Veganism doesn’t have to be hard, and — despite what the #vegan section of Instagram would have you think — it definitely doesn’t have to be beautiful. In my own life, food is simple and is only required to be pretty enough that you feel enthused about eating it. Anything beyond that becomes art, and art is a not my specialty, and it’s also not a requirement for living vegan.
Below are 6 ‘recipes’ that might be enticing if you, like me, are 1) vegan 2) lazy 3) not an artist 4) interested in minimal effort with maximum results. These aren’t beautiful, they definitely won’t ever be featured in a recipe book, but they taste great, they’re easy, and they’re great for the lazy vegans like me that avoid spending hours in the kitchen.
Slice of fresh bread, thrown in the oven for a couple minutes. Spread with hummus and Sriracha, sprinkle with hemp hearts. Adding some avocado really makes this lit as hell. This is perfect for the snooze-happy vegans of the world that prefer to make breakfast while brushing their teeth and also sending a text to their boss saying, “Gonna be a bit late.”
Sliced bell peppers with your favorite hummus. My choice: Green Chickpea hummus (made from not-yet-mature chickpeas, which makes for a more apparent flavor). This one may result in your co-workers coming up to your desk, curiously chattering to each other that there are actually people that happily eat vegetables for a snack.
What I like to call “Balanced Bae”
Cook one box of your favorite vegan mac n cheese on the stove (pictured: Daiya Cheesy Mac). While the pasta is cooking, tear a bunch of kale into pieces, mince some garlic, and heat up a pan with a tiny bit of olive oil. Toss in the garlic just until it starts to fill up your kitchen with that amazing smell. At that point, add in the kale with a splash of water and stir until kale is tender. There’s really no need for salt; we all know our favorite boxed mac n cheese has enough sodium for the entire week, maybe more. Put a bunch of the cooked kale at the bottom of your bowl, heap the mac on top, and mix it all together. For added zest, please add red pepper flakes. There ya have your Balanced Bae.
Linner, Or Something
I like to make this when I get home at that weird time, around 2:30–4 PM and it’s not quite dinner, not quite lunch. This Linner is super simple, and might seem boring upon first look, but it is perfectly flavorful. Grab a sweet potato (variety of your choice), wash well, and stab that thing with a fork about 5 times. Set it aside for a moment. Get a steamer basket ready on your stove, toss a few handfuls of green beans in there, and steam for about 7 minutes. Halfway through the steaming time, put your sweet potato in the microwave for 3–5 minutes (I usually have smaller potatoes, but if you have a huge honker, it might take upwards of 8 minutes; start low and add more time if needed). Throw the green beans and sweet potato on your plate, slice open the potato, and adorn with whatever fancy condiments you want. My sister taught me that dijon mustard is amazing to dip your green beans in. For the potato, I usually top with nutritional yeast and add some hot sauce, but please go wild with your own preferences and share what you use!
Carbs & Asparagus Dinner
Bring a pot of water to boil, and dump in a package of vegan gnocchi. Stir a bit at the beginning so that the pasta doesn’t stick. Once the gnocchi begins to float, drain them, put them back in the pot, and stir in some tomato basil sauce from a jar. While the pasta is cooking, steam a hefty amount of asparagus in a steamer basket for 6 minutes, then sprinkle with lemon juice and sea salt. Plate that shit all together and enjoy.
Athena’s Angel Hair Pasta With Veggies
This is one of Athena’s go-to meals for dinner, which usually results in amazing leftovers for lunch. First, add just enough water to cover a good amount of mushrooms and green beans in a pot. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender. Meanwhile, get a pot of water boiling, dump a package of angel hair pasta in there, and cook for about 4 minutes. Once the mushrooms and green beans are cooked to your preference, dump a can of diced tomatoes in that pot and stir. At this point, throw in a bunch of seasoning. Athena usually uses smoked paprika, dried basil, mixed Italian spices, and red pepper flakes — but really, any or none at all will do. Stir in salt and nutritional yeast to taste, and enjoy!
It’s time the lazy vegans come out of the woodwork. Instead of hiding in shame behind the Instagram stars with chia seeds made into mandalas and 127 ingredient casseroles, let’s relish in our laziness, and celebrate our efficiency. If you end up trying any of these, or if you have your own versions of incredibly quick, simple meals please share with us, and help out your fellow lazy-vegans.