Quick, easy and healthy vegan meals for everyday cooking

These are my ‘go-to’ meal recipes that call for simple ingredients you already have in your pantry or can easily find at local grocery stores and farmers’ markets. Being vegan does not have to be difficult, expensive, unattainable, or super time-consuming. The delicious dishes featured here are easy to make, wholesome, and meal planning friendly. Most of them are also naturally gluten-free or can be easily adapted.
If you are newly vegan or looking to go vegan, cooking can be overwhelming at first, so I hope you find these easy vegan recipes helpful. Check out my vegan recipes page and subscribe to my mailing list for a monthly update on GreenLivingUk.

Bean patties

Bean patties are amongst the most straightforward foods to make, full of protein, and super healthy. If you have a couple of tinned beans in the cupboard, put them in a food processor, add a couple of garlic cloves, one onion, spices of your choice, seasoning, flour, a tablespoon of olive oil (if you wish) and mix. Next, shape the patties, dip them in non-dairy milk, and coat them in breadcrumbs. You can either bake, grill or shallow fry them. Assemble your burger adding fresh lettuce and your favourite sauce. If you make a big batch, you can freeze the mixture and thaw overnight in the fridge before you cook it. These burgers are great as party food or on the BBQ.

Peas in tomato sauce with fresh dill and carrots

A delicious and very versatile meal that can be served as a main dish with rice (gluten-free option), or as a pasta sauce. It also makes a great side dish on its own or served as a starter. Full recipe here: https://greenlivinguk.org/green-peas-in-tomato-sauce-quick-and-easy-meal-vegan/

Roasted veggies

Put your vegetables, onions, a couple of sweet potatoes and the tinned black beans (chickpeas also roast well), in a baking tray. Season to taste, add a pinch of oregano, thyme, and paprika (if you have), to give the dish a lovely hearty taste. A splash of olive oil is optional but will help to develop the flavours. Bake for thirty minutes or until tender in medium heat . Once cooked, it would make a tasty cold salad if mixed with fresh green leaves and rocket. It can also be served as a main meal with rice or pasta.

Homemade popcorn

For the popcorn, add a splash of vegetable oil in a pan, then the corn kernels, and don’t forget to place the lid on the saucepan! Cook in full heat until the popping slows down. Try sprinkling some paprika instead of salt over the popcorn for a healthier option.

Butter beans and rice

Butter beans need soaking overnight, or for a faster take, I use canned butter beans in water. Sauté one onion and a couple of garlic cloves, add one tin of chopped tomatoes and the beans. Season and cook until everything is combined and the sauce thickens. Enjoy them as a side dish with fresh spinach. Alternatively, to eat as a main, serve them over a small amount of bulgar wheat or brown/white rice.

Couscous salad

This is quick and healthy couscous salad recipe. Put a cup of couscous into a large bowl and pour over a cup of hot water from the kettle (or hot vegan stock). Cover and leave to stand for 10 minutes. Once the water or stock has been absorbed fluff it up gently using a fork and add a small knob of vegan butter (optional). In the meantime, cut and slice the vegetables of your choice, I’m suggesting half an onion, half a red pepper, a few cucumber slices and a spring onion. Chop up a handful of pine nuts, (almonds or walnuts will do also), and sprinkle over the salad. Top with some freshly squeezed lemon juice and just before you are ready to eat add half a diced avocado.

Lentil and veg risotto

This one-pot meal is full of goodness! Add a splash of vegetable oil in a pan (or vegan margarine or a little water if you are in to oil-free cooking), saute a handful of mixed frozen veggies, or chopped fresh vegetables. In the meantime, soak one cup of rinsed lentils of your choice for 10 minutes in hot water and then add them in the mixed veggies. I like to season with a pinch of oregano, salt and pepper. Combine the rice and water according to the instructions on the rice packet.

Hearty soup with herbs

Soup is the best way to eat your fresh produce leftovers and save them from the compost. In a large saucepan, add a spoonful of vegetable oil and saute one chopped onion on low heat until translucent. Shortly after, add a couple of thinly chopped garlic cloves. In the meantime, cut the leftover vegetables in chunky pieces and combine them with the onions. Saute on low heat and season well. Now it is time to add a tin of lentils or any other tinned beans of your choice and a handful of rice or potatoes cut in quarters — season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add a mix of dried herbs (I like oregano and thyme). Finally, add veggie broth or just water and fill the saucepan to the point where all the ingredients are covered. Cook in medium heat until the soup thickens a little. Once served, sprinkle over a few chilly flakes and freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Lentil bolognese

Lentil bolognese is a staple dish in our house. It is delicious, simple food, healthy and the children love it too. Choose a deep frying pan and add a splash of vegetable oil. Saute one chopped onion on low heat until translucent. Shortly after, add a couple of thinly chopped garlic cloves, dried oregano, and thyme. In the meantime, finely chop a few carrots, celery and any other vegetable you wish to include in the sauce. Add a spoonful of tomato paste in the frying pan, a teaspoon of miso paste and a splash of balsamic vinegar or soy sauce. Shortly after, add the tinned lentils and a cup of water or vegetable broth. Let it simmer for a few minutes. At this point, add one tin of whizzed chopped tomatoes or passata. Cook for a few more minutes until the sauce thickens and everything is thoroughly cooked. Turn off the heat, serve immediately over spaghetti topped with some fresh parsley. The sauce is freezer friendly and is also great over jacket potatoes as an alternative meal.

Vegan sushi

For vegan sushi, you will need sushi rice (or any rice available to you), vegetables of your choice, soy sauce, nori sheets, and a sushi rolling mat (if you have one). It is a fun way to get the children involved and great for pack lunches. Cook the rice according to the packet’s instructions, chop your preferred vegetables, add a few slices of pickled ginger and roll. Serve with soy sauce for dipping the sushi rolls in.

Elena Daniilidou

Elena is an ethical vegan and minimalist advocating for sustainable and slow living.

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