The 2020’s have been wonderful for vegans. There’s a plethora of vegan meat alternatives available for you to satisfy your appetite from old faithful tofu to vegan sausage, steaks, chicken and even seafood. If you live in one of the major cities around the world, there’s no end to the vegan options available to you to try out and enjoy. Even if you live in a smaller town, the internet makes it easy to order just about anything that strikes your fancy.
But some days you just want to keep it simple. An easy plant based vegan recipe that’s full of vegetables and creamy udon noodles.
This is a simple vegan recipe that is the perfect answer when you want to use up the rest of your vegetables before your next shopping trip, or if you’re out of ideas but you really need to eat. 🙂
Cooking vegan food at home doesn’t mean that you need to whip up gourmet food every single day, sometimes it’s about simple and vegan and nutritious.
There are really just three components to this dish: noodles, veggies & sauce. If you want anything else, feel free to add it and I’d be happy to see/hear the results.
This weather has been so all over the place lately that it makes it difficult to meal plan. Okay the truth is that I’m not much on meal planning, our Midnight Tokyo Diner nights have been working out incredibly for the past few years so we get tons of ingredients, many of them fresh and then pantry staples, and then we can decide from one night to the next.
But with food shortages and shipping delays it’s harder and harder to get what you expect to find in the grocery stores in April. For example, there has been a TON of butternut squash lately which I love, but for me it usually means soup like, Squash & Lentil Stew. Or cookies. Or cake. Those are my go to recipes for squash, but sometimes I feel creative and make Vegan Spinach & Squash Queso Dip or Squash Blondies.
But I wasn’t in the mood and the weather was just insane. It was super warm and we went for a long walk without jackets one day and the next it was gray and gloomy and super chilly. And the only thing to like about a cold and gloomy day is cold weather vegan food. Chili and soups and stews and casseroles are all great vegan meals when the temperature dips and I knew when The Hubs asked for cauliflower curry, exactly what I would do.
Roasted Cauliflower & Butternut Squash Curry
This isn’t a quick vegan dinner but the good news is that the oven does most of the work.
With each passing year there are more and more vegan meat alternatives. Whether it’s Beyond Burgers, vegan meatballs, sausages or the all-purpose TVP, there are many ways you can take your vegan diet and lifestyle to the next level. You can enjoy childhood favorites without the cruelty. You can still enjoy your favorite comfort foods, like Vegan Salisbury Steak, without using animals to satisfy your hunger.
Great, right? It’s the goal of every vegan I’ve met since becoming vegan in 2017.
But sometimes you just want to get back to your plant-based vegan roots. Or sometimes I do, anyway. There’s no particular reason for this. I eat plenty of fresh vegetables. Fruits? Not so much, but it’s something I’m working on becoming better at as much as I can. But between vegetables (raw and cooked), whole grains and beans, I do try to get a good dose of them to my diet each week.
But on this day, I was visiting a new Lidl here in Ploiesti and they had, guess what? Fresh artichokes, already trimmed!!! I was totally stoked and knew that it was time to use them or lose them.
So, I used them.
This is a simple totally plant based vegan recipe that is easy to make and super delicious.
Have I ever mentioned how much I love Asian food? Because I do. A lot.
There’s no good Asian delivery options with vegan options so when we want it, we have to cook it ourselves. That’s just fine by me because then I can use Cronometer to make just enough for two people. Takeout Asian food always gives out so much, which I love…but I also don’t love.
There was a beautiful head of broccoli at the market this week and I knew immediately what I wanted. Vegan Beef & Broccoli but not just the kind you make when you’re being a lazy vegan, but the kind that comes in a thick, silky sauce filled with flavor.
There’s nothing better than finally getting a vegan beef & broccoli recipe right. Like, really right. This one, credit to my hubs, was Top 5 Vegan Beef & Broccoli, at least in my opinion.
I have talked time, and time again about my love of the marvelous Buddha bowl.
I mean, what’s not to like about a bowl of food that contains tons of veggies, a heaping pile of grains and just enough protein to provide a well-balanced vegan meal that nourishes while tasting wickedly delicious?
I can’t think of one thing that’s unappealing about any of that.
So, here is (yet) another vegan buddha bowl recipe for you to enjoy. Or experiment with. Or try to top.
Whatever you prefer. 😉
It doesn’t matter if you’re a new vegan or an old vegan, the Buddha bowl is the perfect way to get you in the kitchen, cooking healthy vegan meals, and taking control of what you put inside your body.
Let’s just get this out in the open right now; I do NOT have a clay Tandoori oven so, sure, technically this isn’t a real vegan Tandoori. But I used all the delicious flavors that mean Tandoori to me, so here we are.
I’m not going to let myself get boggled down in the details when I have a perfectly good stove, oven and air fryer. You work with what ya got, and this is what I got.
Vegan Chickpea & Quinoa Tandoori.
If you’re into one pot vegan meals, then you’ll be happy to know that you can pop this all into one pot and minimize your dish load. I didn’t do that, but it’s only because I like to have different flavors and textures on my plate. Instead of popping everything in one pot, I used the air fryer for the sweet potatoes and the oven to crisp up the chickpeas.
Life as we know it under normal circumstances is…a distant memory. You know that as well as I do, and as such, we have all been doing the best we can as often as we can. For the purposes of today’s blog, that means making sure you get a good chunk of whole foods in your vegan diet.
When was the last time you ordered/cooked a meal without soy or seitan? How about the last time you cooked a meal, period? Or one that consisted mostly of vegetables, grains, beans and/or legumes? It’s not a judgment, believe me. Some weeks I have to really go through the photos to find a meal without pasta or tofu or vegan burgers. It happens and I’ve forgiven myself.
Good because today we have a quick and easy vegan chickpea masala for those nights when you just need something simple, whole and plant based to eat.
The chickpeas are the main source of protein in this, but the good thing about a plant based, vegan whole food diet is that you get tons of essential vitamins and nutrients from ALL of the ingredients.
To get this vegan dinner started, you start with the onion, ginger and hot chili peppers. If you’re using oil, add that into the pan, otherwise look the vegetables cook until fragrant, adding water or waste-free broth a little at a time.
Add the garlic along with any herbs and spices such as: cumin, turmeric, curry, smoky paprika, garam masala seasoning and chili powder. Stir until well coated and then add the chickpeas (rinsed & drained) and cherry/grape tomatoes or just canned crushed tomatoes which is what I used, because this was a day before shopping meal for us.
Add some broth and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring regularly so it doesn’t stick. You want to let this liquid reduce a little so the end result is thick and creamy.
Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
Add coconut milk (for cooking) at the last five or so minutes, making sure to taste as you go and adjust for flavor preferences.
Serve on a bed of rice and that’s a pretty darn quick and easy vegan recipes, perfect for lunch or dinner.
If you need a little extra spice, jalapenos or Sriracha will do the trick, but my hubs thought it had a nice little kick to it, emphasis on little.
The other thing I loved about this vegan chana masala? It’s super calorie friendly, even with the creamy coconut milk added to it.
Quick and easy and delicious, so next time you’re in need of a whole food vegan meal, consider hitting up your pantry for that can of beans you haven’t used in forever and toss’em in a pot.
Rice and beans. Some people hear this dish and turn their noses up at its simplicity while other, like me, think of all the ways I can make this basic meal more interesting. Will I whip up a quick Indian spice? Maybe an herb-y Mediterranean style rice and beans dish for the more relaxed vegan taste buds? Or maybe I’ll keep it simple and take it back to one of my favorite U.S. cities. New Orleans.
Beans are a great source of protein if you care about that sort of thing, but they are also an excellent way to fill out a meal on a budget. And that goes double if you get dry beans. A quick rinse and a soak (quick soak or overnight, the choice is yours), and pop a few cups into a slow cooker, then forget about it until you’re ready to use the beans. One batch of kidney beans and you can have three or four days worth of meals.
So, on to the Cajun rice and beans.
This is a pretty easy meal with a minimal ingredient list. You’ll need beans, choose whatever strikes your fancy but choose a mean that is sturdy and firm so it’ll soak up all the juices and enhance the dish. Pinto beans would be my backup for the dish, or cranberry beans. Take care of the beans however you need to and then grab your cutting board to chop up the veggies.
What you’ll need for this dish is: onion, bell peppers, garlic, celery, plum/grape tomatoes, kidney beans and about 25 grams of crumbled tofu.
The tofu is optional but I wanted to fill it out a little more which is why I only 25 grams.
Add some oil (or not) to a pot and saute the onions, bell pepper, tofu crumbles and celery until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and the tomatoes until the tomatoes start to soften and the garlic begins to brown.
Now you’ll want to grab the sauce you whipped up. I use this sauce mix for Cajun or Louisiana-style dishes because the vegan Worcestershire always seems to miss the mark. In a bowl, whisk up: tomato paste, cumin, oregano, chili powder, smoky paprika, vegan Worcestershire sauce, a few drops of dark soy sauce, harissa paste, water & cornstarch. Mix until a sauce forms and add it in with the beans and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until the sauce is nice and thick.
You can put this in slow cooker if you want, but you can whip it up on top of the stove in about 30 minutes. Toss in a bay leaf to give it the flavor that it’s been cooking all day. Add Jasmine rice on the side and you’re ready to get your grub on!
If you want more spice, add Sriracha or jalapeno peppers to the top, but I went pretty crazy with the harissa so it wasn’t necessary.
And hey, don’t be shy about tossing those celery leaves right in with the rest of the vegetables. They have the same nutritional makeup and they provide a nice depth of flavor.