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Five 30-Minute Plant-Based Meals

Sharon Palmer

Eating a plant-based diet is good for you, and the planet. Studies show that you can reduce your risks of chronic diseases and obesity, plus lower your carbon footprint by eating a more plant-based diet, including flexitarian, vegetarian or vegan diets. However, one common stumbling block to eating plant-based meals is that people think they’ll have to spend forever in the kitchen. But that’s simply not true. You can put together easy, healthful meals as quickly as you can order and pick up takeout! I collected Five 30-Minute Plant-Based Meals you can put together in under 30 minutes, along with a few tips for making plant-based cooking easy.

5 Tips for Making Plant-Based Cooking Easy!

  • Don’t be afraid to use frozen vegetables, which can cut your chopping and prep time significantly. Frozen veggies are just as nutritious as fresh.
  • Do some pre-prep the day before. For example, soak a pot of beans to simmer the next day for an easy meal.
  • Use a crockpot to make delicious, easy stews, chili, and soups.
  • Rely upon a rice cooker to cook up whole grains, such as farro, brown rice, and sorghum ahead of time.
  • Cook up a batch of beans and whole grains at the beginning of the week to use in recipes like salads and casseroles during the week.

Enjoy these Five 30-minute Plant-Based Meals for starters.

Five 30-Minute Plant-Based Meals

Thai Tofu Veggie Noodle Bowl 

I love this easy, delicious, plant-based one-dish meal solution: my Thai Tofu Veggie Noodle Bowl. This dish boasts a rich Thai flavor profile, thanks to hearty additions of red curry, coconut, and peanut butter. It’s so easy, all you have to do is cook brown rice noodles for a few minutes, sauté bell pepper and mushrooms, stir up a flavorful coconut-Thai sauce, and mix it all up in a skillet with the noodles and greens. Thanks to the brown rice noodles, greens, and tofu—it’s packed with plant-based protein, fiber, and even calcium! The ingredients in this dish are also packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds that can help protect your health. Plus, the recipe is completely gluten-free, as well as vegan. 

Vegetable Fajitas 

Plant-powered food just doesn’t get any better than Latin-flavored fare. Take these Vegetable Fajitas, for example, which are completely plant-based (vegan) and gluten-free. Grilled savory chunks of vegetables sautéed with spices and herbs, served with earthy beans and rustic corn tortillas, and a dollop of creamy guacamole. Are you hungry yet? In fact, as a long-time plant-based eater, veggie fajitas is my go-to order when dining out at a Mexican restaurant. I know that I will get a satisfying plant-based meal, and usually enough to bring home for leftovers the next day. I was inspired to create my own flavorful fajita recipe, based on the traditional elements of this classic restaurant fare. And I’m sharing the results with you today.

Five 30-Minute Plant-Based Meals

Miso Green Beans and Tofu 

Inspired by fresh green beans I picked up at the farmers market, this Japanese-style stir-fry is flavorful, packed with nutrition, and easy as can be. This recipe for Miso Green Beans and Tofu is completely plant-based (vegan) and gluten-free. Serve it with brown rice, quinoa or sorghum to make a balanced meal in one. I promise, you can get this meal on the table in under 30 minutes, faster than you can order and pick up takeout! I love the versatility and ease of Asian-style stir-fries, which are based on a few bright, crisp veggies, a flavorful sauce, and a whole grain foundation. In fact, I think these are some of the easiest dishes to put on your menu when you are learning to eat a more plant-based diet. The flavorful miso-ginger-garlic sauce in this recipe makes it a stand out in flavor.

Five 30-Minute Plant-Based Meals

Mushroom Stroganoff 

I am crazy about mushrooms, so this completely plant-based (vegan) Mushroom Stroganoff is pure comfort food bliss to me. A creamy sauce filled with aromatic sautéed mushrooms, garlic, onions, and tofu, piled sky high on a mountain of pasta. Hmmm…does it get any better?

Five 30-Minute Plant-Based Meals

Burrito with Refried Beans and Corn 

I always say that people make plant-based eating too complicated! It can be just as easy as this Burrito with Refried Beans and Corn: whole grain tortillas filled with six ingredients and a side of prepared salsa. This simple burrito—which relies upon frozen and canned ingredients—can be prepared in about 15 minutes for a busy weeknight, weekend brunch, or healthy work lunch.

For other 30-minute plant-based recipes, check out: 

Sriracha Sesame Breakfast Tofu Sandwich
Chinese Long Beans with Tofu and Jasmine Rice
Vegan Sloppy Joes

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