20 August 2012

Quick and easy vegan meals

Contrary to what many people may believe, vegan cooking is actually much easier and quicker than preparing a non-vegetarian meal. There are so many ways you can use similar ingredients, but make a totally different meal each time. Flour tortilla shells make a great base for so many meals, as well as pasta and canned beans. I try to keep these stocked at all times for those days where I'm looking to whip up a delicious meal in no time.

Grab your favorite prepackaged pizza crust, flour tortilla, or pita bread, and top it with your favorite ingredients. I top mine with pizza or tomato sauce, chopped green olives, diced onions, and some Daiya Mozzarella cheese. Pop it in the oven at 400 degrees, and bake for about 15-20 minutes. Just check to see when the cheese is melted. 

Grab 2 flour tortillas of your choice (whatever size you are hungry for) and place them on a baking sheet. Spread a thick amount of hummus on each shell, and top with diced onions, green peppers, and green onions, or whatever toppings you choose. Sometimes I like to sprinkle some Cheddar style Daiya cheese to make it extra gooey. Combine the shells and press down. Pop in the oven for about 20 minutes. Serve with Tofutti-Better Than Sour Cream. 

Hummus Wrap
Wraps are so versatile and so easy to make. Spread a tortilla with hummus and chop up some lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, celery, and green pepper, and wrap them up in the shell. 

BBQ Wrap
Another wrap option is to chop up some romaine lettuce, tomatoes, and green pepper, then combine in a bowl with one can of black beans (drained and rinsed) about 4 tbs of BBQ sauce. Toss and sprinkle with crumbled tortilla chips. Pile on your tortilla shell and wrap up.

Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce
Just about the easiest and simplest of meals is spaghetti, which is naturally vegan. Just cook spaghetti noodles and heat up a jar of traditional spaghetti or tomato sauce, and add your own favorite spices to it. Add Boca crumbles for some extra texture, and throw in some chopped mushrooms or other vegetables of your choice.

Peanut Pasta
One of my favorite ways to eat pasta is with peanut butter. Cook a pasta of your choice (I like spaghetti noodles or a spiral-shaped pasta), and  combine about 1/2 cup of peanut butter (either crunchy or smooth) with about 1/4 cup of water. Cook on medium heat. Add about 2 tbs of soy sauce and mix. If the sauce is too runny, mix in some more peanut butter. The sauce should be thicker. I like to chop up some peanuts of any kind and toss them in, but if you use crunchy peanut butter, you can skip this part. When noodles are done, toss with the sauce. If you want to make the extra effort, then blanch a frozen vegetable blend for a few minutes, and toss them with the pasta and sauce. I like using carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower.

Veggie Burgers
Veggie burgers are so easy to make, and you can switch them up in so many ways. The easiest are black bean burgers, which are absolutely delicious. Drain and rinse a can of black beans and then mash them up in a bowl. Add one small diced onion and sprinkle with garlic powder and garlic salt, then mix to combine. Form into about 3 patties and cook on a greased cookie sheet for about 20 minutes. Take the patties out and flip them over. Cook for about 20 minutes longer. Serve on buns and add your favorite ingredients. I love to whisk together cajun seasoning with either Vegenaise or Nayonaise and add that to the bun as my sauce.

See how quick and easy it is to cook vegan? I hope these delicious recipes convinced you!

Alexandra Beane | Facebook | Twitter
Minnesota Alexandra is a lover of all animals, but has a soft spot for especially dogs and rabbits. She believes that life is not complete without an animal to love. Alexandra is highly passionate about animals and animal rights, and wants to raise awareness of the cruelty that many animals suffer in the best way she knows how, and this is by written word. Alexandra is a recent graduate of Metropolitan State University in Minnesota, with a degree in Professional Writing and a minor in Creative Writing. She absolutely loves to write news and creative nonfiction, and obsesses over spelling and grammar.

Photo credit: Katelyn Vajgrt