I think we all have that one night per week when we simply just don't want to cook. Or at least, we don't want to spend a long time thinking about WHAT to cook. Maybe you have a weekly after-work activity, late afternoon study group that always ends later than you expect it will, or an impromptu mandatory staff meeting...whatever it is for you, it's making you not wanna cook. We've all been there. For me, that day of the week is Thursday. I have to be at work very early on Thursdays, and get off just in time to head to ballet, which don't end until 9:30. You can probably imagine that by the time I get home on Thursday nights, I'm ready to eat and go to bed! So what are my favorite quick, healthy go-to meals and meal ideas?
Wraps are one of my very favorite "go-to's." All you need is a gorilla or wrap of your choosing and whatever happens to be in your fridge! I've done sweet, savory, crunchy, warm, gooey, you name it...I've probably done it (I may or may not have done a sweet and savory combo wrap...don't knock it till you try it!). Let's take yesterday, for example:
|Spinach Tomato "Ricotta" Wrap.|
This was super simple and quick, but so so good! I simply took a gluten-free, spinach wrap, filled it with fresh spinach (you could also do steamed), topped it with my Vegan Ricotta Cheeze for my cookbook, and added fresh Roma tomato slices. I served it with some steamed carrots and asparagus, fresh fruit, and homemade tomato basil soup. Delish! And super quick.
What's your favorite type of wrap or tortilla? Mine would have to be these guys...
|My all-time favorite wraps...wRAWps!|
I'm totally obsessed with wRAWps. They're gluten-free, vegan, nut-free, oil-free, sugar-free, AND 100% raw! They have tons of different flavors to choose from, perfect for whatever type of wrap you're craving! They even have pizza crusts, too!
A big 'ol salad is ALWAYS a good idea, but ESPECIALLY on a "fast-food" night! Many times, I will make a big salad in the morning and leave it in the fridge so it's ready to go when I get home! And like wraps, salads don't require much thought, either: just use what you've got in your fridge...I have to say I've never eaten a gross salad! :) And in the winter, when you don't necessarily want a cold salad? I love doing WARM SALADS--simply steam or sauté all the veggies you would normally use raw! Steam spinach for your base, and add sautéed onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, and mushrooms. Add some canned chickpeas, fresh herbs, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve with cooked brown rice on the side. BOOM. So good.
|Easy Asian Salad with Peanut Ginger Dressing. (recipe below!)|
Easy Asian Salad with Peanut Ginger Dressing.
1. 1 cup fresh snap peas, chopped
2. 1 cup chopped red cabbage
3. 1/2 cup sliced white button mushrooms
4. 4 oz. water-packed extra firm tofu, diced
5. 2 T peanut butter of choice
6. 1/4 tsp ground ginger
7. 1 tsp soy sauce (or soy sauce substitute)
8. 1 1/2 T water
9. 1 tsp fresh lime juice
10. Pinch of stevia (or sweetener of choice)
11. Cilantro, for garnish (optional)
1. Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss to mix.
2. Combine peanut butter, ginger, soy sauce, water, stevia, and lime juice in a small ramekin and whisk until thoroughly mixed.
3. Drizzle dressing over salad and garnish with cilantro, if desired.
Ooooooooh, who doesn't love a good old bagel?! Bagels are literally one of the most comforting foods on the planet, in my opinion. And they're such a great option for a quick evening meal: carbs are proven to help you sleep better, so they're great if you have to eat a late dinner! And they're super versatile: again, you can get totally creative with a bagel. Sweet or savory!
|Toasted Gluten-free bagel with Homemade Veggie Cream Cheezeless.|
Ahhh, the casserole. Another one of those things you can literally throw everything into a giant mixing bowl, mash it up, bake, and hey--you've got a delicious dinner! Even better? You can cook them ahead of time, store in the fridge, and warm back up in the microwave/oven when you get home late. Whoever invented the casserole, I love them.
Here's a fun little casserole I created the other night, sort of inspired by...A CHILI DOG. Yes, I'm serious. (The recipe is still vegan of course, and TOTALLY healthier than even a vegan chili dog!). It combines loads of plant protein, gut-healthy probiotics from sauerkraut, tomatoes which pack a healthy dose of lycopene, and tons of flavor. I drizzled my casserole with my "Rockstar Ranch Dressing" for my cookbook, but get creative! Mustard would be delish too.
"Meaty" Sauerkraut-Tomato Casserole.
|"Meaty" Sauerkraut-Tomato Casserole.|
1. 1 cup sauerkraut
2. 1/3 cup TVP granules
3. 1/4 tsp each onion and garlic powders
4. 1/2 tsp chill powder
5. Salt, to taste
6. 1/3 cup water
7. 1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes, drained
8. 2 T panko breadcrumbs (use gluten-free, if needed)
9. Toppings/dressing of choice (ketchup/mustard, etc.)
1. Combine TVP, spices, and salt in a medium-sized bowl and mix well. Add water and microwave 2 minute.
2. Add TVP, sauerkraut, and tomatoes to a large bowl and mix very well. Spoon into small casserole dish and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 25 minutes.
3. Remove from oven, let cool 10 minutes, and drizzle with toppings of choice. Serve warm, with a side salad, homemade potato chips, and fresh fruit.
USE YOUR IMAGINATION!
Other than my ideas above, use your imagination...and whatever is in your fridge! It's truly amazing the flavor combinations and tasty creations you can come up with by using fresh veggies and fruits. You really can't go wrong! The best thing you can do is experiment...and enjoy! :)
Until next time, guys. Enjoy!
"The Fit Vegan Ginger" :)