Hey everyone! SO many of you reached out to me asking for really quick meals for when you’ve had a long day, a tough day, you have kids screaming at your feet, you just don’t want to cook, and/or you’re just not feeling it.
So here goes. I’ve compiled a little list of easy + fast meals for just that! I haven’t added a shopping list this week because some of the meals are very flexible- ie use what you have, what’s accessible, and what’s in season/local/on sale as far as veggies.
Also, there’s no shame in canned food- Eden Foods and Amy’s both make outstanding canned vegan chili with great healthy ingredients. I always keep a can or two on hand for emergency days- then just heat up and top with cilantro, maybe some avocado if you have it, lime and hot sauce and you’re good to go.
If you keep a freezer stash it can help a lot too- I usually double recipes for soups, chili, beans and freeze the other half in mason jars for quick meals.
creamy lemon garlic hummus pasta: this baby comes together in about 15-20, mostly the time waiting for the water to boil for pasta water. Super easy + it makes extra hummus so you’ll have some for lunches the next day! Inspired by Madeleine Olivia- she has great easy recipes- I’ve embedded her video on cheap vegan dinners below.
magical marinara: this is an absolute STANDBY in our house thanks to my friend Juli from Pure Kitchen. She’s an amazing vegan mama of three and has been developing plant based recipes for over 15 years (she used to make Kookie Karma if you guys remember those!). This sauce is NO COOK, just blend it smooth and pour over freshly cooked pasta (I like to use Jovial GF). Add on a little side salad or throw some veggies in in the last minute or two of cooking time with the pasta.
quinoa and tahini bowl: one of my favorite meals to make, get a pot of quinoa going (1 cup quinoa, 1.5 cups water, add a clove of minced garlic or two if you’re feeling it, bring to a boil, then reduce to low, cover, and let cook for 12 minutes).
Meanwhile, sauté up a bunch of veggies- any kind or combo you have is good. Sometimes I like to add in a scoop (or can) of cooked chickpeas too. While veg and quinoa cooks, mix up the sauce. You can add any sauce or dressing you like, but my two faves are 1) citrus tahini sauce and 2) nut butter, soy, and lime.
For the tahini sauce I whisk together a few tablespoons of tahini, juice and zest of lemon and or orange, clove of garlic, salt, and enough water to thin out as desired. For the nut butter sauce I thin out a scoop of nut butter (almond, cashew, and peanut are all nice) with lime juice and zest, tamari or aminos, splash maple syrup (optional) and a touch of water as needed. Maybe some chili flakes or garlic too. This “dragon bowl” sauce is delicious on it too.
kale soup with giant beans
Saute onion and sliced shiitakes together on high heat with some oil until they’re caramelized- in the meantime chop up some celery and carrot. If you have any herbs like rosemary or thyme add some of those too or a few cloves sliced garlic. Add that to the pot along with some hot water ~5 cups (I use my kettle) and some veggie bouillon to taste (or sub broth). Bring that to a boil and wilt in 1 bunch of chopped kale, a few tablespoons of nutritional yeast and serve with chili flakes + lemon wedges or add avocado too.
this is one that I’ve come back to again and again when I have very little time. I use the Mother in Law brand gochujang which has clean ingredients and my own homemade kimchi. I like to add in shiitake mushrooms and some rice or rice noodles in this too.
this is a great meal of beans and greens that is really tasty and easy. If you don’t eat bread or can’t find GF bread, you can use sweet potato “toast” instead and it tastes delicious that way. Or eat it in a tortilla!
these noodles are super easy and taste great- tangy, creamy, and vibrant. They taste amazing as leftovers too! I imagine you could do almond or cashew instead of peanut with good results.