The Manly Vegan + 35 Boyfriend-Approved Vegan Recipes

Is veganism girly? I never really thought so until my boyfriend Mark decided to give up meat and dairy and the backlash he got for making the switch. Where oh where would this manly man get his protein? It is interesting to see the ratio between vegans who are female to male. I don’t have an exact number but when I dine out with Mark there are definitely a lot more females in the restaurant than men.

Vegan Beer & Chocolate Chili with Smoky Sofrito Sauce

Sprouts & Chocolate: Beer & Chocolate Chili with Smoky Sofrito Sauce. This dish can be served two ways: mild but flavourful with Cashew Cream or with a Smoky Sofrito sauce for the heat lovers. Vegan and can be made gluten free!

Even as a small girl, I was taught that men are suppose to be tougher than us dainty females (P.S. I obviously reject this idea now) but no one really taught me what “tough” meant. I had the idea for a long time that tough men chopped wood, made fires, drank amber coloured liquors, wore flannel and lived off meat and potatoes. Apparently my idea of an adult male was a lumberjack. What a ridiculous notion now. Mark does yoga, loves vanilla candles, is plant based and baby talks our cat, all of which I just adore.

Ultimate Vegan Nacho Cheese 

Ultimate Vegan Nacho Cheese

I get asked by my female friends all the time how I “convinced” Mark to switch to a plant based diet and to make healthier choices. Truth is, I didn’t. He and I watched documentaries together about the benefits of going plant based and the social/environmental impact of continuing to support the meat and dairy industry and after that we decided to make the switch. Mark had an easier time with it than I did. I secretly ate hamburgers while Mark made the switch cold turkey. He was taking Tums and heartburn medication almost every day and after a week of eating no animal products he didn’t have to anymore. That was reason enough for him to continue.

Maple-Sriracha Tempeh Bacon BLT with Creamy Dill Mayo

Sprouts & Chocolate: Maple-Sriracha Tempeh Bacon BLT with Creamy Dill Mayo. Secret: Vegans love bacon. Well bacon made out of anything besides animals of course. This tempeh bacon has a meaty texture with a smoky-spicy-sweet taste and with a generous dose of the Creamy Dill Mayo, it is a delicious combination to make this vegan BLT.

Earlier this year I went to a raw un-cooking class and one thing the chef said that really stuck with me is “Shut your mouth and lead by example.” At first it rubbed me the wrong way but after I thought about it for a while it came very clear to me that the chef was right. I didn’t need to preach, I didn’t need to nag, I didn’t even have to talk about it if I didn’t want to, I just had to eat what I wanted and let people try my recipes to see if they like them too. Thankfully they did and that is how Sprouts & Chocolate came to be.

Buffalo Chickpea Salad with Creamy Ranch Dressing

Buffalo Chickpea Salad with Ranch Dressing

I reached out to my two of my favourite bloggers: Vegetarian Snob and Guys Go Vegan to help me out with this post. Alex at Vegetarian Snob started her site with the help of her boyfriend Jeff (Manly-Man Vegan) and she was kind enough to give you readers a few tips and tricks for a new vegan or perhaps a man who is a little veg-curious:

            Making the switch to a vegan diet may seem crazy to some people, especially if you’re a dude. For whatever reason, there’s a stereotype that men eat meat and women eat salads. Uh really? Yeah no. Food is neither feminine nor masculine, food is food folks. For new (and sometimes veteran) vegans going out with your non-vegan friends can seem like a challenge, especially if it’s “dude night,” or whatever you guys like to call it, BUT all you have to do is be prepared! You just have to have a few tricks up your sleeve. Bar food is typically not-so vegan friendly, so you just need to preplan for this! If you can figure out where you’re going beforehand, you can do a little recon work on your own, from home. Just look up the bar or restaurant and usually (hopefully) they have a nice lil website with their menu online! Just look through the menu and come up with some vegan options in your head before you go! For example, if they have bar nachos, just plan on ordering those minus the beef crumbles, cheese, and sour, and usually that’s all!

          Or a fun little trick is to search reviews on yelp using “vegan” as your search term and usually a nice reviewer has already written about what they did or didn’t order as a vegan.

            Or worst-case scenario, you can call them! I know, I know that would require using a phone, which is terrifying, but it’s an option.

            Ok, that’s in a perfect world, amiright? So, in those rare (or for me often) occasions where you can’t preplan where you’re going, just plan on eating at home first so that you’re not faced with any stress about ordering/telling your friends you can’t eat here/do that, etc. It may seem unfair, but trust me, when you’re going out with a group, sometimes it’s easier to just eat something small and quick prior to going out and then if you find something awesome on the menu, eat twice! Eat twice? Are you crazy? Yes, but let’s be real, there’s always room for good vegan bar food, right?

            But really, while you’re out on a dude date it is not the time to proclaim your vegan piety, trust me. This is how I handle myself, it’s not the way everyone chooses to, but I don’t like confrontation. My vegan philosophy is that if everyone sees how happy and cool you’re handling yourself as a vegan, and can see all the awesome positive benefits, that it will be convincing enough on it’s own. There’s no need to try to convert the whole crowd (wait until you get those suckers one on one!), it’s your time to enjoy their company.

            I mean you’ll get the jokes and the teasing, but play along, be positive! If you get all weird and defensive it will not only ruin your night out, but also put things on edge and make you look like you’re uncertain about your decision too. Just remember, you weren’t always vegan (hey you probably thought vegans were weird at some point too), but it doesn’t mean that they disrespect you or think less of you! At the end of the day, just try to anticipate, preplan, and go with the flow. Being vegan isn’t about eating salads and suffering at home; it’s about enjoying life and appreciating it, even if it means eating gross bar nuts in lieu of wings once in awhile. Don’t forget, there’s a huge wealth of knowledge online from vegan bloggers happy and eager to help, so as always connect with one of us, I know for a fact, Jessica here at Sprouts and Chocolate has a wealth of information to share!

Not only was Alex nice enough to do a write up on dining out with the dudes, she also let me use this photo of her insanely delicious Simple Vegan Poblano Grilled Cheese with Tempeh Bacon. Gents, are you drooling yet?

The other contributor Guys Go Vegan is THE site for male vegans, new or vegan veterans. There are things on this awesome site that I did not even think about making vegan: mustache wax (Movember is here!), manly shampoos and grooming products. I can’t say I am a pro when it comes to barber shop gear.

Recently Guys on Vegan did a wonderful review on Vega for all you muscle building athletic men out there or perhaps for someone just needing a little protein boost. Vega was created by Brendan Brazier, a plant based athlete and one of Canada’s top Ironman Triathletes so you know it is the good stuff.

Pureed Broccoli and Cheesy Soup

Sprouts & Chocolate: Pureed Broccoli and Cheesy Soup. This soup can be served on its own or topped with garlicky croutons or with Ultimate Vegan Nacho Cheese. This recipe makes a huge portion so you can freeze half and have the other half ready to go for your work week. Vegan and Gluten-Free.

Ladies if you want to get your man eating more healthful meals bust out those pots and pans and start cooking. Starting small is best (as cliché as it sounds), one vegan dinner per week or perhaps some vegan snacks in your lunchbox all week. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, just add in the good stuff and the bad stuff just cancels out. It is great to be ambitious but you also want to eat the food you are preparing. Recipe and meal planning are crucial to make a successful switch to a plant based diet. I complied a few of Mark’s favourite manly vegan recipes from our kitchen, Vegetarian Snob, Guys Go Vegan and other vegan blogs that inspire me. All Boyfriend-Approved and takes the typical “manly’ foods but with a vegan twist.

Drinks (Please note all the protein packed drinks. Just in case you were unsure on where vegans got their protein)

Man-Cold Approved: Warm Apple-Ginger Toddy

Wicked Green Smoothie {Banana-Free} (25 grams of protein!)

The Cookie Dough Protein Shake by Chocolate Covered Katie

Green Warrior Protein Smoothie (All-Natural and 17 grams of protein!) by Angela Liddon from Oh She Glows

Yummy, vegan + totally empowering DIY protein mix by The First Mess

 {Not sure if your favourite beer or liquor is vegan? Check out to search for your drink of choice.}



Breakfast Nachos by Isa Chandra from PPK

Peaches and Cream Pancakes {Vegan, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free}

Lazy Sunday vegan better than the original tempeh bacon & leek quiche by Alex from Vegetarian Snob


Apps, Soups and Salads

Baked “Fish” Cakes with Lemon Herb Mayo

Ultimate Cheesy Kale Chips

Pureed Broccoli and Cheezy Soup (my #1 recipe right now!)

Kale Caesar Salad with Garlic Croutons

The Big Falafel Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing

Vegan Pub Style Dips with Ancho-Lime Baked Corn Chips (Ultimate Vegan Nacho Cheese, Protein Packed Guacamole and Red Pepper and Corn Salsa)

Buffalo Chickpea Salad with Creamy Ranch Dressing (for the chicken wing lovers)

Fruffalo Wings by Field Roast (A Guys Go Vegan Favourite)

Beyond Meat Chicken Salad (A Guys Go Vegan Favourite)

A really high protein salad + balsamic tofu by The First Mess



Vegan Beer & Chocolate Chili with Smoky Sofrito Sauce

Steamed Miso-Mushroom & Tempeh Dumplings with Red Chili Peanut Oil

Maple-Sriracha Tempeh Bacon BLT with Creamy Dill Mayo (Mark’s fav sandwich! Tempeh bacon is boss)

Slow Roasted Tomato and Garlic Pasta Sauce

Cherry Tomato, Arugula and Herb Pissaladière with Roasted Garlic Cream Sauce

Smoky Black Bean Burgers

Veganized Steakhouse Classic (Valentine’s Day Special)

Tunot Sandwich

Super Protein Burrito Bowls

Spicy Potato ‘n Black Bean Burritos by Angela Liddon from Oh She Glows

Sweet Potato Veggie Burger with Avocado by

BBQ tempeh sandwich by The First Mess

Holy three cheese pizza by This Rawsome Vegan Life



Decadent Dark Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache {Vegan}

One Bowl Chocolate-Caramel Almond Balls {No-Bake, Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Vegan Strawberry Milkshake: Ice Cream Free

Chocolate Rice Crispies with Vegan Ricemellow by Suzannes Specialities (shared by Guys Go Vegan)

Getting a great vegan cookbook is almost too easy now and there is such an amazing variety of cuisine. These are just a few cookbooks I currently own but my stock tends to go up every few weeks. Cookbook shopping is my favourite kind. I will pass on shoes any day to browse through that section of the bookstore. These books have helped me to make the switch and are for any level of cook. Don’t be scared of your kitchen-love it!

**This post does contain Amazon Affiliated links but I owe every single one of these books and highly recommend them!

Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F*ck

The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out

Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts

My New Roots: Inspired Plant-Based Recipes for Every Season

Decadent Gluten-Free Vegan Baking: Delicious, Gluten-, Egg- and Dairy-Free Treats and Sweets

The Vegetarian Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity with Vegetables, Fruits, Grains, Legumes, Nuts, Seeds, and More, Based on the Wisdom of Leading American Chefs

Crazy Sexy Kitchen: 150 Plant-Empowered Recipes to Ignite a Mouthwatering Revolution

YumUniverse: Infinite Possibilities for a Gluten-Free, Plant-Powerful, Whole-Food Lifestyle

At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen: Celebrating the Art of Eating Well

Salad Samurai: 100 Cutting-Edge, Ultra-Hearty, Easy-to-Make Salads You Don’t Have to Be Vegan to Love

100 Best Juices, Smoothies and Healthy Snacks: Easy Recipes For Natural Energy & Weight Control the Healthy Way

Rawsome Vegan Baking: An Un-cookbook for Raw, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Beautiful and Sinfully Sweet Cookies, Cakes, Bars & Cupcakes

Healthy Happy Vegan Kitchen

The Homemade Vegan Pantry: The Art of Making Your Own Staples

Deliciously Ella: 100+ Easy, Healthy, and Delicious Plant-Based, Gluten-Free Recipes

Mastering the Art of Vegan Cooking: Over 200 Delicious Recipes and Tips to Save You Money and Stock Your Pantry

Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen: Traditional and Creative Recipes for the Home Cook

Street Vegan: Recipes and Dispatches from The Cinnamon Snail Food Truck

But I Could Never Go Vegan!: 125 Recipes That Prove You Can Live Without Cheese, It’s Not All Rabbit Food, and Your Friends Will Still Come Over for Dinner

Gentlemen don’t be afraid to make the switch if you are little veg-curious. Vegan is going mainstream and a lot more places have vegan friendly options. There are also a lot more resources and the scary 80’s vegan is long gone. Embrace it! Like Alex said, food is food and there is no gender specific meals. A man eating a salad does not magically turn him into a girly man so take the plunge and try it. There is a transitional period but once you get over that hump of food withdrawals and breaking your habitual orders at your favourite dining places it gets much easier. Promise.

HUGE thanks to Vegetarian Snob and Guys Go Vegan. I really couldn’t have done this post without their enthusiasm, support and contributions. For more awesome tips, tricks and recipes you can follow them on Twitter @VegetarianSnob and @GuysGoVegan and Facebook Vegetarian Snob and Guys Go Vegan

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