People often use the excuse of it being "too hard" or "too time consuming" for not converting to a vegan diet. These reasons might seem valid, especially for busy teenagers and students, but over my time on a plant-based diet, I have accumulated lots of grocery store finds that make it easy and fast to whip out a delicious vegan meal. (Also, shout out to my friend Patricia who wanted some inspiration on easy things to cook in college!) So no more excuses because these foods make it beyond easy to eat vegan!
Amy's Organic Soup
I think I can speak for most vegetarians that Amy's is a grocery shopping staple, but out of all the products they sell, my favorite is their vegan soups. They can be quickly microwaved in a microwave safe container or cooked on the stove top. These soups are flavorful and there are a wide range of options. If I needed to just choose one soup, I would choose the Golden Lentil Indian Dal.
This lentil dal is so delicious, and it is great to pair with steamed veggies or french fries!
The Classic Lentil Soup is pictured here.
Tasty Bite Microwave Packets
Tasty Bite makes lots of microwaveable vegetarian dishes. I love the indian style foods like the Channa Masala and Madras lentils, but they have tons of options. All you need to do is cut the top off and microwave the bag for a minute. These packets are also great for camping because they are delicious and very portable (just heat up in a sauce pan or dutch oven.) If you have a little extra time, these packets are most delicious when you sauté onions at medium heat until they are translucent and then dump in the contents of the packet (you don't need to heat up the packet in the microwave). Cook the veggies and lentils/beans until hot and serve with rice!
On the left, the Madras lentils are served with brown rice and Mariposa mini pizza crust. On the right, the channa masala is served the way I described earlier, also with a pizza crust.
Trader Joes Slaws
Trader Joe's is honestly just a wonderland of delicious and creative foods. From vegan marshmallows to gf brownie mix, they have so much to offer for those of us with dietary restrictions. One of my true Trader Joe's loves is the Mango Jicama Salad. I am pretty sure it is a seasonal item so it might not always be available, but I cannot recommend it enough as an easy lunch or dinner. It is packed with jicama, mango, cabbage, and cilantro, and it comes with a sweet and spicy vinaigrette. Another slaw from Trader Joe's that I have been really liking is the Tahini, Pepita and Apricot Slaw. It is made of carrots, kale, shredded broccoli, and cabbage. It also has dried apricots and pumpkin seeds. The dressing for this IS NOT VEGAN, because it contains honey, but people who know my diet know I continue to eat honey. I think this slaw is also delicious with a simple vinaigrette if you want to pass on the one it comes with. My one critique is the packaging of this salad is kind of excessive as all the toppings have there own packet, which I think is not necessary.
Tortillas + Literally Anything
This might seem overly simple or strange, but I literally
eat this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. When I was growing up, quesadillas were always my go to lazy food, but now that I don't eat cheese, I have developed some alternatives. I usually heat up a tortilla in my cast iron skillet with just a little olive oil for just a few minutes to make it crispy. Since I am gluten free, I usually use Food For Life Brown Rice Tortillas or any gf corn tortillas. Then I just go wild, one of my favorite combinations is hummus, sautéd onions, and raw spinach. Sometimes I mash an avocado on the tortilla and just eat it like avocado toast or add tofu on top. You can leave the tofu raw or cook it up with seasonings first. These are great because if you add tofu and lots of veggies, it can be filling enough for a whole meal, but it you keep if more simple, tortillas can be a quick snack.
Pasta is usually an easy meal for anyone vegan or not, but it's easy to not tap into the full potential of pasta. One thing that I discovered about a year ago was pasta that is designed to be a source of plant-based protein. My favorite brand is Banza Pasta because one serving has about 25g of protein which is over half of what I need to consume in a day. The chickpea based pasta has a distinct flavor, but it can be easily masked by tomato sauce or pesto. If you want to read my whole blog post dedicated to pasta, click here!
Here, I have a picture of some Banza shells and my signature homemade pesto!
Okay, that's all for today kids! Unrelated reminder to stay hydrated and visit your local library!