quick + healthy meals

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.

Vegan zero waste groceries california

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.

Hummus pasta fast vegan easy friendly free

magical marinarathis 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.

Magical marinara vegan blender sauce

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.

Tahini bowl quinoa gluten free

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.

Vegan soup kale

tofu and kimchi stew

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.

vegan kimchi stew

pan fried giant beans with kale on toast

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!

Toast beans kale

peanut noodles

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.

Peanut noodles vegan gluten free

loaded carrot soup

loaded carrot soup vegan quinoa

The other night I came home from work starving and exhausted.  I guess this is where normal people order takeout, but I don’t think I’ve done that in years.  Too much work, plastic, money, and I can cook something way better at home.  Not to put down anyone who does get takeout, it’s just not my style.  Cooking things myself is self-love, a way I give love to my family, and a creative outlet.

Surveying the fridge, I saw a jar of carrot soup that I’d pulled out from the freezer that morning, and decided to make my meal around that.  The result was so easy and delicious that I made it for dinner the next night, too.  Here’s the recipe.

loaded carrot soup (serves two very hungry people)

INGREDIENTS:

4 cups of roasted carrot soup – this recipe is so simple and tastes amazing.  I double or triple cook it and then freeze in mason jars.

1 cup of quinoa

2 small or 1 large zucchini (other green veggies would work well here, too- like brussels or broccoli)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons seeds- like pumpkin, sesame, sunflower or a mix

1 avocado, pitted and sliced

any other toppings you’d like- fresh herbs, chili flakes, green onions, flaky sea salt, cherry tomatoes, dollop of coco yogurt, the options are endless.

METHOD

Place quinoa in a small pot with 1.5 cups of water or broth and a pinch of salt.  Bring to a boil, then turn to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

Pour the soup into a small pot to heat.

Chop up zucchini and heat oil in a skillet.  Add in zucchini and a sprinkle of salt and let sear without stirring for a minute or two on high.  Stir and let cook another minute or two until tender.  With broccoli or brussels, cover the pan at this time to let it steam a bit.  Pull off the heat, add in the garlic, and stir quickly to incorporate, taking care not to burn the garlic.

Toast the seeds in a dry pan until popping and toasty, about 2 minutes over med-high.

Divide soup between bowls and dollop the quinoa (you may not use it all) in a pile towards the side so it doesn’t disperse all the way into the soup.  Add the zucchini.  Add the avocado, seeds, and any other toppings and serve!

*also, the first picture is from when I made it the second night and wasn’t rushing.  This picture below is from the first night and arguably is even prettier.  REAL fast food.

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