Okay, quick question. What’s for dinner? If you don’t have an answer then perhaps the 3 quick dinner ideas for vegetarians and vegans that I have below will give you something to chew on.
Personally, my vegan dinner is probably my biggest meal of the day. Some say to eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen and dinner like a pauper but I think that’s backwards. At least for me it is. I hardly have an appetite for breakfast and usually only end up eating a light lunch.
Dinner is where it’s game on for me.
Here are 3 vegan dinner idea recipes that you can use tonight. They’re super easy vegan dinners as I’m all about having tasty food that is quick and easy to prepare. And did I say they were cheap.
Cheap vegan food is good because part of the benefit of eating a vegan whole foods plant based diet is that it is generally cheaper than a meal based around meat. As it should be. But that is only if you eat whole foods as a rule. As soon as you go for mock meats and processed vegan treats and goodies, you’re not going to come out ahead.
That’s also not the best way to eat a vegan diet either. For a great cookbook that I recommend for tons of easy vegan recipes check out Cooking with PeTA.
All 3 of these vegan and vegetarian dinners are different. I have a pasta dish, a soup and a pie.
The Art of tofu pasta
I know, I come up with corny names for my recipes. But it’s all in fun and you can just ignore them if you want. The key here is that they are tasty and take less than 30 minutes from kitchen table to tummy.
This’ll make 6 really good servings or 8 decent servings.
1 pound of pasta of your choice, I like the rotini
half of one sweet onion chopped
4 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of oil
1 can of artichoke hearts
1 package of tofu – about a pound
1 cup of tomato sauce
1 small can (12 to 14 ounces) of diced tomatoes
Get the pasta cooking. I have found the best way to cook pasta is to bring plenty of water to a rolling boil and then dump in your pasta. Turn the head down a smidge so that the pasta boils but not in a rolling fashion. Set the timer for 11 minutes and you’re al dente.
While the pasta is boiling and cooking fry up the onions in a pot with the oil. After a couple of minutes add in the garlic which you’ve either presses or diced.
After another couple of minutes add in the tofu. I like to cut the tofu into little squares. Fry them up in the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes to brown just a bit without letting the onions and garlic burn.
Toss in everything else and mix thoroughly. The artichoke you have quartered.
When pasta is finished cooking, drain it and then add the artichoke/tofu mix to the pasta and mix well. Enjoy!
Vegan shepherd’s pie
There are many ways to enjoy a vegan shepherd’s pie. You can use beans, oftentimes lentils or you can use a vegan ground meat substitute. I say why not use both!
1 cup of rehydrated veggie ground meat – Bob’s TVP works well
1 cup of lentils of your choice
4 garlic cloves
1 cup of tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 tsp of Italian seasoning
2 to 3 large baking potatoes
1 cup soymilk
1 to 2 tbsp margarine
Cook the lentils – I know they’ll take about 45 minutes but we won’t count this time – with the bay leaf. Cover the lentils with a few inches of water, and bring to a steady boil.
Boil the potatoes in enough water as well. To make it easier on you, chop the potatoes into chunks and they should only take about 15 to 20 minutes to cook. Keep the skin on if you like. I do.
When the lentils are almost done pre-heat your oven to 350.
In a bowl mix together the rehydrated veggie meat, the lentils, the garlic cloves that you’ve pressed, the tomato paste and the Italian seasoning. Remove the bay leaf rom the lentils first.
In the pot you’ve cooked the potatoes in, drain them and mash them with a potato masher along with the margarine and the soy milk. Use half of the soy milk to start with adding more until you get the consistency you like.
Press the lentil mixture into the bottom of a 9 x 12 inch baking dish and then cover with the fluffy mashed potatoes. Sprinkle with paprika if you like and bake for 25 or so minutes or until potatoes are slightly browned.
Finger lickin’ good noodle soup
This is a vegan chicken noodle soup recipe that mom would be proud off. Makes about 4 to 6 servings. Kids and adults love it equally.
8 cups of hot water
4 to 6 tbsps of vegan chicken broth powder
1 large onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic pressed or diced
1 tbsp of oil
1 cup of chopped celery – that’s about 4 or so stalks
0.5 cup of split peas – yellow is best
1 tsp turmeric
1 bay leaf
1 cup of pasta noodles – break it up into pieces – soba noodles are great too
1 cup frozen peas
2 chopped carrots
0.33 cup of nutritional yeast flakes
Don’t be intimidated by the amount of the ingredients, this is really a simple and super easy vegetarian chicken noodle soup recipe.
Fry up the onion in a large pot in the oil. After a couple of minutes add in the garlic and fry for a minute or so longer.
Dump in the rest of the ingredients except for the pasta. I like to add in the water first and then stir in the vegan chicken broth powder. Then put everything else in except for the noodles or pasta.
The split peas will take about 30 minutes to cook. So after about 20 minutes add in the broken noodles and cook for 10 more minutes or so until the pasta is cooked.
Enjoy. Tell me this isn’t like grandma’s chicken noodle recipe, ‘cept this one is humane and actually good for you!