As our understanding and knowledge of our food choices increase about how they impact the environment and the world we live in, there’s a conscious choice all over the world to move to more plant-based foods. Going vegan may be a choice; but it’s difficult to always remember the best and easiest meals for you to make that can be tasty, satiating and easy to make. We’ve put together a few vegan meal recipes that you can keep handy to make through the week and also keep you excited and smacking your lips in appreciation.
The Ultimate Vegan Stew
In this recipe, the delicious textured and meaty jackfruit gives you that warmth that you so crave in the winters. Also, need we mention that it’s just as nourishing?
- 4 tablespoons vegan margarine
- 2 x 540 g tins (or 3 x 400 g tins) jackfruit in brine, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 brown onion, chopped
- 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 250 ml/9 fl oz vegan-friendly red wine
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
- 4 carrots, cut into ½ in slices
- 750 g/1 lb 1 0 oz potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
- 2 bay leaves
- 500 ml vegetable stock
- 250 ml hot water
- Salt and pepper
- Put 3 tablespoons of the margarine in a large lidded saucepan over a medium heat. Add the jackfruit and a small pinch of salt and pepper. Fry for 15–20 minutes, or until golden brown, adding more margarine if necessary.
- Once the jackfruit is golden brown, remove from the heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, then tip the jackfruit into a bowl and wipe out the pan.
- Put the pan back over a medium heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of margarine. Add the onion and celery and fry for 8 minutes. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute, then stir in the flour.
- Pour in the wine and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the thyme, carrots, potatoes, bay, stock, hot water and the remaining tablespoon of soy sauce. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, put the lid on and simmer for 40–50 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
15 Minute Chickpea and Spinach Curry
This is one amazing dish. Easy and quick to make, hearty, healthy and tasty. You can have this by itself or pair it with quinoa, or some whole grain.
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 knob ginger, grated
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes
- 4 plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 cups water
- 1 can organic chickpeas
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 handfuls fresh coriander
- Salt and pepper
- Add the chopped onions to the frying pan with the oil and cook for approximately 4 minutes until starting to soften. Add in the garlic, ginger and spices. Cook for a further minute until the spices are fragrant.
- Add in the chopped tomatoes and cook for a minute, then add the water.
- Add the chickpeas and simmer for eight minutes, adding the spinach, half of the coriander, salt, and pepper at the last minute to wilt down.
- Top with a dollop of coconut yogurt, the rest of the coriander, and some chili flakes.
Easy Vegan Cauliflower Fried Rice
Now this one comes together in less than 25 minutes, low-cal, low fat, low carb and gluten free.
- 1 lb firm tofu, pressed and drained
- 1 medium-sized head of cauliflower
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 carrots, diced (about 1 cup)
- ½ cup peas, thawed if frozen
- ¼ cup thinly sliced green onions
- 3 tablespoons cashews
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce (or Tamari for gluten-free version)
- Sesame seeds, for garnishing
- Press and drain the tofu (either by wrapping the tofu in paper towels and placing under a heavy object, or by using a tofu press.
- Lightly crumble the tofu in a large bowl and set aside.
- Cut the cauliflower into florets, discarding the tough inner core. Working in batches if needed, pulse the cauliflower in a food processor until it breaks down into rice-sized pieces. You should have 5 to 6 cups of cauliflower ‘rice’ and set it aside.
- In a large wok, heat the sesame oil over medium heat. Add the ginger and garlic and lightly stir fry for 30 seconds – 1 minute until just golden brown and fragrant. Add in the crumbled tofu and stir-fry for 5 minutes, stirring often, until tofu is golden in color and cooked through.
- Remove tofu from wok and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of sesame oil.
- Add in the carrots and saute until tender, about 2 minutes. Stir the peas, and cauliflower ‘rice’ into the wok, mixing the ingredients thoroughly.
- Cook, stirring often, until the cauliflower is tender for 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the cooked tofu, green onions, cashews and soy sauce.
- Garnish with sesame seeds, if desired.
Spiced Fresh Tomato Soup with Sweet and Herby Pitas
You simply can’t go wrong with the classic tomato soup. Put in a vegan twist and combine it with some pitas, and you’ll be in for a scrumptious surprise!
For The Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion
- 1 large red pepper (both chopped)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 jalapeño
- 1 1-inch piece ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 ½ lb tomatoes (roughly chopped)
- 2 ½ c water
- 2 pocketless pitas
For The Topping
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
- 2 tablespoons finely shredded unsweetened coconut
- 2 tablespoons cilantro
- For the soup, heat a large Dutch oven on medium-low. Add olive oil, then onion, red pepper, and salt, and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender for 8 to 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, finely grate garlic, jalapeno, and ginger. Add to onion and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Stir in ground coriander and ground cumin and cook a minute.
- Add tomatoes and water; increase heat and simmer, partially covered for 10 minutes. While tomatoes are cooking, toast 2 pocketless pitas.
- Using an immersion blender (or standard blender, in batches), puree soup until smooth.
- For the topping, combine brown sugar in a bowl with butter, finely shredded unsweetened coconut, and cilantro. Spread onto toasted pitas, then cut and serve with soup.
And there you have it! These quick and easy vegan meals are sure to make your close ones fans of your cooking. Just be prepared to be asked for more, very often!