Many people are trying to eat more vegan and vegetarian meals, even if they don’t follow such lifestyles to a tee. Going vegan or vegetarian is a good way to do our part in saving the environment. Plus, reducing the amount of meat we consume is also healthier for most of us.
At the same time, many of us also don’t have much room in our schedules for cooking up complicated recipes every day or even once a week. Even if you’re aware of how to meal prep like a pro (How to Meal Prep Like a Pro), it’s not always easy to make meat-free, plant-based meals for the whole family. It’s not just about finding the right ingredients, but also about staying within a tight budget and coming up with quick meals.
Fortunately, there are several recipes and books available online that can help us in whipping up quick, healthy, and delicious vegan/vegetarian meals almost every day. Let’s take a look at some of the meal ideas firs, and then move on to some cookbooks that can help us even further:
Vegan Pancakes and Berry Compote
Pancakes and berries:
Vegan and vegetarian diets usually get a bad rap for being no fun, but sweet recipes like these prove that this is a myth. You can easily whip up some fluffy pancakes and top them up with a healthy, yummy berry compote for a special Sunday treat. If you’re meal prepping, freeze some mixed berries beforehand to make things even easier.
Fortunately, this recipe just takes half an hour to put together. You can make the compote by cooking the berries in a pan with some lemon juice and icing sugar. After five to ten minutes, you’ll get a runny sauce that can serve as a syrup for the pancakes. Keep this compote aside to cool.
For the pancakes, you can use almond milk to mix up flour, baking powder, a pinch of salt, and caster sugar. You can then make the pancakes in an oiled nonstick pan. Your vegan breakfast is all ready!
If you simply want a vegetarian option, use regular milk and even eggs in the pancake mix. The exact ratio of ingredients can be found here, though you can increase or decrease the amounts as needed.
Hummus with pita bread:
This Middle Eastern staple is surprisingly easy to make. It’s simply a blended combination of boiled chickpeas, a bit of tahini, olive oil, and some seasonings. You can eyeball the ingredients and change them up according to your taste. Add some lemon juice for a little zing, and perhaps a garlic clove for more flavor.
What’s even better is that hummus can be part of your weekly meal prep. Simply boil a huge batch of chickpeas, pour them in a food processor, add the tahini sauce and other ingredients, and then give it all a good spin. You can easily freeze the hummus in small portions. Take it out during the week for an easy dip with some pita bread at lunch, or serve with cut vegetables as a snack. Get an easy recipe here.
You can even eave out the tahini from your hummus in case there’s none on hand. It’s quite easy to make tahini at home; all you have to do is grind some sesame seeds with a bit of olive oil. If that’s not possible, leave that ingredient out or substitute it with some natural peanut butter!
Cheesy Zucchini Gratin
If you’re looking to eat low-carb as well as vegan, zucchini is a lifesaver. It’s easy to make and can substitute for a lot of carb-rich foods that we might indulge in otherwise. While you can use this healthy vegetable in zoodles or just sauté it for a salad, try making a cheesy gratin with it as well. While this recipe is simply vegetarian, it’ll help you fulfill your cheese cravings in a healthier way.
What’s more, you can make this casserole ahead of time and freeze it for later. It’s also a nut-free and gluten-free option, along with being keto-friendly to boot. It just takes about ten minutes to peel and slice three medium zucchinis into quarter-inch slices. Sprinkle these with salt, and set them in a colander over the sink for draining. This will take about 45 minutes, so make sure you have enough time.
Once the slices are drained (this is an important step, so don’t skip it), you’ll layer them in a casserole dish with any kind of sharp shredded cheese. For the white sauce, combine some cheese, butter, milk, and garlic on the stove.
You can then bake the whole thing for around half an hour at 400 degrees. Use Italian seasoning, black pepper, and sea salt for more flavor if required. Make sure the zucchini is tender and soft when you take it out. For more detailed instructions, go here.
Guacamole on toast:
Several other quick vegan and/or vegetarian recipes are always on hand to provide a quick meal or snack. Toss some boiled chickpeas in oil and seasonings, then roast them in the oven. You can also process avocados with some lemon juice for some delicious guacamole. Simple recipes like these could change up your menu and get some healthy nutrients into your family without much hassle. You can also note down some easy salad ideas to fill everyone up.( Easy to Make Salad Ideas)
There are quite a few inspiring cookbooks available on Amazon to help us out. Some of the best options are discussed below:
Vegan Recipes in 30 Minutes: A Vegan Cookbook with 106 Quick & Easy Recipes
Setting aside half an hour to cook doesn’t sound so bad. If you’re usually tired after a long day of work and chores, this book might be exactly what you need. In 30 minutes, you can probably whip up a decent vegan meal instead of ordering in some expensive (and probably less healthy) food.
This work by Shasta Press is specially designed for vegans with a busy lifestyle. Such a group includes harried parents, career-focused individuals, or anyone who doesn’t want to spend too much time cooking. With this book, anyone can learn how to save money and reduce waste along with staying true to their vegan choices.
The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook: Wholesome, Indulgent Plant-Based Recipes
If you have to cook regularly in addition to maintaining a busy schedule, an instant pot is an excellent investment. With this gadget, you can indulge in several recipes without the hassle and burden or constantly checking a pan on the stove.
This book contains recipes, pictures, and several tips from the popular cooking blogger Nisha Vora. It also has guidelines for making starters, hearty main courses, and even indulgent desserts.
Plant-Based on a Budget: Delicious Vegan Recipes for Under $30 a Week
This cookbook by Toni Okamoto can teach us how to eat a plant-based within a budget without having to spend more than 30 minutes on one dish. This means that even if we’re living on a small income, we can afford to eat vegan and save time as well.
The recipes here are imaginative and easily customizable according to our needs, preferences, and the ingredients we have available. Following the guidelines in this book will also ensure that we can minimize food waste as much as possible. There are over a hundred recipes for each part of a full meal, so we don’t have to worry about running out of ideas anytime soon.
Cooking healthy meals for yourself and your family is a commendable job, but that doesn’t mean slaving over a hot stove all the time. Grab a cookbook and make some of these easy recipes your go-to meal ideas when you’re in a rut. If you get some kitchen gadgets that can save time and labor (Essential Kitchen Gadgets that Save Time and Labor), you’d hopefully find the task of cooking more enjoyable