The Pegan diet is a somewhat new way of eating that has grabbed my attention lately. But what can you eat on a Pegan diet?
What is the Pegan diet?
Created by functional medicine specialist Dr. Mark Hyman, this diet is said to be a combination of two apparently very distant ways of eating, the Paleo and VeganDiets (hence the term “Pegan“).
If this might seem restrictive, it is not true at all. Indeed, 75% of this diet is made of plants, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, while the remaining 25% is meats, poultry, eggs, and fish (preferably grass-fed, organic, or sustainably raised).
What are the main benefits of the Pegan diet?
According to Dr. Hayman, the food comprised in this dietary approach can help in lowering blood sugar and inflammation in the body, which in turn could reduce your risk of certain chronic conditions like Type-2 diabetes and heart diseases.
Besides, the diet’s focus on nutrient-rich foods can help support an overall optimal health condition and can help to guide us in making healthier food choices. This is even more true when considering that the Pegan diet is not intended to be a short-time diet, but a more sustainable, long-term approach to food that can be followed indefinitely.
Plus, this diet is also environmentally friendly, since it is mainly focused on plant-based and sustainable foods.
My experience (+ 37 recipes)
For all the reasons mentioned above, I think this diet is an excellent combination of the best approaches to the Vegan and Paleo diets, and I’ve decided to give it a go myself! Currently, I am trying the Pegan Diet for a 30-day challenge I will be posting soon on YouTube (stay tuned by subscribing).
Note that I’m not necessarily advocating for this diet or any diet for that matter. My philosophy is more around whole foods, mostly plants, and a balance of all macronutrients. However, since I am trying the diet out, I have been coming up with lots of Pegan diet recipes. Luckily, I already have a bunch of recipes that are already Pegan compliant, some with little modification.
Here is a master list of 37 Pegan diet recipes. Stay tuned for some smoothie recipes I created as well! They will be released on YouTube in less than a week, and then will be added to this page. Subscribe on YouTube and/or my email list (in the sidebar ➡️) to be notified when that is posted!
This Umami Edamame Asian Veggie Burger with Sriracha Aioli is not only very delicious, but it’s also packed with plant-based protein and extremely nutritious! This dish is completely gluten-free and vegan.While for the Pegan diet you can make the recipe as is, without the bun, it is worth noting that the brown rice will go toward your daily allotment of grains (if you are not omitting them entirely). Also, there is arrowroot and almond flour, which you should consume sparingly. Arrowroot is a gluten-free starch which should be consumed in moderation. To replace the bun, consider a lettuce bun or enjoy solo!
These delicious little egg meatball muffins are great for meal prep, and a high protein breakfast on the go! This recipe is even easier if you combine with my Fall Meal Prep including turkey spinach meatballs and roasted root vegetables, which have several suggested applications.For the Pegan Diet, Dr. Hyman suggests limiting the starchy vegetables (sweet potato) and beans (the chickpeas) in this recipe. Feel free to omit, if desired. Also, try to find pasture-raised ground turkey and eggs from pasture raised chickens.
This root veggie hash (with optional chickpeas and brussel sprouts) is a beautiful and highly nutritious breakfast. If you prep your veggies in advance, breakfast is quick and easy!For the Pegan Diet, Dr. Hyman suggests limiting the starchy vegetables (sweet potato) and beans (the chickpeas) in this recipe. Feel free to omit, if desired.
This Winter Harvest Salad is perfect to just put it into the lunch box and take with you. It is tasteful, nutritious, healthy, and good for weight watchers, too! You can store it in the fridge and use it as an amazing side dish with falafel or chicken.For the Pegan diet, limit the honey and fruit in this recipe if you are concerned about spiking your blood sugar. However, the fruit in this salad is relatively low glycemic index.
Have you made banana “ice cream” (AKA Nice cream) and struggled to scoop it? Hate that the texture isn’t like real ice cream!? I’ve tried all kinds of weird ingredients to make “ice cream” scoopable… like aquafaba (bean juice) and haven’t had luck. What have you tried? (leave in comments) Well, I have discovered a fun ingredient that works! You can easily add this ingredient to make your “ice cream” just as good as real ice cream.While admittedly bananas have a higher glycemic index than fruits such as berries, this is an excellent alternative to "ice cream" as it packs much more nutrition and all the fats come from coconut. Try frozen berries in place of banana, if you are concerned about your blood sugar. The Malibu is negligible, but if you are worried about it, make sure you stick to one serving or omit. However, the Malibu is the secret in this recipe to make the "ice cream" easily scoopable.
This savory oven-baked turkey is a perfect dish for family gatherings on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, or any other family dinner. It is comforting, delicious, and healthy! I use this recipe for a roasted chicken as well, and it is amazing for meal prep and hopefully some leftovers. Though in my crazy house there are rarely any! Per Dr. Hyman's suggestion, you should look for pasture raised turkey (or chicken).
Here is my Italian Kale Turkey Sausage Chickpea Soup! This recipe is tailored towards supporting weight loss and general health and it is so tasty!For the Pegan diet, try to find pasture-raised turkey or chicken sausages (or omit). The chickpeas and quinoa in this recipe should be within your daily allotment.
The fabulous color & flavor in this beet hummus will amaze everyone at the table! It is delicious, so healthy, and easy to make. Beets are incredibly nutritious, and with this recipe you will easily trick your kids to eat beets too. Make a larger portion, and you will have a garnish or dip for several different meals / snacks during the week in just a few minutes!Chickpeas should be consumed in moderation on the Pegan diet, though very nutritious! I love this recipe for Pegan because it is cut with beets.
Grilled Cajun Chicken Salad with Cilantro, Lime & Avocado
This is a healthy, whole food Cajun chicken salad recipe you can make on the grill! It is mostly composed of plant-based ingredients (except for the chicken) but you can omit the meat or substitute with a plant protein. My favorite plant-based replacement for the chicken is tempeh!For the Pegan diet, consider pasture-raised chicken or use Tempeh instead. It is super tasty as well! Also, corn is considered a grain, so be sure to limit.
I’m sure that you are all familiar with this fantastic Italian dip. Pesto is actually really easy to make and is much better for you than any store-bought brands. This recipe is high in healthy fats, extremely tasty, and versatile! No modifications needed for the Pegan diet!
This Green Beans with Caramelized Onions and Peppers is a perfect side for your holiday dinner table, but it also doesn’t have to be limited to that. You can pair this versatile side with many other main dishes, such as my Savory Neatloaf. It is full of healthy fats, fiber, and flavor!This is an excellent addition to your plate for the Pegan Diet, with no modifications needed. Jazz up those often boring green beans with caramelized onions (no sugar required!) and colorful bell pepper.
This Roasted Winter Veggies recipe is part of my Winter Meal Prep series. It is very simple to make, very tasty, and very versatile in the kitchen. I hope you will like my ideas on how to use this simple dish to prepare healthy meals for you and your family, during these cold winter days.For the Pegan diet, use chickpeas and sweet potato in moderation.
Better than Rachael Ray’s Ground Turkey & Spinach Meatballs
These Ground Turkey & Spinach Meatballs are light and delicious and perfect for weekly meal prep. They can be a meal for themself, combined with some veggies and pasta, part of a sandwich, or a buddha bowl. There are so many healthy options!For the Pegan diet, try to use pasture-raised ground turkey.
This black bean dip is fast and cheap to make. You probably have the ingredients in your fridge already. Perfect for your next party, potluck, or as a side on taco Tuesday. For the Pegan Diet, you'll want to limit the beans you consume in a day. These are low starch beans, so they are more ideal than starchier beans like pinto. If you want to be able to eat more of this dip, you could try cutting it with steamed or roasted cauliflower!
This vegan and vegetarian friendly roasted sweet potato and beetroot salad with pecans, quinoa, greens, pecans, and dried cranberries is an excellent addition to any meal!For the Pegan diet, there is starchy sweet potato and fruit, which you should moderate. If you are really sensitive to sugar, you may want to consider omitting/reducing the dried cranberries and/or honey.
This perfect oil-free pizza sauce is savory and 100% whole food plant-based!You could actually add olive oil, as it is an excellent fat Dr. Hyman promotes for the Pegan diet. However, it is excellent just the way it is! I've tried it with an almond flour and cauliflower pizza crust and quinoa gluten free wraps (used as a pizza crust). It is phenomenal!
These sweet and spicy thai tempeh lettuce wraps are light and satisfying with an abundance of plant based protein and all whole food ingredients.For the Pegan diet, limit or omit the pineapple (it is a higher glycemic fruit), swap the soy sauce for tamari, and the peanut butter for almond butter.
This spicy and savory Mexican spice blend tastes just like Doritos®, but without the junk! Use it to spice up healthy alternative snacks, etc. Vegan, vegetarian, low calorie, gluten-free diet friendly.I love to use this on all kinds of things! I bet this would be a creative application for making your veggies taste like Doritos. 😛 Popcorn is one of my favorite applications, stuck on with spray olive oil or lime juice. You will want to limit your popcorn intake for the Pegan diet though. While Dr. Hyman specifies half a cup of grains for most getting started on the Pegan diet, I'm not sure if you can eat a whole half cup of kernels! I think 3 cups popped is a safe bet. Who can eat only a half cup of popcorn!?
Air Fryer Falafel – Gluten-free Whole Food Plant-based
This air fryer falafel is gluten-free, oil-free, delicious and super healthy! Serve it solo, on a Greek salad, or gyro! Pair with my Red Pepper Coulis for added flavor.While you should limit the garbanzo beans and flour for the Pegan diet, one serving of this delicious falafel won't "break the bank" and is high in protein and fiber.
This vegan and vegetarian-friendly plant-based meatless meatloaf (AKA neatloaf) contains lentils, chickpeas, mushrooms and veggies and is as delicious as it is nutritious! This recipe yields a large loaf with plenty of leftovers – if your family doesn't want to eat it all!This recipe is chock full of nutrients and is one of my favorite recipes! For the Pegan diet, note that there are lots of beans in this recipe which should be consumed in moderation. The recipe is, however, also full of a variety of veggies. Omit the ketchup and brown sugar topping for this diet. I recommend trying a sugar-free ketchup (in moderation) or simply tomato paste.
This fresh and savory guacamole is a healthy way to enjoy avocado. It can be spread on toast and sandwiches, or dipped into with chips. It is a simple plant-based vegan-friendly recipe, easy to make without any fillers, additives, or processed ingredients!No modifications needed. This guacamole is an amazing source of healthy fat.
This red potato broccoli vegan salad is an easy, tasty, and nutritious alternative than traditional potato salad. It is a great side to bring to a party or to make as a side for a picnic!Potatoes should be eaten in moderation on the Pegan diet. Red potatoes are more preferable to white potatoes, as they are more nutritious. Choose a whole food mayonnaise versus store-bought. It is easy to make your own! The additional veggies in this salad will help moderate your intake of potatoes, as well as make it a more nutritious substitute for other potato salad recipes.
These delicious Vegan Mexican Spicy Stuffed Peppers are dairy free, meat free, gluten free, and easy!For the Pegan diet, the beans should be consumed in moderation. I would pick between the corn, rice, and quinoa and omit the others. This should also be consumed in moderation. I have since made my stuffed peppers in many other ways. Consider swapping out the black beans or grains for my ground turkey (buy pasture-raised) or tofu "chorizo".
Balsamic Asparagus and Mushrooms with Lemon & Thyme
This savory plant-based dish can be made in one pot with chicken or tofu, asparagus, mushrooms, and a delicious balsamic lemon thyme reduction!For the Pegan diet, consider using pasture-raised chicken. Make sure to moderate your rice intake, per the Pegan rules. Wild rice is incredibly nutritious!
Check out this easy, plant-based, light, and healthy vegan Shepherd's Pie recipe! Kid-friendly and great for weight loss! Recipe with Irish and UK roots.corn peas potatoesFor the Pegan diet, limit the corn, peas, and potatoes. You can consider using different vegetables. Also, this doesn't have to be made Vegan! Feel free to swap the tofu filling with pasture-raised ground beef, turkey, or lamb.
This Vegan Asian tofu stir fry demonstrates that you can use all kinds of vegetables to make a delicious Asian stir fry! No baby corn? No problem! Use up your extra vegetables to make this healthy plant-based dinner / lunch!Limit or reduce the honey if desired for the Pegan diet. The teaspoon per serving shouldn't give you any issues unless you are sensitive to sugar. However, I often make stir fry without any sweetener. Stir fry should be a staple for your Pegan diet. It's easy to get lots of veggies with this recipe.
Who loves Brussel sprouts!? Here is a recipe for some quick and easy, delicious Mediterranean brussel sprouts I came up with on the fly!For the Pegan diet, omit the feta or make sure it is a goat and/or cheese feta, and consume in moderation.
This healthy and delicious Carrot Cake Smoothie is Pegan-diet compliant, super creamy, and packed with proteins. This smoothie is also great to help support weight loss and to improve your daily nutrition!