Extra! Extra! - Quick Fix Meals for Busy Times
As well as the recipes included in our week's menu plan, here are a few other simple ideas to get a tasty, instant meal on the plate in around 10 minutes.
Pasta and Salad
Serves 1 or more - just add more ingredients accordingly!
Cook wholemeal pasta or fusilli. Meanwhile, heat up a portion of tomato pasta sauce (jar or fresh tub) and add one of the following per person:
- Half a tin of whole lentils or other pulses per person, eg chickpeas, kidney beans, pinto beans. you choose!
- Half a pack of Smoked Tofu, diced (Waitrose, Holland & Barrett and good health food shops)
- A few strips of Real Eat Chicken-style strips, (freezer section of Holland & Barrett & good health food shops) lightly fried in 2 squirts of oil spray
- Serve with a big green salad: shredded lettuce, rocket, cucumber etc
Tortillas with Green Salad
Heat a jar or tub of tomato salsa with half a tin of kidney or pinto beans (or other beans of your choice) and warm through two wholemeal tortillas or wholemeal pittas.
Serve with big green salad, as above. A dollop of vegan sour cream (page 40) or plain vegan yoghurt is nice also.
Similar to Tortillas, but fill a large wholemeal pitta with bean paté or a smear of reduced-fat hummus and as many salad veggies as you can: green leaves, tomato, grated carrots, diced celery, beansprouts - and some low-fat salad dressing. Oh, and a tablespoon or two of cooked pulses or wholegrains!
Couscous is cracked wheat - pale yellow fine grains that cook very quickly - used widely in the Middle East and North Africa. Most of the ready-made couscous packs are vegan, but check the labelling. Either that or use wholemeal couscous. See our Product Guide for brands.
Make couscous according to instructions (pour boiling water over it, cover and let stand for 5 minutes), then add half a tin of chickpeas and/or half a tin of whole lentils - cold or warmed up - plus any extra vegetables you can, eg grated carrot, tomato, chopped spinach, sliced red pepper. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and a dollop of plain vegan yoghurt, a couple of chopped dried apricots or figs (use scissors for speed) and a teaspoon of toasted nuts or seeds.
Quinoa or Rice Salad
Quinoa is a small wholegrain that is high in protein and iron. Originally grown and eaten by the ancient Incas, it has been rediscovered because of its great taste and nutritional advantages. Servings depend on how much grain and other ingredients you add. Similar to the Couscous recipe above, but gluten-free and with different grains. Add whatever you like, piling up on the pulses (cooked peas, beans or lentils), lots of veggies and some low-fat dressing.
This is thicker than the usual smoothie - but it all depends on how much soya milk you add.
Blend half a pack of silken tofu until smooth and creamy. Thin with a little soya or rice milk, according to taste. Blend again with 1 medium banana, ½ tsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp ground flax seeds (linseeds) and a handful of berries.