5 simple and quick vegan recipes for lunch or dinner; I wrote lunches because I usually have an even simpler dinner, but of course they can be prepared for dinner as well. They are quite cheap; the only expensive ingredients are tahini and nutritional yeast, and you don’t necessarily have to use them. They do make food tastier, though, and once you buy them you can use them for a couple of months.
Note: apparently chickpeas for lunch are what bananas are to me for breakfast – a necessity (and that’s why 4 out of 5 of these recipes contain them).
Some sort of pad thai
It’s not real pad thai; I, as usually, didn’t follow any recipe and didn’t use any oil (you can, of course, use oil if you’re a normal person and you’re not experimenting like me).
- rice noodles for one person (if it’s for more than one, just use more of the rest of the ingredients)
- veggies, for example: one onion, one pepper, some broccoli
- half a can of mushrooms
- half a block of tofu
- soy sauce to taste
- a splash of soy milk (I didn’t have any other sauce)
- spices of choice (I used paprika, turmeric and black pepper)
- crushed peanuts or other nuts (I used pistachios)
Fry the onion for about a minute, then add pieces of broccoli, red pepper and mushrooms and fry some more, adding soy sauce and spices of choice. Fry until the veggies are not completely raw anymore but not soft either; they should still be crunchy. Cook the noodles according to the instructions. Cut the tofu into small cubes and »fry« them in soy sauce. Throw the veggies and the noodles on it and mix well. I added a splash of soy milk here because it was too dry; real cooks and people who care more mix up a special sauce at this point. I didn’t mind the dish being a bit drier because the noodles were super soft and good (overcooked according to my boyfriend, but I seem to like overdone food for some reason). Sprinkle some roasted nuts on top and eat!
Pasta with hummus sauce
I know it sounds odd, but I guarantee you it’s life.
- any pasta (as much as you’d like to eat)
- hummus: the more you use, the juicier it will be (I use about half of what I make out of one can of chickpeas)
- nutritional yeast: a tablespoon or two
- some dried tomatoes
- some fresh cherry tomatoes
Cook the pasta, drain it, put it back in the same pot you cooked it in, and throw all the ingredients on top. Add some salt or pepper if desired (I don’t). Mix it well and eat!
You can cook your own chickpeas or buy a can (drain the chickpeas and then rinse well in case it’s a can; in my case it usually is). Place around 240 grams (1 can) of chickpeas in a bowl or blender, squeeze some lemon on it, add a pinch of salt, some garlic powder (or fresh minced garlic) and a teaspoon of tahini (sesame paste). Blend it in a blender or in a bowl using a stick hand blender. That’s it! Adding oil is completely unnecessary, but some people find the store-bought hummus tastier (it contains oil, more salt and preservatives).
The question marks are there because that’s probably not real curry, it’s just something I made up after reading a couple of recipes and deciding they were too complicated/I didn’t have the ingredients and was too lazy to get them. It was for about two people or two lunches.
- an onion
- a clove of garlic
- 2 medium carrots
- some green beans
- a courgette
- a can of chickpeas
- soy milk (coconut would be better, I just didn’t have it)
- spices: salt, black pepper, paprika, curry obviously, turmeric
Cut the onion and fry it in some kind of oil (or in water). Add the garlic after about a minute. Fry everything for another minute at medium temperature, then add all the remaining veggies and pour about a glass of water and a glass of soy milk over them. At this point I also added some soy sauce and all the spices, and then cooked it all until the veggies were almost done, then added the canned chickpeas (rinse it first, my friends), some nutritional yeast because I like it, and cooked a couple of minutes more. If it’s too dry add more liquid and if it’s too watery don’t cover it while cooking. Serve with rice.
Chippies with hummus, eggplant and tomato sauce
If you’re not vegan it probably seems like this meal is missing something (maybe it seems like they all do), but for me it’s a completely normal lunch. I just have it with some hummus and my life’s complete.
- thinly sliced potatoes (as much as you’d like to eat)
- an eggplant, sliced
- any tomato sauce (my mum makes her own, will ask how at some point)
Put the potatoes and the eggplant on a baking tray lined with baking paper, add salt and desired spices and bake at around 200 degrees Celsius for about 20 to 25 minutes. Heat up the tomato sauce and, if you’re me, make some hummus! Put it all on a plate and dip the potatoes in the sauce/hummus.
Sweet potato with, surprise, hummus
Sweet potato is different from regular potato: it’s sweeter and the structure is different; it’s pumpkin-like. If I bake it in the oven, I always cut regular potatoes into thin slices and sweet potato into thicker slices; it’s just my preference, though.
- sweet potato (I used two small ones)
- hummus (check the recipe above)
Cut the sweet potato into slices that are about one centimetre thick. Put them on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake at 200 degrees Celsius for about 20 to 25 minutes. I don’t add any spices because I love the taste as it is. I recommend having it with hummus or avocado spread (I make it with lemon, salt, black pepper and garlic powder).
And that’s it! I hope this gives you guys some ideas about what a vegan lunch could look like. Of course, I could have added tempeh, seitan or some sort of fake meat to any of these meals, but I don’t do that often, except for the occasional tofu (like in the pad thai recipe). I also had raw veggies with all of these meals, like lettuce or something similar. I think they are filling, tasty meals that provide the necessary carbs, fats and protein (because of all the hummus). More importantly, I think they can be enjoyed by anyone, vegan or not!