Lazy But Tasty Vegan Dinner ~ Meatless Balls with Broccoli & Rice

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.

That’s it.

No more.

Quick & Easy Vegan Smoked Tofu Bowl

With what’s going on in the world lately, we all have to do what we can, right? That means some days or weeks I feel like a #vegan rock star in the kitchen, making my own seitan sausage and whipping up delicious meals while some days I just want something easy, delicious and nutritious. Like all of you, I’m complicated and that’s okay.

And yeah, sure that was my long winded way of saying this post is going to be short because this meal was delicious, easy to make and super fast.

This is one of the many reasons I love Buddha bowls, they are healthy and easy, two of my favorite things when I’m too busy or too lazy to spend time in the kitchen.

This particular bowl was SUPER easy, all you need is onion, bell pepper, garlic, smoked tofu and a grain of your choosing, the photo has bulgur in it. The sauce is a combination of tomato paste, soy sauce and Korean chili paste.

And don’t forget to hit up your spice rack to give this dish an Asian or Italian flair, or whatever you’re in the mood for.

Not every vegan meals needs to be IG worthy, but sometimes they accidentally are! (Hit me up at IndyJaxn if you want to see for yourself.)

What’s your favorite go-to vegan meal?

Not Another Buddha Bowl ~ Featuring Crispy Eggplant Frites

At this point I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all got the hang of Buddha Bowl’s, right? I mean you take your favorite 5 to 7 vegan ingredients and turn it into a yummy and nutritious bowl.

I know you’re probably wondering how in the hell did I get to another Buddha Bowl with our whole Midnight Tokyo Diner theme as of late? That’s a pretty easy answer and not a very interesting story, actually. The Hubs had one directive for his meal: eggplant. Again, this probably goes without saying but eggplant is not my favorite vegetable, in fact I would argue it is in my top 5 least favorites. Along with avocado and beets too!

So I decided to do something I could taste–eggplant fries–along with a bunch of ingredients we both LOVE.

So…another Buddha Bowl.

My secret for a perfectly seasoned and crispy piece of eggplant? Veggiegurt. Toss the eggplant in yogurt, salt, pepper, cumin, garlic and smoky paprika and set aside while you blend the crispy breading. For these fries I used a 70-30 blend of flour and cornmeal because I wanted the emphasis on the crunch. Pop in the oven for about 30 to 40 minutes and you have a delicious snack with your bestie.

The rest of the recipe is pretty straight forward: mashed sweet potatoes with butter and nutmeg. Steamed broccoli and a mixture of onion, bell peppers and TVP strips made this a perfectly healthy vegan meal, but one that feeds your inner fat girl.

If you’re feeling brave, feel free to add a quick cooling yogurt sauce, which is what I did. It was veggiegurt, basil and parsley along with a few other herbs & spices.

You don’t have to be a chef or even love to cook to whip up a healthy vegan Buddha bowl for you and your loved ones, all you need is a few vegetables, a nice spice rack and a willingness to learn.

Enjoy!

Buddha Bowl with Creamy Vegan Pesto

Have I mentioned how much I love Buddha Bowls, because I do. A lot.

But before we get into the goodness of this latest meal, I should apologize for my absences and sporadic posts. Finishing this latest book and exploring the country of Romania with my husband, and time with our family has packed my schedule more than I’m used to and something had to give. The good news is, I have plenty of recipes because taking pictures of the food is easy…posting it all, not so much.

But I’m back and today we’re talking Buddha Bowls.

Why do I love them so hard, you ask?

Simple:

1. They are packed with veggies which means packed with nutrients.
2. Delicious
3. Easy to do
4. Always leaves you enough calories for a delicious sauce!

 

Some people will tell you that autumn is a great time for a Buddha Bowl but I think spring and summer are even better because there are so many vegetables in season which gives you so much to choose from! for this bowl I grabbed a big head of broccoli, a giant sweet potato, carrots, red bell pepper and onion. And just in case you’re wondering, YES, that’s all I used. One of each vegetable and it was enough to feed three people, of course with 1 cup of brown rice.

Which brings me to the other thing I LOVE about these bowls. The calorie count is totally irresistible for those of us still trying to manage our weight and these bowls have helped me drop 33kg (& counting!).

It seems like a lot of food and your belly will certainly think you’ve over-indulged but you haven’t. At all.

And like I said, you can create a delicious sauce that maybe not be 100% TOTALLY good for you, because food is meant to be enjoyed!

I made a creamy pesto that began as a regular basil pesto complete with garlic, cashews (couldn’t find pine nuts), lemon juice, Tabasco sauce, salt and black pepper. I split the pesto in half and chucked one half in the fridge for later and for the other, I added a quarter cup of vegan yogurt and a tablespoon of mustard for a delicious pesto cream that complimented the dish perfectly.

Whenever I’m lucky enough to happen upon fresh basil, I instinctively grab 3 or 4 packages because I know how versatile pesto can be, even more for those of us on a plant based diet. Add a couple grilled veggies and slather the pesto on bread for a quick & easy sandwich.

If you notice a shine on the carrot, pepper & onion mixture, it’s because I used (gasp) coconut oil! I figured this was the perfect place to indulge, cooking these veggies in 2 teaspoons of coconut oil with paprika, salt & pepper, baharrat and a few other Northern African spices.

Which brings us to my final tip for Buddha Bowls. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your spice rack!!! I’ve made Cajun Buddha Bowls for a little extra spice, Indian, Asian, Spanish, Mexican, Italian and just about every other cuisine that intrigues me. Your herbs & spices are the key to keeping your diet fresh.