Hey animal allies! Continuing my vegan starter kit series, I’m sharing my 5 favorite vegan dinners! These are my absolute favorite cheap, easy, and tasty dinner ideas that I eat every week as a college student on a budget. I hope you enjoy!
1. Curry. My absolute favorite lazy dinner. I love this one because it’s so incredibly versatile – you can use whatever veggies you have on hand. My method is to simmer onion and garlic in water for a few minutes, then add in whatever spices you’re using (curry powders and blends like garam masala are always great, if you don’t have these I like to use a mix of cumin, tumeric, black pepper, and cinnamon) and simmer for a few more minutes. Then you can add whatever vegetables or legumes you’re using, continue to simmer until they’re cooked through, and finally add either coconut milk or tomato paste and cook for a few more minutes. The whole process takes about 20 minutes, which is so great if you’re strapped for time! I like to serve with brown rice.
2. Burrito bowl. A step up from the black bean dish I shared in my lunch ideas post! You’ll need brown rice, black or pinto beans, lettuce or spinach, avocado or guacamole, and salsa. Combine all these ingredients into a bowl, add some salt and pepper, and you’re all set! Feel free to add any veggies you’d like too; I like to simmer onions and peppers with paprika. This dish is super easy, delicious, and cheaper than a Chipotle burrito bowl (pro tip btw: you get FREE GUAC at Chipotle when you order your burrito or bowl without meat, and if that isn’t a reason to go vegan I don’t know what is)
3. Stuffed potato. So satiating and easy. I just bake a potato in the microwave (be sure to stab it a few times with a fork!), cut it open, and typically top with whatever veggie leftovers I have on hand. Right now I am loving a tomato-based chili I make with onions, garlic, spices (I normally use paprika, cumin, garam masala, and black pepper and I simmer these for a few minutes with the water, onion, and garlic in the pan before adding my veggies), vegetables of choice, beans of choice (I dig kidney beans for this one), and some tomato paste to top it all off. I’ll batch-prepare these chilis and then bake my potatoes in the microwave before heating up the chili and spooning it right in! I also like to do this with simple black beans heated up with veggies and topped with salsa and avocado! I’m always finding new combinations for this one, so let me know what you come up with! Also feel free to sub out the potato for sweet potato or yam.
4. Stir fry. Honestly one of the easiest meals I can think of. All you need to do is pick your favorite vegetables, sauteé them in a pan with some water and a little sauce (try mixing soy sauce, maple syrup, and curry powder!) and serve over rice or noodles! Perfect for when you have extra veggies in the fridge to use up.
5. Burgers! Unlike meat burgers, you can have vegan burgers every day of the week without putting yourself at risk for heart disease! Bonus points if you make your own! My favorite burger recipe that I’ve made has been from Maddie Lymburner’s ebook but I know that she has one on Youtube as well that I trust is amazing! You can also easily buy vegan burger patties – I love the Trader Joe’s masala burgers! Just make sure that they don’t have egg, as some veggie burgers do.
There you are! I truly find all of these dishes incredibly quick, easy, and affordable and I hope you enjoy them as well!