This post answers a question I received on Tumblr:
So I am a horrible cook and I hate using tons of ingredients. I’m trying to go vegan for a while now, but all my grocery stores are limited… All I know how to cook is stir-fries… I don’t know what to eat, please help! Meal by meal, thank you! And I always crave processed food. What do I do?
For me, the simplest way to eat vegan is to only eat fruits and steamed veggies. Little to no cooking, easy clean up, minimal ingredients, and everything is healthy.
I realise this may not work for everyone 24/7…but if you are ever wondering what to eat and can’t be bothered to cook, tuck into a few packs of grapes or whatever fruit you like.
Fortunately, cooking vegan doesn’t have to be limited. If you stick to staples like rice, pasta, oats, bread, and potatoes, you can create lots of simple healthy vegan meals with minimal cooking. These staples are available in any grocery store and cheap as well, so that’s an added bonus!
It may seem easier to eat vegan processed foods like veggie patties, cookies, cakes, and such, but I encourage you to avoid these as much as possible. Not only are these foods difficult to find depending where you live, but these foods are more expensive and less nutritious. If you do happen to find these, feel free to try them as a treat. Just don’t rely on them too much.
Here are some quick and easy vegan meal ideas:
- Breakfast: fresh fruit, smoothies, porridge made with almond milk, cereal, granola with soy yoghurt, toast with jam.
- Lunch or dinner: stir-fries, pasta, burritos or tacos, sandwiches or wraps stuffed with fresh or roasted veggies, sushi (if you’re feeling ambitious), baked chips, rice with steamed veggies.
Stir-fries were my go-to meal before I transitioned to eating mostly fruit. I would purchase the largest sack of rice I could find for very cheap, then centred my meals around rice and stir-fried vegetables. I made them without oil (I used water instead), so technically they weren’t stir-fries, but they were just as delicious and easy to make. Any veggies will work in a stir-fry, so be adventurous and try them all. Carrot, courgette, mushrooms, peas, and tomato are some of my favourites.
Plain veggies and rice are delicious, but if you’d like an extra flavour boost, try a pre-made stir-fry sauce (just check the ingredient label to make sure it’s vegan–sometimes they contain fish!) or whip up something yourself. Garlic, ginger, tamari, chile paste or cayenne pepper, nut butter, nutritional yeast, green onion, tomato paste, curry powder are all good flavour choices.
Cravings for processed foods can be handled in a few ways. If you crave sugary pastries or sweet stuff, try eating more fruit instead. Also, try to avoid buying processed foods. If you don’t have them at home, you won’t be tempted to eat them. Make sure you always have plenty of healthy snacks around (like fruit) so you reach for something healthy instead of processed when you feel hungry.
If you crave something processed, ask yourself if you are hungry enough to eat an apple or a piece of fruit. If you’d rather eat the processed junk, you aren’t truly hungry at that time. You might be bored or looking for comfort instead.
I offer lots of quick and easy vegan meal ideas in my e-book, Eat Like Me: High Carb Low Fat for Beginners as well.
What are your favourite vegan meals? Do you have cravings for processed food? How do you deal with them?