Vegan Wonder

Discover the Vibrant Flavors of the Mediterranean: Vegan Greek and Turkish Recipes

Embracing the Mediterranean Vegan Lifestyle

You may have heard that eating a Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest ways to nourish your body. This plant-based eating style, which emphasizes whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and olive oil, has been linked to numerous health benefits.

Research shows that a Mediterranean diet can help prevent chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. It can also improve insulin sensitivity, support brain health, and even increase longevity.

But you don’t have to limit yourself to just any Mediterranean diet. More and more people are discovering the health benefits of a vegan Mediterranean diet. By excluding animal products, you can further reduce your intake of saturated fat and cholesterol, while also increasing your consumption of fiber, antioxidants, and other plant-based nutrients.

Fortunately, there are plenty of delicious vegan Mediterranean recipes to try. Today, we’re going to share some of our favorite vegan Greek and Turkish recipes with you. Get ready to embark on a culinary journey through the Mediterranean, where you’ll discover the rich, plant-based traditions of these two vibrant cuisines.

So let’s dive in and explore these delicious vegan Greek and Turkish recipes together. Bon appétit!

Vegan Greek Recipes

Greek cuisine is known for its bold flavors, fresh ingredients, and simple, yet delicious dishes. Here are three authentic vegan Greek recipes that you’re going to love.

Authentic Greek Salad

This classic Greek salad is bursting with fresh, crisp vegetables and tangy lemon dressing. Plus, we’ve got a delicious, creamy cashew feta recipe to take it over the top.

For the salad, slice up cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, bell pepper, and kalamata olives. You can also add some crumbled vegan feta cheese if you like. For the dressing, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and enjoy.

But what about that creamy feta cheese? To make it, blend cashews, nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and water in a food processor until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Stuffed Grape Leaves (Dolmades)

This dish is a vegetarian and vegan Greek classic. The rice and herb filling is flavorful, and the technique for perfectly rolled dolmades is easier than you might think. Here’s how to do it.

Start by making the rice mixture. Sauté onion in olive oil until softened. Add minced garlic, tomato paste, smoked paprika, cumin, and salt. Cook for a few minutes, then stir in rice and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until the rice is tender and the water has been absorbed.

Next, chop fresh parsley, dill, and mint. Squeeze the juice from a lemon. In a large bowl, combine cooked rice, fresh herbs, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Now, it’s time to roll the dolmades. Place a grape leaf, vein-side up, on a flat surface. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of rice mixture onto the leaf, near the stem. Fold the stem over the rice, then fold in the sides. Roll up the leaf, starting at the stem and working your way to the end. Repeat with the remaining grape leaves and rice mixture.

You can steam the dolmades on the stovetop or cook them in the Instant Pot. Serve with tzatziki sauce for dipping.

Creamy Tzatziki Sauce

This creamy tzatziki sauce is the perfect accompaniment to stuffed grape leaves. It’s also delicious as a dip for veggies or pita chips. To make it, blend together plain vegan yogurt, grated cucumber (with the liquid drained), minced garlic, lemon juice, salt, and dill.

Vegan Turkish Recipes

If you love Mediterranean flavors, you’re going to fall in love with Turkish cuisine. These three vegan Turkish recipes are guaranteed to please.

Hearty Lentil and Bulgur Köfte

This hearty lentil and bulgur köfte recipe is a vegan take on traditional Turkish meatballs. It’s packed with protein and flavor from aromatic spices and herbs.

To make the köfte, soak lentils in water for several hours, then drain and cook. In a food processor, blend cooked lentils, onion, garlic, bulgur, breadcrumbs, parsley, mint, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper until combined. Form the mixture into small patties and pan-fry until golden brown.

Serve these delicious lentil and bulgur köfte with a tomato-based sauce, over a bed of rice or quinoa, or on a lettuce wrap for a low-carb option.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Roasted red pepper hummus is a delicious, smooth, and creamy dip that’s perfect for veggies, pita chips, or crusty bread. To make it, blend chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, smoked paprika, salt, and roasted red pepper in a food processor until smooth.

Turkish Baklava (Vegan-Friendly)

This vegan-friendly version of Turkish baklava is made with phyllo pastry and a nutty, sweet filling. It’s a delicious, decadent treat that’s perfect for special occasions.

To make the filling, blend cashews, pitted dates, almond butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt in a food processor until the mixture comes together and forms a sticky dough. Set aside.

Next, prepare the phyllo pastry. Brush each layer with melted vegan butter, then spread a thin layer of filling on top. Repeat until you’ve used all the phyllo pastry and filling. Cut the baklava into pieces and bake until golden brown.

Drizzle the baklava with a simple syrup made from water, sugar, and lemon juice, then enjoy this delicious, flaky, and nutty dessert.

Bringing the Mediterranean to Your Kitchen

Now that you have these delicious vegan Greek and Turkish recipes, it’s time to put them into practice. Here are some tips for sourcing authentic ingredients, meal prepping, and hosting a vegan Mediterranean feast.

Sourcing Authentic Ingredients

If you can’t find certain ingredients at your local grocery store, try Middle Eastern or Mediterranean markets. You can also order online from specialty stores or Amazon.

Here are some ingredients you might need:

  • Grape leaves
  • Bulgur
  • Tahini
  • Pomegranate molasses
  • Smoked paprika
  • Sumac
  • Dried currants
  • Almond butter
  • Maple syrup

For a vegan yogurt, try So Delicious, Silk, or Forager Project brands.

Meal Prep and Storage Tips

Many of these vegan Greek and Turkish recipes make great meals to prep ahead of time. Stuffed grape leaves, lentil and bulgur köfte, and roasted red pepper hummus all keep well in the fridge.

To store leftover dolmades, place them in a single layer in a container, then cover with water and a few tablespoons of olive oil. refrigerate for up to 4 days.

Hosting a Vegan Mediterranean Feast

If you want to go all out and host a vegan Mediterranean feast, here are some ideas.

  • Start with authentic Greek salad and tzatziki sauce.
  • Serve stuffed grape leaves with tzatziki sauce for dipping.
  • For an appetizer, try spanakopita (spinach and feta pie).
  • For a vegetarian or vegan main dish, make moussaka or stuffed eggplant.
  • Serve lentil and bulgur köfte with a tomato-based sauce and a side of rice or quinoa.
  • End the meal with a vegan-friendly baklava or Turkish delight.

Don’t forget to include some Mediterranean staples, such as olives, hummus, pitas, and flatbreads, throughout the meal.

Enjoy your vegan Mediterranean feast!