Monday, February 15, 2016

40 Day Lenten Menu for People Who Hate to Cook (Vegan)

The Ladder of Divine Ascent, A Depiction of the Spiritual Journey
Are you a Vegan who hates to cook? Perhaps you are trying to keep Lent, but your usual dinner is a burger from the local fast food drive thru? Or maybe because of time constraints or dormitory living or travel, you just CANNOT cook.

Obviously, I like to cook - I write a cooking blog! But, because I like to cook, I know what's quickest and easiest to get onto the table. And, because I'm Vegetarian, I know where to find good Vegan food when I'm not cooking!

If you can boil water and stir, you can eat vegan for a month. Many of these meals have 2 options - one simple homemade, and one even simpler restaurant version ; )

So, here's a month's menu that is a blend of meals out and meals that are super-easy at home, most taking 10 minutes or less hands-on time. And, a few suggestions for meals you can pick up from the supermarket & have ready at home with almost no preparation. Because a lack of interest in cooking should not force you to eat things you don't want to eat!

For the meals out, double check with your local restaurant about ingredients - these are ones that I find are Vegan where I am. Manufacturers can change ingredients at any time - so if you have an allergy or are a very careful vegan, be sure to scrutinize those labels, even if I list them here.

I'd encourage you to keep in your freezer some individual portions of cooked rice (either that you cooked or that you bought from the grocery's freezer section in an already cooked condition). Also, having some spaghetti in single serve portions is hugely handy. It is also easy to keep rice & spaghetti on hand this way if you save restaurant leftovers. When you make either rice or pasta, make a big quantity so that you can freeze them in individual portions and have them for future meals (if you buy a rice cooker, buy one that can make at least 6 cups so that you have planned leftovers).

Never make a single portion of anything. If you hate to cook, have planned leftovers so that you don't have to cook very often! For more on this, check out Cooking for the Single Vegan

If you REALLY hate to cook, you can buy many ingredients (such as chopped tomatoes) from the Salad Bar at the grocery store. This is much more expensive than chopping your own, but still usually cheaper than dining out.

Appliances I recommend for those who hate to cook:

A microwave oven. And

Microwave Rice Cooker,OR

Electric Rice Cooker (an electric rice cooker is as easy to operate as a toaster - just put in rice and water & push down the button - when it's done, the button pops up! : ). AND

Slow Cooker (the brand name of my favorite brand is Crock Pot). Slow Cooker recipes are often very easy, super quick -taking about 10 minutes of hands on time - and very hard to mess up - not only that, but when you come home at the end of the day, the dreaded cooking is already done!

An Immersion Blender is good for pureeing quick soups. If you don't have one, you can use a regular blender, but it's more of a hassle, as it can be hard not to splash yourself with hot soups.  Most any brand is good - I got mine at the thrift store : )

(A note on Lent: for us Greek Orthodox Christians, Lent starts very late this year. I am sharing this menu early so that our Catholic & Protestant friends can make use of it, and so that Orthodox Christians can do some advance planning : )

So, on to the 40 Day menu:


1. Veggie Pad Thai at the Local Thai Restaurant  (be sure to ask them to omit any Fish Sauce) or Homemade.

Vegan Pad Thai

2. Asian Peanut Wrap using rice from your freezer and my 3-minute Peanut Sauce.


Asian Peanut Wrap


3. Easy Chili or a Can of Vegan Chili from the Grocery

4. Bean Burrito Fresco Style at Taco Bell

5. Szechuan Green Beans over Rice - either homemade or at your favorite Chinese Place.

6. Trader Joe's  Vegetable Biryani 
   (Our Trader Joe's has a handout available that lists all their Vegan items to make shopping easier )

7. Hummus with Veggies & Bread for dipping- either grocery store bought or homemade. To make this even easier, buy pre-cut, Fresh "Stir Fry Veggies" from the produce section in the grocery store.

Hummus with Bread & Veggies -here as a sandwich

8. Wendy's Baked Potato with Broccoli - ask them to leave off the Cheese Sauce. Or Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes at home with some fill-your own options.


9. Vacation Soup

Vacation Soup

10. Veggie Sushi - store bought or homemade

Veggie Sushi

11. Boca Burgers from the grocery, microwaved. Add some bread & toppings from the Salad Bar. A baked frozen potato, such as Tatertots can be a nice addition. 

12. Subway Veggie Delight without Cheese ordered on one of their Vegan Breads. 

13.  Amy's Indian Vegetable Korma from the Grocery Freezer Section or dinner out at your favorite Indian place that serves Vegan entrees.

14. Taco Bell 7-Layer Burrito without Cheese or Sour Cream

15. Claire's Southern Delight over Rice

Claire's Southern Delight over Rice

14. Confetti Spaghetti

Confetti Spaghetti

16. Split Pea Soup in the Slow Cooker

17. Stir Fry Veggies, with or without Tofu from your favorite Chinese Restaurant or Homemade

18. Amy's Roasted Vegetable No Cheese Pizza from the Grocery Freezer Section

19. Simple Pasta & Sauce

20. Veggie Fajitas from your Favorite Mexican Place  (double check that they don't use Lard, and ask them to leave out any Cheese or Sour Cream) or Homemade

21. Greek Style Black-Eyed Peas

Greek Style Black-Eyed Peas

22. Veggie Lo Mein from your Favorite Chinese Place.

23. Mexican Haystacks with all store-bought ingredients

24. Family Favorite Lentil Soup in the Slow Cooker (this is also great over Spaghetti the next day)

Family Favorite Lentil Soup in the Slow Cooker

25. Veggie & Olive Sandwich

Veggie & Olive Sandwich

26. Asian Peanut Noodles made with cooked spaghetti from your freezer and my 3-minute Peanut Sauce. 

27. Vegan Pizza - order delivery OR use Flatbread & Pizza Sauce from the Grocery, top with veggies (such as mushrooms, olives & peppers) from the Salad bar, and heat in Toaster Oven.

28. Build-Your-Own Rice Bowl

29. Black Bean Soup in the Slow Cooker

30. Good, Old Fashioned Peanut Butter & Jelly with Baby Carrots, Baked Potato Chips & Grapes

31. Homestyle Tofu from your Favorite Chinese Restaurant.

32. Broccoli Soup

Broccoli Soup

33. Homemade Freezer Bean Burritos with Refried Beans, Rice & Salsa, or freezer Bean Burritos from the Grocery.

34. Skyline Black Beans & Rice over Spaghetti, or Homemade

Homemade Skyline Copycat Black Beans & Rice

35. Potato & Onion Pierogies from the Supermarket Freezer Section (I buy Aunt Helena's Brand)

36. Amy's Vegetable Pot Pie from your Grocer's Freeze

37. Black Bean and Corn Salad (also good wrapped in a tortilla with a little lettuce)
Black Bean and Corn Salad

38. No Cook Tabouli (or Tabouli from the Deli at the grocery) with Stuffed Grape leaves in a Can from the Supermarket, and Olives with Pita Bread

39. Morningstar Farms Riblets,   Rice, Corn (microwaved from freezer or can)

40. Dinner out at Chipotle, Currito, or Qdobo


When you're ready to move up to the next level, or just want more variety, here recipes that are just as easy as those above, or require a tiny bit more hands-on time:

Make Sauce Tonight, Have Easy Meals for a Week!

A Week of Warming Soups from the Slow Cooker

A Week of Summer Entree Salads

Ten Family Meals a Kindergartner Can Make

9 Vegan and Gluten Free Dump Dinners 

If you're looking for a Lenten Menu for People who DO like to cook, try these:
Lenten Menu -A Meal for Every Day of Great Lent 
Menu for the First Week of Orthodox Christian Lent
A Month of Lenten Menus with Links 

This post was featured on



Share Vegan Food & Fun at the Plant Based Potluck Party Link Up #71

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10 comments:

  1. Great advice! I'm always looking for new meatless meals, especiall during Lent. Thanks for sharing at merry monday. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for hosting & for stopping by to visit! : )

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  2. WOW!!! What a LOT of vegan recipe ideas! All of the recipes on my blog ( www.LifeDietHealth.wordpress.com ) are vegan and mostly gluten free and refined sugar free too :) I never thought of making lots of them available in one place though - what a great idea! :) Thanks for Sharing at the Plant Based Potluck :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have a beautiful blog! I just subscribed - thanks for vising! : )

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  3. This was the most viewed post from last week's Try a New Recipe Tuesday. Congratulations! Be sure to stop by and grab an "I've been featured" button from my sidebar for your blog. The post with your feature will go live shortly. I hope you can linkup again this week! :-)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thanks so much - I'm delighted & honored! I really appreciate you hosting : )

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  4. What tasty and satisfying vegan dishes! Thank you for sharing your healthy and handy 40 Day Lenten Menu for People Who Hate to Cook (Vegan)at the Healthy Happy Green Natural Party! I'm Pinning and sharing this!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anna,

    This is a wonderful list. It can be so easy to get into a rut when it comes to meat free eating. Plus, I have to avoid soy which can make it interesting at times.

    I found your link on this past week's Healthy Living Link Party and would love if you'd consider adding it to the Lenten linkup I co-host.

    If so, here's the link for this week's link-up:

    http://daybydayinourworld.com/2016/02/40-days-of-seeking-him-lent-2016-week-2/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for the invitation! I'm delighted to join in!

      Delete
  6. Hi Anna,
    Your 40 Day Vegan Lenten Menu for People Who Hate to Cook really simplifies our lives. These dishes are so convenient and yummy! I am so glad you shared them with us at the Plant-Based Potluck Party. I'm pinning and sharing!

    ReplyDelete

Welcome!
Please, DO chime in! : )

If you want to share a link to a pertinent and supportive post of your own that directly relates to my post (if, for instance, you also have a great vegan pancake recipe, or a post about Christmas) I don't mind a bit!

I encourage any questions about methods, measurements, or cooking times, and comments about typos, broken links, mistakes, omissions, etc. I also welcome thoughtful questions - even if you disagree with me.

I often take a few days to post your comment, and a few after that to reply. Please don't think I'm ignoring you if my response is slow - I'm just not always connected to technology.

Delighted to have you here! Post away!


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