With cold and flu season here, it's important to be eating nutritious meals to keep you healthy. These three vegan recipes are not only delicious, but they also pack a nutritious punch with ingredients that are high in vitamin C and zinc.
The Spicy Vegan Black Bean Soup is loaded with vitamin C-rich bell peppers and tomatoes, as well as zinc-rich beans and quinoa. The Vegan Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Pesto features vitamin C-rich zucchini and avocado, as well as zinc-rich pine nuts. The Vegan Quinoa and Kale Salad combines vitamin C-rich kale and red onions with zinc-rich quinoa and pecans. Each of these dishes is a great way to boost your immune system and support your overall health.
Spicy Vegan Black Bean Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 jalapeño pepper, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup dried black beans, soaked and rinsed
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Juice of 1 lime
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, bell pepper, and jalapeño and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cumin, paprika, and cayenne and cook for 1 minute more.
Add the black beans, broth, tomatoes, and quinoa to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, until the beans are tender, about 1 hour.
Stir in the cilantro and lime juice and serve hot.
Vegan Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Pesto
- 2 medium zucchini
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup grated vegan Parmesan cheese (optional)
Use a spiralizer or a julienne peeler to turn the zucchini into noodles. Place the noodles in a colander and sprinkle with a little salt. Let them sit for 10-15 minutes to drain any excess water.
Meanwhile, make the pesto. In a food processor, combine the avocado, basil, pine nuts, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. Process until smooth, then drizzle in the oil and pulse until combined.
Rinse the zucchini noodles and pat them dry. Place them in a large bowl and toss with the avocado pesto. Top with vegan Parmesan, if using.
Vegan Quinoa and Kale Salad
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 1 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves chopped
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup sliced red onion
- 1/2 cup vegan feta cheese (optional)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Rinse the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer. In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the quinoa and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, covered, until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, massage the kale with a little oil or water until it starts to soften. In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, kale, cranberries, pecans, red onion, and vegan feta, if using.
In a small jar, combine the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Shake well to combine. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Serve cold or at room temperature.