|The Ladder of Divine Ascent, A Depiction of the Spiritual Journey|
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
10. Veggie Sushi - store bought or homemade
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
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
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
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