10 Recipes From the Collegiate Vegan You Should Try

Boston blogger Madeline Heising, a.k.a. the Collegiate Vegan, makes healthy, easy vegan recipes.

Madeline Heising

The Collegiate Vegan, Madeline Heising. Photo provided to bostonmagazine.com

When Madeline Heising first decided to eat vegan, it was supposed to be a one-week cleanse with a friend. Instead, it became the then-Northeastern sophomore’s permanent diet—and the inspiration for her accidentally popular blog, The Collegiate Vegan.

“We were like, ‘Ugh, we’re really going to have to be health freaks now and eat all these vegetables, but I guess I’ll try it for a week,'” she remembers. “I felt so much better, even in that first week, so I decided to stick with it.”

Heising, now no longer collegiate (she says a blog name change may be on its way) and working as a production assistant at America’s Test Kitchen, has become a minor Internet celebrity thanks to her cheap, easy, vegan recipes, many of which can be made using five ingredients or fewer. In fact, the five ingredient concept has become enough of a trademark for Heising that she released an e-cookbook based on the idea, titled “Five,” last fall.

Nobody is more surprised by Heising’s success than she is. “This 100 percent started out as a little personal passion project, a little mini blog on the side. I never, ever intended for anyone to actually pay attention to it,” Heising says. “I think half of why people like my blog, and completely why I like my blog, is it’s just me making food. It’s not extremely calculated.”

Luckily, making—and shooting—food is something Heising does well. Below, 10 recipes from the blog worth trying:

Avocado alfredo

All photos by Madeline Heising, provided to bostonmagazine.com

1. Avocado Alfredo sauce. Heising considers this her signature recipe, and she says she loves it so much, she brought it back from the archives to re-photograph it for her cookbook.

Skillet Chickpeas

2. Skillet chickpeasWho knew chickpeas, spinach, olive oil, and spices could look so delicious? That’s all that’s in this super healthy, and easy-to-make, meal.


3. Winter warmer bowlChipotle, eat your heart out. Despite its name, this hearty bowl, comprised of black beans, couscous, kale, sweet potato, and avocado, is good all year long.

Almond Butter Baked Apples

4. Peanut butter baked applesMix up your breakfast routine with this recipe for baked apples, featuring a decent dose of protein from the peanut butter and healthy carbs from the oats.

Chipotle Hummus

5. Chipotle hummus. “It’s my favorite snack in the world,” says Heising when describing this six-ingredient recipe. “I would just eat that with a spoon by itself.”

Sweet Potato Apple Sandwich

6. Sweet potato apple sandwich. Whether you’re a vegan or not, this unique sandwich recipe will be a welcome change of pace to your brown bag lunch.

Baked Sriracha Parsnip Fries

7. Sriracha parsnip fries. Everyone loves fries. But if the havoc they wreak on your waistline isn’t worth it for you, try Heising’s parsnip “fries,” which use Sriracha to add plenty of flavor.

Rosemary Sweet Potatoes

8. Rosemary sweet potatoesNeed a quick, easy, and healthy side dish? Try Heising’s rosemary sweet potatoes recipe—all you need is sweet potatoes, olive oil, and a handful of spices.

Garlicky Kale Pasta

9. Garlicky kale & white bean pastaYou won’t miss meat—or cheese—thanks to flavorful kale and creamy white beans in this light pasta dish.

Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup

10. Chipotle sweet potato soupIt may not be soup season, but this zesty recipe will have you almost—almost—wishing for cooler temperatures.