Do you know how long it takes me on an average day to put together my meal? I’m not trying to brag, but it takes me 15 minutes on average. Yep, I got it like that.
Mind you, I’m not preparing elaborate 3-course meals. Ever! That’s just overdoing it. I also am not eating frozen meals from Trader Joe’s and Lean Cuisine. Those days are long gone, thank God. I’ve managed to make delicious, filling, and super healthy vegan meals in less than 15 minutes by embracing simplicity. Simplicity doesn’t mean bland and boring. Along with cashews, peanuts, and pistachios, I’m allergic to bland & boring.
Simplicity on my plate is about using a few great ingredients and spices that come together to create a balance of flavor, texture, and nutrition.
This afternoon I made a huge salad for Maxx and myself. Romaine lettuce, red cabbage, home cooked kidney beans, avocado, homemade dressing (recipe below), and toasted pumpkin seeds (giveaway below!). I threw it all in a large bowl, gave it a toss, and we were good to go. A meal for 2 in 10 minutes. If I was really starving I would have added some quinoa and more beans to my mound of greens.
“But what about the home cooked beans?” you may be asking. “Don’t they take a long time to cook?”
Yes, they take a long time to cook, but I don’t have to stand in the kitchen over the hot stove while they’re cooking. I’m elsewhere in the apartment doing my thing. The secret is to make large batches of beans, lentils, quinoa, brown rice, and whatever else you like, at the beginning of the week. None of these things require you to slave away in the kitchen. Boil water, add dried legume or grain, and come back when it’s done. Or use canned/precooked beans. Done.
When you’re well prepared, putting together simple meals in minutes becomes a no-brainer.
What about the flavor?!
I need yumminess, and flavor, and color on my plate. To assure that I’m keeping my taste buds happy I rely on spices and condiments. I make Buddha bowls and salads almost everyday, with thick drizzles of tahini, heaps of kimchi, handfuls of fresh herbs, douses of homemade dressings, dashes of spices, or sprinkles of toasted seeds (more on that below). It takes 30 seconds to add these flavor boosters, so make sure your kitchen is well stocked with the goods.
The only cooking I have to do to make a meal (if it isn’t a salad) is steam a non-starchy green veggie. Broccoli and kale are my top choices.
Voila! With just a bit of preparation, the meal is served.
Do you trust me when I say that making a yummy nourishing vegan meal is easy? That’s okay if you don’t yet. I’m going to prove it to you in my new series “A Meal in the Life of Jenné”. In this first episode you see how I throw together a salad with just a couple of ingredients. We’ve got a few more episodes in the pipeline. I’m also excited to announce that I’m publishing a digital cookbook, 5 Ingredient Vegan, in a couple of weeks! Vegan cooking is going to get a lot easier. Make sure you’re signed up for my weekly newsletter so you don’t miss a thing 🙂
Also, I think it’s time for a giveaway, don’t you?
I received a box of SuperSeedz toasted pumpkin seeds a couple of weeks ago. Boy oh boy, these seeds are a bomb of flavor, crunch, and joy in every bite. I’ve been adding them to everything. Since they are truly the tastiest gift I’ve ever received from a company I asked if we could give away some seeds on Sweet Potato Soul. They kindly said yes, and are offering to send 8 bags of the best pumpkin seeds you’ll ever taste to one lucky winner.
To make the giveaway even yummier, I’m giving away one membership to the 21-Day Vegan Blueprint online program! The seeds will make the perfect vegan snack while you’re enjoying your delicious vegan diet.
Sign up below, and answer this question “Do you have a method for making quick & healthy meals? Do share!”