Super Quick Easy Vegan Stuff

A friend of mine from college recently found out that he has high cholesterol and blood pressure and his doctors put him on some medication for both. He's only 30 so...not great news.

I guess sometimes it takes a doctor's recommendation to help us make a change.

I know he doesn't want to buy a bunch of specialty ingredients and he needed to do mostly whole foods to help make a change. I thought about it for about two weeks after he called me and came up with a few easy options that he can use to get started.

Here is my round up of the incredibly easy, healthy(ish) meals I suggested for my friend:

Starter Staples

Nacho Cheese Sauce: Use the Hot for Food recipe because it's the only one that tastes right

Mushroom and Walnut Meat: Get a pack of baby bellas and an equal amount of walnuts (like two cups). Pour boiling water over both of them, let them sit for about 10 m, drain them, and then pulse them in the food processor with about 2 TB of Liquid Aminos (I use Braggs), some cumin, some garlic powder, salt, and pepper. It normally only takes two or three pulses to get it right.

**Note: You're going to use these in a LOT of the recipes below so make a bunch of it. I typically do this in a few batches. Both of these staples are pretty adaptable so I would just go for broke.


Killer Skillet

Dice up a bunch of onions, peppers, and potatoes (you can totally use frozen hashbrowns too if you're lazy) and throw them in a cast iron or non-stick pan with a swirl or two of olive oil. Once the onions are a little translucent, drain a container of tofu and then crumble it over the top of the onions, etc. Add garlic salt, onion salt (if you have it), turmeric, salt and pepper, smoked paprika, a bunch of cumin, and sriracha to taste. You can also add some chipotles in instead but that's only if you want some serious spice. Let it cook without stirring it for about 5 minutes. This lets the tofu get a nice fry on it and keeps it from sticking to the pan. Stir it up and let it cook on the other side too. This is also great to pour cheese sauce on, but it's a personal preference thing.

Biscuits and Gravy

Add a ton of black pepper to about a cup of unsweetened soy milk. Melt a stick of vegan butter in the milk and start whisking in some flour. Typically it takes about a quarter to a half cup of flour to thicken it up. Set aside until your biscuits are done (I use Miyoko's recipe for pancakes/biscuits) and then pour the gravy over the biscuits and top with your mushroom and walnut meat. If you want to get really fancy you can add a dash of liquid smoke in the gravy and that really kicks it up a notch for flavor.


SAT (Spinach, Avocado, and Tempeh/Tofu) Wraps/Sammies

Tempeh is my favorite but this works with tofu too. Use the Hot for Food bacon marinade (sub out the soy for the aminos). Then just fry up the tempeh or tofu when you're ready to jam. I use a lil veganaise or dijon on my sammies but the avocado is good by itself too. If you're not into waiting until the perfect time for the avocado to ripen or it stresses you out to buy them (they're so 'spensive!), just use some guacamole and call it a day. I typically use wraps but it's up to you!

**As a bonus, you can make a ton of the tempeh/tofu bacon at once. Then make avocado/guacamole toast and throw a few pieces on the top for brekkie. It's the

Chili Mac and Cheese

This is the easiest lunch in history if you've already pre-made your cheese sauce and your mushroom and walnut meat. Boil the pasta, top with the cheese sauce. Then take your mushroom and walnut meat and add a can of rinsed and drained kidney beans. Season it up with some chili powder, cumin, garlic salt, and some sriracha if you want. Put the chili on top of the mac and cheese or vice versa.


Cottage Pie

This is a big go-to for me because I love mushrooms and gravy. I don't actually recommend using the mushroom and walnut meat for this but you definitely could. I use lentils because they're super high in iron and that's dope. So, whatever's clever.

Onions, garlic, and mushrooms in the pan with some oil. Saute until the onions are soft and then add in some lentils and about a cup of vegetable broth or water. Add a dash of the liquid aminos too. Once the lentils are cooked, add in about a quarter cup of flour gradually to thicken it up.

Meanwhile, dice up about 4 small potatoes and boil them for 15 minutes. Strain and then mash them with a stand mixer or a fork using plenty of butter or milk (whichever you prefer).

Once your lentils are done you can start building your pie. I use frozen vegetables and just heat them up really quick or just mix them straight in but you can layer them in on the bottom of a casserole dish if you're fancy. Start with the veg, then pour the onions, mushrooms, and lentils over the top and slather on your mashed potatoes. Salt and pepper the top and stick it in the oven for about 30-35 minutes on 350F or so.


Peppers, onions, and garlic go in the pan. Season them with some chipotles or a bunch of cumin. Add in two cans of black beans and then a sizable portion of your mushroom and walnut meat. Stir it around and add in some chili powder, a lil bit of smoked paprika, and some salt and pepper if you're into that.

For enchiladas, just buy some sauce, put about half of it in the pan, and roll the mixture up in tortillas, and pour the rest of the sauce over the top. Bake at 350F or so for about 30-35 minutes and then eat with tons of nacho cheese and hot sauce.

For tacos, dice up a few tomatoes or get some salsa. Chop up a bunch of spinach or romaine for toppings. Then load up your tacos and pour on the nacho cheese and hot sauce.

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