We’re all so busy all of the time that we’re often on the lookout for easy vegan recipes, right? I mean, for example I’m committed to the cause, I annoy my friends and family and all that, but some days I want something delicious, vegan and easy. Whether it’s an easy vegan salad or my favorite Easy Vegan Colcannon, sometimes easy is the priority.
Of course, I don’t mean easy like frozen pizza or other vegan junk food that doesn’t quite hit the mark in terms of taste, calorie friendliness or satiety. I mean is this something I will enjoy and not regret when I’m finished eating.
When it comes to this easy plant based vegan recipe, you won’t have any regrets, except that there isn’t enough for seconds. But you can easily double this recipe to make four servings.
So let’s not waste any time and get right into these saucy spiced chickpeas and rice. You can thank me later. 😉
If you want to forego the sauce, simply toss the chickpeas in dry seasoning and pop them in the air fryer or the oven. Otherwise, keep reading to get the recipe.
The great thing about this easy vegan meal is that you can switch it up and change it to whatever cuisine you like, or you can simply exhaust all options for Tex-Mex before moving on to something else.
Yeah, I know you’re probably bored of my obsession with putting noodles in everything from Bolognese to Ramen with Gravy and all the other ramen or Asian noodle recipes I’ve posted, like my Curry Ramen.
If you’re not in the market for yet another Ramen recipe, leave out the noodles in favor of rice, bulgur, barley or even quinoa if that’s your jam because we all know what my jam is.
It’s soup season and here in Romania the weather has just taken a turn for the worse, which means I am totally upping my soup game.
Because there are vegetables available now that weren’t a month or two ago, which means I have more options. This soup is kind of like your basic chicken noodle soup only not at all basic, because it’s got sass and ginger and tons of nutrients and flavor, two things I require of all my meals.
Don’t worry, I don’t plan on boring you with the details. If you know how to make soup, this will be quick and easy and (relatively) painless.
Sick of the same old meals week in and week out? Yeah, I get that way sometimes too especially with things being the way they are and the limited vegan take out options in my adopted town. Despite all of my recipes on everything from sushi bowls to warm salad recipes, not to mention the wealth of vegan recipes available online, sometimes it feels as if I’ve made everything.
But that can’t be, can it? Of course not. That’s why when I get into a vegan cooking rut, I decide what I want to eat first. Am I in the mood for broccoli or mac & cheese or a Gnocchi Bake? And then I just do a little switch-a-roo. Take an Italian dish and turn into something else like, Asian style. It doesn’t always work, but it’s always worth a shot because when it does work…whoa boy!
Sunday night is the night before I hit up the grocery store so often I try to use all the odds & ends to make room for fresh items, mostly produce. I went through my spice rack and came up with a few things to make a Jamaican style curry and put it all in a bowl.
It looks like a whole feast, doesn’t it? Well it was and the other it was? Super easy to make.
In need of a one pot vegan recipe that’s not your standard vegan casserole or soup? Consider risotto, it’s a great way to get your fill of grains while mixing a bunch of delicious vegan ingredients to the skillet.
Depending on how much time you have, you can fancy it up with a saffron broth, or just add a few threads of saffron to your waste-free broth to save on time. If you’re in a hurry, plain water will get the job done but without the depth of flavor that will trick a crowd into thinking you’ve been in the kitchen all day! (wink, wink)
For today’s offering, we have vegan spinach, portabella mushrooms and spinach risotto.
This is an easy vegan recipe that requires minimal prep work, although I do recommend that you make sure you thaw the spinach if you use frozen, which I did, as well as the vegan sausages, which also came frozen. Other than that, all you’ll need is a sharp knife and your favorite cutting board.
When it comes to making a one pot vegan dinner, few dishes are easier or tastier than jambalaya. And my favorite part of making a good vegan jambalaya is that there are just so many options. You can switch out meat alternatives like vegan chicken and vegan sausage and use beans. Or multiple types of beans. Or even go with tofu or tempeh, the choice is yours are there are so many of them.
You can switch up the different types of rice available at your local markets, switching up basmati for jasmine, wild rice or black rice or even red rice. Just remember that different grains mean different cooking times and you’ll have to adjust your vegan recipe to suit that.
You can even turn your jambalaya into a Cajun style casserole with or without cheese, or even topped with your favorite spicy peppers.
Since this is a one pot vegan recipe, you will have focus on prep before you do anything else, so if you’re a spontaneous sort of home chef who grabs this and that from the cabinets at the last minute, prepare yourself for a lot of “oh crap” and running to stir to prevent things from sticking to the pan.
Way back in the early 2000’s, I lived in Boston and worked for a progressive non-profit organization. It was my second “real” job straight out of college so the hours were long and the pay was crap, but it was Boston, a city me and a very close friend had talked about living in during grad school.
I was there and the reality didn’t quite match the dream. Don’t get me wrong, the city was incredible. It was beautiful and old, with marks of history featured everywhere from the roundabout roads to the brick-paved streets downtown, Fenway Park and all that good stuff. Unfortunately I was (mostly) too busy working to see much of the city and surrounding area until after the election was over.
But one of the things that still sticks in my mind, years later is this freestanding food court off the Downtown Crossing exit on the orange line. There was all of your basic crap from burgers & fries, to greasy fried rice, fried chicken, smoothies and the like. But there was this one place, tangentially New Orleans themed, and they had the most amazing bourbon chicken.
I loved it. I devoured it. I ordered it all the time. Just a simple dish of chicken breasts, pan fried until crispy and coated with a delicious sauce and served on a bed of rice. You could sit in the food court to eat it, but it came in a totally not sustainable foam packaging that–unfortunately–made it perfect to eat at your desk while trying to dispense payroll for sixty offices located around the country.
So it became one of my favorites.
Over the years I have tried to recreate this dish with varying measures of success, but this time I think I’ve finally gotten it right.
Like I said, I’ve tried this recipe plenty of times even in my vegan life, using everything from tofu, smoked tofu, Quorn filets and even seitan, and they come out good but not quite the same. Ya know?
Do you love curry? Vegan meatballs? Coconut curry? Because I love pretty much everything about all of those things so when you combine them, you have a pretty good vegan meal on your hands.
The good thing about a recipe like this is that you can use pretty much whatever you want in it, as long as you adhere to certain staples like ginger, garlic and your favorite type of curry. Actually, you don’t even have to do that…but it will totally alter the taste of your vegan curry.
Because of the vegan meatballs, I kept this meal pretty simple without compromising flavor. This way it’s easy to simplify if you’re in a time crunch.
I’m going to start you with a basic list of ingredients and you can use whatever substitutes you want/need because you’re the one who has to eat it.
One of the things I’ve learned over the past year of nonstop cooking, is that you can have a simple meal that’s full of flavor and doesn’t require a lot of hard work. How?
Simple, you just have to step outside of your cuisine comfort zone. For me, that’s no problem. I lived in Los Angeles for many years where I was able to take advantage of all that Mexican and Mexican-American fusion cuisine has to offer. Then there was Germany, which gave me a great appreciation for sauerkraut that I didn’t have before. No to mention the flammkuchen, the beer and all the myriad ways there are to enjoy the King of vegetables, potatoes (click here for my potatoes two ways recipe). And now there’s Romania, where I’ve had plenty of exposure thanks to living with a Romanian born man for more than 17 years, but being here in the country, it’s different.
My long-winded point? Trying new things is good for the palate and good for you. How else can you take a simple dish like texture vegetable protein and couscous, and turn it into a mouthwatering dish?
All you need is the will to try and a fully stocked spice cabinet.
The ingredients in this dish are pretty simple: TVP, couscous, cauliflower, peanut oil, onion and bell peppers. Open up your spice rack and let the herbs and spices do the rest.
Remember those TV dinners from back in the day? They came with fake mashed potatoes, frozen veggies and they were overall pretty terrible. And I loved them. Okay, maybe in my memory I loved them and that’s where today’s recipe comes from, but I do have fond memories that I guess involve eating a frozen aluminum tray of mediocre-ness.
Anyway, those skewed memories are what brought us here today.
In my memory, my favorite TV dinner was the one with Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes and green beans. Why? Mostly because the gravy was so plentiful that you could spread it on everything else and give it a little more flavor than just the salt and black pepper required.
This vegan TV dinner recipe doesn’t have green beans because unless they are frozen or canned, it’s been pretty hard to find fresh green beans except for a few weeks in the Spring. So we have a vegetable that I only learned to love as an adult, Brussels sprouts.
The best part about turning a TV dinner into a grownup vegan meal is that you can create little hacks to make the process go by quickly.
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