One of the complaints I hear a lot about a vegan diet is that it relies too heavily on grains or on carbs. While vegan foods can be very rich in grains, there are lots of yummy grain-free vegan foods out there!
I’m not a grain-free vegan, but during my pregnancy I’ve been trying to watch my carbs, since pregnancy hormones can make it harder for your body to handle too many carbohydrates, especially simple carbohydrates. Whether you’re trying to cut back on grains to balance your diet or are just looking for a little bit more variety, eating vegan doesn’t have to mean lots of bread, rice, crackers, and noodles.
Grain-Free Vegan Foods
11. Grain-free crackers – Yep! You can have your crackers and…eat them too? These crunchy thyme and onion crackers from Healthful Pursuit are not only grain-free, they’re nut-free too, which makes them very allergy-friendly!
10. Hummus – Bean dips are a vegan staple. They’re a great source of protein and fiber, and if you keep some on hand, you’ve always got a quick, healthy snack! Instead of dipping pita bread or crackers in your hummus, use fresh veggies like celery and carrot sticks or leaves of Belgian endive. Here’s a great recipe for hummus.
9. Vegan yogurt – Whether you choose soy, almond, or coconut-based yogurt, this vegan treat is full of healthy probiotics. Serve it up with fresh fruit and handful of nuts or seeds for a protein-packed breakfast! Not all vegan yogurts have a lot of protein, so check the label, if that’s part of what you want out of your daily bowl.
8. Vegan chili – Classic! Whether you go with a more traditional tomato-based chili or something a little more unconventional, this bowl of beany goodness is a satisfying grain-free meal. Top with avocado and cilantro, and you are on the fast train to Delicious Town!
7. Baked tofu – I know that not everyone is crazy about soy, so if that person is you, you can skip this suggestion. If you do the soy thing, serve up some tasty baked tofu with steamed veggies or a salad on the side for a great, grain-free lunch or supper. Add a baked potato or baked sweet potato, too, if you want to get really decadent.
6. Mashed cauliflower – If you’re really watching the carbs, mashed potatoes might also be out, even though potatoes are not grains. Mashed cauliflower is a great substitute! Check out this recipe for mashed cauliflower with an extra protein twist!
5. Awesome asian slaw – Cabbage is a nutritional powerhouse, and a healthy Asian slaw makes a great, grain-free side dish.
4. Fresh veggies – Try celery or carrots dipped in peanut, cashew, or almond butter instead of salad dressing. Nut- and seed butters give those veggies some protein and the fat makes this a satisfying snack.
3. Banana with nut butter – This is becoming one of my favorite breakfasts. Think of it as a slimmer version of the Elvis sandwich. Ditch the bread and the frying, and just serve up a banana with a tablespoon or two of peanut, almond, or cashew butter for dipping.
2. Dinner salad – A vegan diet doesn’t have to include a lot of salads, but a dinner salad is a great grain-free meal. Start with lettuce and raw veggies, and top it off with warm, cooked beans and some sauteed onions and mushrooms.
1. Lettuce wraps – I love a lettuce wrap! Serve these up with beans, tofu, or mushrooms sauteed with veggies and lots of spices. Mound the filling onto each plate, so folks can wrap their own! Need a recipe to get started? Check out these yummy Thai lettuce wraps!