Plant-based eating gets a bad rap. For some reason, many people hear the words, and they automatically think of small salads consisting of nothing but iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, and tomatoes. The thing about plant-based meals, however, is that the possibilities are practically limitless. What’s more, most of these types of meals aren’t difficult or expensive to prepare. Here are five simple plant-based meals worth trying.
A healthy breakfast gives your mind and body the boost they need to start your day off on the right foot. Instead of a traditional egg scramble, opt for a lighter, cholesterol-free tofu scramble. The most basic recipes call for crumbled firm tofu, salt, pepper, turmeric, and garlic powder. You can get a more “eggy” flavor by using kala namak (black salt) instead of regular salt. Add in your favorite vegetables, such as zucchini, tomatoes, onions, green pepper, and broccoli, and sprinkle with some vegan cheese at the very end. You can eat the scramble on its own, throw it in a wrap, or serve it on the side of some plant-based waffles or pancakes.
Chickpea “Chicken” Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Making lunch for work and school can be challenging. Plant based meal prep ideas like chickpea “chicken” salad make the process easier. Mashing chickpeas gives them a similar texture to flaked chicken. Mix in some crunchy vegetables and vegan “mayonnaise” and you’ve got yourself a great “chicken” salad option for lunch. All you need to do is mash some chickpeas, toss in some diced celery, red pepper, and onion, and mix it all together with vegan mayo, yellow mustard, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
BBQ Jackfruit Pulled “Pork”
Jackfruit BBQ is both easy and tasty. One of the easiest ways to make it is using a pressure cooker, but you can also make it on the stovetop, too. All you need is two cans of young green jackfruit (in brine or water, not syrup) and barbeque sauce. Drain the jackfruit and cut away any hard portions. Add the jackfruit and about one cup of water to the pressure cooker and steam on high for about five minutes. When done, release the pressure and add the barbeque sauce. Cook everything together for a few minutes to warm everything through. Make sliders, sandwiches, or tacos. Make some plant-based coleslaw for some crunch and serve with a side of potato salad.
Instant Pot Pad Thai
Pad Thai is a popular takeout item, but most restaurants use eggs, fish sauce, and meat in their recipes. You can make an equally delicious plant-based alternative at home with this recipe from Hummusapien. Again, like the jackfruit BBQ recipe, the pad Thai can be made using a pressure cooker or on the stove, using many ingredients you already likely have in your home. Chop your veggies ahead of time or while your noodles are cooking. The sauce is easily whisked together in just a couple of minutes. Cook your vegetables in the sauce and toss in the cooked noodles for a well-rounded meal.
Who doesn’t love pizza? One of the best things about it is that you can customize it based on your taste preferences. You can make your own plant-based pizza dough or purchase one at the store (be sure to read the ingredients first). Top the dough with a store-bought vegan cheese such as Violife of Daiya shreds and add all of your favorite vegetables. If you have kids that you’re also trying to encourage to eat more veggies, let them get hands-on with you. Have them help you make the dough and then let them decorate their own pizzas before you put them in the oven.
Eating plant-based doesn’t have to be hard (or cost a lot of money!). These are just a few of the countless recipes that you can find. Whether you’re looking to go plant-based one day a week or make the change permanently, you’ll have no shortage of delicious meals to make at home.