
400g butternut squash, peeled and cubed
400g tinned chopped tomatoes
200g tinned red kidney beans, drained
¼ bunch of fresh coriander, leaves chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
Greek yogurt, to serve (use coconut yoghurt for a DF or Vg diet)


1. Put the quinoa into a bowl, cover with boiling water and set aside to soak

2. Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat until melted. Add the onion and garlic and fry for five to seven minutes until softened, stirring often and adding the spices in the last minute

3. Add the butternut squash and cook for five minutes, then add the chopped tomatoes and simmer for 15 minutes

4. Drain the quinoa and add to the pan along with a cup of water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for a further 15 minutes, or until the squash is tender, adding a splash of water if needed

5. Add the kidney beans for the final two minutes to warm through, then serve scattered with coriander, chilli and Greek yoghurt

Minestrone Soup (DF, V, Vg)

Serves 4


150g haricot beans
1 onion
1 leek
1 celery stick
1 courgette
¼ red pepper
½ aubergine
200g spinach
200g white cabbage
2 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped sage
1 sprig of thyme
1 small tomato, finely diced
500ml mineral broth
100ml tomato juice
Generous pinch sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Grated parmesan, to garnish (omit for a DF or Vg diet)


1. Soak the beans in water overnight
2. Dice the onions, leeks, celery, courgette, red pepper and aubergine, ensuring they are cut the same size
3. Slice the spinach and cabbage into thin strips
4. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onions, leeks, celery and garlic and fry until soft. Add the rest of the vegetables and cook for a few minutes further
5. Add the sage, thyme, beans and tomato and fry for a further five minutes. Add the vegetable stock and tomato juice, bring to a boil and cook until the beans and vegetables are soft
6. Lastly, add the cabbage and spinach, season with salt and pepper and add the grated parmesan when ready to serve

Sweet Potato Paprika Fries (DF, V, Vg)

Serves 3-4


2 large potatoes, skin on, cut into fries
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350F/Gas Mark 4

2. Tip the sweet potatoes onto a baking tray and toss in the oil, paprika, cinnamon and salt and pepper

3. Bake for 35 minutes, turning halfway through cooking

Spicy Buckwheat Noodles with Tamarind Sauce (DF, V, Vg)

Serves 2


For the stir fry:

2 tbsp of whole cashews, almonds or peanuts - activated
½ tbsp coconut oil
4 large shiitake mushrooms or 200g of chestnut mushrooms, sliced thickly
2 tsp of tamari or sea salt
2 portions of buckwheat noodles
3 spring onions, sliced on the angle
2 tbsp of sesame oil or extra virgin olive oil
250g of broccoli, chopped into small florets
250g green beans, chopped into thirds
1 small handful of coriander, roughly chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges
For the spicy tamarind sauce:
2-2½ tbsp of tamarind paste, to taste
2 tsp of pure maple syrup
2 large garlic cloves, finely diced or finely grated
Fresh red chilli, sliced, or chilli powder depending upon your taste
6 tbsp of hot water


1. In a frying pan, toast the cashews for a few minutes, tossing every now and then until golden brown. Remove and set aside

2. Add the coconut oil to the same pan and heat to medium. Fry the shiitake mushrooms (don’t overcrowd the pan or they will steam) for a few minutes until nicely browned on each side. Remove from the pan and set aside in a large bowl and sprinkle with a little sea salt

3. In the same pan, combine all the ingredients for the tamarind sauce and let them simmer for five minutes with the lid on

4. Meanwhile, cook the buckwheat noodles in plenty of boiling water (according to pack instructions), then drain and rinse with cold water

5. Put the noodles into a large bowl with the spring onions and mushrooms and toss with the sesame oil (or extra virgin olive oil) to prevent the noodles from sticking

6. Add the broccoli and green beans to the tamarind sauce and let them cook in the sauce for five minutes with the lid on

7. Add the tamarind vegetables to the noodles and toss everything together

8. Serve hot or cold with toasted cashews and lime wedges

Top tip: For a nut free version, omit the cashew nuts in the stir-fry and substitute with toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds.

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If you’re looking for help to change your diet, our team of specialist staff - including a dietician and nutritionist – can help you through nutritional therapy and dietetics.

Nutritional therapy can support you to adapt what you eat and drink in order to help you achieve your health and wellbeing goals. Our diagnostic department also offers tests, scans and examinations, helping you to feel better, fast. To find out more about our nutritional therapy, complete our online booking form or call our Private Patient Team on 01580 363 158.

Published on 04 January 2023