Easy, Fast, Healthy: Simple Recipes for Busy People

Coconut Dal, comfort in a cup in under 10 minutes of prep time!

Simple food is highly underrated in today’s instagram-inspired home menu rotations. When you have no time to cook and little energy to think up inspiring recipes, it’s time to put away your stacks of cookbooks, close your zillions of recipe tabs and return to simple comfort foods. But comfort food needn’t be unhealthy or highly processed, and simple recipes don’t translate to boring! In my books, for something to warrant the label of a “simple recipe”, it has to hit a few basic criteria:

  • It has to take less than 10 minutes of prep time.
  • It has to have fewer than 5 ingredients (salt and pepper excluded.)
  • No fancy equipment, skills, or ingredients required.
  • It has to be satisfying on its own or with equally simple accompaniment, i.e. some bread, plain grains, or noodles.
  • Recipes that mostly come out of the pantry get bonus points.
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Avocado Roll Bowl with Ume Tofu bites

Indulgent amounts of creamy avocados take center-stage here, backed by crunchy fresh veggies, savoury ume tofu and tamari-lemon dressing. All the best parts of an avocado sushi roll with the simplicity of a bowl! This quick weeknight meal takes only as long to prepare as the rice takes to cook and makes a double batch so you can serve it again later in the week without any extra prep time. Hurrah!

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Crispy Tempeh Croutons

Tempeh is easy to love in this versatile make-ahead recipe. Savoury, smoky, crispy tempeh croutons are the answer to those predictable “But where do you get your protein??” questions from charmingly concerned friends and family. You can toss them in salads, pasta, as a filling in wraps or sandwiches, as a topping for soup or even to snack on alone with some dip. Perfect for batch cooking, only five minutes of prep gives you enough tempeh to last for a week. Having a tasty, prepared protein on hand in the fridge means you can spend less time trying to figure out how to make sure your meals are balanced and substantial– go ahead and eat that entire box of vegan mac and cheese for dinner, just throw some crispy tempeh croutons on top and it’ll fill you up for longer than an hour.

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Easy Vegan One-Pot Kimchi Ramen

One-pot kimchi ramen in 20 minutes? Yes please! Ramen usually comes with many ingredients prepared in different ways, piled together in layers atop the noodles. This recipe defies tradition in favour of speed and ease but is full of flavour from kimchi and miso, Veggies and tofu all get tossed in the boiling water of the ramen and served in prepared bowls with the broth ingredients ready to dissolve into noodly deliciousness.

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Vegan Jamaican Chicken and Pumpkin Soup

Jamaican Chicken and Pumpkin soup is aromatic, warming, and complex. The richness of coconut milk plays against the tang of lime, sweetness of the pumpkin, and spicy signature Jamaican curry powder in a way that feels autumnal but more balanced than other pumpkin-based soups. This is a one pot meal, although traditionally served with dumplings. We enjoyed ours with jalapeno focaccia, it was perfect for cleaning out the bottom of the bowl.

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DIY Instant Vegan Hot Chocolate

It took me about 4 years as a vegan to realize that I can make hot chocolate at home just as easily as I used to with that pre-made instant hot chocolate stuff— no stove top or dirty pots required! And it takes all of 3 minutes to do, with no fancy ingredients. If you have a mug and a microwave, you can make hot chocolate about as easily as making a cup of tea.

Take the money you’ll save on buying expensive vegan hot chocolate mix and use it to buy more sustainably produced fair-trade cocoa instead.
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