inspiration seeking

ok, need suggestions. looking for vegan easy to prepare dinner options that DO NOT REQUIRE EXTENSIVE PREP OR CLEAN UP. don't have access to WholeFoods, TJ's or anything like that, just tired of all the cooking and cleaning after work! SO your thoughts???



mcd2 July 7, 2011
just noticed your other question about the tags. a tag (in this context) is a reference vehicle for the computer sorting of recipes and ingredients. useful for the search window (upper right corner of the page), the 3 recipe suggestions shown between your question and the answers, and the section below the answers titled "other foodpickles you might find useful" (previously answered questions that may have some relevance to your present question). it's purpose is sort of like an index in a book except the indexing is done by the computer. did i get that close to right, peter?
susan G. July 7, 2011
When I don't have a clue what to have, I search the refrigerator. There is usually a choice of cooked grains (rice, quinoa), cooked beans (today, chickpeas), vegetables in various stages of freshness, and many many sauces and condiments. Then it's like the old "pick one from column A" etc -- mix and match, make some kind of fried rice type thing, or just take a plate, make a section for each one you choose, heat it up, and pick a sauce to stir in or dip into.
Or you can boil pasta, add veggies to the boiling water at the end and drain them together; add any protein and any sauce that goes together (veggie sausages are great for this).
Sandwiches -- more mix and match, some of my absurd combinations come out delicious. Cole slaw is great on sandwiches and counts as vegetables.
As long as you keep ahead of restocking the fridge, you can have healthy, tasty and interesting meals that are hardly any work at all.
sheredel July 6, 2011
cool site thank you. i guess i am just looking to have it easy somehow!
drbabs July 6, 2011
AJ is right about planning ahead and shopping for meals--I wish I were better at that! This blog is written by a woman eating a plant-based vegan diet who works full time and writes about making food delicious and easy. There's a lot more than recipes on her blog, but maybe the recipes will give you inspiration.
sheredel July 6, 2011
bless you all for the time you gave to my answers!
Anitalectric July 6, 2011
This is a very lazy answer, but it is the best one I can think of. All the recipes on my blog are vegan. Many of them, like Kubocha squash and white bean cassoulet, do not require any exotic ingredients that you might need a specialty store for. It's It has not been updated in a while (I now work 3 days a week as a sous chef, and 3 days running my own flea market food booth), but the recipes are no less delicious :)

My advice is to start with simple, one-dish meals like stir-fry, fajitas, or stews and work your way up from there. Also, if you want a lot of flavor with not a lot of time the trick is high-heat cooking. You can sear vegetables just like you do a steak or a burger. Start with a little oil, get the pan hot. Once you add the vegetables they will really get some color. Add a little splash of wine or water to keep them from burning, let the liquid cool down, and add a little spice. Just start from there and you will get the hang of things!

beyondcelery July 6, 2011
First tip: always make enough for 3-4 servings, so you have leftovers for lunch or the next day's dinner (or both). You can always freeze anything you don't want to eat within 2 days or so. It takes very little extra time to double recipes.

Second tip: look to world cuisine for vegan inspirations. The Middle East, India, Africa, and Asia especially have excellent, naturally vegan dishes.

As for menu options, try these:
Quinoa tabooli (add rinsed black beans for extra protein)
Hummus, pita/flatbread, falafel (falafel can be made ahead and frozen, then cooked when you get home)
Kale braised with red wine vinegar and lemon juice, tossed with toasted sunflower seeds
Black bean and corn salad, with fresh mango or papaya
Asparagus soup (blend it with sunflower seeds instead of cream for the creaminess)
Butternut squash soup (blend it with roasted pecans or cashews for added creaminess)
Fried brown rice with roasted tofu (use leftover rice and start the tofu immediately after getting home; it's time-consuming but not difficult)
AntoniaJames July 5, 2011
Okay, first, it seems that you need to think about an approach in addition to finding recipes. I've been there, exhausted at the end of a hard day of work + commute, having to prepare meals night after night. Take some time to plan in advance at least four of your meals every week, before you go shopping. I always map out 8 days ahead. It's actually easier for me to think about it all when I have it on a sheet of paper in front of me. Second, when you plan your meals, look for ways to double cook. For example, I always make double quantities of dal/lentils and freeze half. Make a double batch of brown rice and put half in the fridge. It will keep for up to four days if you put it in the back or other coldest part of your fridge. Whenever possible, I cook up three or four onions instead of just the one called for in the recipe for tonight. Then I put them in Pyrex or other glass storage containers in the fridge, because so many recipes I use start with an onion, which is chopped or sliced and cooked. That's one less thing to have to prep and clean. (To implement the two foregoing suggestions, I take a piece of 8 1/2 by 11 paper, fold it in half lengthwise, jot down menu ideas, then assign the day of the week for the menu, looking for ways to combine/cook ahead. On the other side of the paper, I put my grocery lists.) As for suggestions for recipes, the first that comes to mind has been a favorite of ours for 20+ years. It's Julie Sahni's Brown Rice Pilaf with Cashews and Broccoli. Here's a link to it: . The recipe in Ms Sahni's cookbook calls for already-cooked brown rice, so I typically make this later in the week, several nights after I've made brown rice for another dish.. We eat this at least twice a month; I'd happily eat it every week. My red lentil soup with cauliflower, posted here, is another favorite. I make a double batch of the dal, cooked with the aromatics and spices, then remove half, let them cool, and freeze them for another time. I'll think of some other ideas when I'm out on my evening hike in the Redwoods and will post again, most likely tomorrow. ;o)
mrslarkin July 5, 2011
Lots of ideas, but first remind me what a vegan can or cannot eat.

As for the tags, they help out a lot when people enter key words in the search box like "vegan" and "quick and easy", for example. If a question is tagged, you'll be able to track past questions and conversations on a particular tag/topic.
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