Preparing vegan meals during a time of limited social contact and trips to the grocery store need not be a challenge. Many of us have staples in our cupboards that can be transformed into healthy and tasty meals that appeal to vegan and non-vegans alike.
When you’re spending most of your time at home, either working remotely or managing a household that has suddenly seen the return of college students on top of younger children going to school online, sticking to a routine is helpful. A healthy breakfast sets a positive tone for the rest of day. You can also switch things up and serve a traditional breakfast meal for dinner or lunch.
These recipes can be made from items you most likely already have on hand. Just in case, we have provided suggestions for ingredient substitutions. Preparation levels are “Easy”, “Intermediate”, and “Advanced”. Whether you choose to try your hand at oatmeal, pancakes, or quiche, you’ll be sure to please yourself and anyone else fortunate enough to share your culinary creations.
- If you have oats, cocoa powder, and peanut butter you can make…
Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal
Level: Easy! Time: 10-15 minutes Servings: 3-4
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats – substitute quick oats
1 ¾ cups water
1/8 t salt
1 tablespoon maple syrup or 1-2 packets of stevia, to taste
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder – substitute ¼ cup vegan chocolate chips
NOTE: omit stevia or maple syrup if using chocolate chips
1/3 cup peanut butter – substitute almond or cashew butter or chopped nuts
Unsweetened soy milk – substitute almond or coconut milk
Optional toppings: chopped peanuts, cocoa powder, sliced bananas
Bring water to a boil. Add oats and salt and immediately lower the heat to medium low, stirring frequently. Cook for 4-5 minutes until oats soften and water is absorbed. Stir in all remaining ingredients except soy milk, stirring until well combined. Spoon into serving bowls, add milk. Top with chopped peanuts, a sprinkle of cocoa powder, or sliced bananas.
- If you have whole wheat and all-purpose flour, almond milk, apple cider vinegar, flax meal you can make…
Whole Wheat Pancakes
Level: Intermediate Time 25-30 minutes Servings: 10 pancakes
1 cup all-purpose flour and ½ cup whole wheat flour – substitute all-purpose flour if that’s what you have on hand.
1 ½ t baking powder
½ t baking soda
¼ t salt
1 ½ cups almond milk – substitute: any nondairy milk such as soy, cashew or coconut
2 t apple cider vinegar
2 T flax meal – substitute flax or chia seeds, process to grind to a fine powder
¼ cup water
2 T maple syrup – substitute 2 T agave or 1-2 packets stevia to taste
2 t vanilla extract
Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a small bowl combine milk, apple cider vinegar, and flax meal and let stand for 5 minutes. Then add vanilla and water to flax mixture. If too thick, add more water one tablespoon at a time. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix gently. The batter will be lumpy and should be a bit thinner than cake batter.
Heat a lightly oiled griddle or nonstick pan over medium high heat. Pour approximately ¼ cup of batter onto hot pan and wait for bubbles to appear before turning. Only turn once; cook until lightly browned. Serve hot with maple syrup and sliced bananas or berries. You can also use a spoonful of jam in place of syrup if you don’t have fresh fruit. Garnish with fresh flowers from your garden and be prepared for applause!
- If you have a couple of potatoes, all-purpose flour, chickpea flour or a can of chickpeas, raw cashews, a carrot, and fresh or frozen spinach you can make…
Spinach Chickpea Quiche
Level: Advanced. Time 1 hour. Servings: 8 slices
First, soak ½ cup of raw cashews in a cup of water. This is for the filling.
2 medium potatoes, peeled, boiled, and mashed
1 cup white whole wheat flour – substitute all purpose or whole wheat flour
½ t salt
2 T extra virgin olive oil
Mix the potatoes, flour and salt in a medium bowl until a ball begins to form. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, one tablespoon at a time. Next add cold water one tablespoon at a time until dough comes together. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, shape into a disc and refrigerate while preparing the filling.
1 cup chickpea flour – substitute all purpose or whole wheat flour OR I can of chickpeas, drained and mashed.
TIP: save the liquid for canned chickpeas – aquafaba- for a variety of other cooking uses.
½ cup raw cashews and the cup of water they soaked in
1 cup of frozen or fresh spinach- substitute broccoli, kale or other leafy greens
1 T fresh rosemary, chopped – substitute 1 t dried rosemary, crushed before adding to filling
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated – substitute sweet potato or sweet pepper
Splash of extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced – substitute 1 ½ t garlic powder
1 t cumin powder
½ t turmeric
¾ t salt
2 T fresh parsley, chopped – substitute 2 t dried parsley
Place cashews and soaking water in a high-speed blender and blend until a thick paste is formed. Add the flour, salt, rosemary, and ½ cup water to blender and process until well combined. Set aside. Heat oil in a skillet and sauté the cumin, garlic, and turmeric for 1-2 minutes. Do not allow garlic to brown. Add spinach (defrost first if frozen) and cook, covered, for about 5 minutes. Stir in carrots and cook additional 2-3 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Stir in parsley. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then mix in the cashew chickpea mixture.
Putting it all together:
Preheat oven to 350. Roll out the crust on a lightly floured surface, shape into a circle. Lightly oil an 8-inch pie plate or dish. Press the dough along the bottom and sides of pan, trimming any dough that hangs over the edges and pressing it into the bottom of pan, making sure it is evenly distributed. Put pan on a large baking sheet and then pour filling into crust. Bake for 45 minutes or until center is set. Cool for 10-15 minutes before cutting and serving.
Stocking a Vegan Pantry
Vegan Cooks’ Pantry Staple Inventory Checklist:
- Dried and canned beans, lentils, split peas, chickpeas, etc.
- Rice and grains like oats, quinoa, farro, wheat berries, and barley
- Pasta, preferably whole grain
- Canned veggies including diced tomatoes
- Jars of tomato sauce, marinara, tomato paste, and roasted peppers
- Vegetable broth…lots!
- Flour – all purpose, bread flour
- Sugars – white, brown, powdered
- Cocoa powder
- Dried and canned fruits, applesauce, shredded unsweetened coconut
- Nuts including raw cashews, walnuts, and almonds
- Seeds – chia, flax, pumpkin, sunflower
- Nut butters and tahini
- Oils – coconut, olive, canola, avocado
- Vinegars – apple cider, red wine, tarragon, and rice
- Boxed, shelf stable almond and coconut milks
- Spices and herbs – most used include basil, chili powder, cumin, curry powder, garlic powder, ginger, onion powder, oregano, paprika, parsley, rosemary, tarragon, and turmeric.
- Note: a very popular spice for vegan cooking is Kala Namak, also known as Indian Black Salt and Himalayan Black Salt. It has a distinctive “egg-like” taste due to its sulfur content, making delicious vegan quiches, frittatas, and more.
These ingredients are inexpensive, and the majority contain essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which maintain and improve your health. The trick is to find creative combinations that tempt your palate…in other words, let’s go beyond beans and rice or pasta with tomato sauce for lunch and dinner!
Here are some blogs that offer a wonderful array of vegan recipes:
My Darling Vegan
Oh She Glows
The Simple Veganista
Chocolate Covered Katie
The Minimalist Baker