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It’s a Tuesday night.

You just got home from work.

You’re tired. You’re hungry. Everyone’s asking what’s for dinner.

You have no idea.

Yeah, I’ve been there.

It’s always best to try to plan ahead for the week by making a menu, going to the grocery store with a list, etc, etc.

But that’s just not how it happens sometimes. And that’s ok. I’m here to help you!

I’m sharing 5 ideas for quick, easy meals that you can turn to at the last minute.

AND they’re healthy, delicious, and (of course) vegan to boot! I use them all the time.

Get ready, Tuesday night. We’re about to kick your booty!

5 Easy & Quick Vegan Meal Ideas

1. Pasta with Sauce and Veggies from the Freezer

what's for dinner? vegan meal ideas, quick and easy

Easy, breezy with pre-packaged marinara and frozen veggies!

I always have the ingredients for this on hand. Boil pasta, add the sauce to the same pot, toss in some frozen broccoli, and you’re golden.

Dinner in 15 minutes with a minimum number of dirty dishes = awesome.

I love the Whole Foods brand marinara or any flavor of the Victoria Vegan line of sauces!

Fancy it up with some pine nuts or vegan parmesan that’s always handy to have in the fridge.

Nutrition Tip: Use quinoa or rice noodles to amp up the healthy!

2. Veggie Burger and Side Salad

It’s a good idea to always keep veggie burgers and buns in the freezer. Or, they’re easy enough to grab at a quick grocery store stop.

Pop them in the toaster oven, slather with ketchup and mustard, toss some lettuce in a bowl with whatever dressing (or oil & vinegar) you have on hand, and you’re set!

Or, if you don’t have lettuce for a salad, dig in that cabinet and see what you could use for a side. I did that one night last week and ended up with…popcorn!

quick and easy vegan meal ideas

Sometimes, whatever you have in the freezer or cabinet works as a side!

Veggie burgers come in all sorts of flavors from black bean to garden veggie to hemp seed, etc. There are even vegan “chicken” patties. Pick one out that sounds good to you and have fun!

Nutrition Tip: Have a random veggie in the fridge? Slice it up and stack it on that veggie burger! Onion, tomato, or even shredded carrots are delish!

3. Spicy Black Beans and Rice

vegan meal ideas

Black beans and rice with nutritional yeast on top!

This has been a go-to meal of mine for years because it’s so easy, filling, and tasty!

Make some rice, toss a can of black beans in a pot with whatever spices you choose, and voila! Dinner!

Here’s my recipe (serves 2):

1 cup of rice

1 can of black beans (I like to get organic)

2 tblsp. chili powder

1 tblsp. cumin

1 tblsp. oregano

1 tsp. garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Make the rice according to package directions. Heat black beans  over medium heat and add the other ingredients, let it simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes. Add water if it gets too thick.

Douse with Cholula hot sauce for an extra-spicy kick!

Nutrition Tip: Use brown rice instead of white, and sprinkle the dish with cheesy nutritional yeast!

4. Veggie Plate du Jour

Make a plate full of healthy, fresh veggies!

Boil some (non-GMO) corn (12 minutes), saute a bag of pre-washed spinach with olive oil and garlic (5 minutes), toss a chopped up sweet potato or package of fingerling potatoes in the oven with olive oil, salt & pepper at 400 (25 minutes), and you’re all set!

Make a box of vegan mac ‘n’ cheese on the side if you want a little more to eat like I did here:

Memorial Day Dinner 13Nutrition Tip: Add some fruit to your veggie plate! Peaches, pears, or even a can of mandarin oranges are great as a side.

5. Avocado Toast and Soup

This is insanely delicious and easy to do.

I could eat this stuff every day!

I could eat this stuff every day!

Toast some bread, slice up an avocado and place on top, then drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice, and sprinkle with red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.

Heat up a can of soup from the cabinet as a side, and dinner is served.

Nutrition Tip: Use whole grain bread!

These are just a few super simple ideas that can be turned to any night of the week. For even more quick & easy vegan meal ideas, check out these lists:

– Buzzfeed: 30 Delicious Vegan Meals You Can Make in Under 30 Minutes

– Babble: 20 Vegan Meals You Can Make in 20 Minutes

– FatFree Vegan Kitchen: Ridiculously Easy Recipes

And if all else fails, splurge and go out to eat!

If you live in Charleston, I have a handy-dandy list of recommended veg-friendly restaurants here. If you live elsewhere, check out HappyCow.net to find a place that sounds good!

To compassionate (and fast!) dinners!


P.S. In my post last week, I shared what all I’d be eating at the 4th of July cookout! Here was my plate!

Vegan hot dog, cole slaw, potato salad, squash casserole, baked beans, and gazpacho salad!

Vegan hot dog, cole slaw, potato salad, squash casserole, baked beans, and gazpacho salad!

And here was dessert!

Beautiful, wonderful fruit pizza made by my Mom!

Beautiful, wonderful fruit pizza made by my Mom!

Hope you had a happy 4th!