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8 Go-To Meal Options To Keep Vegan Living Simple

by | March 5, 2020

With what seems like an endless supply of elaborate, jaw-dropping, and utterly drool-worthy vegan recipes these days, we can tend to feel a bit spoilt for choice. Some of us also find ourselves feeling overwhelmed. Intimidating recipes and time-consuming creations span as far as the web can reach — but sometimes it feels great to keep things simple and go back to the basics.

We’re not all masters of the culinary arts, nor are we generally equipped with the time to become one. That’s okay. We’re here to help. We understand the struggles of juggling parenthood, a career or six, having a life for yourself, and trying not to turn constantly to takeaway and oven pizzas. Heck, taking care of yourself is hard enough! Add all this stuff in, and it’s a wonder any of us manage at all — even if it sometimes feels sloppy.

What follows are quick and easy solutions to your family’s mealtime fatigue.

lentil bolognese
Lentil bolognese offers the perfect combination of protein and comfort (Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock.com)

Lentil Bolognese

Lentil bolognese recipes are usually simple, cheap and, with recipes like this one floating around, not at all hard to find. You can also wing this dish. Grab some passata, garlic, celery, cucumber, canned or dry lentils, and fresh or dried spices and you’re good to go.

Offering a good dose of protein in every plate, this tasty and satiating meal is a great regular go-to that’s palatable for the whole family.

tofu stir-fry
Simple and versatile, tofu is a sure-win (Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock.com)

Tofu Stir-Fry

Another quick and nutritious dish great to keep in your repertoire is a simple tofu stir-fry.

Pairing cubed tofu with fresh crispy veggies for a quick sauté. Is about as simple as it gets. Serve over quinoa, rice noodles or rice, with a simple peanut sauce or your favorite bottled vegan recipe and you’re good to go.

A super speedy dish, this one is a must-have for busy school or workdays.

vegan oatmeal
Toppings change the game with this vegan dish (Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock.com)

Better-Than-Your-Average Oatmeal

Also great at any time of the day, oatmeal is another satiating and crowd-pleasing dish that’s fast and easy to adapt with everyone’s favorite ingredients.

Got a chocolate lover on your hands? Use a banana, cacao powder, and peanut butter for a healthy, tasty sweet treat. Littles just can’t get enough of fruit? Pile a bowl high with berries and cinnamon for a meal that will keep them full longer than that trusty bowl of grapes. Get really creative with ingredients like pumpkin, cardamom, and turmeric. The possibilities only end where your imagination does.

Say hello to your new staple.

black bean burrito
This hearty dish will keep you full for hours (Nataliya Arzamasova/Shutterstock.com)

Black Bean Burritos

Burritos are as popular as they are for a reason. They’re not only easy but also delicious. 

Best part is you don’t need a recipe. Seriously, anyone can do this and it takes no time at all — just ask the number one burrito fan, plant-based star Billie Eilish.

Grab a can of beans, some fresh or canned corn, colorful bell pepper, avocado, rice, salsa, and hot sauce and you’re making magic. Recipe certainly not required.

vegan tofu scramble
A dish perfect paired with a nice slice of toast (DronG/Shutterstock.com)

Tofu Scramble

Perfect for breakfast lunch or dinner, the tofu scramble is a must-have addition to any lazy vegans toolkit. 

It’s as simple as this. Pick your favorite veggies. Fry ‘em up. Crumble tofu into the pan. Add spices or seasoning of your choice. Turmeric and black salt are essential if you’re going for that egg-like look and taste. 

Serve it up with a salad, toast, or roasted potatoes. Top with salsa, avocado, and hot sauce — or even vegan cheese. You will be full for hours. 

hearty salad
Salads can be satiating (Losangela/Shutterstock.com)

Amped-Up Salads

Salads may seem like a total snooze — but they don’t have to be. Master a dressing you love, keep plenty on hand, and you’re set up for success. 

Don’t stop at tomato cucumber and lettuce though — a rookie mistake. Toss in leftover rice or quinoa, sautéed veggies, plant-based burger patties, roasted sweet or white potato, crunchy chickpeas, seeds, nuts, and dried fruit for a salad experience that’s as exciting as it is satiating.

Imagine that.

vegan buddha bowl
This is a dish that can be as simple or complex as you like (Kiian Oksana/Shutterstock.com)

The Kind-Of Buddha Bowl

Similarly to salads, bowls are an easy, tasty, and simple dish to master and play within what feels like an infinite number of combinations.

Roast potatoes, steam rice, whip up some quinoa — it’s really up to you. Potatoes, lentils, tempeh, and tofu are all great additions to keep these meals hearty, warming, and satiating. When it comes to veg, feel free to get creative. Opt for a mix of fresh, steamed, and roasted if you want. There are no rules.

Master a few sauces you love — we recommend a green goddess or simple tahini-garlic combo — and you’re golden. Your body will love this as much as you do, and you can thank us later!

meal delivery package arrival
Meals at your doorstop can’t hurt either (Stock-Asso/Shutterstock.com)

Vegan Meal Delivery

When your usual staples fail, and you just can’t muster the courage (or, let’s face it, energy) to try something new, vegan meal delivery is always the easiest, fastest, and least thought-intensive option. If it’s within your means, find a service you love, and enjoy having the hard part done for you. Imagine being able to sit back, relax and let meal prep be someone else’s problem for a while, leaving you freed up to spend with your kiddos — or hide in the closet. Don’t worry. We get it.

The bottom line is that for those who have resources but struggle to find the time or the mental or physical energy to cook the way they’d like to, these services can streamline your life and, in a sense, buy some of it back for you. 

And hey, maybe you just hate cooking. Mid-century style might be back in, but the era’s parenting expectations can stay in the past.

family cooking vegan
It’s time to let go of expectations and make eating fun again (George Rudy/Shutterstock.com)

Letting Go

There’s no shame in setting yourself up with healthy simple staples your family loves, and opting for convenience food or options when you must.

It’s okay to make the same meal a few nights each month, or even each week. If it’s healthy and it works, why not?!

Whether it’s a delivery service, meal prep, or quick and simple staples that work for you, letting go of the pressure that comes with family meal time will bring you way more joy than mastering that vegan croquembouche ever could.

Nobody needs a croquembouche.

What’s your favorite plant-based dish? Let us know in the comments below.

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