Easy Vegan Meal Ideas + Guide to Making the Ultimate Salad!




Happy Monday folks!


Jeepers, is it not crazy that today is December 30th 2019? The second to last day of the year....of the entire DECADE!! I have to say I've been reminiscing a bit, looking back at old photos, it's honestly freaky how quickly time goes without you even realising it - I'm starting to feel old!


Anyway, today I'm sharing some simple vegan meal ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Now, I'm not one for the whole "new year, new you" fad, but I was thinking that maybe with the new year approaching some of you may be looking at making a few lifestyle changes, and if switching to a plant based diet is one of them, then I've got you covered! These meal ideas are of course great for anyone and everyone, whether you're new to a plant based lifestyle, been vegan for years, vegetarian, simply want to add some more plants to your plate, or just want some new meal ideas, this is a happy space for everyone.


Note: these are just meal ideas, not recipes. If you'd be interested in recipes let me know in the comments below or on social media, and I'll deliver!


BREAKFAST


I love breakfast, what could be better than a bowl of delicious creamy oats with lots of cinnamon and as many (or as little!) toppings as your heart desires! Disclaimer: I am 100% a sweet breakfast person, the thought of a savoury breakfast just makes my stomach feel ill (no offense to all the savoury breakfast peeps!), so that is why all these breakfast ideas are sweet and not savoury.


  • Good old porridge - a lot of people think porridge is boring and tasteless but its all in how you make it. You can actually make porridge out of all sorts of grains, such as rice, quinoa and millet, but I'm a loyal oat fan. Get creative and experiment with different toppings like fruit, nuts, seeds, nut/seed butters and ground spices such as cinnamon, ginger, cardamon, cloves. Maybe add cocoa powder or a dash of vanilla extract whilst you're cooking your porridge - the possibilities are really endless, I mean you can even make savoury porridge!


  • Overnight Oats - if you haven't had overnight oats before you are missing out! This is my usual go to breakfast during the summer when its warm and it is so good! Just soak your oats overnight in some water or milk of choice and in the morning stir in some ground flaxseeds and add your toppings. I've been loving banana, mango, berries if I have, lots of cinnamon and a drizzle (more like dollop!) of whatever nut/seed butter I have on hand. At the moment its either almond butter or this amazing cinnamon macadamia butter I got from my mom for Christmas, its by the brand ButtaNut and it is amazing!


  • Smoothies - a creamy smoothie makes a perfect breakfast, especially during the summer when its warm and there is a plentiful variety of fresh fruits! I like my smoothies thick so I always use a banana as a base and then add any other fruits or veggies like peaches, berries, greens, mango, papaya, apricots, whatever floats your boat. I also add nuts/seeds or nut/seed butters for a healthy source of fats and protein and ground flaxseeds for a good dose of Omegs 3s!



LUNCH



I mostly base my lunches around a salad. Seriously, a salad? Is what's probably going through your mind right now, but I'm not talking about your typical couple of green leaves, cucumber, and lets call it a day kind of salads. I'm talking about colourful, nutrient dense, plant powered salads!


4 Steps to an Amazing Salad:


1. Colour & Variety - Veggies

I love to add as many different plant foods to my salads and as many different colours as well. Think greens, carrot, purple cabbage, lettuce, rocket, tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, different herbs, anything I can find that would go well in a salad goes in!


2. Energy

Colours are great, but we can't live off only veggies, our bodies need some more energy dense foods to fuel us throughout the day. I like to add a source of carbs to my salads to give me energy - think different whole grains like millet, brown rice, sorghum or quinoa, potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut, toast (we get the best 100% rye sourdough from our local market!), or pasta.



3. Bulk it Up

Adding beans or lentils to your salads are awesome to get in a good dose of protein. If anybody ever told you that vegans don't get enough protein it's not true! Legumes are nutritional powerhouses providing us with not just protein but several vitamins and minerals (micronutrients) as well.


4. Dress it Up

A good dressing is EVERYTHING to take a salad to the next level and it really doesn't need to be complicated. Tahini, Dijon mustard, lemon/lime juice and apple cider vinegar make an excellent dressing. If you're feeling creative add some dried herbs and spices or nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavour. You can also experiment with a different nut/seed butter, I've done sunflower seed butter and almond butter before and they work great as well!


DINNER



There are hundreds of super simple plant based dinners you can make that don't take anytime at all. Seriously, I usually never spend more than 30 minutes in the kitchen when I'm making my dinner, but that doesn't mean it doesn't taste good. You can make plant based deliciousness without a lot of effort at all!


  • Simple stir fries - just throw whatever veggies you have, broccoli, mushrooms, greens, cauliflower, carrot, green beans, sweet peas, bell pepper, eggplant - you name it! - into a pan with onion, garlic, and ginger if you have on hand. Add some tamari or soy sauce and any other seasoning you'd like and then serve with a whole grain like millet or rice, or noodles for a quick and tasty dinner. If you're feeling fancy and have some extra time make a satay sauce to drizzle on top or add some freshly chopped chives, coriander or a squeeze of lime.


  • Roast Veggies - I love roast veggies. So easy, all you need to do is chop up your veg - potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut, carrots, peppers etc - add some seasoning of choice or leave it plain and put it in the oven until its cooked and crispy! You could serve this with a salad, hummus or some other dip to add that touch of extra!


  • Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese - yup its possible and here's the trick. Just add some lentils to your sauce! So yummy and easy to make - add some fresh basil and nutritional yeast and you're good to go!




SNACKS

If you're like me and you like your snacks then don't worry, there are tonnes of different delicious vegan snacks that you can have to keep you fueled throughout your day.


  • Rice crackers with nut/seed butter and banana (one of my go tos!)

  • Fruit

  • Healthy homebaked goods such as muffins, banana bread, brownies etc

  • Smoothies

  • Toast with nut/seed butter and banana

  • Raw treats such as raw bars, bliss balls etc

  • Granola bowls

  • Apple or banana with nut/seed butter




And there you go, some easy vegan meals ideas to get you started on your transition to a plant based lifestyle or simply to give you some fresh inspiration in the kitchen!


I hope you enjoyed, let me know if you make any of these meals yourself and if you would be interested in some proper recipe posts! My social media handles will be linked below.


Enjoy these last few days of 2019 and have an incredible new year! I'll see you all in 2020!!


Love,

Sahara


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