Easy Swaps to Make Your Favourite Meals Plant-Based

Easy Swaps to Make Your Favourite Meals Plant-Based

Veganism, a genuine and profound passion in my life, is an ethos that resonates deeply. It’s a commitment to aligning my choices with compassion for all beings and the planet. Embracing this lifestyle has taught me a great deal, but one thing I’ve learned is that transitioning to a plant-based diet doesn’t mean giving up the dishes you love. With a few creative swaps, you can transform your favourite meals into delicious and satisfying plant-based versions. These easy substitutions not only make your meals cruelty-free but also enhance their nutritional value. Let’s explore some practical ways to turn your go-to meals into tasty plant-based delights.

Plant-Based Swaps

Milk Alternatives

In recipes that call for milk, replace dairy milk with a variety of plant-based options. Oat milk, almond milk, and soy milk are excellent choices. They work well in recipes and even froth nicely for your morning coffee. These alternatives add a creamy texture without compromising on taste.

Vegan Cheese

Cheese lovers, rejoice! Vegan cheese has come a long way and now offers a wide range of flavours and textures. From mozzarella and cheddar to feta and cream cheese, you can find plant-based options that melt, stretch, and satisfy your cheesy cravings. Add them to pizzas, sandwiches, salads, and more.

Egg Alternatives

When it comes to baking or binding, eggs can be easily replaced. One versatile substitute is aquafaba – the liquid from a can of chickpeas. It acts as an excellent egg replacer for recipes like cakes, cookies, and pancakes. For scrambles or omelettes, tofu can be seasoned and cooked to mimic the texture and taste of eggs.

Meat Replacements

Plant-based diets often get a bad rap for not providing enough protein, but as we busted those myths in a previous blog, you should already know all the wonderful protein-packed plant-based foods out there!

Jackfruit is a game-changer in the world of plant-based meals, and my personal favourite meat alternative. With its meaty texture and ability to absorb flavours, jackfruit makes an excellent substitute for pulled pork, chicken, or even seafood. When cooked and seasoned, jackfruit can be used in tacos, sandwiches, curries, and stir-fries, providing a satisfying and hearty meal.

tofu scramble

Make Your Meals Vegan

Breakfast Classics

For breakfast, whip up a delicious plant-based scramble using tofu, turmeric, and your favourite veggies. Or enjoy fluffy pancakes made with oat milk and topped with fresh berries. Swap traditional bacon for tempeh bacon or sautéed mushrooms for a savoury side.

jackfruit tacos


Plant-Based Burgers and Tacos

Craving a juicy burger or a flavorful taco? Replace traditional meat patties with plant-based alternatives. Opt for patties made from black beans, chickpeas, lentils, or even portobello mushrooms. These options offer a hearty texture and rich flavour that’s surprisingly reminiscent of the real thing. Toss in some spices and herbs to enhance the taste, and you’ll have a mouthwatering burger or taco filling that’s entirely plant-based.

Lasagne and Pasta

Lasagne is a comfort food favourite. Swap out the meat for layers of sautéed spinach, mushrooms, zucchini, and plant-based ricotta or cashew cheese. The creamy texture of the ricotta combined with the savoury vegetables will give your lasagne a satisfying taste and mouthfeel. For pasta dishes, use whole wheat or gluten-free noodles and top with marinara sauce loaded with veggies or a dairy-free pesto.

Pizza Night Reimagined

Make your pizza night plant-based by using a variety of veggies as toppings. Load up on mushrooms, bell peppers, spinach, onions, and even pineapple for a burst of flavour. Pair these toppings with dairy-free cheese, and you won’t miss the traditional version at all.

Remember, balance is key. While these plant-based swaps can turn your favourite meals into healthier versions, remember that balance is essential. Incorporate a variety of whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds into your diet to ensure you’re getting a diverse range of nutrients. Experiment, have fun in the kitchen, and explore the world of plant-based cuisine. With a bit of creativity and a willingness to explore new flavours, you’ll discover a world of delicious plant-based meals that nourish your body and satisfy your taste buds.

In need of ideas for dinner? Check out my vegan food venture, Plant Essence, where I curate straightforward yet scrumptious vegan dishes designed for your home cooking.

Connect with me on social media!

© 2022. TanyaS.Mansotra
Plant-Based Proteins: Debunking the Myths

Plant-Based Proteins: Debunking the Myths

In the ever-evolving world of nutrition, plant-based diets have taken centre stage, enticing health enthusiasts and environmental advocates alike.  When beginning your journey into plant-based diets, it is important to ensure you are receiving all the nutrients you need, keeping an eye on both your macro and micronutrients

Plant-based diets boast a whole host of protein-rich foods

Despite their surging popularity, a cloud of misconceptions and myths shrouds the realm of plant-based proteins, casting doubt on the feasibility and adequacy of this dietary choice. Let’s embark on a journey to debunk these myths, unravel the truth, and discover the remarkable benefits of plant-powered protein sources.

Myth #1: Plant-Based Diets Lead to Protein Deficiency

One of the prevailing misconceptions about plant-based diets centres around the notion of inadequate protein intake. However, let me assure you that it’s nothing but a myth. Plant-based diets boast a cornucopia of protein-rich foods, and with mindful planning and a diverse array of plant-based options, meeting your protein needs becomes a breeze. In fact, esteemed health organisations affirm that well-structured plant-based diets can effortlessly supply all essential amino acids and fulfil your protein requirements. So, rest assured, you can thrive on a plant-powered journey without missing out on this vital nutrient!

Myth #2: Plant Proteins Are Incomplete

Here’s another common myth to set straight: the assumption that plant-based proteins are incomplete. While it’s true that certain plant foods may contain lower levels of specific amino acids, the key lies in embracing dietary diversity. By incorporating a rich assortment of plant-based protein sources throughout your day, you effortlessly create a complete amino acid profile. So, bid farewell to this misconception—our bountiful plant kingdom has an abundance of protein-packed options, empowering you to nourish your body with all the essential amino acids it craves for vibrant health and well-being.

Plant-Based Protein Powerhouses

Now that we’ve debunked the myths, it’s time to revel in the variety of plant-based protein sources that will fuel your plant-powered journey to new heights. Embracing variety is the key to unlocking the full potential of plant-based proteins. By savouring a diverse array of plant foods, you’re providing your body a symphony of nutrients, while effortlessly meeting your protein requirements. Don’t take my word for it – the proof is in the protein!


Pea Protein
Derived from yellow split peas, this easily digestible gem shines bright in protein powders, shakes, and plant-based meat alternatives.

Hemp Protein
The mighty protein powder is derived from hemp seeds, offering a complete amino acid profile, omega-3 fatty acids, and fibre.

Made from soybeans, this chameleon of the plant kingdom elevates stir-fries, curries, sandwiches, and smoothies with its protein-packed goodness.

A culinary delight with a nutty flavour and firm texture, tempeh’s riches include protein, probiotics, and minerals, thanks to its fermentation magic.



Chickpeas are a protein-packed plant-based snack
Tofu is an excellent source of plant-based protein


Versatile and brimming with protein, fibre, and essential nutrients, lentils add a nutritious boost to soups, stews, salads, and delightful lentil-based patties.

From black beans to kidney beans and beyond, beans shower us with protein, fibre, and antioxidants, perfectly mingling with salads, soups, and savoury dips.

Irresistible in curries, salads, or even roasted as a crunchy snack, chickpeas deliver protein, fibre, and minerals with every delightful bite.

Chia Seeds
Don’t be fooled by their size—chia seeds pack a punch with protein, fibre, and omega-3 fatty acids, seamlessly enhancing smoothies, yoghurt, and chia seed pudding. For an extra protein punch, I like to add chia seeds to my breakfast, like in a delicious bowl of overnight oats.

In the colourful tapestry of nutrition, plant-based proteins shine as an abundant, versatile, and nutritionally dense array of choices. By debunking the myths surrounding protein deficiency and incomplete amino acid profiles, we open ourselves up to the vast array of plant-based protein sources available. Embrace the power of plant-based proteins and thrive on your path to a more sustainable, compassionate, and nutrient-rich lifestyle! 

Stuck for inspiration? Take a look at my foodie venture Plant Essence, where I create simple and delicious vegan meals for you to make at home.

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© 2022. TanyaS.Mansotra
How To Curate A Plant-Based Wardrobe

How To Curate A Plant-Based Wardrobe

Following a vegan lifestyle isn’t just about the food and drink we consume. As well as following a plant-based diet, paying close attention to the clothes we wear can also reduce our impact on the environment. 

The clothes in your wardrobe might be made of animal materials like leather, suede, silk, wool, and feathers. If you’re committed to leading a vegan lifestyle, you should think about aligning your fashion choices with your beliefs, and revamp your closet and turn it into a plant-based wardrobe. In today’s blog, I wanted to explore the impact of animal-based clothing – and shine a spotlight on some other materials that are sustainable, vegan, and fashionable.

How the Fashion Industry Treats Animals

It might not seem like it, but the fashion industry is one of the most environmentally-damaging industries out there today. It relies on materials that come from animals, which has both environmental and ethical consequences. Leather, for example, is used to make luxury products – you might already own leather handbags or shoes. 

However, the production of leather products involves toxic chemicals and causes deforestation, water pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. And that’s not to mention the animal cruelty – we wouldn’t have leather without the hides of animals like cows, pigs, goats, and even crocodiles and snakes.

Silk is associated with soft and elegant clothes – this might come as a surprise, but it’s not vegan-friendly. The production of silk involves boiling silkworms or unwinding their silk cocoons – killing countless insects. According to PETA, 3,000 of them are killed to make just one pound of silk. 

Similarly, wool comes from sheep, and while they aren’t killed to collect their wool, many sheep are exploited and forced to live in harsh conditions. Some people make an exception for ‘dead wool’ – wool collected from sheep that died of natural causes – but those sheep will still have spent their lives in captivity. Feathers, meanwhile, which are used to make clothes and accessories, are obtained by plucking birds – either while they’re still alive or after they’ve been killed

The fashion industry relies on animals like these beautiful cows for materials like leather.

Crafting Your Plant-Based Wardrobe

To avoid contributing to these practices – and harming both animals and our environment – it’s important to seek vegan alternatives to the clothes in your wardrobe. Fortunately, if you know where to look, there are numerous plant-based materials you can wear, so you can look fashionable without feeling guilty.

Cotton material is a staple of any plant-based wardrobe.


This versatile plant can be used to create a range of clothing. Hemp fabric is breathable, durable, anti-microbial, and UV-protective, meaning it’s good for you and the environment. Growing it also uses less water and pesticides than more traditional crops.


This breathable and lightweight fabric is perfect for warm weather, and can absorb up to 20% of its weight in moisture before it feels damn. Linen’s non-allergenic, and is made from the fibres of the flax plant, which is both recyclable and biodegradable.

Other vegan materials

There are a number of other vegan alternatives that you might want to add to your plant-based wardrobe, including some that you’d think would be more at home in your kitchen. Mushroom leather, for example, is a biodegradable material made from mycelium (the roots of mushrooms). It mimics the texture and feel of traditional leather without having to harm any animals. Apple leather is another option, made from the waste products of apple juice and cider.


A versatile and widely available natural fibre, cotton can already be found in a variety of clothes. Keep a close eye out for organic cotton, which is grown without the use of dangerous pesticides and fertilisers, making it much better for the environment.


This isn’t just for pandas – bamboo fabric is growing in popularity due to its softness, its breathability, and its eco-friendly qualities. A fast-growing plant, bamboo doesn’t need much water or any pesticides. 


It’s already a staple in many wardrobes, so don’t worry – you can still have denim in your plant-based wardrobe. It can be sourced from plant-based materials like organic cotton or hemp, which are both more sustainable than conventional denim.


Linen is the perfect addition to any plant-based wardrobe.

More and more fashion brands are looking for sustainable cruelty-free alternatives to leather, using materials like seaweed, pineapple fibres, and cactus leaves. These plant-based leathers could be the future of fashion, offering people a cruelty-free and sustainable option without having to compromise when it comes to style.

By using these vegan materials, not only will you be reducing the harm caused to animals, but you’ll be contributing to a more environmentally-friendly fashion industry. It’s not all about just wearing eco-friendly materials, though – I try to make an effort to support ethical or fair-trade brands, and love buying second-hand or vintage clothing. 

Embracing a vegan lifestyle goes beyond the food on our plates. Curating a plant-based wardrobe is important as it helps the environment and lets us wear our ethics on our sleeves – literally. By avoiding animal-based materials like leather, silk or wool, and sourcing vegan alternatives instead, we can help foster a more compassionate fashion industry. Let’s choose clothes that reflect our values, and show the world that fashion can be both stylish and cruelty-free.

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© 2022. TanyaS.Mansotra
5 Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet

Quick 5-Minute Vegan Recipes

In today’s fast-paced world, finding time to prepare a healthy and satisfying meal can sometimes feel like a daunting task. However, with the right recipes and a little creativity, you can whip up delicious vegan dishes in just 5 minutes or less. I’ve shared my top vegan blender recipes in a previous blog, but if you need something a little more filling, these are my go-to vegan recipes that are quick, easy, and nutritious. From zesty guacamole to refreshing smoothie bowls, hearty overnight oats, and satisfying veggie wraps, we’ve got you covered. So let’s dive right in and discover these delectable vegan delights!


We’ll start our culinary journey with a classic favourite – guacamole. Inspired by this fantastic recipe, let’s create a creamy and flavorful guacamole to enjoy with chips, crackers, or a spread for sandwiches.


  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed and finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • A handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits, and scoop out the flesh into a bowl. Mash the avocado with a fork until smooth, leaving some chunks for texture. Add the diced tomato, red onion, jalapeno, lime juice, and chopped cilantro to the bowl. Season with salt and pepper, then mix well until all the ingredients are combined. Taste and adjust the seasonings according to your preference. Serve the guacamole immediately with your favourite accompaniments or refrigerate it for later use.

Smoothie Bowls

Overnight Oats

If you’re looking for a quick and nourishing breakfast option, overnight oats are the answer. These make-ahead oats are convenient, customisable, and incredibly satisfying. Here’s a basic recipe to get you started:


  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup plant-based milk
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or sweetener of your choice
  • Toppings: fresh fruits, nuts, seeds, nut butter, etc.


In a jar or container, combine the rolled oats, plant-based milk, chia seeds, and maple syrup. Stir well to ensure all the ingredients are evenly mixed. Cover the jar/container and refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours. In the morning, give the oats a good stir and add your desired toppings. Enjoy your creamy and wholesome overnight oats on the go or at home!

Veggie Wraps

Smoothie Bowls

Smoothie bowls are a fantastic way to start your day with a burst of flavour and a dose of essential nutrients. Here’s a simple yet delicious recipe for a tropical smoothie bowl:


  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1/2 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (or any plant-based milk of your choice)
  • Toppings of your choice: sliced fresh fruits, granola, chia seeds, coconut flakes, etc.


In a blender, combine the frozen banana, mango chunks, pineapple chunks, and coconut milk. Blend until smooth and creamy. If needed, add a splash of additional liquid to achieve the desired consistency. Pour the smoothie into a bowl and add your favourite toppings. Enjoy your vibrant and refreshing smoothie bowl immediately.

Overnight oats

Veggie Wraps

When time is of the essence, veggie wraps come to the rescue. They are versatile, packed with nutrients, and can be customized with your favourite vegetables and spreads. Here’s a simple recipe to create a delicious veggie wrap:


  • Whole-grain tortilla/wrap
  • Hummus or your preferred spread
  • Sliced avocado
  • Thinly sliced cucumber
  • Shredded carrots
  • Fresh greens (spinach, lettuce, etc.)
  • Sprouts (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Lay the tortilla/wrap flat on a clean surface. Spread a generous amount of hummus or your preferred spread onto the tortilla. Layer the sliced avocado, cucumber, shredded carrots, fresh greens, and sprouts on top. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper for added flavour. Roll the tortilla tightly, tucking in the sides as you go. Slice the wrap in half or into bite-sized portions if desired. Your satisfying and nutritious veggie wrap is ready to enjoy!

With these quick 5-minute vegan recipes, you can effortlessly incorporate delicious plant-based meals into your busy schedule. From the tangy guacamole to the refreshing smoothie bowls, the hearty overnight oats, and the satisfying veggie wraps, you now have a variety of options to choose from. For more vegan meal inspiration, check out my vegan venture Plant Essence. Don’t let time be a barrier to your healthy eating habits. Embrace the simplicity and flavour of these recipes, and let vegan recipes inspire you to enjoy nourishing meals in a jiffy. Bon appétit!

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© 2022. TanyaS.Mansotra
5 Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet

5 Benefits Of A Plant-Based Diet

Welcome to a world where the power of plants can transform your health and our planet. The rise of plant-based diets has gained momentum for good reason. When I decided to embark on a vegan lifestyle, I discovered many changes in myself, both physically and emotionally. Not only does this conscious dietary choice offer a multitude of health benefits, but it also holds the key to reducing our carbon footprint and fostering a sustainable future.

Are you ready to embrace the green revolution from your plate?

Reduced Inflammation

By adopting a plant-based diet, you’re embracing a lifestyle that can help soothe the flames of inflammation within your body. Plant foods, rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients, possess the incredible ability to combat oxidative stress and lower inflammation levels. Studies have shown that plant-based diets are associated with reduced markers of inflammation, potentially mitigating the risk of chronic diseases such as arthritis, autoimmune disorders, and even certain types of cancer.

Reduced Carbon Footprint

Choosing plants over animal products goes beyond personal health; it’s a significant step towards mitigating our environmental impact. Animal agriculture is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, and water pollution. By adopting a plant-based diet, you’re actively reducing your carbon footprint, conserving water resources, and preserving our precious ecosystems. This is echoed in a study by the University of Oxford which found that adopting a plant-based diet can reduce your carbon emissions by up to 73%!

A Plant-Based diet can significantly reduce your carbon foot print.

Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

One of the most prevalent health concerns worldwide, type 2 diabetes, can be mitigated through the power of plants. A plant-based diet, abundant in whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables, offers a plethora of nutrients, dietary fibre, and low-glycemic carbohydrates. This combination helps regulate blood sugar levels, improve insulin sensitivity, and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Embrace the natural sweetness of plant foods and savour the benefits for your long-term health.

A plant-based diet has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.

Lower Risk of Heart Disease

Protecting your heart has never been tastier! A plant-based diet has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, the leading cause of global mortality. By excluding or limiting animal products, you’re reducing your intake of saturated fats, cholesterol, and dietary heme iron, which are known to contribute to cardiovascular issues. Instead, plant-based foods provide a wealth of heart-healthy nutrients like fibre, antioxidants, and healthy fats, protecting your precious ticker and promoting cardiovascular wellness.

Improved Gut Health

Nourishing your body with plant-based goodness does wonders for your gut microbiome. Plant foods are rich in fibre, prebiotics, and beneficial compounds that support a diverse and thriving gut microbiota. This thriving ecosystem of microorganisms in your gut plays a crucial role in digestion, immune function, and mental well-being. By opting for a plant-based diet, you’re feeding your gut with the nutrients it craves, fostering a healthier balance of bacteria and reaping the rewards of improved digestion and overall wellness.

Embarking on a plant-based journey is an empowering choice that brings immense benefits to your health and our planet. By reducing inflammation, minimising your carbon footprint, lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and improving gut health, you’re embracing a lifestyle that prioritises wellness and environmental sustainability. These benefits became the catalyst for creating my own business, Plant Essence, where I prepare meal plans to kick-start your vegan journey. 

Your plate becomes a catalyst for positive change, creating a greener and more sustainable future. Let the vibrant colours of plant foods paint a brighter future for your health and our Earth. Embrace the green revolution and discover the transformative power of a plant-based diet! 

Not sure where to start? Why not take some inspiration from my previous blog where I share simple, but delicious plant-based recipes straight from the blender.

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© 2022. TanyaS.Mansotra
Vegan Foods to Kick-Start Your Day

Vegan Foods to Kick-Start Your Day

Rise and shine, early birds and sleepyheads alike! It’s time to infuse your mornings with a burst of energy and vitality. In the realm of breakfast wonders, there are vegan delights that are specifically designed to kick-start your day with gusto. From the metabolism-boosting powers of coconut water to the fibre-rich embrace of oats, the natural sweetness of dates, and the nourishing richness of avocado, these vegan foods are here to awaken your senses and infuse your mornings with the vitality you deserve.

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it’s more than just an old wives’ tale. To me, breakfast is a moment of nourishment and renewal—and when you embrace a vegan lifestyle, breakfast becomes an even more thrilling opportunity to fuel your body with wholesome, plant-based goodness. So with that said, let me share with you some of my favourite vegan foods to start my day.

Coconut meat and water are excellent vegan breakfast staples!


Coconut Water

Bursting with electrolytes, this heavenly drink will hydrate your body, promote digestion, and boost your metabolism. I like to think of coconut water as my morning metabolism booster drink. It’s a refreshing way to wake up your taste buds and prepare yourself for the day ahead.


Coconut Meat

While we’re on the topic of coconuts, let’s not forget the deliciously versatile meat. Creamy, dreamy, and oh-so-nutritious, coconut meat can be a fantastic addition to your breakfast bowl. Whether you sprinkle it on your oatmeal or blend it into a smoothie, coconut meat adds a tropical touch that will transport you to a beach paradise.




If you have a sweet tooth and want a natural, guilt-free way to indulge, look no further than dates. These luscious, caramel-like fruits are packed with fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Enjoy them as a snack, blend them into a smoothie, or stuff them with almond butter for a divine breakfast treat. Dates will add a touch of natural sweetness to your morning routine, without the dreaded sugar crash.


A timeless breakfast classic, the humble yet mighty oat is the true hero of breakfast. Packed with fibre, protein, and essential minerals, oats are a vegan breakfast staple that will keep you feeling full and satisfied. Whip up a warm bowl of oatmeal, top it with your favourite fruits, nuts, and a drizzle of maple syrup, and you’ve got a filling, balanced morning meal that will fuel your adventures.



I’m a big fan of tahini –  it’s one of my most used vegan ingredients, as it adds so much flavour to any vegan dish. Made from ground sesame seeds, this creamy delight is a rich source of healthy fats, protein, and calcium. Slather it on toast, drizzle it over your oatmeal, or use it as a dip for your fruits. Tahini brings a nutty and luscious twist to your breakfast, leaving you feeling satiated and ready to seize the day.



Smoothie Bowls
A timeless breakfast classic, the humble yet mighty oat is the true hero of breakfast




Packed with potassium, vitamin B6, and natural sugars, bananas are nature’s very own energy bar! This vibrant fruit is a fantastic way to kick-start your day; slice it over your morning cereal, blend it into a creamy smoothie, or mash it onto toast for a quick and easy vegan breakfast option. For a little guilty pleasure breakfast, you could even try my blender recipe for banana ice cream, perfect for those summer mornings that are too hot to function.



Last but certainly not least, we have the reigning monarch of healthy fats – the avocado. Creamy, indulgent, and brimming with nutrients, avocados make a fantastic addition to any breakfast spread. Spread them on toast, blend them into a silky smoothie, or whip up some mouthwatering avocado pancakes.

Remember, the magic of vegan breakfast lies in its ability to nourish your body while tantalising your taste buds. You don’t need to sacrifice flavour or excitement when adopting a plant-based lifestyle. Embrace these vegan foods with a sense of joy, knowing that you’re starting your day with ingredients that are not only good for you but also contribute to a more compassionate and sustainable world. Your taste buds and body will thank you, and your day will be off to an extraordinary start. Of course, if like me you’re a bit of a busy bee and find you don’t have the time, you can always order a delicious vegan breakfast from Plant Essence, my plant-based foodie venture. Cheers to a vibrant and fulfilling breakfast that sets the tone for an amazing day ahead!

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© 2022. TanyaS.Mansotra
My Most Used Vegan Ingredients

My Most Used Vegan Ingredients

Healthy plant-based wraps provide a nutritional meal

Protein and Carbs

No matter how long you’ve been vegan, the one question you hear time and time again is: “where do you get your protein?” And, while protein is, of course, incredibly important, it’s only one of the three macros you need to maintain a balanced diet. Fortunately, there are plenty of delicious, affordable and easily accessible vegan protein sources. My pantry staples are tofu, mushrooms, chickpeas and lentils. 

Tofu: There’s a reason tofu is one of the most popular meat alternative proteins amongst vegans. It’s so versatile. Fried, blended, crumbled, sauteed, baked or even eaten raw – there are countless ways to enjoy tofu. One of my favourites is a breakfast of tofu scramble

Mushrooms: Full of wonderful nutrition, mushrooms are often misunderstood. They’re disliked by people who haven’t given them a chance to impress their taste buds. Mushrooms bring a wonderful umami flavour to any dish and can offer a meaty texture if that’s something you crave. 

I really enjoy trying out the latest vegan dishes at restaurants and cafes. But, you can’t quite beat the satisfaction of cooking yourself a wholesome and nutritious meal using vegan ingredients.

I was a vegetarian for many years before committing to veganism, so I’ve always found food and nutrition interesting. It’s why I went to study the subject at university and started my own plant-based food business, Plant Essence. And, while I love cooking vegan food at home, I understand that for some, stepping into a kitchen and trying to rustle up a balanced, healthy and tasty meal can seem daunting – especially if venturing into plant-based cooking for the first time. 

Which meat and dairy replacements should you use? Should you use them at all? Can you eat chickpeas straight from the can? (Yes, you can!) And, what on earth is aquafaba? 

To set you on the path to confidently cooking vegan food at home, I’ve compiled a list of my most used vegan ingredients with tips and tricks on making the most of them.

Mushrooms bring a wonderful umami flavour to any dish and can offer a meaty texture if that’s something you crave

Chickpeas: Packed with protein, chickpeas are another versatile vegan ingredient. You can add them to curries, make hummus, mash and shape them into burgers or simply enjoy them tossed into a salad. You can even use the liquid from the can, aquafaba, as a vegan egg alternative, whipping it into meringues and mouses. 

Lentils: Just as useful as chickpeas, lentils are tasty in curries, salads and burgers, but they’re also a great alternative to plant-based mince meat – which can be heavily processed and full of salt. Plus, there are plenty of types to choose from, such as green, red and yellow, each providing different flavours and textures. 

While carbs are the easiest macro to source as a vegan, thanks to plenty of options such as rice, pasta and bread, my favourite is the humble potato. 

Potatoes – Unlike bread, potatoes are an unprocessed whole food. You can be safe in the knowledge that you’re consuming all the nutrients they have to offer. And, like many of my staples, they are incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed in both healthy and more indulgent ways for a balanced vegan diet.

Sweet Treats

Fruits like bananas with agave syrup make pancakes a delicious vegan treat

It’s no secret that I am a self-confessed dessert lover (check out my recent blog to see some of my top guilt-free vegan treats). Since veganism has soared in popularity, supermarkets are brimming with an increasing range of plant-based alternatives for chocolate, cakes, ice creams, cookies and more.

While I am glad to have more options for indulgence, I prefer to opt for natural sources to keep my mind and body in balance. Bananas and agave are my go-to healthy vegan ingredients to satisfy my sweet cravings at home without giving in to highly processed alternatives.

Bananas: Delicious to eat on their own as a snack, bananas are also a great source of natural sweetness to add to cakes, smoothies, pancakes and desserts such as vegan banana ice cream.

Agave: I like to use agave as a vegan alternative to honey to drizzle on pancakes, coconut yoghurt or granola. It’s also an ideal swap for recipes that may call for processed white sugar, such as sweet chilli sauce.


A common misconception I hear about vegan food (usually from meat eaters) is that vegan food is bland. But, this couldn’t be further from the truth! There are plenty of ways to enhance the flavour of your meals. My top three flavour enhancers are nutritional yeast, miso paste and tahini.

Nutritional yeast: A firm favourite in the vegan community, nutritional yeast is the holy grail for adding cheesy flavour to sauces and dips. It’s also a great source of vitamin B12, which can be tricky to obtain in a vegan diet without the help of supplements. 

Miso paste: Available in a variety of types, the most common are white miso and red miso. Both are go-tos of mine for adding to broths, soups and stews to deepen the flavour. 

Tahini: A middle eastern cooking essential, tahini is a thick paste made from sesame seeds. It is often associated with making hummus, but it has so many more uses as a vegan ingredient. Add it to sauces, stews and dressings or simply spread it on toast and enjoy.

As you can see, there are plenty of vegan-friendly ingredients you can experiment with to take your plant-based cooking to the next level in terms of flavour and nutrition. For some easy recipe inspiration, check out my favourite blender recipes and save this blog the next time you head to the supermarket to stock up your pantry!

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© 2022. TanyaS.Mansotra
My Favourite Guilt-Free Vegan Desserts

My Favourite Guilt-Free Vegan Desserts

I am a huge advocate for adopting a vegan diet as it has many benefits for your health, spirituality and the environment. Done the right way, a vegan diet can be rich in nutrients and low in saturated fats, which can lower your risk of heart disease, stroke and other chronic illnesses. It can also help reduce your carbon footprint and decrease the unnecessary suffering of animals, making it the ideal diet choice for anyone that wants to do better for the planet and the creatures we share it with. But many worry that going vegan means missing out on sweet treats like cakes, cookies and ice cream.

However, this couldn’t be further from the truth! Vegan desserts can be just as indulgent and delicious as their non-vegan counterparts. And by choosing vegan desserts, you not only satisfy your sweet tooth but also fight against animal cruelty while supporting a healthier food system.

Having studied nutrition at university, I would argue that vegan desserts are an important part of a balanced lifestyle. Treating yourself to a sweet indulgence once in a while can help prevent feelings of deprivation and promote a positive relationship with food. So, don’t be afraid to include vegan desserts in your diet – they can be a delicious and healthy addition to your meals and snacks! So, here are a few of my favourite vegan desserts that I think you’ll absolutely love.

Orange Chocolate Mousse from Plant Essence

If you’re a fan of chocolate and citrusy flavours, then this dessert is perfect for you. The Orange Chocolate Mousse from my own plant-based foodie venture, Plant Essence, is a light and airy dessert made with raw dark chocolate, vegan cream, and orange zest. This vegan dessert is not only delicious but is also packed with antioxidants and healthy fats.


Walnut Brownie from Plant Essence

Another delicious dessert from Plant Essence is the Walnut Brownie. This vegan dessert is made with walnuts, dates, and raw cacao powder, making it both healthy and indulgent. The texture of this dessert is fudgy and moist, and it’s the perfect dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth.



Vegan Milk Choco Biscoff Donut

Chocolate Fudge Brownie Non-Dairy Ice-Cream from Ben & Jerry’s 

Ice cream is a dessert everyone loves, and it’s easy to find since plenty of vegan options are readily available in most supermarkets! The Chocolate Fudge Brownie Non-Dairy Ice-Cream from Ben & Jerry’s is a vegan dessert that is sure to delight your taste buds. This dessert is made with almond milk, fudge brownies and chocolate chunks, making it a perfect indulgence.


Since vegan desserts tend to include more natural, wholesome ingredients and zero animal products, you can bank on them being just as good for your body as they are for your taste buds. Whether you’re a vegan or not, these desserts are sure to satisfy your sweet cravings. So, go ahead and indulge in these treats guilt-free!

Vegan Orange Chocolate Mousse

Milk Choco Biscoff Donut from Donaccino

For a classic dessert with a vegan twist, I highly recommend the Milk Choco Biscoff Donut from Donaccino – a vegan dessert sure to satisfy your sweet cravings. This donut is topped with vegan milk chocolate and a Lotus Biscoff biscuit and filled to the brim with Biscoff spread, making it a delicious and decadent treat!


Cake Me Out dessert from Vibe Café

If you’re someone who loves to eat cookie dough, then you’ll love the Cake Me Out dessert from Vibe Café at the Al Wasl branch in Dubai. This vegan dessert is ultimate decadence with a vegan cookie dough base, topped with chocolate ice cream, crystal sugar and coconut cream. Plus, the space has funky decor., so it’s a great spot to snap some pics while you enjoy your vegan dessert.


Chocolate Fudge Brownie Non-Dairy Ice-Cream

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© 2022. TanyaS.Mansotra
Vegan Blender Recipes

My Top 3 Vegan Blender Recipes

Under the assumption that plant-based diets are challenging? Not with these flavoursome vegan blender recipes! 

It’s been three years since I embarked on my journey into veganism, having already spent many years as a vegetarian. TAs my journey into self-discovery and spirituality deepened, I found that veganism was the most ethical choice for my body, my mind and the planet. Not only has my mental and physical health improved, but consuming a plant-based diet has drastically cut my carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions.

I initially thought the transition would be difficult since there’s a popular notion that plant-based diets are boring and bland, but that could not be further from the truth. Since committing myself to veganism, I’ve discovered an abundance of simple, yet delicious recipes. With these vegan blender recipes, it’s never been easier to rustle something up in the kitchen. 

It’s inspired me to blend my own creations, where I’ve made everything from side dishes and desserts to dips and sauces with just a handful of ingredients.

Here are my top three vegan blender recipes for you to try.

Beetroot Hummus

A twist on the traditional recipe, this beetroot hummus is a tasty addition to any meal. Beetroots are a great source of nutrition too; they’re filled with fibre, iron and vitamin C. Plus, they’re great for improving blood flow making this hummus ideal for a post-workout snack. 


1 cup of chickpeas

1 cup of beetroot

Lemon juice


Olive oil

Salt and pepper  



First blend the chickpeas and lemon juice until the texture is smooth, then add the beetroot and tahini along with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. 

You can follow along with my how-to video here!

Vegan Blender Pesto

Banana Ice Cream

I often find that vegan ice cream can be really expensive and full of unhealthy additives, so I thought why not try making some at home? The most appealing part about this vegan blender recipe is how versatile it is – just swap out the banana for a fruit of your choice to mix it up. 


2 frozen bananas

50 ml plant-based milk

2 tsp vanilla essence




To make this delicious dessert, all you need to do is pop the ingredients into the blender and turn it on. It’s that simple! Tip it out into a bowl and feel free to add any toppings of your choice. 

Check out my how-to video here!

Vegan Blender Beetroot Hummus

Vegan Pesto

This vegan pesto recipe is amazing for meal prepping as it can stay in the fridge for a few days. Use it as a dip, with pasta or even in sandwiches and salads. It’s an incredibly healthy alternative, too! The avocado is especially filled with vitamins, fibre and monounsaturated fats.


Half an avocado

Handful of fresh basil

Handful of pine nuts

Vegan cheese

2 tbsp olive oil

Pinch of Himalayan salt

Black pepper 



This vegan blender recipe calls for half an avocado, fresh basil, vegan cheese, and pine nuts. Add to the blender along with the olive oil, lemon juice, a pinch of Himalayan salt and black pepper. Blend until the texture is smooth and consistent – the perfect sauce for pasta and pizza dishes. 

Watch my how-to video here

Vegan Blender Recipe

I’ve discovered that being vegan doesn’t mean foregoing your favourite recipes – it just means you need to be creative. It’s never been easier (and tastier) to transition to a plant-based diet, with lots of vegan-friendly ingredients readily available in most supermarkets, making it more accessible for everyone. 

And fortunately, there are lots of incredible vegan food blogs out there to follow, including Pick Up Limes and From My Bowl. My personal journey has become an immense source of inspiration for me too, leading me to create my own vegan food venture, Plant Essence

If you’re curious to learn more about the health side of plant-based diets, read my blogs on macro and micro nutrition. Or, if you have any questions that you’d like to ask me about the topic, please feel free to get in touch!

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© 2022. TanyaS.Mansotra
5 Tips For Staying Vegan After Veganuary

5 Tips For Staying Vegan After Veganuary

There is nothing new about the phrase ‘new year, new me’ or the idea of building healthy habits as the calendar turns to January 1st. However, whether you’ve committed to exercising more, connecting with friends regularly or adopting a healthy diet, the most challenging part is staying committed for the rest of the year. 

According to health psychology researcher, Phillippa Lally, it takes more than 2 months (66 days) on average before a new behaviour becomes a habit. For those of you who have chosen to try out a vegan diet this new year, I hope this blog will give you the motivation you need to make it a permanent lifestyle change.

Taking On Veganuary!

As a passionate vegan of three years, it’s no surprise that I’m a big fan of the non-profit organisation, Veganuary, and its efforts to encourage more people to embrace veganism in January and beyond. The organisation aims to “make powerful strides toward a world where vegan is the norm rather than the exception”, and made huge strides to achieve this last year. At the time of writing, more than 620,000 people from 228 countries have pledged to try a vegan diet this January, bringing the total #Veganuary sign-ups to more than 2 million since the initiative started in 2014. What an achievement!

As mentioned, keeping up with healthy habits is the hardest part of adopting them. So, from someone who’s embraced a vegan diet and lifestyle for 3 years (and been vegetarian for many years before that), here are my top 5 tips on how to stay vegan even after the hype of veganuary has worn off.

Tip 1: Make your favourite go-to recipes vegan-friendly

Embracing a vegan diet shouldn’t feel like a chore. By swapping out a few ingredients in your favourite recipes for plant-based alternatives, you can easily make any meal vegan-friendly. Since adopting a plant-based diet is rising in popularity, suitable recipes are abundant online and there are many ingredients in-store to help support your goals. If you’re on the go, mixing up some healthy ingredients in a blender is a great way to easily incorporate vegan goodness into your diet. 

Tip 2: Plan ahead when eating out

While prepping vegan meals at home can become an easy habit, eating out often stops us in our tracks when trying to embrace a vegan diet fully. Though many chain restaurants now offer plant-based and vegan alternatives, some establishments are still lacking in options. Be sure to think ahead when you’re planning a meal out and research the places that can support your vegan diet, as these are the ones that you’ll keep coming back to!





Tip 5: Don’t get hung up on perfection

Sticking to a diet can be tricky, and the thought of slipping off is daunting. But momentary lapses are only normal and might be circumstantial, like a restaurant not providing vegan food options, or accidentally eating something non-vegan. Don’t beat yourself up if this happens – as long as you can recognise the reasons why and get back on track, then you can continue on your journey.

As with any change or new habit, embracing a new diet takes time and effort, it’s important to give yourself time to ease into the process. If you were previously a meat eater and want to commit to eating plant-based alternatives every day, that might be too much of a change to make all at once. If you’re finding it tough, try going vegan once a week. At the end of the day, anything we can do to make a difference to animals, our planet and ourselves, is a huge step in the right direction.

5 Tips For Staying Vegan After Veganuary

Tip 3: Follow fellow vegans on social media for daily inspiration

Surrounding yourself with like-minded people that are on the same journey as you is a great way to immerse yourself in veganism and be motivated to keep it up. There are many chefs, authors and nutritionists out there who share great content on their websites and socials. As well as Veganuary, I would recommend following Oh She Glows, Deliciously Ella, Tracey McQuirter’s By Any Greens Necessary and Michelle Cehn with World Of Vegan. Plus, I also share regular content about veganism on my social channels (Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and TikTok) if you’d like to follow my journey.

Tip 4: Continually educate yourself (and remember why you started)

Remember to stand by your reasons for embracing a vegan diet. Whether that’s because you wanted to make positive changes to your mind and body or protect animals by reducing meat consumption, referring back to your “why” will keep you motivated and committed along your journey. There are many books out there to educate on the importance of veganism, many of which are on my reading wishlist, if you’d like to take a look!

Vegan reading

Embracing A Vegan Lifestyle

The easiest place to start is with a plant-based diet – which is where my relationship with veganism began. Having noticed many positive changes in my mind and body since going vegan, this inspired and motivated me to launch my own plant-based food business, Plant Essence! But, once you’ve nailed the vegan diet, you might want to consider other ways to make your life more vegan-friendly. For me, and many others, veganism isn’t just about diet, as it can be applied to many aspects of your life such as your beauty routine, what you wear and how you decorate your home. 


If you’re keen to learn more about how veganism could positively impact your life, read more in my recent blog about what I learned after adopting a vegan lifestyle. Or, if you have any questions that you’d like to ask me on the topic, please feel free to get in touch!

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© 2022. TanyaS.Mansotra