4 Quick and Easy Vegan Meals for the Thrifty Chef
Centering a meal on vegetables is a great way to stimulate your creative side. The FDA recently classified red meat as a carcinogen, so there’s now even more reason to try out some more plant-focused recipe ideas. While this may seem like a challenge at first, it really couldn’t be easier. A nice way to add some fun into your life is to see how many days in a row you can go without any kind of meat. You may find you feel healthier and have a cleaner conscience.
Many cultures around the world have been eating primarily vegetable-based diets for centuries. While some argue that it is a luxury to be able to eat a vegetarian or vegan diet, it could also be argued that the meat-heavy diets that most Americans eat are also only possible in a wealthy society. However, the only real way to tell which diet plan works best for you and your family is to try one out and see how you feel. The recipes on this list come from different cultural styles, and can be made quickly and on a budget.
This is one of the oldest recipes in the world, and it hails from the area known today as Lebanon. There are a lot of variations on this recipe, but the main three ingredients are lentils, rice, and caramelized onions. It goes great with roasted vegetables. Some great spices to use are cumin, cloves, and allspice. Start off by caramelizing the onions and then add some vegetable broth and spices. After sautéing to your preference, add the rice and lentils and let things boil. Simmer for 30 minutes, then let it sit for 10 minutes. Fluff it up and serve.
Miso Tahini Soba
Soba is a delicious Japanese dish that can be made in many different ways. The basic formula is a grain, some kind of protein such as tofu or seitan, a green vegetable, and a sauce of your choice. Aside from this miso version, you could also go for a savory teriyaki sauce, or a spicy chili-based sauce, depending on your preferences. The sauce for this recipe uses tahini, fresh garlic, white miso, and water. For the base, use olive oil to cook up some brown or green lentils, some cauliflower, and some soba noodles.
Vegan Pad Thai
Who doesn’t love pad thai? This version uses tamarind paste and Thai rice noodles. The best way to do it is with a wok, but any cooking pan will do. Start off by soaking the rice noodles. While they are soaking, use oil to cook garlic, carrots, broccoli, and tofu. Then add the noodles to your wok and toss in some bean sprouts, green onions, shallots, agave, chilies, tamarind, and tamari. Once it’s fully cooked, top it off with peanuts and a slice of lime. Try serving this dish with some scallion pancakes for an extra authentic feeling.
Chickpeas with Curry
Who says you have to go to an expensive restaurant to have good Indian cuisine? This meal can be made in a snap and for an affordable price. This recipe can be made spicy or mild, depending on which spices you want to use. Start by cooking onion and garlic. Add chickpeas, water, curry powder, and tomato sauce. Let it all simmer and add some cilantro as the last ingredient. All-in-all, this recipe takes about 30 minutes to prepare and cook, and then it’s ready to serve.
More Great Ideas
If you’re excited about these vegan recipes, there are many more you can try out. Just do a search online and see what you find. One place that is full of some great easy recipes is the hamptoncreek Instagram page. They have some preview images that link to recipe pages and short videos that will make your mouth water.
Make Your Home a World Kitchen
The amazing thing about living in our modern day and age is that we have access to the cultural food repertoire of many different places and times. Whether the recipe you want to try is a thousand years old or it was just devised by last year’s Iron Chef, you can probably find a version online to try out yourself. Play around with different ingredients and you’ll realize that creative cooking is easy to afford and fun to do.