It's my second week of sheltering in place and I'm at my parent's house in Massachusetts. I drove up this way from New York because of three things:

1. I missed my family.

2. To protect myself from large crowds (they live in the suburbs).

3. My mom is one of the best cooks I've ever met.

My mom works very hard at feeding our family of five, and she actually enjoys cooking for everyone. Not me--I hate cooking. My brother and father are carnivores, and my sister tends to be a healthy eater, so I consider her 'plant-forward'. As for me? I'm not easy to cook for since I am vegan (or plant-based) and because my mom is not a vegan chef, the grocery stores are low on supply, and I like to eat as healthy as I can, with the least amount of ingredients, I am the "problem" of the family.

Instead of causing all sorts of grief with having to make me special meals, I've been contemplating learning to cook. Where to begin? I already knew how to make smoothies (too easy to blunder) and of course avocado toast. But, I can only eat this way for so long before I feel sluggish. This morning for breakfast I switched out up my go-to breakfast for a JUST Eggs scrambler and it tasted delicious and filling. I then went for a morning jog, then sat down to write this article and now I'm hungry again.

What's the hardest thing about cooking for a plant-based eater?. My mom replied, "It's hard to get creative and know how to make anything other than vegetables and a side of brown rice" (actually my favorite dinner). My mom notes that she's flipped through recipe books, and The Beet's extensive recipe collection and found some delicious meals to make these past few days, but like everyone, it's a lot more fun to watch a video of a plant-based recipe being made, so she can follow along, pause when needed and rewatch parts to make sure she gets every step correct.

So for you mom, and for me, and anyone else who wants to learn how to make vegan recipes by watching videos, I've curated a list of the five best influencers on YouTube that will teach you how to cook at home.

1. Sweet Potato Soul

Jenné Claiborne is a professional vegan chef who started out as an at-home chef in New York then decided to move to Los Angeles and give her full attention to her new vegan blog, Sweet Potato Soul. She's been vegan for ten years and wants to inspire others to eat more plants by creating these indulgent recipes. On her YouTube channel, you will find "unique and tasty vegan recipes, ethical fashion, natural beauty, and more to help inspire a compassionate lifestyle".

Jenné is creative with her recipes and well-known for her "soul food" or comfort food dishes. If you are a lover of Chipotle, Taco Bell, or Qudoba, Jenné has mastered the recreation of a healthy and vegan Burrito Bowl and it's my favorite vegan recipe yet! It's so fresh and clean, and you actually feel healthy eating it instead of overly full. Click here to make it.

I've included her video of 5 easy vegan recipes that everyone in your family will love. They are easy to follow and require many of your pantry items like beans, grains, and condiments. I hope you love her as much as I do!

2. Goodful

I've been a big fan of Goodful for almost 3 years now. Goodful is a website all about living a healthy and happy lifestyle. They share plenty of recipe videos on their Instagram but their YouTube channel is easier to navigate since they're organized under categories of breakfast, lunch, dinner, etc.

Just a heads up, not all of their recipes are vegan! Although many of them are vegetarian, they sometimes use eggs and dairy. But we're only focusing on the vegan recipes like the one above. Tabitha Brown and her friend Destiny show us how to prep 12 easy vegan meals in 90 minutes which include breakfast and lunch. They start by mentioning that all the ingredients they use in this video can be found almost anywhere, like your local grocery store and they note "you can even buy these spices at Dollar Tree". Learn how to make a tofu scramble with sweet potatoes for breakfast, different types of vegan grain bowls for lunch, and lentil bolognese and salad for dinner (and it looks delicious).

I know what I'm having for dinner! Check out Goodful videos to learn how to "veganize" traditional non-vegan food.

3.  Dr. Mona Vand

Dr. Mona Vand is a pharmacist that focuses on living a healthy lifestyle by using food wellness, mind, and exercise as medicine, instead of filling prescriptions. She believes that health is a mindset and teaches over 100,000 people daily her tips and tricks to master this.

In this video, Mona shows you how to make her favorite smoothie she drinks every morning and advises her viewers that the first thing you eat when you wake up is absorbed the most. Then she goes on to make her green salad which consists of a spring mix, fresh herbs and veggies, and an apple cider vinegar dressing. And for dinner, she shows us how to make chickpea pasta shells with fresh vegetables.

Watch and learn from Mona's YouTube channel. Not only does she make easy vegan recipes, but she also gives her viewers expert advice, like which foods you should eat to clear your skin.

4. Annie Jaffrey

Annie Jaffrey is a plant-based lifestyle blogger who makes delicious vegan recipes! With 840k subscribers on Youtube, she uses this platform is to share her passions all things health, wellness, self-care, beauty, and more. Her recipes are easy to follow and she tends to share her go-to grain bowls and salads and posts videos like "What I eat in a Day". If you're looking for fresh and healthy meals to prep for the week or simply eat after a workout, Annie posts videos like "What I Eat in a Day", or Grocery Hauls where she shows you what's inside her shopping cart.

Watch this video above to find out what Annie eats throughout her day. She includes a fruit bowl breakfast, falafel salad bowl for lunch, a healthy sweet potato and a rice dish for dinner, and she concludes her video by sipping green tea.

5. Gaz Oakley aka Avant-Garde Vegan

Gaz Oakly is a 26-year-old vegan chef from Wales U.K. He learned how to cook at a young age with his father and now shares this knowledge with viewers like us.

Once you start to watch his videos, Gaz will feel like your friend, he wants to teach others how to be creative when they cook and cracks jokes along the way. He uses tons of pantry essentials in his recipes like spices, noodles, canned items, and more. And, if you're at home wondering what to cook for your meat-eating family members, try making Gaz's yummy and vegan filling BBQ Meaty Mushroom steaks.

In the video above, Chef Gaz shows us what he's making while sheltering in place and calls them, "Quarantine Meals". While you're at home feeding more mouths than usual (like my mom is since everyone is home from college) and finally have the time to cook follow along to this video. Start by making his delicious vegan stir fry with your pantry-stored noodles and fresh veggies from the grocery store. It's my favorite go-to recipe for the perfect dinner and makes for a tasty lunch the next day.

If you have any favorite YouTuber's that you want to share with The Beet, send us an email at or send us a DM on Instagram @thebeet.

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