Updated: May 20, 2019

It's no coincidence that we start craving lighter foods after a good month of eating all the cheese and chocolate in sight. For me, I like to ease myself back into everyday eating gradually; we're still in the midst of Winter after all. I know that some of you prefer to go complete cold turkey and that can work really well too. One thing I've noticed popping up on my social media feeds over the last few days is that lots of people I follow are trying out Veganuary this year; starting the year with a month of eating only plant based foods. I know a lot of you who follow the Honest Project eat quite a lot of plant based foods all year round and whether you eat a vegan diet all the time, are trying out Veganuary this year or just want to add some more plant based meals to your diet, I thought it was the perfect time to share some of my favourite Honest Project plant based mains. I've posted links to all the recipes below and if you have any other favourite plant based dishes of your own, let me know in the comments. All inspiration welcome!!

BTW: If Veganuary isn't for you, let's hear it for the GastroGays who are doing Ginuary... yes a whole month devoted to their favourite tipple gin.

Baked Sweet Potato with Refried Black Beans & Cashew Sour Cream

This Mexican inspired main is one of my favourite Honest Project recipes and I've gotten really good feedback from some of you who have tried it. In fact, on one occasion one of my friends made it for me when I visited her for lunch. It makes a regular appearance on her kitchen table. The sweet potatoes are baked in their skins in the oven and served along side a variety of fillings, the most important being the refried black beans. Cooked with onion, garlic and chilli they are really delicious. Instead of regular sour cream, I made a plant based alternative using soaked cashew nuts. The end result is creamy and sour and works just as well as the regular stuff. For your very own sweet potato party, serve the baked potatoes with all the toppings laid out separately in bowls and let people help themselves.

Chickpea Burgers

These Chickpea Burgers are sure to satisfy any burger cravings this January. They are a mix between a falafel and a veggie burger and a great recipe to have in your apron pocket for when burger cravings hit. Made with chickpeas, tahini, lemon, paprika and cumin, there is no shortage of flavour. They are coated in sesame seeds for a beautifully toasted nutty finish and some crispiness. Served on a bed of delicious leafy greens, they definitely fit the healthy eating bill this January.

Barley Stuffed Peppers

I have a weakness for pearl barley, my only gripe being that I get impatient when it's cooking and usually don't cook it well enough. Try not to fall into this trap. I would recommend using red peppers for this dish as they are sweet and offer a nice flavour contrast to the nutty flavour from the peral barley stuffing. The stuffing is completed with the addition of spring onion, dried apricots, black olives and a honey lemon dressing to bring flavours of Morocco to this dish. Any leftover pearl barley stuffing, can be kept in the fridge and served as a side the next day.

Miso Vegetable Pot Noodles

This broth is packed full of healthy vegetables and is so satisfying, especially so when eaten on a cold January evening. The flavour comes from the miso paste which has a delicious sweet / salty flavour. If miso is one of those ingredients you have heard about but never tried for yourself, I would really encourage you to do so. It's readily available in healthy and wholefood shops and good supermarkets and is one of the best ingredients out there for adding guaranteed flavour to your cooking. Once you try miso once, you'll be hooked.

Aubergine Caponata

Aubergine Caponata is a Sicilian aubergine stew. The aubergine is the star of the dish with other beautiful vegetables and ingredients added to create a flavoursome dish that is very satisfying served on its own or tossed with pasta. My favourite way to eat caponata is spread on toasted sourdough bread with a little olive oil drizzled on top.

#recipes #mains

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