3 Quick & Easy Vegan Meals to Keep on Hand
So if you’re anything like me, you have lots of awesome recipes and the healthiest, most motivated intentions when you hit the grocery store each week… but then when it comes time to actually make the food…. Oh boy.
It’s just hard, right?
Some days you just want to eat right now and not go into full-blown chef mode like you thought you would while you bought all those groceries.
I’m learning that balancing a happy-medium between meals I actually cook creatively and have fun with and meals that I can just throw together with minimal effort is the most effective way to eat well and avoid wasting lots of money and food each week! Here are my 3 go-to meals. I love them because I can make them work with different flavors and ingredients as long as I have the staple ingredients (which are super affordable!) on hand.
1 | Stir Fry
Seriously, I don’t know how there are vegans who DON’T have stir fry as a quick meal in their home. It’s SO easy! Pick a base, pick some veggies, and pick your flavors. Here are a few options for each.
Base: rice, cous cous, quinoa, ramen noodles, rice noodles
Veggies: literally whatever is in season, frozen broccoli or carrots or a frozen stir fry blend, leaks, bok choy, and even through in some veggie meats if you like!
Flavors: you can go for boring ol’ soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, Panda-style sweet n’ sour, something a little spicy, garlic and lime (one of my favorites!), or whatever you have on hand. I usually do a splash of soy sauce, a splash of lime, and tons of garlic.
2 | Pasta
Again, this one is so easy! Same concept. Base pasta, optional veggies and add-ins, and a sauce.
Base: any type of pasta!
Add-ins: veggies, veggie meat, nutritional yeast, avocado, tomatoes, fresh garlic, basil
Sauce: pesto (this is so easy to make yourself! Look for vegan pesto recipes on Pinterest), tomato sauce, vegan butter + garlic, whatever works.
To add a little more depth to the dish, drain your pasta after boiling, then saute it with the veggies and a tiny bit of oil.
3 | Breakfast!
This is one of my favorites because it’s so easy! Pancakes, hashbrowns, some veggie sausage or bacon if you have it (and if not, dress up your hashbrowns extra and you won’t even miss the non-meat). Make yourself a little homemade blueberry or strawberry syrup if you’re feeling creative, and go for it.
To make it more exciting, add nuts or fruit to your pancake and go all out with the hashbrowns. I dress up my hashbrowns with lots of goodies, think loaded nachos but with breakfast flavors and on potatoes. Put whatever you have in that hash!
(Okay, realistically if you’re pressed for time or just too lazy to deal with hashbrowns, sometimes I’ll just make pancakes using a pancake mix I mixed ahead of time- Pick Up Limes has a great recipe for this- and I’ll add banana slices and pecans to it. Throw a strawberry smoothie on the side and call it a meal. No judgment.)
Shop in season! The best thing about these recipes is that they can be mixed-and-matched with what you have on hand and what’s in season. I keep a bag of frozen broccoli and a bag of frozen mixed veggies on hand all the time, and other than that I just buy whatever is in season- which is also cheapest- so win win!
If you’re learning to build a pantry full of staples and wanting to know more about the basics of cooking and putting together meals, I HIGHLY recommend grabbing a copy of Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give a F*ck! This cookbook MADE me. (And this isn’t sponsored. They’re just legit the best!)