It’s no secret that I love to spend time in the kitchen, whipping up vegan recipes from around the world. For me, cooking is another creative outlet that allows me to stay healthy and fit, while forcing me to take a much needed break from my excessive daily screen regimen.
But some days I am just too busy with writing for clients, publishing my books, catching up with family back home in the U.S., and even just doing stuff for me. Days are long and days are busy, but that doesn’t mean I want to crack open a frozen pizza and call it a meal. But there is something in between vegan junk food and elaborate vegan dinners.
For me, yeah.
So today let’s take a look at a very simple vegan dinner that doesn’t require even an hour in the kitchen. What is this mythical vegan recipe, you ask?
Easy. Vegan falafel balls with a delicious barbecue sauce and one of my favorites…vegan garlic mashed potatoes!
Even the photos look as simple as this meal is to make, which means there is no reason to reach for takeout menus that probably don’t have enough vegan offerings to satisfy your hunger. Do it yourself.
It’s still hot and last time I checked, salad was still delicious. And today, we have a completely different salad for you test out, tweak and enjoy.
There isn’t much to say about making vegan salads that I haven’t said already, so let’s keep this post short & yummy, shall we?
Grilled corn and smoked tofu…what?
I know, right?
But hear me out, you get to eat corn, which is delicious, and grilled smoked tofu which is smoky and delicious and the perfect thing to eat after an exhausting strength training workout.
I used a grill pan because I REALLY wanted to get the grill marks on the corn, even though I totally cut it all of the fresh corn cob. What can I say, I’m complicated. The grill pan isn’t completely necessary but I was trying to be more creative so there you have it.
With this unbelievable and sometimes, unbearable, heat, I have been working to up my salad game.
We’ve all heard the vegan jokes about munching on lettuce nonstop to fuel our malnourished bodies, but the truth is that if I’d known how amazing I could make salads in my pre-vegan days, my life might be very different today. Thank goodness, I didn’t figure it out until now.
I don’t know about where you live, but here in Romania the weather has been a bit…let’s say temperamental. It’s been incredibly hot and humid one day, chilly and rainy the next, and them my personal favorite, the unbearable mix of super hot and incredibly humid.
Yeah, I’ve been finding ways to not let the weather get to me, mostly by ignoring the heat, but also making use of the little desktop fan that I have all to myself. When the weather is really ridiculous, I just switch it up and wait until close to sundown to start working & writing, because I have that luxury.
But what about those days when the weather dips just a little? Well, on those days I take advantage and have something unexpected in this stupidly hot summer. Enter, Cajun vegan sausage casserole.
We can all agree that July is just too damn hot for any type of casserole, except when it isn’t. When that day rolls around, I’m taking full advantage. So…here we go!
When you’re in search of an easy vegan casserole recipe, I find the Cajun or Creole style options are wonderful. And very forgiving. These types of vegan recipes work really well if you want a spicy dish or a milder one, and you can experiment with grains to change it up and prevent mealtime boredom.
Sandwich. Salad. Soup. Those are pretty much your lunch options, especially if you work in an office or anywhere outside the home, right?
Sandwiches don’t necessarily mean fast food burgers or other greasy, deep-fried sandwich options. Sometimes, I prefer a grilled veggie sandwich with balsamic dressing, or a nice deli sandwich. If I’m feeling super creative/hungry, I’ll whip up a tomato and vegan ricotta sandwich.
Today, I’m going a little exotic with Bahn mi, which is basically a Vietnamese sub sandwich. My noodle obsession is pretty well documented but I have been known, on occasion, to indulge in a sandwich when I hit up any Asian restaurant. This vegan bahn mi sandwich is easy to make, healthy and delicious.
I paired the sandwich with a salad because it’s always nice to have something raw and crunchy each day, and also because the bread is plentiful in calories but not necessarily all that satisfying to get you through an afternoon of writing, editing and researching.
Use your favorite fresh veggies for the salad, because you’re the one who has to eat it.
Me. I love potatoes and I could eat them every single day and not having them the same way. Whether its sweet potatoes or mashed potatoes, fries or home fries, I am here for POTATOES. So when I found these vegan mici (Romanian word for “little ones” or “small ones”) I knew it was the perfect way to over-indulge in potatoes.
Just a little, anyway.
And since I’m (still) editing like my life depends on it, I’m going to make this a quick-ish post.
This was kind of a hodge-podge meal, as you can see with just a few mushrooms because there were only a few leftover as it was almost grocery day. Again.
Way back in the day when I was a kid, my favorite thing to have for breakfast on Saturday morning was corned beef hash. No one made it better than my grandmother and I really just couldn’t get enough of it. In college, it was my go to donation during any mid-morning breakfast event.
I was even happy to introduce this weird concoction to my international friends.
Then, my eating habits started to change. Long before going vegan, I started to make changes that included less fried foods, fewer processed foods and a lot more vegetables. And dishes like this slowly faded away. And then I moved to Europe and you just can’t find that weird corned beef stuff there.
But after going vegan and getting comfortable with my new way of life, I started to experiment.
And today I think I have a vegan corned beef hash that recalls the flavors of the original, minus the cruelty and the greasiness.
This is a pretty easy vegan recipe because the base ingredients are: potatoes, bell pepper, vegan mince (or a vegan burger chopped), onion, water/broth & nutritional yeast. Pick the flavor profile you want using the herbs and spices available to you.
I don’t always use meat alternatives when I cook, in fact I try not to use them too often just because you can’t go wrong with a plate full of whole food foods. But times are rough and sometimes your self-care just has to be a bigger priority without sacrificing healthy choices, and when that happens you need a lazy but tasty vegan dinner.
Lazy meals don’t necessarily mean vegan comfort food so just get thoughts of vegan pizza or deep fried cauliflower wings out of your head right now. Lazy mostly, for the sake of this vegan food post, means quick and easy.
Not a lot of prep time.
Not a long list of ingredients.
And it doesn’t get easier than this. Okay, yeah it does but you’re an adult and you still need to eat your veggies.
So. Eat. Your. Veggies.
All you’ll need is: vegan meatballs, rice, broccoli, onion, red bell pepper and whatever you want from your herbs & spices.
Back in my non-vegan days, I wasn’t a big fan of any type of stroganoff. I don’t like adding sour cream to warm dishes and overall, I just thought it was too weird and creamy with tough beef. I realize now that maybe it was the cook that was problematic and not the dish, but I generally stayed away from it.
Until recently and my ongoing love affair with mushrooms.
We always have mushrooms in the fridge, provided we can find them. White button mushrooms. Shitake mushrooms. Porcini, Enoki, Portobello and my favorite, chanterelle mushrooms. I. Love. Them. All.
But this was my partner’s night to choose, so it wasn’t just mushroom stroganoff, there was some Naturli brand vegan mince added for good measure. So, let’s do this!
This dish is easy to make and doesn’t require very many ingredients. BUT if you want to add more and fancy it up, the choice is yours.
I just love it when we have our Midnight Tokyo Diner nights and my partner chooses something that stomps me…at first. Yeah, I’m not ashamed to admit that his request for sweet potato polenta threw me for a moment but after a few minutes of research, my confidence rose and I was like, “I got this.”
If you’ve never had sweet potato polenta before, I hope this recipe inspires you to add more than vegan butter and nutritional yeast to your next batch of polenta.
Before we begin, I’ll tell you right off the bat that this is a pretty cumbersome ingredient list, but that doesn’t mean that it is a complicated or difficult recipe. It just has several different components that are put together separately before they find their way to the same plate.