When I'm home, I spend a lot of time cooking and baking. I find it to be a stress-relieving creative outlet, and I enjoy experimenting in the kitchen with plant-based recipes. Spending a large quantity of time in the kitchen results in a lot of food. Throughout high school, I would often bring baked goods to school for my friends.

I found that when I told people that the treats were vegan often resulted in wrinkled noses and hesitation, even though the same foods would be met without judgement if labels were not used. While I am not gluten-free, I have also tried out a lot of gluten free recipes for friends that were intolerant - in doing so I discovered some incredible recipes that were both plant-based and gluten-free. This list demonstrates that no matter what foodie label you use, there are a lot of vegan and gluten-free recipes that everyone can enjoy.


"The Best Damn Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Chunk Cookies"

It's hard for a cookie called "The best Damn vegan gluten fre..." to live up to its name, but these almond flour-based ones definitely do. I made these about twice a month in my second semester of senior year and no matter how many were in the container, they were always gone by the end of the day.

Thai Quinoa "Meat" Balls in Peanut Sauce 

Peanut butter might not be the most traditional topping for a meatball, but this quinoa and chickpea-based vegan version is anything but traditional. Despite our very different food preferences, these are one thing everyone in my family can agree on for dinner. 

Maple Balsamic Tempeh

Like the "meat" balls, this maple balsamic tempeh is thoroughly enjoyed by my non-vegan family members. The marinade requires few ingredients and is relatively easy to make, and it's far classier than smothering the tempeh in barbecue sauce (though that's delicious too).   

"Revolutionary" Pancakes

Calling any recipe "revolutionary" may be hyperbole, but given how simple and versatile this gluten-free and vegan recipe is, these pancakes come pretty close. Made with only three ingredients (one of which is water), these are an easy choice for any meal. Pair the thin pancakes with savory toppings like avocado and sea salt for dinner or try them with berries and maple cashew cream for breakfast. 

Zucchini Bread Pancakes

Though also delicious and easy, this pancake recipe could not be more different from the "revolutionary" one. Filled with oats, vegan chocolate chips, and shredded zucchini, these pancakes are somewhat reminiscent of oatmeal cookies. They're also a great way to get a serving of vegetables into a sweet breakfast.

Chickpea Tofu

Most commercial tofu is made with soy, but this homemade chickpea version is a great, less-processed alternative. Seasoned with turmeric, garlic powder, and sea salt, it can be cooked like regular firm tofu, whether that means baking it, stir-frying it with ginger, or adding it to a homemade Chipotle "Sofrita Bowl."

Ultra Fudgy Brownies

Growing up, I would often help my mom with homemade baked goods. We made chocolate birthday cakes filled with raspberry jam, pumpkin muffins full of chocolate chips, and blueberry peach pies. But homemade brownie recipes never seemed to work out so we stuck to the mixes. Year later, I've found that the best brownies are these plant-based paleo ones, which have been enjoyed by vegans and dairy-loving omnivores alike.

Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip Muffins

Tofu and Vegetable Fried Rice

The first time I made this tofu and vegetable filled fried rice, I brought a huge batch to a potluck brunch. The crowd consisted of vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores and by the end, the bowl was empty. 

Veggie Pad Thai

Pad Thai is definitely a dish that feels daunting to make and easier to order in. While the takeout versions are usually incredible, they are also likely to contain egg and fish sauce. Like many of the other recipes on this list, this Pad Thai is easy, delicious, and proven to be enjoyed by those with and without dietary restrictions.

Hopefully these recipes have helped demonstrate how many food options there are even when you're dealing with dietary restrictions and allergies. Though by no means an exhaustive list, these recipes are great to keep in mind the next time you're cooking for people allergic to dairy, eggs, or gluten. Besides, they're delicious and it never hurts to try something new.