It's almost 5pm. You’re finishing up your workday and know it’s time to start thinking about dinner for your family.
I usually finish my yoga teaching day about that time and then want to hop on my computer to return the dozens of messages in my inbox. With all the projects I feel are still looming, food is often the last thing on my mind.
But if I wait too long, my kids will soon be asking for cereal and yogurt and, like any mom trying to multi-task, I may cave in to their demands.
Does it often feel like preparing dinner is another chore you'd rather avoid? Do you opt for take-out more than you’d like to admit?
One of the keys to successful eating is food preparation. I spend a few minutes each week going though my glorious cookbooks for recipes I’d like to prepare. I give my refrigerator a serious overhaul (getting rid of what is not being eaten and deciding upon a grocery list). Then, on a night I feel like I have more time or during a Saturday morning, I spend an hour or two making several dishes at once, so I don’t have to think about it again for at least three more days. If you have delicious, healthy meals already prepared, chances are you’ll be eating a lot better!
Here are 5 easy but delicious vegan recipes that will allow you to maintain your sanity yet still permit your family to eat a nutritious, mouth-watering dinner together.
1. Hearty Cabbage Salad
For the salad
- ½ each Asian cabbage and red cabbage
- Bok choy sliced in small pieces
- Handful of snap peas, trimmed and cut lengthwise
- 3 scallions chopped
- Handful of Brussels sprouts peeled apart
- 2 carrots sliced thinly or grazed
- Handful sprouted mung beans
- Handful of dried raisins, cranberries or dried blueberries
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- 1 Tbs sesame seeds (black looks prettier)
For the dressing
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 – 2 Tbs sesame seed oil
- 1-2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
- Splash of tamari
- 1 heaping Tbs raw tahini
- 1 Tbs agave
- 1 Tbs fresh or minced ginger
- Pinch of Himalayan sea salt and fresh pepper
Mix all ingredients in a big salad bowl and wisk dressing togehter. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
2. Butternut Squash Soup
- 1 large butternut squash, diced
- 1/4 cup cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 1/2 Roma tomato
- 1-2 cloves of garlic
- 1-2 Tbs of agave or your favorite sweetener
- 1 cups warm water (if you're eating it raw, don't heat above 110 degrees)
- 1 tsp sea salt
Blend all ingredients in Cuisinart or blender. Goes great with raw chips or crackers.
Can keep in fridge up to 5 days and warmed again on stove.
3. Pesto Spaghetti Squash
- ½ Large Butternut Squash or 2 large yams
- 3 Tbsp Miso master
- 1 cup raw organic Brazilian or Pine nuts
- Fresh basil (optional for a Pesto sauce)
- ¼ cup Olive oil
- ½ cup water
- Sea Salt to taste
- Chives or green onions
Spiralize the yams or squash into “pasta-like” noodles.
Drizzle olive oil and lemon juice on top while you make dressing.
Place water, nuts, basil, olive oil, sea salt and miso paste in blender and blend until smooth. Pour over pasta, mix well, and place sprinkle chives on top.
There you have it: a simple, raw pasta recipe. (Now that’s something you won’t find every day!) And your family will love it.
4. Rainbow Chard Wraps
For the middle
- Chopped cabbage (mixed in sauce below),
- Sliced or shaved carrots,
- Bean sprouts
- Sliced mangos
- Mint leaves
- Fresh basil
Sauce for the cabbage
- 1 Tbs maple syrup
- 1 Tbs Braggs apple cider vinegar
- Juice from one lemon
- 1/4 cup raw almond butter
Add the cabbage and mango mix to the rainbow chard.
Chop the cashews, add 2 Tbs sesame oil and a tsp of Himalayan sea salt and sprinkle this mixture on top. Then pour the sweet sauce. Wrap and enjoy!
5. Gluten Free Sweet Potato Vegan Burgers
For the burgers
- 2 cans cannellini pre-soaked white beans, drained
- 1 large sweet potato, baked/peeled/mashed (about 2 cups)
- 2 Tbs tahini
- 2 tsp maple or agave syrup
- 1 tsp lemon pepper seasoning or Cajun seasoning (or another favorite spice)
- 1/4 cup Bob's Red Mill (or other brand) gluten-free flour
- Pinch Himalayan sea salt
- Plentiful gluten-free bread crumbs
- Optional: additional seasoning (I recommend whatever you have on hand; I used a few dashes cayenne, black pepper and a scoop of nutritional yeast)
Bake sweet potato. Peel, place in large mixing bowl.
Add drained beans to mixing bowl. Mash beans and potato together.
Mash in seasoning, gluten-free flour and any additional seasoning. Your mixture will be soft and moist but you should be able to form a patty. If you need to thicken the mixture, add more flour or a scoop of nutritional yeast.
Form a patty from the mixture and coat with the bread crumbs.
Cook until browned on both sides.
Serve on toasted gluten-free bun with avocado, Dijon mustard, romaine and sliced onion.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock