Prepare for your busy days with these 30-minute vegan meals!
No matter how much I love to cook, there are days when I don’t have the comfort of spending a lot of time in the kitchen. In days like that, I am looking for every possible time saver that will make things easier for me. And meals that are quick to make go on that list.
Since I try not to fall for unhealthy snacks instead of a good lunch (sometimes it is harder than others), I tend to prepare myself as well as I can.
So, I make a list of quick to make vegan meals and stick that on my cooking board, where I can see it and remind myself what I already planned. Yes I know, I am old fashioned since technology today makes everything easier, from planning meals, to reminders and all. But I really enjoy to write things down on paper and stick it on the fridge or my cooking board. It looks so cute!
So, here is a list of 10 vegan meals that will take 30 minutes or less of your time. Stick these recipes on your cooking board and get ready for some busy days!
1. Black pepper stir fried noodles
For the Black Pepper Sauce:
½ tablespoon freshly ground black peppercorns
5-6 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons mirin (sweet rice wine)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1-inch piece ginger
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 6 tablespoons water
For the Stir Fried Noodles:
2 tablespoons sesame oil
8 ounces udon noodles (rice noodles would also work)
2 cups spinach leaves
10 ounces extra firm tofu
sesame seeds for topping
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the noodles and cook for 1-2 minutes (they should NOT be all the way cooked – just enough to barely soften). Drain and rinse with cold water – this removes starch and helps them stir fry without turning into a big blob. Set aside.
Place all the sauce ingredients in the food processor and give it a whirl. When it’s smooth, taste it and adjust to your liking.
Cut the tofu into slices and press out the excess moisture several times with paper towels. Cut the tofu slices into cubes. Heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil in a large wok or nonstick skillet. When the oil is shiny, add the tofu. Stir fry very gently (breaks apart easily) for 5-10 minutes until deep golden brown. Add a tiny splash of black pepper sauce, a tiny splash of water, and ½ tablespoon oil and shake the pan around – everything will be all sizzly and awesome. When the tofu is cooked to your liking, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Heat the remaining ½ tablespoon oil in the skillet. When the oil is shiny, add the noodles and black pepper sauce. Add a splash of water if the sauce becomes too thick. Stir fry until the noodles are softened completely, covered with sauce, and piping hot.
Remove from heat and toss with the spinach and tofu. Serve sprinkled with sesame seeds.
2. Summer Squash Risotto with Fresh Garlic, Petite Peas & Basil
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
½ cup Vidalia Onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, or 1 stalk fresh garlic, finely minced
¼ cup white wine
4-5 cups organic vegetable broth
1 cup Arborio rice
2 medium yellow squash
½ cup frozen, thawed petite peas
¼ cup fresh basil, julienned
1 Tbsp. vegan margarine
Freshly ground pepper
Wash squash & cut into ½ moons about a ½ inch thick. Set aside.
In a large, heavy saucepan or dutch oven, heat olive oil, & add onion & garlic. Saute for 3-5 minutes over medium heat.
Stir in the rice, & cook 2 minutes until opaque. Add wine & stir until absorbed.
Ladle broth into rice, one ladleful at a time, stirring frequently over medium heat, after each addition. Wait until broth is almost completely absorbed before adding more.
After about 15 minutes, add squash & peas. Continue stirring & adding broth until the vegetables are tender & the rice is al dente but looks creamy, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat, add fresh basil, margarine & stir. Season with fresh black pepper & garnish with more fresh basil. For a little extra brightness, top each dish with fresh lemon zest.
3. Falafel Pie
1 Falafel mix
Preheat oven to 350c. Mix a cup of falafel mix with a half cup of water. Layer falafel mix in baking pan and bake for 15min. Remove and top with a thick layer of hummus.
Slice a tomato and a half cucumber, then layer on pie.
Blend a cup of soy yogurt, a spoonful of lemon juice, and a half a cucumber in blender.
Pour mixture on pie and top with a handful of olives.
4. Mushroom masala with kale
3 tablespoon heat-stable oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 handful baby kale or mature kale, shredded
2 teaspoon ginger, peeled and finely grated
¾ cup onion, diced
1½ cups diced tomatoes (I use this)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt, pepper to taste
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 stick cinnamon (or a dash of ground cinnamon)
Juice of 1 lime
Prepare quinoa or rice according to package instructions.
Heat 2 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.
Add mustard seeds and cook until they crackle.
Add mushrooms and half of your garlic and sautee for about 4-5 minutes. Stir frequently.
Skip this step if you are using baby kale – Add mature kale and toss with a pair of tongues for about 1-2 minutes or until slightly softened.
Pour mushrooms and kale into a bowl and allow your skillet to cool down.
Add 1 tablespoon oil to your skillet and sautee ginger, garlic and onions for about 3-4 minutes.
Add tomatoes, cumin seeds, ground coriander, cayenne pepper, salt (roughly 1 teaspoon), pepper and maple syrup and cook until the liquid is reduced to a paste, about 7 minutes.
Transfer to a blender and puree, then transfer back to your skillet.
Reduce heat, add cinnamon and lime juice and simmer for 4-6 minutes.
Stir in mushrooms and kale and serve over cooked quinoa or rice. Enjoy!
5. Peanut Butter Tofu Rice Bowl
2 1/2 cups brown rice, cooked
1 1/4 cups firm tofu, cubed
garnish: cilantro + chopped peanuts
3 Tbsp peanut butter, salted / creamy
1 Tbsp white miso paste (optional – you could substitute with a splash of lime juice)
2 1/2 tsp agave syrup
3/4 cup water
2-3 tsp tamari or soy sauce (to taste)
optional: 3-4 dashes cayenne powder (for heat)
carrots, chopped or shredded
Mix up your sauce using a Vitamix or food processor – you want it to be nice and smooth.
Cube your tofu. You can either steam the tofu, use chilled tofu or lightly saute it in a skillet with a splash of oil.
Toss the tofu with a spoonful of the sauce.
Cook your rice or use a pre-cooked rice packet and heat. Todd the rice with the remaining sauce and fold in the tofu. Add in some veggies if you’d like!
Serve warm with fresh cilantro and chopped peanuts over top. Add cayenne to recipe if you’d like a spicy accent.
6. Chickpea sloppy joes
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ red onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
½ red bell pepper, diced
2 15oz cans of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 15oz can of fire roasted tomatoes
¼ cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons Bragg Liquid Aminos
2 tablespoons Sriracha Sauce
1 tablespoon Maple Syrup
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 ½ teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
salt/pepper to taste
vegan hamburger buns (gluten free, if required)
Pour the chickpeas into a bowl. Use a fork to mash them until they are in small chunks/shreds. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to it’s lowest temperature. Open the buns and place the halves, cut side up, on the center rack (or on a baking sheet). Let them heat up for about 10-15 minutes.
Heat the olive oil in a large shallow saucepan over medium heat for about one minute. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until onions are translucent and garlic is fragrant. Add the bell pepper and the chickpeas and sauté for about two minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and let it simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10-15 minutes, until heated through and slightly thickened. If it sticks, add a little water to scrape the pan and lower the heat a bit.
Once the buns are warmed and the chickpea mixture is hot, scoop the mixture onto the four buns. Serve while hot. The filling can be kept for about 4 days. Enjoy!
7. Mediterranean baked sweet potatoes
4 medium sweet potatoes*
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp each cumin, coriander, cinnamon, smoked (or regular) paprika
Optional: Pinch of sea salt or lemon juice
Garlic herb sauce:
1/4 cup hummus (or tahini)
juice of 1/2 lemon (~1 Tbsp)
3/4 – 1 tsp dried dill (or sub 2-3 tsp fresh)
3 cloves garlic, minced
Water or unsweetened almond milk to thin
Optional: Sea salt to taste (I didn’t need any)
1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup chopped parsley, minced
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Chili garlic sauce
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a large baking sheet with foil.
Rinse and scrub potatoes and cut in half length wise. This will speed cooking time. Otherwise leave whole and bake longer (approximately double the time (45 min – 1 hour).
Toss rinsed and drained chickpeas with olive oil and spices and place on a foil-lined baking sheet.
Rub the sweet potatoes with a bit of olive oil and place face down on the same baking sheet (or another baking sheet depending on size).
While the sweet potatoes and chickpeas are roasting, prepare your sauce by adding all ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisking to combine, only adding enough water to almond milk to thin so it’s pourable. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Add more garlic for more zing, salt for savoriness, lemon juice for freshness, and dill for a more intense herb flavor. I found mine didn’t need anything else.
NOTE: If you don’t have hummus, tahini (which you can DIY!) will make a great base substitution for the sauce – just adjust the seasonings to accommodate the lack of flavor tahini provides.
Also prepare the parsley-tomato topping by tossing tomato and parsley with lemon juice and setting aside to marinate.
Once sweet potatoes are fork tender and the chickpeas are golden brown – roughly 25 minutes – remove from oven.
For serving, flip potatoes flesh-side up and smash down the insides a little bit. Then top with chickpeas, sauce and parsley-tomato garnish. Serve immediately.
8. Avocado Pasta
12 ounces spaghetti
2 ripe avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup canned corn kernels, drained and rinsed
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well.
To make the avocado sauce, combine avocados, basil, garlic and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor; season with salt and pepper, to taste. With the motor running, add olive oil in a slow stream until emulsified; set aside.
In a large bowl, combine pasta, avocado sauce, cherry tomatoes and corn.
9. Quinoa corn edamame salad
2 cups frozen shelled edamame
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup cooked, cooled quinoa (leftover is great)
1 green onion, sliced (just green parts)
½ red sweet bell pepper, diced
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
1½ Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp dried thyme
⅛ tsp fresh ground black pepper
dash of cayenne
Briefly boil the edamame and the corn, just until tender. Drain very well and cool completely.
In a large bowl, combine the edamame, corn, quinoa, green onion, red pepper and cilantro.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, lime juice, salt, chili powder, black pepper, thyme and cayenne until emulsified. Drizzle mixture over salad mixture and toss to coat.
10. Spicy chickpea veggie burgers
1 can chickpeas, drained, well-rinsed,and mashed
½ red onion, finely diced
1 small zuchinni, grated
3 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp sriracha sauce
2 tbsp natural peanut butter
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp black pepper
½ tsp sea salt
1 cup quick oats (gluten-free if needed)
2 tbsp olive oil
After draining and rinsing the chickpeas, place them in a bowl and mash them with a fork.
Add all the other ingredients to the bowl. Use your hands to mix very well.
Form into 6-8 patties.
Cook on the BBQ around 400 F for approximately 10 minutes each side.
You can also fry these in a pan with some oil for 3-5 minutes a side.
Recipes from: Recipe 1. Pinch Of Yum, Recipe 2. Vegenista, Recipe 3. The Vegan Stoner, Recipe 4. The Clean Dish, Recipe 5. Babble, Recipe 6. Keepin It Kind, Recipe 7. Minimalist Baker, Recipe 8. Damn Delicious, Recipe 9. 86 Lemons, Recipe 10. Running On Real Food