What is the Pegan Diet? Plus, 11 Recipes To Get You Started
The Pegan Diet was first introduced by Dr. Mark Hyman in 2015. It is the new approach to eating by combining the principles of the Paleo diet with the vegan diet.
I know what you’re thinking, and believe me I thought the same thing; doesn’t that sound a little counter-intuitive and virtually impossible? How can one expect results from a meat protein-rich Paleo diet trying to find middle ground with a diet that restricts all animal foods?
But, here’s the thing about this cooky sounding diet plan: the Pegan Diet takes the strengths from both diets to actually create a stronger combination. A new diet that is not only more moderate, but also a lot healthier, too! And honestly, after some research, this diet seems fairly sensible and a definite improvement to the Standard American Diet.
What Do You Eat?
For starters, plant foods (vegetables and fruits) should make up about 75% of your food intake. This means getting 2 to 3 servings of produce per meal. You can eat pretty much all fresh produce; starting with the non-starchy veggies, and then fill in gaps with the more starchy fruits. Also, be sure to focus on the variety and color of the produce you consume.
As for protein, don’t forget that there’s protein in plants like nuts, seeds, and legumes, as well as a small amount in vegetables, so focus on getting those in your body first.
Then, you can add in some animal-based proteins to meet that remaining 25% of what you need. When choosing the animal protein, go for grass-fed, sustainably-raised meat, poultry, eggs, and fish with lower mercury levels. You should avoid all animal-based dairy products.
Don’t be afraid to get 25% to 35% of calories from fat as long as you’re getting it from the right fat sources! You should look for omega-3-rich fat sources like fatty fish and flaxseed, nuts, avocados, olives, and the associated oils. You’ll need to cut out veggies high in omega-6’s like canola, soybean, and corn oil by substituting with omega-3 sources.
11 Delicious Pegan Diet Recipes to Try
It may seem like a lot of rules to follow, but as a lot of diet plans go, this one is relatively simple to incorporate. If you think you’re ready to make the change to the Pegan Diet, continue reading for my list of 11 recipes to get you started!
1. Shrimp Scampi with Zuchini Noodles
Sometimes, we all need to just detox from all the cheese-stuffed, sprinkled-topped, chocolate-dipped treats that we eat. I’m not saying stop eating them all together, just take a little break for our bodies to reset. And there is no better recipe to lighten that caloric load than this shrimp scampi!
There’s no butter, and no pasta, just a surprisingly healthy and delicious meal! The great news is you can still use the wine for this recipe. You can switch out the pasta for zucchini noodles, and the butter for olive oil, but the wine must stay! In just 30 minutes, you’ll have great comfort food that is actually good for you!
2. Cauliflower Mash
This is a great side dish that you can serve with your favorite comfort food dinners! The trick to this one is to not overcook your cauliflower. You want to make sure it’s chopped finely before adding them to your pot, which will speed up cooking time by about 5 – 10 minutes.
The next thing you want to keep in mind is not to add too much water or stock to your pot. There needs to be just enough to steam the cauliflower until they’re nice and tender. Blend your ingredients while it’s still hot and serve it straight away. You’ll be enjoying a creamy, velvety white mash that tastes amazing!
3. Vegan Caesar Salad
This incredible vegan salad is so creamy and delicious that I promise it will please any crowd that gets it! What really take this salad over the top is the roasted chickpea croutons garnish, and the nut and Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top!
This pegan diet recipe even comes with a nice dressing recipe that can easily be doubled for a large crowd. I recommend bringing this to the next dining event you attend! People will flip for this delicious salad!
4. Better Than Restaurant Falafel
According to the creator of this great pegan diet recipe, you won’t find a better tasting falafel anywhere besides Greece. The best part? It’s vegan, gluten-free, and loaded with healthy ingredients!
You start with collard greens, adding in chickpeas, sea salt, garlic, pepper, fresh lemon juice, and tahini. It sounds more like you’re fixing up a veggie fritter, but one bite of this and you’ll know you’re in falafel territory. All you’ll really need to prepare and cook with is a food processor and one pan. A healthy weeknight meal is just 30 minutes away!
5. Gluten-Free Carrot Cake
Carrot cake is my go-to birthday cake! I don’t know when my obsession with the cake began. I’ve just always asked for it on my birthday as far back as I can recollect.
Easy enough, the first thing to do is switch out traditional eggs for flax eggs (chia seed eggs also work). If you’ve never mixed flax eggs before, it’s a fairly simple substitution: you whisk 1 tablespoon of freshly ground flax seeds with 3 tablespoons of water until combined. Put that mixture in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
When you get them out they should have a thick and sticky consistently, which makes for a great binder for the batter just like real eggs!
There’s even a great recipe for a vegan “cream cheese” frosting — minus the cream cheese. Perfect for any upcoming birthday!
6. Sweet Potato Enchiladas
The great thing about these enchiladas is they taste amazing either way you make them; pure vegan or not. The creator not only mentions the creative spins you could put on this pegan diet recipe, she encourages the spins! A simple recipe that makes enough food for four and takes under an hour to prepare and cook.
7. Vegan Banana Cream Pie Blizzards
I can’t tell you how many blizzards I’ve had in my life, but it’s an embarrassing amount. Here’s what I can say about this pegan diet recipe: it beats them all with ease! I didn’t even think it was possible to make something like a banana cream pie blizzard without using any dairy, but, here we are.
This blizzard is 100% naturally sweetened! You don’t see that every day. With only 7 ingredients needed, this is truly a triumph in the “treat-yo-self” world we live in! Banana chips, cashews, non-dairy milk, dates, vanilla, coconut oil, and banana (of course). These simple ingredients create one seriously creamy banana cream pie that’s almost to die for it’s so good! Wow!
8. Paleo Sweet Potato Hash
What’s better than sweet potato hash? No, seriously, I’ll wait for your answer… Nothing? I thought so. I’ve got one: sweet potato hash with fried eggs! If you’ve got a food processor or spiralizer in your kitchen, this sweet and savory plate can be yours in 10 minutes flat!
The great thing about this pegan diet recipe is its flexibility. You can have it as an easy side dish, add some quantity for a complete meal, or add a couple eggs for a nice breakfast. You can even cook in some of your favorite protein for a hearty supper that sits just right. Add whatever seasonings are your fancy, and get going already!
9. Loaded Sweet Potato
This pegan diet recipe covers all the bases of a good dinner for one: Perfect serving size for one person, it’s super healthy, a little on the comfort side, easy to make, a very filling meal, and delicious! After tasting the tangy creaminess from the dressing alone, this will be your new go-to meal for the fall and winter months.
The garlic-cooked kale mixed with the amazing sweetness of the sweet potato goes so well in this savory meal. The best thing about this loaded sweet potato (in my opinion) is just how dang filling it is! It fills you up from all the fiber, healthy fats, and plant-based proteins inside this super comforting meal!
10. Vegan Shepard’s Pie
Did someone say “more comfort food?” Well, you can’t get much comfier than a Shepard’s Pie. Hearty veggies in a brothy sauce topped with fluffy mashed potatoes, all baked to perfection? There’s a reason people think of Shepard’s Pie when the phrase “comfort food” comes into conversation.
A traditional Shepard’s Pie contains ground beef, but to get this more on the side of pegan diet guidelines, you can swap the meat for walnuts, a combination of mushrooms and walnuts, or lentils.
Since lentil has the most protein and nutritional value, that’s where the creator of this recipe went. Lentil does ease the cooking process since they cook nicely with potatoes. Makes everything pretty seamless and easier for you!
11. Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding
This pegan diet recipe takes care of those cocoa cravings, but it won’t let you regret it when you’re done eating all of it.
This is a super simple, chocolate chia seed pudding that will knock your socks off! The best part, other than it being chocolate, is that you can customize it to be your own. Get your favorite toppings out, maybe add a little cinnamon, whip up some coconut cream to top it off, doesn’t matter. This is your pudding, and it’s good for you. Perfect as a quick snack or a nice breakfast in a hurry!