Whether you’ve decided to try a vegan diet for the first time, or you’re a long-time vegan/vegetarian and you’re looking to eat healthier this year, time is an issue when it comes to a healthy diet. It’s probably one of the top reasons people get off track from their diet goals! I know it’s been that way for me! I will usually end up eating out when I haven’t made the time to grocery shop or prep ahead for my meals, and then there’s the dreaded “what do we eat tonight?”
If you can relate to that, then I hope that this article will be a great resource for quick, easy dinner ideas.
Before we dive into the recipes, let’s discuss a few things that will help you be ready to cook when it’s time to make dinner…
Stock a Healthy Pantry
Having healthy meals to make in a hurry can really make the difference when switching to a plant based diet. Stocking your kitchen properly will give your the tools and ingredients that are essential for whipping up a healthy meal. Make sure you have a variety of the following items to keep cooking healthy a breeze:
- nuts – keep a variety as they all have different nutrients. Think almonds, cashews, walnuts, brazil nuts and filberts.
- seeds – I love pumpkin seeds especially, but I also always have sesame seeds, chia seeds and hemp on hand.
- legumes – keep your vegan protein on lockdown with healthy legumes like lentils, chickpeas, split peas and black beans.
- whole grains – I always have quinoa and wild rice, and usually a little jasmine rice as well.
- organic spices – organic is best as spices are subject to a lot radiation when they are shipped. My favorite spices include cumin, curry powder, black pepper, oregano, cinnamon, garlic powder, onion powder, coriander, cayenne, paprika, chipotle powder, and ginger. During the holidays I will use nutmeg, allspice and cloves.
- sea salt – get rid of your iodized table salt and choose a high quality sea salt to get all those precious minerals!
- whole grain or gluten free pasta – I don’t eat a lot of pasta but I do keep a container in my pantry for when I am in the mood.
- olive oil and coconut oil – there are lots of great oils to cook with but I find myself coming back to these two most often
- maple, agave or date syrup to sweeten things – ditch white sugar and use these sweeteners sparingly when you get a sweet tooth.
Meal prep to make weeknight dinners easier
It’s helpful to spend a few hours at the beginning of the week to prep some of the more labor intensive items for your week so that when it’s time to cook you’re just assembling! I think it’s helpful to make the following things in advance:
- cut veggies
- sliced fruit
- smoothie mixes
Now let’s get into the recipes!
Baked Potato or Sweet Potato
- Green Goddess Bowl
- Chili Glazed Winter Squash Buddha Bowl
- Oaxacan Buddha Bowl with roasted sweet potato
Easy Pasta Dishes
- Penne With Roasted Red Pepper Pesto
- Farfalle with Artichoke and Garlic
- Truffled Black Pepper Pasta
- Mac and Cheese
Hearty Soups & Stews
- Vital Greens Smoothie
- Liquid Sunshine Turmeric Smoothie
- Raspberry Acai Smoothie Bowl
- Pumpkin Spice Smoothie