5 Vegan Meals to Make From Your Pantry
We have a lot of respect for the people who start out the week by writing a meal plan, shopping for those items, and then spend the week sticking to it. But...that's not usually us. Our style is more of a 'head to the supermarket on the way home and see what we fancy' kind of situation. For those of you that are like us, we know what it's been like adapting to a more planned lifestyle since we're all heading out to the supermarket as little as possible right now. Plus, this is often made harder by the fact that some items we're used to buying all the time are often out of stock, so we don't always know what we'll find.
So we've put together a list of meals that are super adaptable that you can make from things stored up in your cupboards, and add in whatever produce you were able to get. So if you want ideas for your meal plan, or if you don't HAVE a meal plan and you're standing in the kitchen trying to figure out what to cook, hopefully some of these ideas can help you out!
PS - We know most of you just have normal kitchens and the only time we see a pantry is on Pinterest, but it's just nice pretending our cupboards are fancy pantries
Risotto is our ultimate adaptable meal - it takes a bit of time to make, but the base is just a few simple ingredients (risotto rice, onion, veg stock) that you can add pretty much anything to. It's filling, tasty, and super comforting. The idea of risotto is that you slowly add liquid to the risotto rice (or arborio rice) and it absorbs it, so it expands to a soft and creamy rice. Fry up some onions (and garlic if you have it) until soft, then mix in the rice so it's coated in the oil, then bit by bit add in the stock. From there, you can add whatever ingredients you like! Add them earlier if they need a longer cooking time like asparagus, or later if they don't need much cooking at all, like peas. Try adding a little plant milk and nutritional yeast towards the end for a cheesy, creamy risotto!
You can make your own burger patties with pulses like lentils and kidney beans (including tinned ones!) - cook them till they're soft then mash them up with a little flour and oil and form into patties. And we've seen so many people baking bread lately...so try making your own burgers too! Then all you need for a delicious burger is a little flour, yeast, a tin of pulses, and then whatever salad or veggies you want to add in. Dinner sorted! Plus, you can make extra patties and freeze them for when you want a quicker, hassle-free dinner.
#3: Roast veggies & chickpeas
It's really helpful to have some tinned chickpeas on hand (or dried if you're organised enough to soak them ahead of time!) as they're great for making so many dishes more filling. This one sounds very simple, but it's really adaptable and it's all about the seasoning. Try using things like sweet potatoes, aubergine, mushroom, courgette, and peppers, and roast them with oil and garlic in a covered dish. Adding chickpeas into the mix makes the dish super filling, and you can add in some tamarind sauce from a jar to give it a kick, or a mix of your favourite spices, or some nutritional yeast.
#4: Quinoa salad with toppings
Quinoa is another great one for making meals more filling. You can make up a salad with whatever fresh produce you can get your hands on - leafy greens, broccoli, peas, radishes - and mix in some quinoa to turn it into a filling lunch. Then you can top it with some nuts and seeds to make it super nutritional. Add a delicious salad dressing or sauce to finish it off, like tahini or aioli, or have it with hummus (which you can make yourself from your canned chickpeas!)
#5: A good old stir fry!
Stir fries are the ultimate 'chuck in whatever you find in the fridge' meal! There are a few ways you can up your stir fry game though. First, make sure you get a mixture of textures. Some things you want to be soft and delicious, other things you want to stay a little crunchy, like beansprouts, asparagus, or green beans. Second, make sure it's filling. We love taking a block of tofu, chopping it into chunks, and grilling them to add in at the last minute. As well as making it more filling, it adds another texture! Last, make sure it's packed with flavour. Add in some soy sauce, or fresh chopped chilli, or just a really good helping of garlic. A bulky, crunchy, flavourful stir fry never fails to satisfy!