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HomeLife style6 Easy Plant-Based Recipes for Busy Weeknights

6 Easy Plant-Based Recipes for Busy Weeknights

Vegan diet

Keeping up with a healthy, Plant-Based Recipes can be challenging on busy weeknights when time is scarce. However, with some planning and simple recipes, you can whip up delicious, nutritious meals quickly. Here are ten easy plant-based recipes perfect for those hectic evenings:

1. Chickpea Stir-Fry

Fast and filling, this chickpea stir-fry tosses together canned chickpeas, assorted bell peppers, onions, and snap peas in a tangy soy sauce and ginger marinade. Serve over steamed rice or quinoa for a complete meal.

Ingredients (Plant-based recipes):

– 2 cups cooked chickpeas (canned is fine)

– 1 red bell pepper, sliced

– 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced

– 1 onion, thinly sliced

– 1 cup snap peas, trimmed

– 3 cloves garlic, minced

– 1 tablespoon grated ginger

– 3 tablespoons soy sauce

– 1 tablespoon sesame oil

– 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

– 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey

– Cooked rice or quinoa for serving

– Optional: chopped green onions and sesame seeds for garnish

Instructions:

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and maple syrup or honey to make the stir-fry sauce. Set aside.

2. Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add a splash of oil and swirl to coat the pan.

3. Add the sliced bell peppers, onion, and snap peas to the skillet. Stir-fry for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender-crisp.

4. Push the vegetables to one side of the skillet and add the minced garlic and grated ginger to the empty side. Stir-fry for about 30 seconds, until fragrant.

5. Add the cooked chickpeas to the skillet and the prepared stir-fry sauce. Stir everything together until well combined.

6. Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly and the chickpeas are heated through.

7. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. If you like your stir-fry saucier, you can add a splash of water or vegetable broth at this point.

8. Serve the chickpea stir-fry hot overcooked rice or quinoa. Garnish with chopped green onions and sesame seeds, if desired.

This chickpea stir-fry is a quick and flavorful meal perfect for busy weeknights. It’s packed with protein and veggies, and the homemade stir-fry sauce adds a deliciously savory and slightly sweet flavor. Plus, it comes together in just about 20 minutes, making it an excellent option for when you need dinner on the table fast.

2. Lentil Taco Salad

Mix cooked lentils with taco seasoning and pile onto a bed of fresh greens. Top with diced tomatoes, avocado, corn, and a squeeze of lime. It’s a fresh take on taco night that comes together in a snap.

Ingredients:

– 1 cup dried green or brown lentils

– 2 cups water or vegetable broth

– 1 tablespoon olive oil

– 1 onion, diced

– 2 cloves garlic, minced

– 1 tablespoon taco seasoning

– Salt and pepper, to taste

– 4 cups mixed salad greens

– 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

– 1 avocado, diced

– 1 cup corn kernels (fresh, canned, or frozen)

– 1 lime, cut into wedges

– Optional toppings: sliced jalapeños, chopped cilantro, vegan sour cream, salsa

Instructions:

1. Rinse the lentils under cold water and drain.

2. combine the lentils and water or vegetable broth in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20-25 minutes or until the lentils are tender but not mushy. Drain any excess liquid and set aside.

3. heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat while the lentils are cooking. Add the diced onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, until softened.

4. Add the minced garlic to the skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

5. Stir in the cooked lentils and taco seasoning. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, to allow the flavors to meld—season with salt and pepper to taste.

6. To assemble the salad, divide the mixed greens among four plates or bowls. Top with the cooked lentils, cherry tomatoes, diced avocado, and corn kernels.

7. Squeeze fresh lime juice over each salad and serve with additional toppings, such as sliced jalapeños, chopped cilantro, vegan sour cream, and salsa.

8. Enjoy your lentil taco salad immediately while the lentils are still warm, or refrigerate leftovers for up to 2 days.

This lentil taco salad is a satisfying and flavorful meal for busy weeknights. It’s loaded with protein and fiber from the lentils, plenty of fresh vegetables, and zesty taco seasoning. Plus, it’s easily customizable based on your preferences and what you have on hand. Whether you’re a plant-based eater or just looking to add more meatless meals to your rotation, this salad will become a favorite in your household.

3. Veggie Pasta Primavera

Use whole wheat or legume-based pasta and toss it with lightly sautéed seasonal vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes. A drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast boost this dish’s flavor.

Ingredients:

– 8 ounces whole wheat or legume-based pasta (such as chickpea or lentil)

– 2 tablespoons olive oil

– 2 cloves garlic, minced

– 1 small zucchini, diced

– 1 bell pepper (any color), diced

– 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

– 1 cup baby spinach leaves

– Salt and pepper, to taste

– 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional, for a cheesy flavor)

– Fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced, for garnish

Instructions:

1. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water.

2. heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat while the pasta is cooking. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.

3. Add the diced zucchini and bell pepper to the skillet. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until slightly softened.

4. Stir in the cherry tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes, until they soften and release their juices.

5. Add the cooked pasta to the skillet along with the baby spinach leaves. Toss everything together until the spinach wilts and the pasta is heated through.

6. If the pasta seems dry, add a splash of the reserved pasta water to loosen it up.

7. Season the pasta primavera with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle nutritional yeast over the top for a cheesy flavor if using.

8. Serve the pasta primavera hot, garnished with thinly sliced fresh basil leaves.

This veggie pasta primavera is a vibrant and nutritious dish bursting with flavor. The combination of colorful vegetables, whole-grain pasta, and fresh herbs makes it a perfect meal for busy weeknights. Plus, it’s versatile and easily customizable based on your preferences and what you have on hand. Whether cooking for yourself or feeding a family, this pasta primavera will surely be a hit at the dinner table.

4. Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos

Wrap up roasted sweet potato cubes and seasoned black beans in a whole wheat tortilla. Add some fresh cilantro, chopped lettuce, and a dollop of guacamole for a satisfying, easy dinner.

Ingredients:

– 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

– 1 tablespoon olive oil

– 1 teaspoon chili powder

– 1 teaspoon ground cumin

– 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

– Salt and pepper, to taste

– 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed

– 1 cup cooked brown rice

– 4 large whole wheat tortillas

– 1 avocado, sliced

– 1/2 cup salsa

– Fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, toss the diced sweet potatoes with olive oil, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper until evenly coated.

3. Spread the seasoned sweet potatoes in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until tender and lightly browned, stirring halfway through.

4. In a separate bowl, mash half of the black beans with a fork or potato masher until they form a chunky paste.

5. Warm the tortillas in the microwave or oven until soft and pliable.

6. To assemble the burritos, spread a quarter of the mashed black beans onto each tortilla, leaving a border around the edges.

7. Top the black beans with a quarter of the cooked brown rice and a quarter of the roasted sweet potatoes.

8. Add a few slices of avocado and a spoonful of salsa to each burrito.

9. Fold the sides of the tortillas over the filling, then roll them up tightly to form burritos.

10. Serve the sweet potato and black bean burritos immediately, garnished with fresh cilantro.

These sweet potato and black bean burritos are a satisfying and flavorful meal perfect for busy weeknights. They’re packed with protein, fiber, and vitamins and easily customizable based on your preferences and what you have on hand. Plus, they’re great for meal prep – wrap them individually in foil and store them in the refrigerator or freezer for a quick and convenient meal anytime.

5. Mushroom and Pea Risotto

Using pre-cooked rice, this risotto becomes a quick, comforting meal. Sauté mushrooms and onions, then add the rice and peas. Stir in vegetable broth and nutritional yeast for a creamy, cheesy taste without the dairy.

Ingredients:

– 1 tablespoon olive oil

– 1 onion, finely chopped

– 2 cloves garlic, minced

– 8 ounces mushrooms (such as cremini or button), sliced

– 1 cup Arborio rice

– 1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)

– 4 cups vegetable broth, heated

– 1 cup frozen peas

– Salt and pepper, to taste

– 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional, for a cheesy flavor)

– Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish

 Instructions:

1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet or Dutch oven. Add the chopped onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, until softened.

2. Add the minced garlic to the skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.

3. Add the sliced mushrooms to the skillet and cook for 5-6 minutes, until they release their juices and start to brown.

4. Stir in the Arborio rice and cook for 1-2 minutes, until lightly toasted.

5. If using, pour in the white wine and cook, stirring constantly, until the rice has absorbed it.

6. Add the heated vegetable broth to the skillet, one ladleful at a time, stirring frequently and absorbing each addition before adding more. Continue this process until the rice is creamy and cooked, about 20-25 minutes.

7. Stir in the frozen peas during the last 5 minutes of cooking, allowing them to heat through.

8. Season the risotto with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor, if desired.

9. Serve the mushroom and pea risotto hot, garnished with chopped fresh parsley.

This mushroom and pea risotto is a comforting and flavorful dish for busy weeknights. It’s creamy, hearty, and packed with savory mushrooms and sweet pea flavors. Plus, it’s easy to customize based on your preferences and what you have on hand. Whether cooking for yourself or feeding a family, this risotto will surely be a hit at the dinner table.

6. Thai Peanut Noodle Bowl

Toss cooked rice noodles with a zesty peanut sauce, shredded carrots, chopped scallions, and crushed peanuts. This dish is as flavorful as it is easy to put together.

Ingredients:

– 8 ounces rice noodles

– 1 tablespoon sesame oil

– 2 cloves garlic, minced

– 1 tablespoon grated ginger

– 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

– 1 cup shredded carrots

– 4 green onions, thinly sliced

– 1/2 cup chopped peanuts for garnish

– Fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish

– Lime wedges for serving

For the Peanut Sauce:

– 1/4 cup peanut butter

– 2 tablespoons soy sauce

– 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey

– 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

– 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce (optional)

– Water, as needed to thin

Instructions:

1. Cook the rice noodles according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the peanut sauce until smooth. If the sauce is too thick, add water, one tablespoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. Set aside.

3. Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the minced garlic and grated ginger, and sauté for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

4. Add the sliced red bell pepper and shredded carrots to the skillet. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until slightly softened.

5. Stir in the cooked rice noodles and peanut sauce, tossing everything together until well coated and heated.

6. Divide the noodle mixture among serving bowls. Top each bowl with sliced green onions, chopped peanuts, and fresh cilantro.

7. Serve the Thai peanut noodle bowls hot, with lime wedges on the side for squeezing over the top.

This Thai peanut noodle bowl is a delicious and satisfying meal for busy weeknights. It’s packed with flavor from the creamy peanut sauce, crunchy vegetables, and tender rice noodles. Plus, it’s easily customizable based on your preferences and what you have on hand. Whether cooking for yourself or feeding a family, this noodle bowl will surely be a hit at the dinner table.

These recipes demonstrate that a plant-based meal is within reach even on the busiest of nights. They require minimal prep and cooking time, ensuring you can enjoy a wholesome dinner without the fuss.

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