Last year I wrote 6 Ways to Raise a Child Who Doesn't Eat Animals. I am now constantly asked what my son and I eat for a typical dinner so here you go!
But just because I am vegan doesn't mean I like cooking. I want to spend as little time in the kitchen as possible. In fact, if I was super rich I would hire a vegan chef to cook all the meals I make for myself and my son Noah, age 10.
Therefore my dinners require very little ingredients and not a lot of preparation or cook time -- due to my distaste for pots, pans, ovens, and sharp knives.
These plant-based meals are super easy to make -- if I can do it for sure you can. As a single mom on a budget these ingredients are mostly inexpensive, go on sale at major grocery stores, can be purchased in bulk, or from the corner veggie stand.
To appeal to all the parents that have asked me for dinner options, I have chosen soy free and nut free meals for this list.
1. Bean burritos with rice and cheese
This dinner is super easy and one of Noah's favourites. You will need large tortilla wraps, assorted beans, rice (white or brown) and cheese shreds (I use Daiya). Once the rice is cooked, wrap up the beans, rice and cheese and bake it for 5 minutes until the cheese melts. I serve this tasty burrito with a small side salad or sliced veggies such as carrots cucumbers. Tip: These freeze really well so I make 4 or 5 at once and pop the rest in the freezer.
2. Quinoa and vegetables
Due to the price of quinoa I can't afford to make this very often, but when I do there are no leftovers! I either buy quinoa in bulk or when it's on sale, our favourite is the black and white mixed version. Cook the quinoa and just before it's done add a cup of mixed veggies and whatever spices or herbs you want. In warmer weather I grow herbs on my balcony. I even have a photo of this meal!
3. Macaroni and cheese and steamed broccoli
I am not good at following recipes so I have taken bits and pieces over the years from multiple sources and created my own version. It never turns out exactly the same (hey, I told you I am not a chef!) but it's always good. Choose any pasta you want, I get semolina pasta due to the high protein value. Once it's cooked, pour out the water, keep the stove on low and add a handful of Daiya cheese shreds, a tablespoon of vegan margarine, enough rice milk to coat the bottom, and a good helping of nutritional yeast. Mix it all up and let it stand a few minutes. It's a million times better than the Kraft Mac and Cheese I survived on when I lived in NYC as a teenager. For the green veggie portion of this dinner I steam up a big bowl of broccoli and we eat it plain.
4. Big summer salad and a bowl of orange lentils
I call it a summer salad because I literally add in whatever fruits are in season and available at the corner store over the summer months. Sometimes it's peaches, it could be strawberries, blueberries or mango. All the other veggies like lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms are still there. Then top it with your favourite dressing such as Raw Foodz Italian Idol or make your own if you are creative. My son loves orange lentils and they are a staple at our place (they are also very inexpensive!) Best part? They take only a few minutes to cook and are a perfect side dish for the salad.
I would love to know your favourite vegan dinners!
Instead of posting more photos of the meals I made, take a look at these adorable creatures. You will be saving lives every time you choose to make a vegan meal.
Photos by Miriam Porter at Wishing Well Sanctuary in Ontario.
These animals have all been rescued and are now free to live out their lives in peace.
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