Any vegans out there may recall the many times they’ve ordered the only vegan dish at a restaurant, only to be presented with a plate of unseasoned spinach leaves. While some chefs are still taking a while to catch up, delicious vegan recipes are leaving their meaty counterparts in the dust – and it’s nothing new, from India to Greece, vegan cuisine has long been the home of flavourful and aromatic ingredients. That’s why we’ve decided to share a few of our favourite plant-based lunch recipes for those hectic days where time is of the essence.
You won’t lose precious hours to the kitchen with these quick, easy and cheap recipes; these classics are loaded with real, whole ingredients that are sure to give your gut a boost – and your taste buds too. You’re likely well aware of the sustainability and animal welfare aspects of veganism, which include the following:
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
- Reducing carbon dioxide output by 300 kilos per month
- Saving 900 square feet of forest area per month
- Saving 33, 000 gallons of water per month
- Reducing the number of animals sent to slaughter
But the health benefits are another fringe benefit of taking Chicken Little off your plate. With red meat-eaters facing a 22% higher risk for heart disease, your whole body stands to benefit from limiting consumption. But when ditching the sweet stuff and getting your health back on track, it can be hard to consistently come up with balanced dishes that are quick and easy to make – especially when it’s crunch time at the office. We’ll show you 3 delicious recipes that will get you in and out of the kitchen in record time, leaving you more time to actually enjoy your meal. These tasty lunches are loaded with protein, iron, calcium and of course, protein – so you’ll be ready for those pesky omnis asking you, yet again, how you get your protein. Let’s get into it!
Cajun Tempeh and Curried Tahini Slaw
This delicious recipe is loaded with omega 3s – you don’t have to eat Nemo to get your fix of this stuff! It’s the tempeh that packs a hefty dose of this heart and brain-boosting nutrient, which is responsible for a number of functions:
- Reducing arterial plaque
- Reducing blood pressure
- Reducing risk for stroke and heart attack
- Supporting eye health
- Supporting cardiovascular health
But that’s not all – you’ve also got a good amount of antioxidants, calcium and protein here to keep you powering through the day. Take a look HERE for the full recipe, including details and extras – or dive straight into it below.Ingredients:
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) tamari
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil
- 300g tempeh, cut into long strips about 2cm wide
- Sesame seeds, white, to serve
- Curried Tahini Slaw:
- 1/4 head white cabbage, roughly chopped
- 1 medium carrot, grated
- 1 zucchini, cut into thin strips
- 1/4 cup tahini, hulled or unhulled
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Add smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, thyme, oregano, tamari and salt to a medium bowl and combine well. Coat tempeh in olive oil and coat with spices until all sides are coated. Set aside.
- Prepare the Curried Tahini Slaw by combining cabbage, carrot and zucchini in a large bowl. In a separate small bowl, combine tahini, olive oil, vinegar, curry powder and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper. Stir evenly through the cabbage mix. If you’re cooking for one, add half to a bowl for dinner tonight and place remaining half in a container for lunch tomorrow.
- Next, heat a medium frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add marinated tempeh to the pan and cook for 3–4 minutes on each side, until spices are fragrant and tempeh has cooked through.
- Top Curried Tahini Slaw with the Blackened Cajun Tempeh and sprinkle with sesame seeds, to serve.
This veggie-packed affair is your ticket to a healthy digestive system – including regular bowel movements! That’s right, the fibre, protein and iron are all essential to good gut health, and broccoli happens to be one of the most nutrient-dense veggies to get you on the path to feeling good. Check the full recipe out HERE.
- 1 medium (350g) broccoli
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1/2 bunch coriander
- 1/2 bunch mint
- 1 small punnet of cherry tomatoes or 2 large tomatoes (chopped)
- Juice of half a lemon
- A couple of glugs of olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Roughly chop the broccoli and add to a food processor. Pulse until you have a rice like consistency (don't chop too finely). Cook in a pot of salted boiling water for 2 minutes.
- Drain and press out as much of the water as possible. Add to a bowl to cool and dry.
- Next chop the parsley, coriander and mint quite finely and add to the broccoli mixture along with the tomatoes. Dress with then lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper. Serve.
Chilli Chickpea Bow
Who doesn’t love a good san choy bow? You don’t need mince to make this dish pop – our vegan bow is packed with hearty chickpeas and aromatic flavours, along with a satisfying crunch and fiery-hot chilli to get your system going. These are quick and so much fun to make – it’s a great recipe to get the whole family involved with – of course, feel free to alter the chilli content for the little ones. Check out the full recipe HERE.Ingredients:
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) coconut oil
- 1 brown onion, diced
- 4 spring onions, finely sliced, plus extra for serving
- 1 long red chilli, seeds removed, finely diced
- 1/3 cup peanuts, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1 carrot, grated
- 2 cups mushrooms, chopped
- 1 cup cooked or tinned chickpeas
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) tamari
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) sesame oil
- 4 cups iceberg, cos or butter lettuce, torn into 4 bow cups
- 1 teaspoon chilli flakes, or to taste
- Heat coconut oil in a large skillet pan over a medium to high heat. Add brown onion, spring onions, chilli, peanuts, garlic and ginger to the pan and cook for 2–3 minutes. Add in the carrot and mushrooms and stir through, cooking for about 5 minutes or until mushrooms shrink. Add in the chickpeas and tamari and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Roughly smash some of the chickpeas with the back of a fork, then remove from the heat and drizzle with sesame oil.
- Spoon mixture between lettuce cups and top with chilli flakes, to serve.
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