Let’s face it, sometimes you don’t have the time or the ingredients to put together a top chef meal. For the days when you just want something quick and easy, I put together some tasty and dead easy recipes. And remember just because the recipe is simple, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to taste spectacular! I have broken these down by meal time, but there is nothing wrong with having breakfast for dinner or vice versa.
Smoothies are a great well balanced nutrient filled easy meal for anytime of the day. Just throw all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. If you don’t like or can’t eat bananas, replace them with a small avocado. Also, to up the protein you can add hemp hearts or chia seeds, and if you like your smoothie cold, use frozen fruits rather than fresh.
- Tropical Treat : 1 banana (fresh or frozen), 1 C of coconut milk (or nut milk), 1 C frozen pineapple, 2 Tbsp of Hemp Hearts, 1 tsp vanilla.
- Berry Oat Breakfast: 1 banana (fresh or frozen), 1 C of nut milk, 1 C blueberries (fresh or frozen), 1/4 C oatmeal, 1 Tbsp of nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts or almonds).
- Peanut Butter and Jelly: 1 banana (fresh or frozen, 1 C of nut milk, 1/2 C raspberries (fresh or frozen), 2 Tbsp peanut butter, 2 pitted dates.
- Minty Green Goddess: 1 small ripe avocado (peeled), 1 C nut milk, 1/2 C of fresh mint, 1 C pineapple (frozen), 2-3 Kale leaves.
Overnight oats are another easy and delicious breakfast idea that are also great for an afternoon snack. They are no cook and the main ingredients are rolled or old fashion oats, nut milk and fruit. Feel free to switch up the ingredients to what you like and have on hand. I put them in 250 ml (8 oz) mason jars which makes them very transportable and I make up about five at a time. If you don’t have old fashion oats, you can use the instant version and if you like a sweeter taste, add a touch of maple syrup. Just place the oats and milk in your container and top with the other ingredients.
- Apple Cinnamon: 1/2 C oats, 1/2 C nut milk, 1/2 C chopped apple, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 2 tsp chia seeds.
- Vanilla Nut: 1/2 C oats, 1/2 C nut milk, 1 Tbsp flax or chia seeds, 2 Tbsp walnuts or almond pieces, 1 tsp pure vanilla.
- Peanut Butter: 1/2 C oats, 1/2 C nut milk, 2 Tbsp peanut butter, 1 Tbsp flax or chia seeds, 1/2 C sliced ripe banana.
- Tropical: 1/2 C oats, 1/2 C nut milk, 1/2 C sliced ripe banana, 1/2 C pineapple (fresh or frozen), 1 Tbsp flax or chia seeds.
We all love sandwiches and the sky really is the limit when it comes to fillings, but for me, I prefer the delicious sandwich’s sister - the wrap. They are easy to prepare, you can eat them for any meal and the ingredients you can use are limitless. Just remember, if you are making them up ahead of time, not to put too much wet sauces on them or you will end up with a soggy mess. The recipes below are for one large or two medium sized wraps and I didn’t include the wrap in the 5 ingredient list. As well, a sprinkle of salt & pepper brings out the flavors!
- Mexican: 1 small can black beans (drained), 1 small avocado (mashed), 1/2 C corn (frozen or canned), 1/4 C jarred salsa, 1 tsp ground cumin.
- Hummus Veggie: 1/2 C of hummus, 1/2 C sliced red or green peppers, 1/2 C diced kale or greens of your choice, 1/2 C shredded carrots, 1/2 small avocado sliced.
- Chickpea: 1 small can chickpeas (drained and mashed with 1 tsp lemon juice), 1/2 C sliced red onion, 1 C chopped spinach, 1/2 C sliced grape tomatoes, 2 Tbsp vegan sour cream or tzatziki sauce.
- Strawberry and Almond: 1/2 C almond butter (or any type of nut butter), 1/2 C sliced fresh strawberries, 1/2 C shredded carrots, 2 Tbsp granola.
LUNCH OR DINNER TIME
Lately I have been obsessed with salads. They make me feel healthy, they are super easy and taste amazing. I know the idea can sound a little boring and you might think, that won’t fill me up but I think these recipes will prove this untrue! These recipes are for one large salad or two smaller ones. I cheated a little by adding one extra ingredient - the dressing. Just make sure if you are using a bottled dressing that it is vegan. As with all the recipes here, adding a sprinkle of salt & pepper will really bring out all of the flavors.
- Spinach/Bean: 1 small can of pinto beans (drained), 2 C of baby spinach leaves (washed), 1/2 C walnuts, 1/2 thinly sliced red onion, 1/2 C sliced fresh mushrooms. Suggested dressing: Maple/mustard, poppy seed or balsamic.
- Couscous/Veggie: 1 C cooked whole wheat couscous (or quinoa), 1/2 C sliced grape tomatoes, 1/2 C diced cucumber, 1/2 C diced onion, 1/2 chopped cashews. Suggested dressing: Italian or Greek.
- Black Bean: 1 small can black beans (drained), 1 C corn (frozen or canned), 1 small avocado (diced), 1/2 C red pepper (diced), 1/2 C salsa. Suggested dressing: Olive oil and lime juice.
- Pasta: 2 C cooked wholewheat or lentil pasta (any shape), 1/2 C jarred artichokes (diced), 1/2 C pitted olives (roughly chopped), 1/2 C tomatoes (diced), 1/2 C red onions (thinly sliced). Suggested dressing: balsamic or Mediterranean.
Is there anything better than a stir fried rice and veggie meal, especially when they are quick, easy and delicious. I usually like to make this when I have left over rice from the night before and I often use frozen or canned veggies to speed things up. As with all my recipes, use them as a starting place and change them up to include your favs. Don’t forget to add salt & pepper to bring out the flavors, just be careful with the salt if you are using soy or another jarred sauce. These recipes make about two servings. The directions are the same for them all: add a touch of oil to a pan over medium high heat, add your veggies and/or tofu and cook for a few minutes, then add your rice cooking and stirring for about two minutes and finally add your sauce. I did again, add an extra ingredient with the suggested sauces and gave you a few ideas for extra toppings.
- Tofu Fried Rice: 2 C cooked brown rice, 1 C cubed firm tofu, 1 C broccoli (fresh or frozen), 1 C thinly sliced carrots, 1 Tbsp chopped garlic. Suggested sauce: Hoisin, Sweet and Sour or Stir Fry Sauce. Suggested toppings: Sliced green onion, toasted sesame seeds.
- Thai Fried Rice: 2 C cooked brown rice, 1 C sliced mushrooms, 1 C diced red and green pepper, 1 C fresh or frozen kale, 1 Tbsp each: diced garlic and ginger. Suggested sauce: Thai Peanut Stir Fry Sauce, Pad Thai Sauce. Suggested toppings: Chopped peanuts, chopped fresh cilantro, sriracha.
- Curry Fried Rice: 2 C cooked brown rice, 1 C shelled edamame, 1 C thinly sliced carrots, 1 C green beans, 1 C cauliflower (fresh or frozen). Suggested sauce: Korma sauce, Mild Curry sauce, or 1 can coconut sauce plus 1 tbsp of curry paste and 1/4 C of lime juice. Suggested toppings: Chopped cashews, chopped fresh cilantro.
- Mushroom Fried Rice: 2 C cooked brown rice, 2 C sliced mushrooms, 1/2 C diced onion, 2 C chopped spinach or kale, 1 C peas (fresh or frozen). Suggested sauce: Garlic/Ginger Sauce, Jerk Sauce, Mango sauce. Suggested toppings: Chopped basil, chopped parsley.
Just because you don’t eat cheese or pepperoni doesn’t mean you have to miss out on this ultimate comfort food. It simply means, it will taste better, be healthier for both you and the planet, and no animals will be harmed! All of these recipes can be made with packaged or home made pizza dough, a pre-made pizza crust or even a toasted large tortilla wrap. There are also many gluten free options at the supermarket. Just follow the directions on the packages to prepare the crust. If you are using a tortilla wrap, place the wrap on a pizza or baking tray and heat in the oven at 375 for 5 minutes. Once your crust is prepared, add your sauce and toppings, place the pizza on a pizza tray or baking sheet and cook in an oven preheated to 450 degrees Fahrenheit for about 7-10 minutes. Just keep an eye on it so you don’t burn anything. I am not including the pizza crust as one of the five ingredients, because what is pizza without the crust lol.
- Caprese Pizza: 1 C pizza sauce, 1 thinly sliced Roma tomato (you can use any type of tomato you have on hand), 1 C thinly sliced fresh basil leaves, 1 C shredded vegan mozzarella. Suggested toppings: crushed pepper flakes, balsamic reduction, sea salt.
- Veggie/hummus Pizza: 1 C hummus, 1/2 C thinly sliced onion, 1/2 C thinly sliced tomato, 1 C chopped spinach, 1/2 C sliced black olives. Suggested toppings: fresh chopped oregano, crushed pepper flakes.
- Pesto Pizza: 3/4 C of prepared pesto sauce, 2 C of sauteed veggies (onions, peppers, mushrooms or zucchini are good choices), 1 C vegan mozzarella shredded cheese. Suggested toppings: sea salt, crushed pepper flakes, fresh chopped oregano.
- No Sauce Pizza: 1/4 C olive oil (that’s your sauce), 1 thinly sliced Roma tomato, 2 C sauteed veggies (asparagus, onions, mushrooms are good choices), 1 Tbsp grated garlic (put this on and then top with veggies to prevent burning), 1 C vegan mozzarella shredded cheese. Suggested toppings: Chopped fresh parsley, sea salt, crushed pepper flakes, fresh chopped oregano.