There are simple tricks to help out any lazy cook with making meals. The most important trick is to keep lots of spices and sauces in your kitchen. Spices like turmeric, black pepper and sea salt, cinnamon and cayenne pepper are sure to pair well with most plant-based ingredients. These Chipotle Vegetable Stuffed Avocados are flavored with …yup, you guessed it: chipotle. Sauces like teriyaki, soy, mustard and balsamic are great starters in marinades for plant-protein sources like tofu, beans or tempeh. Another trick for the lazy cook is to use basic, yet satisfying ingredients. This means straying away from processed foods and choosing fresh or frozen vegetables and grains instead. Here are some of the best meal ideas that would suit any lazy chef. These ideas are economical, hearty, vegan-friendly, and best of all, don’t require your whole night in the kitchen.
Complete proteins. Proteins are made up of amino acid building blocks, which are used to repair muscle tissue and build new proteins. A complete protein is one that contains all 9 of the essential amino acids the body needs (English, 2015). Lacto-ovo vegetarians can get all of these amino acids from eggs. It has been found that eating a variety of plant proteins can provide all the essential amino acids and thus providing ample protein for the body. For example: having rice with lunch and then beans with dinner will result in consumption of all the essential amino acids. Additionally, many plant foods provide all of the essential aminos acids including quinoa, chia seeds,beans, and buckwheat (American Dietary Association, 2009).
Are you a terminally lazy cook? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Plant-based eating is incredible in that it offers many benefits of developing healthy relationships with food and a deeper appreciation for spending more time in the kitchen. Plant-based eating can also require more time planning meals and more thought into getting proper nutrients. With this said, sometimes we all feel inevitably lazy and don’t want to spend our whole evening in the kitchen. Whether we are busy bees or just don’t enjoy cooking, sometimes a fast, cheap and easy meal is all we need. With laziness comes the desire for convenience, but have no fear, making vegan meals convenient and trouble-free is completely possible.
Three words: So. Freakin'. Good. While eating something made solely of dehydrated squash and a bunch of spices may not seem like it would be tasty, Just Pure Foods dazzles us with this healthy chip alternative creation. It's crispy and full of an oniony, garlicky flavor that's hard to stop eating. Best of all, you don't have to. Even if you were to polish off half the bag in one sitting, it won't do much damage to your waistline.
“You might assume that you can’t eat pulses like chickpeas, beans, and lentils on the keto diet. But you totally can, especially in smaller portions," says Amy Gorin, RDN, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in the New York City area. "Pulses are a good source of satiating protein and an excellent source of filling fiber—and research shows that eating them daily can help your overall health and can even help you lose weight." Roast chickpeas and toss with oil (for added fat) and spices (to amp the flavor).
This colorful creation makes for a festive appetizer or a delicious bite-sized snack. Thanks to the zucchini base, they're loaded with vitamin A, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, calcium, and protein, just to name a few of its many nutrients. Plus the sun-dried tomato adds a dose of vitamin, iron, and antioxidants. While the goat cheese adds a boost of protein to keep you feeling full and satisfied longer.
I say potayto, you say potahto, we all say baked potatoes! Potatoes are a lazy cook’s best friend—cheap, adaptable and filling—how could you go wrong with that? Skip the mashing, the French fries, go and just bake your potatoes instead. While baking potatoes can take about an hour, it’s actually perfect for the lazy cook. Just pop it in the oven and come back when it’s ready! For the lazy and the time-crunched, wrap your potato in a wet paper towel and microwave until tender, around 4-7 minutes. To make your baked potato into a meal, make sure to stuff them with robust fillings. Beans, vegan cheese, crumbled tempeh, or frozen veggies are all simple ingredients for stuffing. Use these 8 Ways to Make Badass Baked Potatoes as inspiration for your own creations or try these Twice-Baked Cheesy Hummus Potatoes. For a meal with more nutrients and antioxidants, try using baked sweet potatoes. The lentil, kale, or Mediterranean recipes in 10 Ways to Stuff a Sweet Potato would be perfect options for the hungry and lazy vegan.
If you're looking for a creative way to add more fruit to your diet, try frozen banana pops. Slice several peeled bananas in half and insert popsicle sticks. Coat each half with an ounce of low-fat plain yogurt. Put the pops in the freezer, and soon you'll have ready-to-eat low-calorie treats. At just under 80 calories a pop, this is a snack you can feel good about.
Following a vegetarian diet is a healthy lifestyle choice that is associated with lower rates of obesity and better cardiovascular health (American Heart Association, 2015). However, vegetarians must be vigilant about their dietary intake to ensure they get the broad array of nutrients needed to maintain health. Meat and animal products are a good source of certain nutrients that are less abundant in non-animal sources. In particular, it is important for vegetarians to prioritize getting the following nutrients:
This portable, affordable protein is a must-eat for anyone looking to lose a few. Why? Canned tuna is a prime source of a specific omega-3 fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which has been shown to "turn off" fat genes in the abdomen, preventing belly fat cells from growing larger. To keep calories to a minimum, skip the mayo and instead add a few cranks of ground pepper, a splash of balsamic vinegar and serve the fish over a bed of greens—super filling, yet low-cal.
For your convenience, we've compiled a list of premade snacks and recipes below that do not include any animal products, whether it be cheese or honey. We do, however, have some “cheesy” snacks on the list including vegan “cheese” kale chips and vegan “cheese” dill chips. Both of these vegan snacks use nutritional yeast to recreate that uniquely “cheesy” flavor.
That same vegan nacho cheese sauce makes for a serious plate of nachos. We use freshly fried tortilla wedges (they're sturdier than store-bought chips) as the base for vegan refried beans and chili, Roasted-Tomato Salsa, guacamole, and tons of fresh and pickled veggies. Layering the chips and toppings for even coverage is a little extra work, but it's worth it for the many more balanced bites you'll get.
I don’t use nutritional yeast any more. It’s like $20 a bag full here in Tasmania (that’s IF you can find it in the first place). I made a tapioca based cheese and it sat in the fridge as Steve wasn’t keen on it but then in my “waste not want not” phase, I decided to throw it into a batch of bechamel and again, it was amazing. Sometimes it’s not the product that is wonderful but how you can use it that matters. We can’t get Follow your heart products here (heck, we don’t even have Earth Balance!) but I have found several interesting starch based egg replacement products on the net (recipes for how to make). The best vegan quiche we ever made was based on chickpea flour so I guess it really is horses for courses.
What about evening snacking? The biggest problem with nighttime snacks is most of us reach for ice cream and chips-not fruit and yogurt. That's not to say you can't have a treat after dinner. Some of your favorite evening snacks may even be on this list (chocolate! popcorn!). One thing to note, if you're always hungry after dinner, make sure your meal is made up of filling and healthy foods and you're getting enough food. If all you're nibbling on is a lackluster salad you may legitimately be hungry and need an evening snack(see our best dinner foods for weight loss). If you love an evening snack after dinner, serve yourself a healthy portion onto a plate or bowl so you're not scooping straight from the container.