I try to cook vegan for my hubs whenever possible. If I could, I would spend way more time in the kitchen and try to make some elaborate meals. But the reality is that we have two little ones and they command our attention. So I’m always looking for ways to cheat the clock. Here are five quick vegan meal ideas that will leave you full, satisfied, and proud of yourself for not doing take out (though I can’t lie – it’s not 100% homemade nor is it unprocessed and fully plant based but hey – it’s not take out). And all meals you can put on the table lickety split.
1. Khichadi: Khichadi is a North Indian staple food. It’s basically lentils and rice cooked together. Real simple: 1 cup long grain basmati rice, 1 cup toor dahl (split pigeon peas) and 2.5 cups water, ghee or butter, 1/2 tsp of turmeric and 1 tsp salt. Throw it all together in a pressure cooker and let the pressure cooker’s whistle blow 3 times. Or you can always cook it on the stove – add all the ingredients together (but up the amount of water to about 3 parts water) and bring to a boil. Cook on medium for about 15 minutes, then lower to a simmer on low for another 15 or so until the rice and beans are cooked. Serve alone or with a cucumber, tomato, and onion salad (throw in some chili pepper, salt, cumin, a wee bit of sugar, and a dash of lemon juice).
2. Trader Joe’s Pasta Penne Arrabiatta: We love this and it’s faster than any take-out that we can get. We live literally two doors down from a pizza place. In the time it takes my husband to go there and back, this dinner is done (this is true because sometimes I have him get me some garlic bread or fried zucchini to accompany the pasta). All you do is put some oil in a pan (or don’t), empty the bag into the pan, and heat through while stirring. That’s it. Seriously. Serve with a side salad (sometimes we literally open the container of baby spinach and grab raw spinach leaves and shove ’em in our mouths) and maybe some toast with olive oil and cracked pepper.
3. Tofu Pad Thai – Another huge cheat. Cube a block of tofu (press it between towels too if you have time) and fry on all sides with peanut or vegetable oil. Meanwhile, chop up some green onions and roasted peanuts. When tofu is almost done, pop a packet of Tasty Bites 1 Minute Pad Thai in the microwave. Empty into a bowl. Do a second packet. Toss with tofu. Top with peanuts and green onions.
4. Spinach Enchiladas – Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap 12 corn tortillas in a wet paper towel and microwave for 1 min 15 seconds. Open a can of corn, a 2 cans of Hatch green chile enchilada sauce (ok fine, you can use any green enchilada sauce but this one is by far my favorite), a can of green chiles and a can of sliced black olives. Place several baby spinach leaves on each tortilla, top with some corn, green chile, and a little bit of sauce. Roll and place seam side down in a baking pan. Cover thoroughly with sauce and olives. Cover and bake for 15 minutes. We like to serve with tortilla chips and guacamole.
5. Nachos – not healthy but still vegan! My husband likes just chips and cheese. My first choice would be to load them up and get some more nutrition out of them. So start with the sauce – I love this 5 minute recipe from ohsheglows.com. It’s not real cheese but it’s not bad. Lay down some chips on a plate/platter, top with beans, olives, onions, jalapenos, avocados, salsa, and the cheese.
This post would be way better with some pictures. I’ll see what I can do about that. But there you have it. Five really quick ways (the enchiladas probably take the longest and even then, about 30 minutes) to eat vegan; if you’re trying out being a weekday vegan, this is a simple, quick path for you.