How To Make Simple, Delicious Nutritious Vegan Meals Fast By Marina Yanay-Triner From Soul In The Raw
A few blog posts back, I shared “Practical Time-Saving Tips for Healthy, Delicious Meals”. You can read that post here.
I get a lot of requests to cover how to make easy and quick vegan meals that are also very high in nutrition. Today, I decided to expand on my first blog post by focusing specifically on how to make meals that are packed with nutrition and are still very simple and quick.
Watch the video for this blog post:
This post is the first part of my 5-part series on Quick, Satisfying and Easy Vegan Recipes, including breakfast, snack, lunch, and dinner recipes, so stay tuned for those in the next 4 weeks!
First, I want to share my story of how I went vegan during a very busy time in my life.
My Vegan Story: Attempting to Make Nutritious & Delicious Vegan Meals at a Time of Chaos
Imagine that someone very dear to you, one of the most important people in your life, falls unbearably ill. This person tries everything to get better. And although the disease won’t end up in certain death, this person, who you love so much, is suffering immensely.
Then, one day, after 8 years of excruciating pain and suffering, not being able to leave the house, something changes. This person finds that food is medicine.
Although you don’t live very close, you can tell that this special person is truly healing. She starts being able to leave the house, go grocery shopping, and even hike. And the pain starts to slip away.
That’s powerful, isn’t it?
This is what happened to my mom. And at this time I was not vegan, and did not think twice about what I would put in my mouth.
It was the first time in my life that I lived away from home, thousands of miles away. I often felt alone, and had to find my way to independence in every sense of the word.
I was working 3 jobs, getting my Master’s degree, determined to make my life work as an independent person for the first time.
And when I got that phone call from my mom, and she told me she was better, I believed in the power of food for the first time in my life.
I believed it so strongly that I knew I had to revolutionize my chips-for-dinner diet. And I did.
And wow, was it hard! I had no idea where to start.
I felt so confused most of the time, and just exhausted coming home at 10PM, having to figure out my food choices for the next day.
Because I saw my mother’s life literally transform before my eyes – I was so determined. I knew that I never wanted to be in pain like her. I never wanted to get her disease – which I thought could have been genetic.
My goal was to prevent it all, and I wanted to feel good! I wanted to feel the power of food as medicine.
So I spent hours learning, and perfecting recipes that will be easy and quick enough, yet powerful and healing for my body.
At first, I ate a lot of pretty gross food. Finding recipes I loved was a rare occurrence, and I really felt like I had to work in the kitchen for hours.
But throughout this process, I never gave up. I firmly believed that I needed to make this change, just like my mom did. However, for me, it was about preventing a terrible disease rather than fighting one.
Eventually, I learned how to make quick, easy nutritious food that filled me up for entire work days.
If you are working a ton, or have a family you have to feed, or are struggling to make ends meet, let me tell you something – I believe you can still eat a nutritious and yummy vegan diet, if you believe it. Only if you believe it.
And with that motivation and intention, let’s get into some practical tips on how you can make the simplest, most delicious and nutrient-dense meals, even if you are insanely busy.
How to Make Simple, Delicious and Nutritious Vegan Meals: Add Greens Powders
Firstly, you can add a greens powder to any recipe you can. Greens are at the top of the nutrient-density list. They are true medicine. If you don’t have time to wash and chop greens, the next best thing is to use a raw greens powder and add it to your meals. I will say that it’s not as good for you as consuming fresh greens, but it’s a great solution if you really want to save time.
Secondly, make smoothies and bowls, and add tons of nutrient-dense foods into them. Choose items like pre-washed greens (spinach, kale, chard, etc.) or herbs (basil, cilantro, spearmint, parsley, and peppermint), whole flax seeds, and the most nutrient-dense fruits (most berries like cranberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and more), and spices (ginger, cayenne pepper, turmeric and black pepper). Making smoothies is super-fast and easy, and it literally can provide you with 50% of your daily nutrient needs! Crazy!
Photography by Marina Yanay-Triner.
Here are some smoothie recipes I love that include these nutrient-dense foods:
How to Make Simple, Delicious and Nutritious Vegan Meals: Add Spices
Thirdly, spices are extremely nutrient-dense, as they are basically dried, concentrated plants. Some of the healthiest spices include turmeric, oregano, saffron, black pepper, cloves, cinnamon, lemon balm, marjoram, cayenne pepper, and ginger (according to nutritionfacts.org).
It’s really easy to incorporate spices into your diet. However, you may have not thought of the more unconventional ways to include them. For example, drinking chai tea is very powerful because it includes cinnamon and cloves. Both savory and sweet dishes can contain turmeric and black pepper (including things like smoothies, cakes, hummus, and even brownies)!
The awesome thing is that at the same time, they are much quicker to cook! So by using sprouted grains, beans, and legumes you are saving time and eating meals that have more available nutrients to your body – you absorb more nutrients.
Photography by Marina Yanay-Triner.
Here are some meal ideas in which you can use sprouted grains, legumes, and beans:
How to Make Simple, Delicious and Nutritious Vegan Meals: Use Nut and Seed Butters for Sauces
Nut and seed butters are a ground up paste of nuts and seeds. Using these butters, you can make many dressings, sauces, and dips for your vegetables that don’t even require a blender.
One of my favorite nut butters is this sprouted almond butter.
Some of the most nutrient-dense veggies that you can incorporate into salads, bowls, and as “chips” for dip are radishes, carrots, broccoli, bell pepper, kohlrabi, and cauliflower.
In the online course I teach, “The Effortlessly Flavorful Vegan Kitchen”, I demonstrate how to mix together oil-free vegan sauces, dressings, and dips right in a bowl, without using a blender or food processor. The course will teach you that these oil-free vegan sauces, dips, and dressings are the basis for making your meals delicious and nutrient-packed. They contain both nut and seed butters, as well as vegetables, take minutes to make, and can be used to consume plenty of some of the most nutrient-dense fresh veggies.
Significantly, one of the biggest sources of extra calories (without almost any nutrients) is oil. By learning to make your own super-fast oil-free sauces, dips, and dressings, you can eliminate this source of calories, and add easy nutrient-dense foods back into your diet.
To get more information about “The Effortlessly Flavorful Vegan Kitchen”, which will be open for enrollment very soon, click here.
Article by Marina Yanay-Triner of Soul in the Raw, Guest Blogger for PhotoBook Magazine.