Simply Delicious Vegan Meals, Prepared in a Flash

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To help us kick off our Vegan Week, VeggieGirl has several quick meal ideas

As a busy college student, I am always on a mission to find a dish that fits the following criteria: 1) It must be nutritious, filling, and satisfying; 2) It must be a dish that incorporates easy-to-find ingredients, but presents them in a new, innovative, and appetizing manner; 3) It has to be able to be prepared, cooked, and served in a flash (i.e. under an hour); 4) It must be vegan or at least easy to veganize. While it may seem impossible to find dishes that fit this strict list of criteria, I have been able to create quite a few meals recently, that fit the bill, and can be prepared in no time:

 Cheeze & Basil Portobellos with Garlic Marinara Pasta and Broccoli 

Vegan Italian Portobello Pasta

Meal #1 (which is presented on my beloved VEGAN dinnerware, purchased here), features three broiled portabello mushroom caps, topped with melted Follow Your Heart vegan mozzarella “cheese” and basil, along with a side of kamut pasta noodles, topped with steamed broccoli florets, and smothered in a roasted-garlic marinara sauce. This dish was created literally at the last minute – I had all of the ingredients on-hand (since they’re all pretty common), so I figured, why not throw them together into one dish. After just 30 minutes (which includes the time to chop and steam the broccoli, boil the pasta water, etcetera), I had a delicious, Italian-inspired meal that may look elaborate, but really didn’t take much time at all to prepare.

Sun-dried Tomato Veggie Burger with Greens

Sun-Dried Tomato Veggie Burger

Meal #2 takes even less time to prepare than the first meal, but is just as satisfying and nutritious. This rendition of a sandwich features two toasted slices of Ezekiel-brand sprouted-grain bread, piled generously with steamed kale, sundried tomatoes, garlic, and an Amy’s California veggie burger (which is a nut & grain based burger – it is soy-free, for those of you who may suffer from soy allergies and are looking for a veggie-burger-alternative. I don’t have soy allergies, but I purchase these “burgers” because of their excellent flavor and texture!!). This sandwich alone packs in at least two or three servings of vegetables – since kale reduces in size quite a bit when steamed (and it’s steamed on my sandwich), you can imagine how much kale I really used (steamers, in my opinion, are a great way to sneak in extra servings of produce!!).

Veggie Burrito with a Rich Avocado-Bean Spread

Veggie Burrito

Similar to sandwiches (and just as simple to prepare and eat) are wraps: hand-held, portable, and incredibly versatile. Meal #3 is a mixture of kale, red onions and an avocado-white bean-spread, securely wrapped up in a whole-grain tortilla. To make the avocado-white-bean spread, I simply mashed 1/2 of a ripe avocado with about 1/2-cup of white beans, added a splash of lemon juice, and voila! An instant, tasty sandwich (or wrap) spread – no food-processor required, which cuts down on prep- and clean-up time; and also enables you to enjoy your meal quicker.

Seitan Vegetable Stir-Fry

Seitan Vegetable Stir-Fry

Stir-fry dishes are another one of those meals that can please even the most discerning palates, since they can be adapted with different ingredients to suit everyone’s taste preferences. Meal #4 is a Seitan-Vegetable stir-fry, which includes barbecue-marinated seitan and a medley of asparagus, red & yellow bell peppers (I despise green bell peppers), and red onion shallots. While this is a filling entrèe on its own, you could always serve it over a grain (i.e. pasta, rice, barley, quinoa, etcetera), to make it a “heartier” meal. In any event, it is a great, quick, and savory “bowl-meal.”

Chickpea Vegetable Blend for Pasta, Quinoa, or Brown Rice

Chickpea Vegetable Meal

Lastly, we have Meal #5, which really accounts for Meals #6 and 7 as well, since this recipe (from the Student’s Go Vegan Cookbook) makes multiple servings. Pictured above is a simmered mixture of chickpeas, garlic, red onions (yes, I love my red onions, haha), spinach, broccoli, and fire-roasted tomatoes. Although I have blogged about this recipe several times before, I never get bored with it – especially since it is so alterable! I have served this chickpea-vegetable mixture with everything from barley, pasta noodles, and brown rice, to quinoa, seitan, baked tofu, and spaghetti squash; and more! While this meal definitely takes the longest to cook, out of the five meals that I have mentioned in this post, you get three or four servings out of one recipe (which means less preparation time for the remaining servings! sounds like a deal to me!).

Since we live in a time-crunched, fast-pace world, and do not have the time to prepare elaborate meals every single day of the week, it is important (and a major relief) to find meals that are nutritious, filling, easy-to-prepare, include fuss-free ingredients, and fit your lifestyle (i.e. vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, etcetera). With these five meals, my list of “go-to” dishes has certainly expanded; and as I keep flipping through my favorite cookbooks, and reading others’ blogs for inspiration, I can guarantee that I will have more simple, savory delights (prepared in a flash!) to share with you,

Unfortunately, VeggieGirl no longer blogs, but she shared many great ideas and recipes with us like these over the years!

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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