Ideas for Simple Homemade Meals
Today’s lesson equips you with basic, easy-to-prepare ideas for vegan lunches and dinners once you branch out from your vegan breakfasts. These meals don’t have to be complicated—unless you want them to be!
One of the simplest lunch options is leftovers from dinner. Just make sure you make a large batch of your dinner meal and you’ll be set. Smoothies are also popular lunch choices; we discussed these in Lesson 3.
Sandwiches and wraps
Use whole grain bread; the denser, the better. Or make a wrap with a whole grain tortilla. Add fillings/toppings such as hummus, sliced veggies or fruit like tomato, cucumber, or apple, smoked tofu strips, avocado or guacamole, salsa, sliced falafel, pickles, olives, or anything else you can think of!
Make a few servings at a time and store them in to-go containers so they’re ready when you need them. Other than your greens of choice (arugula? kale? romaine lettuce?) and your favorite fresh veggies, make sure you include a protein source. Try chickpeas (cooked or dry roasted), hemp hearts, chia seeds, nuts, smoked tofu, or pan-fried crispy tempeh.
A basic dressing is equal parts olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Combination of snack items
Throwing together an assortment of snack items is a great way to make lunch, especially if you need to pack it for work. Consider bagels, hummus, fresh cut veggies like carrots and cucumber, apple sauce, protein bars, trail mix, fresh fruit, and vegan jerky (e.g., Primal Strips brand).
Healthy vegan dinners center around plant-based proteins (tofu, beans, lentils, or faux meats), vegetables, and whole grains.
One of the most basic vegan dinner options is a stir fry. Make sure you include a protein source like tofu or tempeh. Cook this with your favorite veggies in a large wok or frying pan, add soy sauce and/or teriyaki sauce, and you’re set. You can serve this over rice or rice noodles if you like.
Mexican-inspired meals are not only extremely simple to make, they’re delicious as well. Roll up beans, brown rice, sliced avocado, salsa, and shredded lettuce in a tortilla. Or cook beans with your favorite veggies and spices and serve over rice with a side salad. Vegan chilis are also easy to make, especially when you use canned beans.
In a pinch? Make vegan quesadillas using non-dairy cheese (like the Daiya brand), a protein source like Yves Cuisine veggie ground round, and salsa. Add some kale or arugula on the side and you’ll have dinner ready in 10-15 minutes.
Use a whole grain pasta (try brown rice). In a medium pot, stir together ready-made vegan pasta sauce, sliced veggies of your choice, and a protein source (like Gardein brand faux meatballs).
There are countless vegan cookbooks on the market to further develop your plant-based cooking skills. The sky’s the limit!
Tomorrow, we discuss eating meals outside your home—what to order at restaurants and how to navigate dinner parties.
Share with friends