Veganuary: 10 plant-based meal ideas from Greenpeace staff

We love food, and we love our planet – we shouldn’t have to choose one or the other! Try out some tasty plant-based dishes for Veganuary that are healthier for us and our planet too.

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We. Love. Food. 

It’s woven into our cultures. And apart from being delicious, plant-based eating is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to protect our climate, to help stop deforestation and save water too. 

Companies and governments have the power to make the big changes our broken food system needs and should be leading the way – that’s why we launched this petition asking Tesco to stop selling forest-destroying industrial meat.

But Veganuary, a popular 30-day challenge to only eat plant-based foods in January, offers us all the chance to give the veggie option a go. We know as a nation we must eat less meat to be sustainable, so together, we can reinforce the growing demand for healthy, affordable, plant-based meals. If you sign up to Veganuary you’ll also get delicious recipes and day-by-day hints and tips.

So as millions of people across the world try out plant-based eating this month, I’ve asked Greenpeace staff and volunteers to tell me what they’ll be eating this Veganuary.

Russell’s lentil and mushroom spaghetti bolognese

A plate of spaghetti with lentil bolognese, sprinkled with fresh herbs

This is my favourite pasta dish – nutritious, delicious and an absolute definite on the weekly menu for me and my flatmates.

Top tip: The longer you cook the sauce, the richer and the more decadent it is.

Try this recipe

Meena’s black bean dahl – a family recipe

Meena holding a plate with three small bowls of different types of dahl

So many Indian dishes are totally plant-based and have been for centuries!

Here’s my yummy black-eyed peas, kidney beans, yellow dahl and black rice. I’ve grown up watching how my mum cooks lentils and bean curries to perfection, and she now enjoys my own twist on our family classics! 

Don’t tell her but I literally just add lime!

Try this recipe

“A plant-based diet could cut the amount of land needed to feed the world by 76%, and halve the greenhouse gases and other pollution that are caused by food production.”
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Sara’s spicy mince, pizza and cupcakes

Photo montage shows a child eating a slice of pizza, a tray of chocolate cupcakes, and a colourful aubergine dish topped with tahini and pomegranate seeds, served with salad

  1. Grilled Mediterranean aubergine with harissa, spicy vegan mince, tahini and pomegranate seeds. Try the BOSH mince recipe.
  2. Vegan pizza with the very melty Violife mozzarella which my kids enjoy every Friday!
  3. Fudge chocolate beetroot cupcakes. You can’t taste the beetroot (my 5 year old tried!) and they are very moist. Try this recipe by Minimalist Baker.

Shelley’s Thai green curry

My favourite meal ever! It’s really easy to make the paste ahead of time and freeze it or just buy it in the shops. Then just add your favourite seasonal veg and either tofu, tempeh, jackfruit or soya pieces plus lots of coconut milk. 

Super tasty, fragrant, simple to make and happens to be gluten free. Yum!

Top tip: Jackfruit has the texture of pulled pork – you can buy it ready seasoned or raw in a can. Here’s a recipe to get you started on your jackfruit adventure!

Emily’s wintery vegan roast

Two children sitting at a wooden table, with the remains of a pie and vegetables in front of them.

It’s a creamy mushroom, spinach and walnut pie with roasties, a mix of veg and a splash of tamari gravy – the kids love it!

Top tip: We use tamari in the gravy, a Japanese soy sauce which is darker, less salty, and has a strong umami flavor. A teaspoon of marmite adds extra flavour too!

Try this recipe

“By choosing the veggie option you are protecting forests, by avoiding industrial meat that is destroying South America’s beautiful forests to grow cheap animal feed.”
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Richard’s sausage, tomato and mozzarella tart

A tasty quick snack using Jus Rol puff pastry as a base. Spread passata and then load it up with sliced vegan sausages, cherry tomatoes and vegan mozzarella cheese.  

Top tip: Fresh basil to garnish finishes it off perfectly.

Tom’s chunky tofu stir fry

Tom holding a stir fried tofu dish, smiling into the camera

My kids love this simple chunky tofu mix – rice, spinach, chickpeas and tofu, with cumin, ginger, black pepper and a splash of olive oil. Nigella seeds give it an added depth of flavour.

Top tip: Tofu is high in protein and super versatile. Fry in a pan, bake in the oven or eat raw with a splash of soy sauce. Here are at least 30 ways you can make tofu tasty.

The soya used to make tofu, often grown in Europe and North America, is much less likely to be linked to deforestation than the Brazilian soya animal feed. Watch this explainer to learn more.

Daisy’s pasta with sausage

Pasta with veggie sausages, black beans, and sautéed garlic greens and cherry tomatoes. 

Top tip:  Add soy sauce to season, and sriracha and nutritional yeast to taste 🙂

“Europeans eat twice as much meat as the global average, so we need to cut down even faster. To halve global meat consumption by 2050, Europe needs to reduce by 70% in the next 10 years.”
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Molly’s smoked tofu in noodles

Noodles with smoked tofu, mushrooms and courgettes with a splash of sriracha on top to give it a fiery kick!

Tip: You can get egg-free chunky noodles, as well as much thinner vermicelli rice noodles.

Laura’s mushroom tacos (and pineapple!)

Three tortilla wraps loaded with mushroom taco filling, ready to eat

Tacos are one of my favourite recipes that I’ve been trying out with my mum during lockdown. This one is a nice mix of sweet, sour and spicy with the mushrooms giving lots of texture and a dash of dairy-free coleslaw.

Try this recipe


For more delicious recipes, from black beans to smoky tofu and chargrilled vegetables, check out these recipes for the full range of filling ideas.

If that wasn’t enough – here are some of Greenpeace staff’s personal favourites that you could use for inspiration:

Looking for a helping hand?

Veganuary have pulled together great recipes, frequently asked questions and some tasty top tips to help you give the veggie option a go - so sign up today for a day by day guide:

Sign up for tasty, planet friendly food!

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