5 Vegan Dishes That Are Easy to Cook and Taste Great
Whipping up easy healthy meals can be a challenge, especially for people with a sensitive stomach or allergies. Thankfully, plant-based dishes don’t include the most common food allergens found in animals: milk, eggs, fish, and shellfish. Vegetarians and vegans just have to be wary of tree nuts, wheat, and soybeans when preparing dishes. Allergic reactions are a serious concern which is why food labels must clearly identify major allergens in compliance with FDA rules. I refer to Vegan recipes quite often in our home, as my kids have several food allergies…most notably, dairy and egg. My daughter and I tend to shy away from meat at times as well, so Vegan options are perfect (and healthy) for us!
Aside from the diet being less restrictive for the allergy-prone, Health IQ explains that vegans have a lower risk of developing cardiovascular diseases than the average meat-eater. This is due to the fact that animal-derived ingredients typically contain higher cholesterol than their botanical counterparts. Reduced chances of diabetes, cancer, and kidney-related diseases can also be credited to a plant-based lifestyle.
For those ready to take the plunge but have no idea where to start, here are five great-tasting dishes for you and your family to try that can be prepared in under an hour.
Rainbow Spring Rolls
(image: Minimalist Baker)
Vegan rainbow spring rolls are fresh, healthy, and require little effort. Store-bought spring roll pastry may contain wheat, but you can easily substitute it with rice paper, which is used traditionally by the Vietnamese (where this dish originated). Healthline explains that wheat products contain gluten, a type of protein that can lead to an intolerance or severe allergic reactions in 1% of Americans.
1 head romaine lettuce
1 red cabbage, shredded
2 carrots, julienned
1/2 cucumber, julienned
1 avocado, thinly sliced
Handful of fresh mint
Rice paper rolls
3 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp soy sauce (coconut aminos are a great alternative for those with soy allergies)
1 tbsp rice wine
*Substitute peanut sauce with vinegar dip for nut allergies.
1. Boil water in a pot. Place the vermicelli noodles and let it cook for 3-5 minutes. Set cooked noodles aside, then transfer the hot water into a bowl and wait for it to cool a little.
2. Prepare and slice your vegetables and place them neatly in separate containers. Dampen up a tea towel with water and set it on your prep board.
3. Take some rice paper and place it in warm water for 30 seconds to soften it up. Quickly transfer it on top of the damp tea towel so it doesn’t stick to the board. Lay down your lettuce in the middle then layer it with a good amount of each vegetable. Top with the noodles and mint.
4. Begin rolling by picking up the rice paper at one end and folding it over the ingredients. Gently fold in the sides and completely roll over.
5. Repeat the process with the rest of the wraps.
6. For the sauce, throw peanut butter into a pot over medium heat. Stir in the soy sauce and the rice wine.
(image: Kitchen Treaty)
Fajitas made with traditional corn tortillas and Portobello mushrooms are simple yet full of flavor. Prepare more than one fajita for each person because one may not be enough!
Corn tortillas (or flour tortillas for non-allergic)
4 medium Portobello mushrooms, sliced thinly, stems removed
1 large bell pepper of any color, sliced into strips
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp taco seasoning
1 medium ripe avocado
1 lime, cut into wedges
1. Place mushrooms into a bowl. Toss the taco seasoning into the bowl and coat the mushrooms evenly.
2. Heat a skillet over medium setting then drizzle it with olive oil. Add the onions. When the onions start to caramelize, add the bell pepper slices and cook until they soften up. Then add the mushrooms and mix all the ingredients.
3. Heat the corn tortillas in a pan while waiting for the vegetables to cook.
4. Place a generous amount of the taco vegetables onto the tortillas and top it with small scoops of avocado. Serve with lime wedges.
(image: Minimalist Baker)
While the coconut is technically a tree nut, ACAII reports that it is classified as a fruit and is safe to eat by people with a tree nut allergy. A vegetable packed coconut curry is a comforting and filling meal that can be enjoyed by the entire family.
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 small onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp ginger, grated
2 carrots, diced
4 potatoes, diced
1 cauliflower, chopped into florets
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp curry powder
2 14-ounce can coconut milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat a large saucepan over medium setting and add vegetable oil. Sauté garlic, onion, and ginger.
2. Add the cauliflower, carrots, and potatoes once the ginger becomes fragrant. Wait for about 5 minutes for the vegetables to soften. Stir frequently.
3. Add the curry powder, tomato paste, and coconut milk. Adjust the coconut richness according to your liking. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 5-10 minutes. It’s ready when you can slice through the potatoes easily.
4. Serve with basmati rice.
Black Bean Burger
(image: Jamie Oliver)
Black beans are packed with protein and fiber which are important for a healthy diet. While meat burgers are traditionally grilled, black bean patties should be pan-fried for best results.
1 onion, chopped
3/4 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup gluten-free oats
1 clove garlic
1 15-ounce can of black beans
All the fix-ins you prefer
1. Put oats in a food processor and pulse until you reach a flour texture. Set aside.
2. Drain and rinse black beans. Pulse in a food processor until it gets mashed. Leave a few whole pieces for texture.
3. In a mixing bowl, add oat flour, mashed beans, cooked quinoa, garlic, and onion. Mix well and form burger patties.
4. In a non-stick pan, heat olive oil. Fry both sides of the patty until golden brown and crispy.
5. Serve in a bun with all the fix-ins and your choice of dressing.
(image: Minimalist Baker)
Buddha bowls are popular among the vegan community for being simple, nutritious, and satisfying. Many of the produce listed below are included in Every Little Story’s grocery staples. The best thing about a Buddha Bowl is that you can throw in anything you like on a bed of grains and even top it with some leftovers.
Leftover roasted sweet potatoes
Cooked quinoa or rice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 15-ounce chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 onion, sliced
1 head broccoli, sliced
2 handfuls of lettuce (or any kind of greens)
1/4 cup tahini (our daughter has a sesame allergy, so we’d omit for her)
1 tbsp agave or maple syrup
juice of half a lemon
2-4 tbsp water
1. Place the chickpeas into a mixing bowl and add the taco seasoning. Coat the chickpeas evenly.
2. Heat a skillet over medium setting and add olive oil. Sauté onion until golden. Add the taco chickpeas and stir frequently. Once the chickpeas are fragrant, turn off the heat and set it aside.
3. Steam broccoli over boiling water until the color turns vibrant.
4. Reheat your leftover sweat potatoes in the oven or in a pan. While waiting, add the tahini, agave, and lemon juice in a separate bowl and whisk. Add water as you go until you achieve your preferred consistency. Set the sauce aside.
5. Layer serving bowl with a bed of grains such as quinoa or brown rice. Add lettuce or your choice of greens. Add the reheated sweet potatoes, broccoli, and chickpeas. Drizzle with the tahini sauce.