Meal Preps

Easy Veggie Chili

Today I was lucky enough to have a day off before heading to Long Island for a quick weekend trip. I decided to take the time to make a giant veggie chili I could freeze that would last me for lunches throughout next week.

I absolutely love this chili recipe because it’s the first vegan meal I really perfected. I have always loved cooking chili and was in need of a meat replacement more than just beans! This combination of vegetables turned out to be a tried and true winner, better than any meat based chili I’ve ever tasted. It’s sweet, savory, loaded with flavor, colorful, and incredibly easy. It’s also great to throw in a crock pot or instant pot if you have one!

The secret weapon in this chili recipe is using a can of salsa. It really makes the flavor complex and unique. I also love having sweet potato and corn in here to add sweetness, green bell pepper to balance to the sweeter flavors, and mushrooms to add a “meatiness” so that you don’t need multiple cans of beans.

PS: in my recipe I suggest serving with a spoonful of vegan sour cream (it’s already mixed into the chili in the photo). I find it creates an amazingly creamy texture and tastes FAR better than cheese ever did! I can’t believe I ever wasted my time by putting cheddar on my chili in the dairy days. Once it melts in, the flavor gets masked! Sour cream somehow permeates the entire dish in both flavor and texture. Squeezing a fresh wedge of lime at the end really takes it up a notch too!

This recipe freezes great and tastes even better as leftovers!

Easy Veggie Chili

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

An incredibly flavorful, incredibly easy veggie chili that's more than just beans!


Feel free to customize this chili to include any ingredients you like! I absolutely LOVE adding in a spoonful of tofutti (vegan sour cream) and a squeeze of lime when serving. When I have lime flavored tortilla chips on hand (which is almost always) I like to throw some of those on top too!

Ingredients

  • 1 sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 green bell pepper (diced)
  • one small package of cremini or white mushrooms (or if buying loose about 1/2 pound/a few handfuls)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 15 oz can kidney beans (or bean of choice)
  • 1 can salsa (any brand)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 tbsp chili powder (depending on how strong you like your chili to taste)
  • 1-2 tsp cumin (depending how strong you like your chili to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Optional: fresh lime and vegan sour cream to serve with

Directions

  1. In a large pot, heat 2 tbsp oil on medium heat. Once oil is hot, add the onion and sauté until fragrant and translucent (2-4 minutes)
  2. Add in the garlic and spices and stir until fragrant (1-2 minutes)
  3. Add in the veggies and canned ingredients, stir, and bring to a low boil.
  4. Once bubbling, turn down to a simmer. Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally at least 30 minutes for veggies to cook, but the flavor will mature better the longer you simmer it. I prefer to leave it for an hour if on stove top. If using an instant pot- there is a button for bean chili! Either hit that button or set to pressure cook for 30 min on “normal.”
  5. Enjoy! Serve by itself, with tofutti sour cream, fresh lime, tortilla chips, and/or over rice! Sometimes I get really wild and serve it over vegan mac and cheese

Do you guys have any favorite chili ingredients, tips, or tricks? Drop a comment below to let me know what you think!

Pasta Primavera with Vegan Parmesan

This is one of my favorite summer recipes that my parents made when I was growing up. It’s incredibly simple, light, and is perfect for using up leftover veggies! It also is a fantastic meal prep because it makes a huge batch and reheats well throughout the week. My parents used to make it with shrimp and chicken, but if you add a decent variety of veggies and a can of cannellini beans (or navy beans or great northern beans), you don’t miss the chicken one little bit!

Primavera means “Spring” in Italian. This dish is all about celebrating the growing season and welcoming back fresh garden vegetables to the dinner table.

The absolute best part of a primavera, though, was always drowning it in parmesan cheese. When I went vegetarian, I made this all the time, but when I ditched the dairy, I missed the way that parmesan complimented the dish so much that I actually abandoned it! Since then, I have found a few halfway decent vegan store-bought parmesans, but today I finally tried making my own and it did not disappoint!! (Recipe from the Minimalist Baker)

Today I used chickpea pasta (rotini) for extra protein (Banza brand), but feel free to use whatever style you like! Today’s veggies included red onion, garlic, broccoli, red pepper, zucchini, tomato, great northern beans, and spinach. I also love using mushrooms and carrots but didn’t choose them today. If you are making this at home, I encourage you to definitely use at least three kinds of vegetables in addition to your onion and garlic and make sure you have a protein source like beans, chickpeas, edamame, or green peas.

Pasta Primavera with Vegan Parmesan

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A simple Italian pasta classic. that does not disappoint


The vegetables I used here are just a suggestion, feel free to use any kind you like. I do recommend at least three types of vegetables plus a plant based protein source like cannellini beans

Ingredients

  • extra virgin olive oil (4-6 tbsp)
  • 1 onion
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 crown of broccoli
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 large or 2 small tomatoes
  • 1 can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bunch of spinach
  • salt and pepper to taste (but at least 1/2 tsp salt)
  • Optional: 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • Optional: 1 fresh lemon
  • For the parmesan (Recipe from the Minimalist Baker, see link in post):

  • 3/4 cup cashews
  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt

Directions

  1. Because it can take a while for a large pot of salted water to come to a boil, start by heating up the pasta water while you chop the veggies into bite sized pieces.
  2. In a second large pot or dutch oven, warm up 4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil on medium heat. When oil is hot, add the onion first and sauté until fragrant and translucent.
  3. Next, add garlic, broccoli, and a dash of salt and pepper (at least 1/4 tsp salt). Stir to combine and allow to sauté with the lid off for approx 5 min until broccoli begins to soften.
  4. Add the red peppers and zucchini, stir to combine, and sauté until slightly softened (approx 2 minutes), then add the beans and tomatoes, plus another round of salt and pepper to taste (at least another 1/4 tsp salt).
  5. The water is likely boiling at this point, go ahead and cook the pasta according to package instructions.
  6. Turn down the heat on the veggies to low. Leave the lid off of the veggies to ensure it doesn’t get too watery. If you are making your own parmesan, now is a good time to whip it up while you wait for the pasta to cook. (The only instruction is to combine all parmesean ingredients in a food processor and mix/pulse until combined into a fine meal)
  7. After the pasta is drained, combine with the vegetables and fold in the spinach. Check out the consistency of the combined dish. Th pasta should have a slick consistency. If not slick, go ahead and add another 1-2 tbsp of olive oil (or as much as needed so it is all lightly coated in olive oil). If adding fresh basil, fold it in now as well.
  8. Enjoy! Feel free to fold in a hefty amount of parmesan, plus save extra for sprinkling on top. If you like an extra bright flavor, slice up a lemon and sprinkle some lemon juice on top as well.

What are your favorite pasta primavera variations? Drop a comment below!

Edamame Buddha Bowl

I was inspired to make this “Buddha Bowl” after coming back from my trip to Austin! It was INSANELY challenging to eat healthy and I came back craving vegetables in a way I never thought possible! After my trip I went straight into working a long shift so I needed a decent meal prep to get me through the next few work days. Out came this! My favorite part is that you can easily enjoy it hot or cold- I love being able to have it either way on these hot summer days!

This bowl was super easy to make. It’s easily customizable and doesn’t require a fancy dressing recipe (although I do make an awesome home made Thai peanut dressing from scratch, this time I just got one pre made from Sprouts). It took me about 35 minutes including final assembly.

Edamame Buddha Bowl

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A fresh, light, Asian inspired recipe for an easy weekday dinner or meal prep



For this bowl, I used a Thai peanut dressing I bought from the store, feel free to just sprinkle on some soy or teriyaki sauce, or just go for a squeeze of lime!

Ingredients

  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 2 cups of shelled edamame
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 cup of chopped or shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cup of uncooked brown rice
  • cilantro, lime, dressing of choice for garnishing and flavoring

Directions

  1. Begin by cooking the brown rice. In a medium saucepan, bring at least 6 cups of water to a boil and add the rice. Continue to boil for 30 minutes, then drain the water, cover, and let sit in its steam for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
  2. While the rice is boiling, cook the edamame. Try to buy edamame already shelled to save time. Then you just have to boil for 5 minutes! Pop another sauce pan full of water on the stove and boil the edamame for 5 minutes. Drain the water when finished and set aside.
  3. While the rice and edamame are cooking, chop the broccoli into bite sized pieces. Then, steam the broccoli in the stove top or microwave to desired tenderness (I like to keep mine barely cooked and on the crunchy side for this specific recipe). I just took a third pan and put about a cup of water on the bottom, threw the florets on top, covered with a lid and simmered for five minutes.
  4. While the rice and broccoli are cooking, chop up the rest of the veggies. I chopped up my cucumber and used a veggie peeler for the carrots, but cut them up any way you prefer. For the red cabbage I do recommend using a food processor for shredding, but I actually just cut up about 1/4 of the head of the cabbage and plan to use the rest to make a coleslaw this weekend.
  5. Assemble the ingredients and garnish with chopped cilantro, a wedge of lime, and your favorite asian dressing (all of which are optional of course)!

I hope you enjoy! Drop a comment and let me know what you link. What are some of your favorite bowl ideas?

Paprika Roasted Chickpea Meal Prep

I’m a little late on posting this…but I promised a second meal prep recipe! This was made in about 45 minutes, mainly due to how long it takes to cook brown rice. Short on time? Pick another grain that cooks quicker! Or skip the grain and add more roasted veggies!

My meal preps have to be simple, easy, healthy, and quick. This one is based on seasoned, roasted chickpeas paired with roasted broccoli and brown rice. I paired this with a home made lemon tahini dressing that I keep in the freezer, but feel free to use just a squeeze of fresh lemon instead or pour some of your favorite pre made dressing on the side.

An easy, flavorful, quick meal prep for a weekday lunch or dinner.

I used chickpeas, broccoli, and brown rice. Feel free to swap out the broccoli for another veggie or add more veggies. Brown rice can take a while to make, so if you’re short on time consider something quicker like couscous.

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 crown of broccoli
  • 1 cup of dry brown rice
  • 2 tsp paprike
  • 1 cup of dry brown rice
  • 1 cup of dry brown rice
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil

Directions

  1. Pre heat your oven to 375 degrees while you begin the brown rice.
  2. To cook brown rice, add the rice to a large pot of water (about 6 cups of water), bring to a boil and allow to boil uncovered for about 30 minutes. Drain the rice, then return to pot and cover with lid. Allow to rest off heat for another 5-10 minutes.
  3. While the rice is coming to a boil, rinse and chop the broccoli to the size you prefer. Put the broccoli in a large mixing bowl and drizzle with about 1 tbsp of olive oil (or other preferred cooking oil). Toss to lightly and evenly coat the broccoli. Transfer to an uncreased baking sheet and sprinkle salt and pepper over broccoli. Cook in oven for 10 minutes, then flip and cook another 10 minutes for crispy broccoli.
  4. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. In the same bowl you used for the broccoli, go ahead and toss the chickpeas in. Add another tablespoon of oil, then the paprika, onion, garlic, plus salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a separate baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes, then stir and flip chickpeas and bake for another 5 minutes. If you overcook the chickpeas, they will turn out extremely crunchy, almost like a crouton. These can be great for snacking. For this meal, however, I like them just a little crisp. Bake longer or shorter to your desired level of crunch!
  5. When everything is done cooking, combine! Drizzle on your favorite dressing, a squeeze of lemon, or both!

Do you have any favorite meal preps or plant based dressing recipes you’d like to share? Drop a comment below, I’d love to try them!

Mexican Quinoa Meal Prep

Hey everyone! This is a super busy week for me, I am working two 13 hour shifts and one 14 hour shift (which is pretty typical), but my day off between shifts is going to be taken up my errands, packing, and cleaning and on Friday I’m off to Austin, TX!

I’m still working on convincing my husband that vegan food can be something he enjoys eating all the time, daily. He really loves simple, plain food and I love food with bold, rich flavors. Don’t get me wrong, he’s open minded, super supportive of my plant based lifestyle, and happily eats whatever I put in front of him…but along the course of my adventurous experiments, I think I accidentally convinced him that vegan food is spicy, rich, and heavy. If he could eat lunchables for the rest of his life, he would, so some of these experiments have scared him a little. This week I needed to make a big enough meal prep that would supply lunches for both of us since I’m working on brainwashing him.

The key to ANY good meal prep is simplicity. My favorite way to do it is to pick two-three veggies that go together and a grain. I often roast the veggies and cover with the same seasoning while the grain is cooking stove top. Combine and throw a wedge of lemon, lime, or pour a little vegan dressing on the side to make it interesting. The combinations are endless and the sky is the limit.

Here is one of my favorites! The base recipe is a super simple Mexican Quinoa Bowl. Sometimes during the week we turn it into a burrito or make it a super fancy bowl and add lots of ingredients. When it comes to weekday survival though, simplicity is the name of the game. This recipe is super simple. It’s designed to please the pickiest eaters, the vegan doubters, and the busiest people.

Yes, food CAN be healthy, quick, easy, compassionate, AND delicious.

Mexican Quinoa Meal Prep

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Incredibly easy, two pan dish, no chopping required (unless you want to, of course!)

This is the base recipe for a quick, easy meal prep. If you want to add more veggies like fresh diced tomatoes, red onions, and avocado, you won’t be disappointed with the extra time spent!

Ingredients

  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can corn, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional toppings: salsa, tofutti (“sour cream”), vegan cheddar, fresh lime wedge, cilantro

Directions

  1. Rinse the quinoa in a strainer. Place in a sauce pan with 2 cups of water or veggie broth for extra flavor, bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer until the water is absorbed (approx 15-20 min). Turn the heat off, leave the cover on and let it sit in its steam 5 min before taking the lid off to fluff quinoa.
  2. While quinoa is cooking, coat the bottom of a pan with 1-2 tbsp oil and put the stove top on medium heat. If you are cooking with onion, add it when the oil is hot and cook until onion is fragrant and translucent (2min). If you didn’t feel like chopping an onion, go straight to the next step.
  3. Add the corn, black beans, and spices. Sauté until veggies until the spices are fragrant and the veggies are warmed (approx 10 min)
  4. That’s it! I almost always top with salsa, cilantro, tofutti, and lime. Sometimes we get wild and wrap it in a tortilla or add avocado. Enjoy!

Let me know what you think! There are a million ways to do this recipe. Drop a comment below and let me know your favorite version!