Small Bites

  • Beans on toast. This is a staple here in the UK, and it’s an ideal quick meal. Just canned beans on some toast, sprinkle with a little salt and some nutritional yeast. Seeded or wholemeal bread is healthier and gives it a little more texture.
  • Avocado on toast. It’s popular for a reason. Just smash some avocado on toasted bread and sprinkle it with some salt and pepper. I like to add nutritional yeast and chia seeds for some extra nutrition.
  • Soups. There are some very easy soups that are quick to make, and you can use whatever vegetables you have lying around and if you have a food processor it is even easier. There are vegan cream alternatives too, for recipes that call for it.
  • Oats. Something every vegan should have in their pantry. You can use it to make oatmeal with your choice of fruits and nuts, and many sweeteners are vegan, such as golden syrup and maple syrup. You can also use it to make oat milk, oat cakes, or oat bars.
  • Cereals. You may be able to enjoy the same cereals you eat now, since plenty of them are vegan. Just keep an eye out for honey in things like granola and muesli. Pair it with your choice of plant milk, with oat, soy and almond being the most popular.
  • Pancakes. There are a few vegan pancake mixes, but making your own is really easy. Just replace eggs with oil or syrup to bind it, or search online for how to make a flax egg.
  • Sandwiches/bagels. Your old meat-eating favorites are probably out, but there are still plenty of vegan options. Faux meats and cheese are popular, as well as hummus, pickle, and peanut butter.
  • Hummus/Guacamole. These are favorites for many vegans, since they’re delicious, filling and versatile. You can use them as a dip for chips, flatbread or vegetables, or as a spread for sandwiches.

Mains

  • Chickpeas/lentils with rice. This is about as simple as it gets – just some canned chickpeas/lentils and some white or brown rice, depending on your preference. You can add some spices, soy sauce, or a pre-made sauce to give it some flavour.
  • Stir fry. Very versatile and takes five minutes. Just buy a pack of stir fry vegetables or use whatever you have lying around, and a pre-made sauce or one you can throw together yourself. Add noodles, beans and some tofu/faux meat to make it more filling.
  • Noodles. There are plenty of dried noodle packs that are vegan, or you can buy some rice/wheat noodles and whatever accompaniements you like. Broccoli, quinoa, edamame beans, tofu – pretty much any vegetable or bean works with noodles and a sauce of your choice.
  • Curry. Quite a few of the pre-packaged curry sauces are vegan, and they may not be marked as such but check the packaging. Otherwise, you can make your own very easily and pair it with rice or vegetables – I have some ideas in my recipes section.
  • Burger and fries. There is no reason you can’t enjoy the classics. Veggie burgers are widely available almost everywhere and tend to be pretty cheap. If not, you can make your own with lentils, chickpeas, or vegetables. Most frozen fries are vegan, or you can make your own if you don’t mind the extra effort.
  • Pizza. There are so many vegan frozen and takeaway pizzas available now, in just about every major supermarket. Otherwise, you can make your own, pre-made dough is often vegan and it’s very simple to just spread with tomato puree, your choice of vegan cheese (or go without) and some toppings.
  • Pasta. Dried pasta is almost always vegan, and a lot of pre-made sauces are too, especially tomato/mushroom based ones. These on their own are a meal, but adding a faux mince or some vegetables can help liven it up a little bit.
  • Quinoa. Quinoa is one of those foods that sounds expensive but really isn’t. It’s a very healthy grain, you can buy it very cheaply and pair it with just about anything. I like to have it with broccoli, edamame/soy beans and a sauce.
  • Tofu/Tempheh. Don’t be put off by the unfamiliarity if you’re not used to these, they’re very good sources of protein, nutritionally dense, and cheap. Tofu recipes are usually just tofu (with cornstarch/salt on it), air-fried or fried, with a sauce you can put together yourself. I have a few of these in my recipes section as well.