I was at the grocery store the other day looking for some quick vegetarian meals to take to work. Sometimes I get bored of leftovers from the night before or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. So I thought I’d talk about the kinds of meals for vegetarians and the meals for vegans you can find and buy at the grocery store and perhaps make at home too.
In my neck of the woods and I live up in the prairies of Canada where oil and ranching rule the land, finding vegan TV dinners and vegetarian TV dinners is quite challenging.
Though I was at the local Walmart and there was at least 2 options available so with a little bit of vegan detective work you can find some quick and easy TV dinners or microwaveable dinners that are vegan.
Because I don’t know what exactly might be in all the different grocery stores in all the cities across North American, Europe and Australasia, I thought I’d give you some tips that I have found helpful in finding the vegan microwaveable meals that are available at most grocery stores.
The frozen isles of vegan meals
The frozen isle can be your friend especially if your grocery store has a natural or whole foods section. But let’s not talk about natural food stores or natural food sections in regular grocery stores because not all of us have them in the stores we shop at.
I have found that most times you can find one, perhaps more frozen pasta dishes that are vegan.
For example, at my grocery store I have found they usually offer a vegan pasta meal, most commonly some sort of pasta like penne with a marinara sauce, though you do have to watch out for milk and cheese ingredients. Unfortunately, until veganism becomes more mainstream you need to read labels. Though I see a trend of more companies labelling a meal as vegan with the words “vegan” or a vegan societies’ logo, so that does make it easier. However, most of those meals are found only in natural food markets like Whole Foods.
One other type of meal that I have found to be vegan and which I found in Walmart of all places was a rice and vegetable stir fry type of dish.
It is a Healthy Choice Gourmet Steamers product called “Mediterranean Grilled Vegetables” and it is labeled 100% vegetarian so word is slowly getting out. You can find a bunch of Healthy Choice vegan meals available at Amazon like the Healthy Choice Fresh Mixers Rotini & Zesty Marinara sauce. It’s made with whole wheat pasta which is a benefit. The sodium is not outrageous at 500mg for a 290 calorie serving offering 7 grams of fiber and 10 grams of protein.
Dry food isles for vegan fixin’s
Of course, when we get to the dry food isles this is where our choices for quick and easy vegan meals often increases exponentially.
For example in the canned soup section I can usually find 2 or 3 soups that are vegan and that I can take to work and enjoy. I just spoon them into a bowl and nuke it for a minute or so and get a very tasty, warm and hearty meal. A whole can of vegan soup though usually a little high in sodium only has about 150 to 300 calories and remains very satisfying.
I’ve written about the best vegan soups you can buy if you want to check that article out for more info. It also includes an easy lentil soup recipe you can make at home too.
In the dry food aisles you’ll also often find vegetarian chili meals as well as the more intriguing cuisines from around the world like lentil couscous and black bean soups etc, etc.
With a bit of vegan patience and spending 15 seconds reading some labels you can find some vegan quick meals that you can take to the office in a pinch.
But unfortunately most of these foods although otherwise healthy will often contain too much salt, so bear that in mind. These are great options to use in a pinch and on occasion when you want something different but you can and should eat better most of the time.
A meal I love and enjoy fairly often is to take a whole bunch of mixed greens, as many as I can stuff in a container and a can of mixed beans. I rinse the beans and chuck them on top of my greens. If I’m feeling very daring and full of piss and vinegar I’ll also cut up a quarter of a sweet onion and a whole tomato and throw that on too. If you add a splash of your favourite salad dressing like a nice Thai salad dressing or even a balsamic vinaigrette, you have a very healthy and tasty vegan meal. It contains loads of vitamins and minerals thanks to the greens. Loads of fiber and protein thanks to the beans.
It’s tasty and very filling. It’s also very easy to prepare the night before.
You can also take leftover home made vegan pizza or even leftover homemade spaghetti with vegan meatballs. Just like mom used to make but healthier. What about the vegan lasagna you made that I know you couldn’t finish the night before? 🙂
Finding vegetarian and vegan meals is easy to do once you get a knack to it. As mentioned in earlier posts, start with veganizing some of your classic favourites that you grew up with. My spaghetti and meatballs is one of them. You can find great vegan burgers and fries you can bake to replace the burgers you used to enjoy.
My lasagna recipe is another favourite that many of use can use to enjoy lasagna we used to have. Steak and potatoes is harder. But you know you should be cutting that waaaaay down anyway 🙂 But you could have a nice baked potato with a side of steamed broccoli or mixed veggies with Gardein’s Beefless Tips.
Remember that becoming vegan is about doing the least harm possible to animals and in a widening circle the world and our beautiful planet.
As such, we are animals too and through a vegan diet we can learn to let go of the pain we cause sentient beings that suffer terribly to find their way as chopped up corpses on our dinner plates. We can easily end that suffering. We can also learn to embrace our own yearning for a healthy body, our vessel along this beautiful journey and as such we learn to move away from the transitional vegan foods and onto the most life supporting and health giving plant foods that Mother Nature offers us from her bountiful garden.
Join me on a journey to optimal health and wellness by embracing a vegan diet and lifestyle.
PS. Don’t watch the vid below if you are offended by strong language… just saying’ 🙂