Vegan Dinner Hacks
What could be better than a comforting casserole at the end of a long, busy day? A comforting casserole that takes almost not time to prepare, like our Baked Polenta Casserole with Zucchini and Spinach, that’s what! And while it’s in the oven, all you need to do is kick back, because bagged fresh broccoli slaw and fresh bread complete a full dinner with no extra work.
The casserole is made up of layers of prepared polenta, the kind that comes in a tube, zucchini, and baby spinach. It’s smothered in marinara sauce and topped with melty vegan cheese, resulting in a crowd-pleasing, family-friendly main dish. Lots of casseroles need prep of the various components, but this one requires only minimal hands-on time. Use a really flavorful prepared marinara— roasted tomato, garlic, mushroom, or chunky vegetable. more→
When you have a delicious, nourishing (and quick) dish like Salsa Verde Quinoa Pilaf as the centerpiece of a dinner plate, the rest of the meal comes together quickly. Here, we’ve completed the veg-centric meal with a late spring flavor, though it can be enjoyed almost any time of year.
Asparagus used to be a sign of spring; and though it’s a little less special now that it’s available nearly throughout the year, we won’t complain; it’s a veggie that doesn’t need chopping or prep (other than a little trim off the bottom), and that’s always a good thing. more→
This quinoa bowl recipe is quick, colorful, and an easy way to get your plant-powered protein in a one-dish meal. And while it looks like there’s a bit of prep involved, that’s not the case at all! The only cutting involved is the bell pepper. If you’re really slothful, well-stocked supermarkets sell cut bell pepper. But really, you can do this.
Grating carrots isn’t much fun, though, so we’ll use pre-grated, which are easy to find. The edamame and cashews add even more heft to quinoa’s already impressive protein profile. The only task you’ve got is to arrange the toppings artfully over cooked quinoa, then pass around the flavorful dressing. more→
Chinese-Style Cauliflower Fried Rice served with Simple Sweet and Savory Sautéed Tofu makes a tasty vegan dinner menu, filled with healthy shortcuts.Those of you who follow Vegan Food Hacks know that we’re big fans of cauliflower “rice.” So many of you liked the cauliflower fried rice recipe we shared recently that we decided to build a meal around it.
What this meal needs is a tasty protein dish, and for that we suggest a simple sweet and savory sautéed tofu preparation. You can substitute tempeh or seitan for this as well. Our dishes are nothing if not flexible. more→
I’ve always wanted to try making vegan Philly cheesesteak, but something always stopped me. The problem has been that most of the recipes I’ve looked at use seitan in place of you-know-what. And while otherwise I have no quibble with seitan, it just seems like pure gluten served on bread is redundant.
Occasionally, a recipe will swap in portobello mushrooms, which do have that meaty umami thing going on. But for me, this would make it a portobello mushroom sandwich. While undeniably tasty, not exactly what I’d call the ideal vegan cheesesteak. more→
Here’s a tasty vegan dinner featuring shortcut butternut squash soup and simple hummus and avocado wraps that make a perfect companion. No need to follow exact recipes, just a few easy steps and a delicious meal is yours in 20 minutes or less!
Smooth, mellow butternut squash soup has to be among the top comfort soups on the planet. I don’t mind making fresh butternut squash soup from scratch for special occasions like Thanksgiving, but when the craving hits at 6 o’clock pm or later on a weekday, a soothing bowlful seems out of reach. Or is it? The good news is that butternut squash soup (organic and vegan!) comes in 32-ounce containers — a convenient, instant soup starter. more→
There are 1,001 great ways to use vegan burgers — other than as burgers, of course. Our latest veggie burger creation — using a grand total of 4 items (5, if you count the little bit of optional oil) — are these crazy-easy vegan sloppy joes. And to make the entire dinner, you’ll be picking up 7 ingredients — head straight to the express lane!
The number one reason we like to use vegan burgers in meaty meatless dishes is because they give you a wide choice of healthy ingredients. Many burger crumbles and meat imitators are based on soy protein isolate, which isn’t the healthiest ingredient; veggie burgers come in a wider range of ingredients including quinoa, beans, kale, eggplant, pea protein, and more. Here’s a handy listing of the best vegan store bought veggie burgers. more→
I have to admit that I often need to remind myself to eat more beans. It’s not always easy to get excited about a meal centered around beans (unless it’s a spicy, soul-satisfying chili on a super-cold day). Beans may not as sexy as other plant proteins, but they’re definitely an under-appreciated food group. So with this easy meal, we’re going to sweeten the deal by pairing the beans with vegan spinach quesadillas. They give the meal a definite yum factor.
As it turns out, the simple bean salad in this meal turns out to be no slouch in the yumminess department, embellished with olives and avocado. All in all, this pairing adds up to a dinner that will leave you feel virtuous and satisfied at the same time.
Spinach potato curry is a classic combination in Indian cuisine. There’s Saag Aloo, as well as Aloo Palak. Neither are particularly difficult to make, but involve numerous ingredients — mostly, the numerous spices that add up to those amazing flavors.
If your spice rack is underwhelming, or if you don’t have the stamina to measure, toast, and grind the requisite spices, then do what we do here at Vegan Food Hacks — use readymade Indian simmer sauces to create amazing approximations of favorite curry flavors. For this dinner, we’ve also upped the nutritional ante with baby “power greens,” though it will be just as good with baby spinach. more→
Here’s a fast and tasty dinner featuring vegan burgers, a spicy cool soup, and cute little potatoes, all ready in 20 minutes — a half hour tops if you move really, really slowly. With so many tasty and healthful prepared veggie burgers to choose from, we’re of the mind that there’s no point in making them from scratch. Use your favorite, or explore other varieties in this list of Here’s a great rundown on some of the best vegan store-bought veggie burgers.
Brilliant 4-Ingredient Gazpacho uses the brilliant shortcut (if we do say so ourselves) of fresh salsa — not the kind that comes in jars, but the type you’ll find in the refrigerated section of your supermarket’s produce department. It already has tiny bits and pieces of most everything you’d find in gazpacho, already cut into tiny bits and pieces. more→
If you’re looking for something familiar, hearty, and comforting for the evening meal, our vegan Italian meatball sub dinner might be just the thing. It’s made with our healthy (and sneaky) vegan meatball hack — a clever way to make these tasty bites almost instantly and without questionable processed soy.
Since the vegan meatball sub skews toward bread-y comfort food, let’s make sure to add plenty of vegetables to the plate. Fresh asparagus and broccoli slaw add very little work to the mix and go so nicely with the sub. more→
This Pesto and Mushroom-Stuffed Sweet Potato dinner is a beautiful, blissfully easy vegan meal idea that doesn’t require you to follow any recipes. Among our 6 Fantastic Ways to Stuff Sweet Potatoes, this centerpiece stuffed potato is my absolute favorite. There’s something about the mildly briny pesto combined with the smooth sweet potato and earthy mushrooms that goes beyond each of these three already-delicious components. more→