It’s okay, you’re easy. I mean, your life is so complicated that if you manage to eat a few m&m’s for breakfast you consider this to be a really good breakfast. And you read my site and you are like “If she only knew how busy I am! I do not have time to be crumbling tofu”
Right. Okay, so you need easy, you thrive on easy, and you are not about to go soak cashews overnight to press it into a date infused pie crust. I get that. But it’s no excuse to eat crappy, and it’s no excuse to not have a healthy vegan life.
Easy Vegan Breakfasts: (all take under 5 minutes to make)
- Smoothies – go green!
- Get a shake mixer (cup) you can have a shake anywhere, and most health stores sell non animal protein powder (my favorite is Vega)
- Cereal with non dairy milk. (check the cereal first)
- Cereal with fruit
- Instant Oatmeal
- Raw Bar or Lara Bar (there are a few other good vegan nutrition bars, and some that are raw & delicious)
- Waffles (Vans makes a lot of vegan waffles and they are so tasty- top with agave syrup and fruit)
- Easy bean burrito with avocado
- Wheat Bagel with non dairy cream cheese or peanut butter. Top with fresh fruit (or jam if you have to)
- Nuts and fruit
- Non dairy yogurt mixed with cereal or nuts and fruit
Have to eat breakfast out?
- Jamba Juice – vegan smoothies, oatmeal with fruit (I love their oatmeal) Quick time out: just because it’s a smoothie or a juice doesn’t mean it’s good – check the sugar!
- Restaurants: Oatmeal is usually the best bet (with out milk) fruit salad, breakfast can be tricky at a regular american type resturant. Some will also do smoothies, and ask, they probably have soy milk. Peanut butter on a bagel or english muffin is another option.
- Starbucks: You can use soy in any drink, although, really, lay off the caffeine if you can – go with green tea instead. Get a bowl of fruit and oatmeal.
- A bagel place – a bagel (not an egg one) with peanut butter and a cup of fruit
- If you go to McDonalds I’ll smack you. Seriously. Go to a gas station and get food, it will be healthier… speaking of:
- Convenience store: Nuts, fruit, pretzels, some carry small things of soy milk and single serve cereals. trail mix, granola bars.
- Grocery store: Fruit, veggies, hummus, pita bread, bagel with non dairy cream cheese or peanut butter, vegan nutrition bars (be sure to check labels!) individual soy or rice milk with cereal. Naked drinks are a good option (check to make sure they are vegan)
- Amy’s has a a few good vegan breakfasts – try Tofu scramble or the tofu breakfast pockets. You can even stock these at work. Make sure you get the vegan ones though!
Easy Vegan Lunch:
Eating at Home
- Frozen: Amy’s has a bunch of stuff to pick from, and it’s almost in any grocery store.
- Salads – big huge salads!
- Vegetable broth based soups
- Veggie sushi
- Peanut butter and jelly
- Egg-less egg salad (a lot of health foods places and whole foods and trader joes stock this)
- Hummus with pita bread and cucumbers
- Cheese-less pizza with lots of veggies
- Cucumber sandwich with non dairy sour cream
- Veggie burger (be sure it is vegan)
- Mushroom meatball sub (or vegan meatballs) – just heat them up, put on whole wheat sub roll with tomoato sauce, good to go.
- Chicken less chicken sandwich
- Big sandwich with hummus, veggies, sprouts, sliced cucumbers. You can just go to any salad bar and load up on the veggies for your sandwich (and often hummus), get a roll from the bakery, and you’ve got yourself a tasty sandwich.
Eating lunch out:
- Mexican: YOUR FRIEND eating out. Guacamole, tortilla chips, beans, salsa. Veggie burrito (no sour cream), Veggie fajitas, beans and rice. You can do vegan at chipolte and places like Baja Fresh pretty easily
- Chinese: Tofu instead of meat in your noodles, rice, soup (be sure there is no egg)
- Japanese: My favorite: Veggie sushi! and miso soup they also usually have some great tofu dishes
- American: Bleh. But if you have to – salads are usually a good bet, or do sides of veggies, rice, potato.
- Roadside stand: Really? Okay, unless you are near LA who has a vegan roadside joint. You might be stuck with nuts, a pretzle and fruit if they have it.
- Grocery store: Hummus! Pre packaged fruits and veggies. Carrots and celery with peanut butter, big huge salad from the salad bar.
- Indian: Lots of vegan options! Be sure to tell them you can not have dairy, some of the sauces have dairy in them.
- Thai: Again, substitute with tofu, be sure there are no eggs or dairy in the ingredients.
Easy Vegan Snacks:
Keep a good supply of tasty vegan snacks near you to avoid things like break rooms!
- Nuts (be sure no one around you is allergic to peanuts, it’s an airborne allergy, and it’s serious)
- Dried fruit
- Trail Mix
- Granola Bars (also check ingredients)
- Crackers (you can even find a good hearty flax seed cracker)
- Seeds (like sunflower)
- Nut butter for your crackers
- Dark chocolate (most are vegan)
- Vegan cookies (if you really need a fix – something like the trader joes version of Oreo’s)
Easy Vegan Dinner:
- Again, Amy’s has some good vegan options!
- Lentil soup
- Bean burrito
- Kashi Brand has a LOT of vegan frozen dinners that are pretty tasty.
- Vegan Soup (there are lots of options in more healthy stores.
- Trader Joes – if you have one learn to use it. If you want to be easy. They have a lot of vacuum sealed things like steamed lentils and beans – that are fantastic. They also have frozen things like “Birds Nests” , chinese dumplings (veggie) , shu mai (with edamame), frozen edamame, spicy lentil wrap, lots of hummus… There is a lot, so if you have one near you, check it out.
- Same goes for Whole Foods and stores like it – they tend to have a lot of vegan foods that are easy to prepare.
Easy Vegan meals:
- Veggie Stir Fry – seriously if you want go to the frozen section and look for a stir fry mix (all veggies of course), I like getting some rice noodles (they take like 3 min. to cook) and then some tofu chopped up, stick it in a pan throw some soy sauce on it – you’ve got yourself stir fry.
- Easy stuffed peppes : Soy Chorizo or “meatless crumbles”, rice (you can get it pre-made if you need to), mushrooms, diced tomato. Cut open top of a pepper stick it under the broiler while you heat up crumbles, rice mushrooms and tomato. After a few minutes put filling into pepper, stick back under broiler for a couple of minutes. You can top it off with some diced tomato’s or tomato sauce (vegan). Easy and hot. hmmmm.
- Big huge salad – go ahead go to town, eat sprouts till your stuffed
- Pasta (brown rice if you want to be healthier) with tomato sauce, veggies, and non meat meat balls
- Lentil stew: pre-cooked/steamed lentils, can of diced tomato’s, frozen red potato’s (diced works well) spices. Throw in large pan and cook.
- Chilli: All sorts of things you can do, but the simple way is to get a couple cans of beans, canned diced tomato’s with chilli’s and put in pot with some spices. You can put it over elbow macaroni or rice.
- Tofu steaks: Get tofu, slice it up put it on a pan (use olive oil) and cover it with various spices throw on top of some spinach with vegan dressing.
Vegan Cooking batches for the Week
There are some things you can make a big batch of that will last for several days, or in some cases (chilli, soups) you can freeze and then take out and heat up later like…
- Chilli – go to town! There are a billion vegan chilli recipes
- Big vegan macaroni salad – great for the summer! Just cook pasta (I use brown rice) add in chopped veggies, olives, black beans, veganaise (to taste) crumbled tofu if you’d like and spices.
- Tofu Scramble: Crumble up firm tofu, add in diced red potato’s (frozen is fine), beans, olives, spices, a little bit of non dairy sour cream or veganaise.
- Soups: A good veggie noodle soup using vegetable broth, your favorite vegetables and noodles.
- Fruit and soywhip (whipcream)
- Non Dairy Ice Cream – Coconut milk ice cream, rice milk and soy… and if you are lucky enough to live somewhere that you can buy raw ice cream? It is better than any dairy ice cream I’ve ever had, and trust me on this, I used to eat a lot of ice cream.
- Vegan cookies – like the trader joes version of oreo’s! Newmans Own makes a lot of good stuff as well.
- Dark Chocolate – most is vegan, ALL is tasty
- Baked apple with cinnamon, brown sugar and some nuts.
- Vegan smores! Look for vegan marshmallows (if you can’t find them in your area, you can always find them online)
- Melted dark chocolate and fruit. I mean, that alone should make your day.
In all of this, I will say that you still have to be careful in what you eat, you can do fast and easy and healthy. You can almost always grab fruit and good nuts somewhere, and start adding in veggies where you can, the more you use them, the more you will like them. TRUST ME, I’m drinking kale and spinach in the morning, and if you would have told me that a year ago I would have just slapped you.
Be sure to drink your water as well! It’s a must to flush out and to feel better!
AND there are bad for you vegan foods!
Drinking pepsi and eating potato chips might be vegan, but it doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Try more and more each day to eliminate harmful chemicals from your diet. Aside from messing up your body and overwhelming your adrenal glands, all those chemicals have to be tested on animals, just like you would be more apt to buy something that says “cruelty free” on your cosmetics, think of the foods you eat the same way, just because it doesn’t have animal products in it, doesn’t mean that an animal was not killed so that you can enjoy your diet coke. (Oh, and if you think I’m passionate about being vegan just wait till you hear what I have to say about diet drinks and fake sugar, actually, you should pretty much resign your diet drink addiction now, because I promise you that you will be sickened by what I will tell you on all of that).
I’m going to open up the comments to all you vegans out there that would like to help those who need some simple solutions. What are your easy vegan food choices? What advice do you have to busy new vegans? Or new vegan moms? Please share, and if you are vegan curios, please ask questions! We vegans like to be helpful