Usually, when people are trying to incorporate more international cuisines in their diet, a few methods come to mind immediately. You can begin frequenting specialty markets, be it Asian, Italian, or otherwise. You can sign up for a cooking class, or you just learn from the school of YouTube. What people usually don’t think of (at least initially) is stopping by the frozen meal section of their grocery store. It’s understandable. A decade ago, the frozen meal aisle was hardly the booming supermarket section it is today, especially in regards to their plant-based options. In the past, the selection was pretty simple – frozen veggies, french fries, maybe a veggie burger brand or two. Nowadays, you can find all sorts of amazing goodies! Indian curries, Asian noodle bowls, Italian specialties … all meatless and dairy-free too! In fact, these kinds of products have been such a hit with consumers, you can even find some online. Here are 10 easy-to-make vegan meals that have global flavors!
Amy's Black Bean and Vegetable Enchilada
We’ve all had this feeling: it’s taco Tuesday, you get an intense craving for all things Mexican but you don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen or dole out money for take out. This is where products like Amy’s Black Bean and Vegetable Enchilada come in handy. This non-GMO and microwaveable entrée is made with organic corn tortillas, tomato purée, zucchini, tofu, black beans, corn, onions, and a few other ingredients. Reviewers are saying that this product is an easy dinner option and a nice level of spiciness. You can get one for $3.79.
Vegetarian Plus Vegan Kung Pao Chicken
If you feel like having Chinese tonight, check out Vegetarian Plus Kung Pao Chicken. This microwaveable entrée contains soy protein chicken enveloped in a salty-sweet Kung Pao sauce. While this product is very vibrant in color, it uses no artificial coloring or flavorings. Additionally, it has no MSG or preservatives and contains 13 grams of protein per serving. One Amazon reviewer describes the product as “soul food and more yummy than I can even express.” Pretty enthusiastic! If you want to see if you’ll feel the same, one box will cost you $7.75.
Sweet Earth The Curry Tiger Burrito
Food fusion is so fun! How else would you be able to enjoy Indian food in the form of a burrito like Sweet Earth The Curry Tiger Burrito? These burritos contain a blend of lentils, curried seitan, red peppers, and potatoes that are spiced with turmeric, cinnamon, and cardamom. They have 19 grams of protein and seven grams of fiber. These can be cooked in the microwave and as one Amazon reviewer points out, the wraps remained soft and don’t dry out like some other brands might. This 12-pack for $80 will break down to about $6.50 a burrito.
Gardein Mandarin Orange Chicken
Gardein Mandarin Orange Chicken is a dairy and trans-fat free frozen meat alternative made primarily from soy protein and vital wheat gluten. Each serving (1/3 of the package) has ten grams of protein per serving and just 130 calories. For an authentic feel, Gardein suggests using this chicken in a stir fry, in lettuce wraps, or to make a vegan kung pao chicken. You can get eight 10.5-ounce packages for about $50.
Barilla Marinara Penne
Cooking pasta from a box may seem like a pretty easy lunch option…that is until you try a microwaveable one. Barilla Marinara Penne, for instance, can be cooked in just one minute. It is made mostly from mezze penne pasta, olive oil, traditional marinara sauce, and tomato purée. It doesn’t contain any preservatives and each package is 320 calories. Reviewers are saying that this product is delicious, affordable, and a great low-calorie option for lunch. You can get a pack of six nine-ounce packages for about $14.
Annie Chun’s Pad Thai Noodle Bowl
While in the past instant-Ramen noodles may have reigned supreme in the realm of convenient Asian foods, nowadays there are tons of noodle options! Take Annie Chun’s Pad Thai Noodle Bowl, for instance. Made with pre-cooked Hokkien noodles and a tangy Thai-style sauce, this product can be heated and ready to eat in just two minutes. It’s also low in saturated fat and cholesterol. You can try this microwaveable meal for just a little over $3, and the best part is the packaging is microwave-safe so there won’t be any dishes to clean after dinner!
Tandoor Chef Vegetable Korma
Indian food is delicious, filling, and nowadays you don’t have to pick up the phone to enjoy some in the comfort of you home! Tandoor Chef Vegetable Korma is a microwaveable gluten-free dish consisting of cumin-infused basmati rice, lentils, and vegetables. Made with olive oil and a light amount of sodium, this dish is good for lunch or when you want a somewhat light dinner. It has 10 grams of protein and eight grams of fiber and one Amazon reviewer shares that the level of spice is pretty mild. To test out the spice level yourself, consider buying this 12-pack for a little under $50.
Gardein Teriyaki Chick'n Strips
Teriyaki chicken is a popular Japanese dish that douses chicken tenders in soy sauce and honey (among other things) to create a sticky and flavorful entrée. While you could potentially create a vegan version of this dish from scratch, you could save some time in the kitchen and instead buy Gardein Teriyaki Chick’n Strips. The strips themselves are made from soy protein isolate, vital wheat gluten, and an ancient grain flour blend, and Gardein also includes a teriyaki sauce packet. The sauce is made from organic cane sugar, less-sodium soy sauce, salted sake, water, ginger purée, vinegar, garlic, onion, spices, xanthan gum, and salt. Reviewers are reporting that this product is delicious, “tastes like real chicken,” and makes for a nice meal when paired with rice. Quite a few of the reviewers point out that they feel the sauce is a bit too salty and sugary, but also point out that you don’t have to use the whole packet as suggested, and can instead splice it with a healthier condiment you have at home. If you’d like to try it out yourself, you can get eight packages for a little over $40.
Dr. McDougall's Miso Ramen Noodle Soup
Enjoy all that ramen has to offer right from the comfort of your own home with Dr. McDougall’s Miso Ramen Noodle Soup. This microwaveable product is made with organic ramen noodles, miso powder, tofu, wakame seaweed, Shiitake mushroom, and spices like ginger and white pepper. To eat, simply pour water into the cup and microwave. While almost all of the reviewers agree that the flavor and ingredients in this soup are on point, several have pointed out some flaws with the product. Reviewers are saying that the portion is a bit small, the cup gets very hot and can sometimes leak so you have to transfer it into a bowl, and the nutritional info is not for the entire cup but half the package. If you want to give it a try, you can get a pack of six 1.9-ounce cups for about $11.
Amy's Vegetable Lasagna
If you want to enjoy a tasty lasagna, you either have to go to an Italian restaurant or spend the hours that it takes to cook one yourself. That is unless you have Amy’s Vegetable Lasagna. This frozen entrée is made primarily from rice pasta, tomato purée, zucchini, spinach, onions, tofu, and vegan mozzarella shreds. It simply needs to be microwaved for a few minutes, and then voila! You have a hot Italian dinner. You can get a 12 pack of these entrées for about $67, that breaks down to about $5.50 a box.
Which of these products are you most excited to try? Tell us in the comments!
Lead image source: Asian Cauliflower Bites