10 Vegetarian Recipes for a Hearty and Happy Vesak Day Celebration

10 Vegetarian Recipes for a Hearty and Happy Vesak Day Celebration

Combine delicious and healthy vegetarian meals with good deeds for a fulfilling Vesak Day.

From chilly Tibet to sunny Singapore, Buddhists from all over the world gather to commemorate the birth, enlightenment, and death of Siddharta Gautama Shakyamuni (Sakyamuni) Buddha, on the day of the full moon in the month of Vesākha, which is usually in April or May. On this special day, meat-free meals are often offered at temples or made at home to show compassion and kindness towards innocent animals.

Going meat-free for a day or even longer is not difficult thanks to the wide variety of vegetarian options across cultures and cuisines available, and as you tuck into the wonderful vegetarian delights below, perhaps it could even be a way of life!  

1. Vegetarian Claypot Rice

The aromatic, addictive charred taste of claypot rice sets it apart from other rice dishes as fresh ingredients to be cooked slowly and evenly to bring out the best flavors. This Vegetarian Claypot Rice is brimming with the umami taste of mushrooms and beancurd, and has little cauliflower florets for a soft crunch and added fiber. With filling brown rice cooked in flavorful stock as a base, this one-pot dish is perfect for refueling your energy reserves after a busy day out.

Related: 10 Quick Mushroom Recipes with Spice, Umami and Herbs

2. Vegetarian Bibimbap

The catchy Bimbimbap name literally translates to mixed rice and meat with assorted vegetables, but this colorful dish can be easily turned into a meat-free one with spicy chunks of miso tempeh. With the bright greens of edamame, orange of carrots, whites of beansprout and earthy browns of mushrooms, you can easily whip up a nutritious rainbow Vegetarian Bibimbap for lunch or dinner with this handy recipe!

Related: 8 Classic Korean Dishes From Popular K-Dramas

3. Buddha's Delight

Perhaps one of the most apt Vesak day dishes is this Buddha's Delight, which is traditionally enjoyed by Buddhist monks. Today, this wholesome and warming stew of vegetables is a popular item in Asian vegetarian restaurants, and goes really well with steamed rice. Juicy cabbage, crunchy bok choy, soft shiitake mushrooms, beancurds and mock abalone are simmered till the flavors combine to give you a delicious gravy dish for family sharing or a hearty one-person meal. 

Related: 10 Bright and Warming Recipes For Work From Home Days

4. Vegetarian Tofu Egg Burger

Some days just call for satisfying, greasy burger enjoyed with both hands, and if that’s the case, this Vegetarian Tofu Egg Burger is just right for you. Vegetarians can enjoy the same juiciness of a burger with patties made out of tofu, eggs and a dash of spice. Making the patties is straightforward if you have a patty maker, but you could also shape them and put them on a grill or normal non-stick pan. Top the patty with your favorite sauces like Thai chilli sauce, mayonnaise, mustard or ketchup and chomp away!

5. Vegan Spinach & Mushroom Sushi Bake

East meets west in this finger-licking good Vegan Spinach & Mushroom Sushi Bake. The cheesy spinach and mushroom topping is caramelized in the oven, on a bed of sourish-savory sushi rice, before being served with a drizzle of aromatic truffle oil. It’s a great party snack if you have guests over this Vesak day, and a few rolls is more than enough to fill you up!

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6. Roasted Carrots with Hummus

Add a Middle Eastern twist to your Asian vegetarian platter with this crunchy Roasted Carrots with Hummus that is served with bright kebabs, lettuce and pita. Home-made hummus is always a whole notch tastier than the store-bought, premade ones, and provide a rich, garlicky dip with roasted flavors for your grilled vegetable kebabs. Sprinkle the hummus with toasted almonds before serving for that added crunch.

Related: 10 Super Satisfying Middle Eastern Ramadan Meals

7. May's Vegetable Spring Rolls

Speaking of  a satisfying crunch, May's Vegetable Spring Rolls is always a crowd pleaser at home. A mix of different sweet vegetables like cabbage and carrots are stewed and softened with aromatic garlic, onions and ginger before being rolled up and fried till golden brown. All those sweet savory juices are sealed in the spring roll and burst open to fill your senses with every bite. Enjoy it with a sweet and sour dip for non-stop munching!

8. Tofu Bun Cha

Feel like digging into a spicy, zesty Bun Cha that is meat-free? This Tofu Bun Cha is the answer to your cravings, with coconut crusted tofu patties that are fried till crispy golden brown as the main star of this Vietnamese-inspired dish. A refreshing mix of thinly sliced vegetables help offset the heat from the sweet chili sauce and provide an eye-catching color to this noodle dish.  

9. Green Goddess Vegetable Pilaf

At first glance, this may look like a pile of greens on rice, but look a little closer and you can probably see the layers of different green veggies of varying textures and taste that make up this Green Goddess Vegetable Pilaf. If you feel like you have been skipping out on greens for too many days, this is the ideal dish to boost your fiber, folate and vitamin intake. It’s a light, fluffy and refreshingly good treat for your mind and body!

Related: 10 High Fiber Recipes To Keep You Going

10. Paneer & Soya Chunks Masala

The classic Masala spice mix never gets boring and this absolutely yummylicious Paneer & Soya Chunks Masala is perfect for dipping with naan, pairing with rice, or – if you love rich, aromatic gravies – slurping up on its own. Soya chunks are marinated in a spiced curd to make flavorful, chewy substitutes for meat before being stewed in the masala curry. Top it off with fried cashews and grilled paneer before serving and dig in!

Related: 10 Amazing Indian Dishes To Spice Up Your Life

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