Are you a terminally lazy cook? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Plant-based eating is incredible in that it offers many benefits of developing healthy relationships with food and a deeper appreciation for spending more time in the kitchen. Plant-based eating can also require more time planning meals and more thought into getting proper nutrients. With this said, sometimes we all feel inevitably lazy and don’t want to spend our whole evening in the kitchen. Whether we are busy bees or just don’t enjoy cooking, sometimes a fast, cheap and easy meal is all we need. With laziness comes the desire for convenience, but have no fear, making vegan meals convenient and trouble-free is completely possible.
There are simple tricks to help out any lazy cook with making meals. The most important trick is to keep lots of spices and sauces in your kitchen. Spices like turmeric, black pepper and sea salt, cinnamon and cayenne pepper are sure to pair well with most plant-based ingredients. These Chipotle Vegetable Stuffed Avocados are flavored with …yup, you guessed it: chipotle. Sauces like teriyaki, soy, mustard and balsamic are great starters in marinades for plant-protein sources like tofu, beans or tempeh. Another trick for the lazy cook is to use basic, yet satisfying ingredients. This means straying away from processed foods and choosing fresh or frozen vegetables and grains instead. Here are some of the best meal ideas that would suit any lazy chef. These ideas are economical, hearty, vegan-friendly, and best of all, don’t require your whole night in the kitchen.
I say potayto, you say potahto, we all say baked potatoes! Potatoes are a lazy cook’s best friend—cheap, adaptable and filling—how could you go wrong with that? Skip the mashing, the French fries, go and just bake your potatoes instead. While baking potatoes can take about an hour, it’s actually perfect for the lazy cook. Just pop it in the oven and come back when it’s ready! For the lazy and the time-crunched, wrap your potato in a wet paper towel and microwave until tender, around 4-7 minutes. To make your baked potato into a meal, make sure to stuff them with robust fillings. Beans, vegan cheese, crumbled tempeh, or frozen veggies are all simple ingredients for stuffing. Use these 8 Ways to Make Badass Baked Potatoes as inspiration for your own creations or try these Twice-Baked Cheesy Hummus Potatoes. For a meal with more nutrients and antioxidants, try using baked sweet potatoes. The lentil, kale, or Mediterranean recipes in 10 Ways to Stuff a Sweet Potato would be perfect options for the hungry and lazy vegan.
Need to use up some leftover ingredients? Make a pita pizza! Don’t fret about making the dough, that’s what whole grain pita bread is for. While pita bread makes filling and tasty sandwiches, it’s also a great base for loading toppings on. Whole grain pita bread is typically high in protein and fiber, and it’s ideal for the lazy vegan because it’s already cooked for you! Pita pizza is also awesome because it’s just the right size for one person. Start with pita bread, spread on some sauce, add some non-dairy cheese, and pile on any vegetables you have on hand. This Vegan Pepper Jack Cashew Cheese is my favorite as it will add some spice to your Homemade Pita Bread. For an easy fix, use store-bought vegan cheese like Daiya or Tofutti. Mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach or broccoli are healthy options for vegetable toppings, and many of these can come frozen or from a jar. Check out this Ultimate Guide to Making Homemade Pizza and simply use a pita for the base. After assembled, pop your pita in an oven at 425 degrees for 8-10 minutes and you’ve got yourself a quick and wholesome meal.
3. Rice and Beans
Known for being a cheap staple, rice and beans is a classic lazy person’s meal that’s also good for you! Brown rice is packed with hardy nutrients and can be made in large batches to last for a few days worth of meals. If you don’t have the time to cook rice on the stove, opt for using instant. Although the texture will be different, this is still a healthier option for the time-crunched than processed foods and breads. Beans make a killer counterpart to rice as they are incredibly cheap and will keep you full for hours. Black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas or black-eyed peas are all quality options and are easy because you can buy them in a can. Make sure to rinse them well before using. Check out this White Bean Wild Rice Hash or this Cilantro, Lime and Black Bean Rice for either a side dish or a main course, and see Easy Ways to Spruce Up Classic Rice and Beans for more help to those feeling lackadaisical.
Bust out your slow cooker and make some chili. A pot of chili will last you all week long and is perfect for any season and for any meal. Vegan chili is super easy; all you need are some spices, a couple cans of beans, and simple vegetables like corn, onion, and tomatoes. Chili is adaptable and tastes super with other ingredients like beer or sweet potatoes. This Three Bean and Sweet Potato Chili is a vegan wonder as you just need to add your ingredients and let them simmer. Same goes for this Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Chili. Chili also makes for an extraordinary make-ahead meal. For the more adventurous, add some vegan sour cream or cheese for an extra indulgence. To use up those leftover pantry goods, this Frito Chili Pie is an American bar-food staple that definitely suits a lazy vegan lifestyle. For more slow cooker ideas beyond chili, try using protein-packed lentils in stews and soups.
Skip the typical pasta and sauce and make some super Easy Peanut Noodles. You’ll most likely have all the ingredients you need on hand. Peanut noodles taste divine, make fantastic leftovers and are superbly filling. For any peanut butter lover like myself, peanut noodles make an outstanding savory meal and they’re high in protein! Try these Noodles With Peanut-Miso Sauce and feel free to swap out the kelp noodles for noodles of your choice. For the lazy cook, make a large batch of Zucchini Noodles and use them sporadically throughout the week. These raw noodles would taste fresh and zesty with a peanut sauce. For the sauce, make sure to add miso to it as this will provide luxurious tastes and that umami flavor we all crave.
Get off that couch and make yourself some dinner! With these five meal ideas you sure won’t be in the kitchen for long, and you’ll satisfy your hungry belly with nutrients and finger-licking, vegan goodness. With a little creativity, any meal can be nourishing made with ingredients you have on hand. For all you lazy vegans out there, do you have a favorite meal idea or recipe? Share your thoughts, we would love to hear from you!
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Lead Image Source: Chilled Peanut Noodles