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Easy Vegan Dinners
It’s time to feed the kids, AGAIN! Do you feel like a short order cook? Do you end up making four different meals for four different people in your family? Been there! I know it’s the dream to make one meal that everyone in your family will sit down and enjoy, but if your family is like mine, it is tricky. The good news is, easy vegan dinners are simple when you have a few key ingredients on hand. These staples are ones the whole family will eat!
I want to make my family meals that are nutritious, delicious, and quick. Over the years I’ve developed a few mealtime strategies.
Fruits and Vegetables at Every Meal
I make it a point to feed my children a fruit and vegetable at every meal. As a result, my oldest loves nearly every vegetable. Grape tomatoes and carrots are his favorite.
- I keep grape tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, avocado, and colored peppers at the ready. These vegetables are also easy to throw on a plate quickly with little prep when the kids are giving you pleading looks of hunger.
- My go to fruits include strawberries, blueberries, bananas, apples, and pre-cut melon. I wash and prepare the strawberries ahead of time so that they are easily and quickly table ready.
- Another quick and easy vegetable solution, frozen steamers. I never get the vegetables in a cheese or butter sauce. I’d rather add my own knowing that the stuff they put in the bag is processed junk. But throw a bag in the microwave and start assembling the kids plates, and 5 minutes later you’ve got vegetables without dirtying a pan.
This isn’t rocket science or a fantastically brilliant revelation, but I have a few go to protein sources I like to use that are also fan favorites in my house.
- Beans and legumes! Black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, butter beans, lentils, they are fast, cheap, and easy for my toddler to chew. Soybeans lentils, and split peas top the list for the most protein, but all beans are an excellent source of fiber. Another big fan favorite in my house is qunioa. Mixed with black beans and vegetables this is fast meat-free protein packed meal.
Carbs: They’re Okay!
I have recently began eating a primarily vegan diet, and have been vegetarian since my teens. Low-carb diets never worked for me. I found that I can eat carbs and still stay fit. Everybody’s body is different, but carbs work for me as long as I limit the amount I eat and the types of carbs I go for. Carbs are also essential for your kids as they contain glucose which provides energy. Not all glucose is bad. Whole grains are necessary.
- Wholewheat pasta, it’s quick, it’s healthy, and the entire family likes pasta. Score! You can also amp up the protein and go gluten free with lentil or chickpea pasta.
- Corn tortillas, they’re so versatile. I am always looking for the least processed option available in the grocery store. I’d love to make my own corn or flour tortillas, but realistically, it’s not going to happen. Make quesadillas, tacos, or tostadas and stuff them with whatever you like. My kids simply like cheese with a few bell peppers chopped inside. I stuff it full of tons of veggies, and my husband likes to add chicken or ground beef.
- Organic brown rice is great with stir-fry’s, or you can even make a rice bowl. For some reason I have the most difficult time making fluffy rice, and it takes too long. I don’t have that kind of time when I get home from work. Brown rice in a steam bag is as quick as it gets. Seeds for Change offers a few varieties. It’s simple and delicious.
- Some of my recent favorites include farro, couscous, and bulgar.
This has been a journey and I’m always learning and looking for new ways to solve my family’s mealtime equation.
For more information about adopting a plant-based lifestyle, and what it’s all about check out these resources: