Author Archives: Powered By Produce

Quick and Easy Vegan and Vegetarian Meals

Over the years, I’ve had a lot of people ask me for ideas on very quick and easy vegetarian/vegan meals, so I decided to make a list of my go-to’s that only take about 10-20 mins to prepare.

Even though I love to cook and love trying new recipes, I totally understand that not everyone has the time, energy, or desire to do that every day, including myself. More often than not, I am throwing together something very simple and easy for dinner. Most of the time, that means digging through my fridge and pantry and using what I happen to find there. I try to keep certain staples stocked, like pasta, frozen veggies, canned veggies, (and fresh veggies), canned beans, rice, bread, tortillas. You can come up with all kinds of things with just a few basics like this. (Do I have pasta and some veggies? That’s a meal. Do I have tortillas and some beans? That’s a meal. Do I have rice or bread and some veggies? That’s a meal.)

A quick note on carbs: Yes, some of these meal ideas contain carbs (GASP!). It’s my opinion that the anti-carb-craze has gotten out of control. The problem is not carbs, it is too many calories. By cutting out carbs, you cut out calories. You can also cut out calories (and fat, and saturated fat, and cholesterol) by eliminating meat. In fact, the average American BMI is 28.8 (18-25 is considered normal/healthy), the average vegetarian BMI is 25.7, and the average vegan BMI is 23.6. Clearly, carbs are not the problem. Meat causes clogged arteries, heart disease, stroke, and cancer (not to mention an unimaginable amount of animal suffering). Pasta and bread do not. If you’re going to eliminate something from your diet in the name of your health, for goodness sake, ditch the meat!

Alright, let’s get started…

Quick and easy vegetarian and vegan meals

1. Tacos
Tacos are probably my favorite quick, easy, throw-together, go-to meal! There are endless veggie taco possibilities! From a variety of beans, to meatless meats (soyrizo, meatless crumbles, etc), to all kinds of vegetables, to taco toppings (guac, sour cream, salsas, pico, cheese, etc) you can get really creative and tasty with tacos. And they’re always super fast to make. Here’s some ideas, but pretty much anything tastes great in a taco – just look through your fridge and pantry for some beans and veggies. I try to keep a 10-pack of tortillas (the smallest I can find) in the fridge, some canned beans in the pantry, and a few fresh veggies around. Variations on this could be chalupas, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, or taco salad – they’re all very close to the same thing, plus or minus a few ingredients.

Mushrooms and bell peppers, side of guac and black beans
Refried beans, lettuce, tomato, guac
Lentils, mushrooms, cabbage, carrot, avocado, lime
Black-eyed peas, corn, bell pepper, tomato, onion, tabasco
Black beans, quinoa, guac, onion, cilantro, lime
Pintos, tomato, onion, jalapeno, bell pepper, avocado
Soyrizo, tomato, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, guac
Sweet potato, chickpeas, onion, cabbage
Scrambled eggs, kale, cheese, salsa

2. Pasta
There are endless ways to vary pasta meals, from the pasta itself (pasta, ravioli, tortellini, etc.), to the sauce (marinara, olive oil, pesto, alfredo, etc), to what else you put in the bowl (any variety of veggies, meatless meatballs, Field Roast veggie sausage, etc). And boiling pasta is just about one of the quickest meals you can make. If you’re adding veggies, you can just toss them in the boiling water with the pasta (you can use frozen or fresh veggies). You can create flavor variations like Asian pasta bowls with soy sauce, or mac and cheese bowls. Just keep a box/bag of pasta stocked in the pantry, and some frozen or fresh veggies on hand, and a jar of sauce or some olive oil. Note that most of my pasta creations are as simple as: pasta, 2 veggies, and a sauce (or olive oil). Here’s a few ideas to get you started, and of course you can come up with endless other possibilities!

Pasta with spinach, tomato, olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Pasta with kale, crispy chickpeas, olive oil and lemon juice
Pasta with plain tomato sauce
Pasta with tempeh, spinach, and cream sauce
Mac and cheese with peas and carrots
Pasta with asparagus, portobello, parsley, and basil pesto
Ravioli with artichoke hearts and tomato pesto

Pasta with mixed frozen veggies, tofu, cashews, soy sauce, and lime juice
Pasta with peas, onions, parmesan, olive oil

3. Soups
What could be easier than throwing a bunch of stuff in a pot and letting it boil? Use veggie broth or water, toss in some veggies (fresh or frozen), and add some spices/flavorings – something as simple as a store-bought spice blend works great, or a little tomato sauce, some basil pesto, lemon juice, or soy sauce. You can add beans, noodles, eggs, tofu, etc! Boil until everything is warmed and cooked to the desired tenderness.

Broccoli, carrot, squash, zucchini, tomato, navy beans, lemon, basil pesto
Black beans, zucchini, avocado, cilantro, green onion, paprika
Tortellini, artichoke hearts, tomato, spinach, basil pesto
Veggie chili
White beans, kale, tomato sauce, carrots, celery, and croutons
Veggie wontons, bok choy, carrot, green onion, cilantro, tofu, shiitake & oyster mushrooms
Soba noodles, shiitake mushrooms, carrot, snow peas, egg, tofu
Mixed veggies and chickpeas in tomato broth
Tortilla soup with chickpeas

4. Sandwiches
I really love veggie sandwiches. They can be something as simple as a few slices of cheese with some lettuce, tomato, and mustard. Or you can get really creative with what goes in a sandwich! Just have some bread on hand and fill it with what you’ve got! A variation on this could be a wrap.

Mushrooms with BBQ sauce and pickles
Artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, mozzarella
Grilled cheese with pesto and avocado
Falafel pita sandwich with hummus, cucumber, tomato, onion, parsley
Avocado, cucumber, tomato, bell pepper, onion, sprouts
Asparagus, tomato, olives, cheese
Meatless meatballs, marinara, basil, parmesan
Tofu, cheese, black beans, avocado, lettuce, tomato
Grilled cheese with mushrooms – try adding a fried egg to this!

5. Rice, Farro, Quinoa, or Lentil bowls
Boil some rice (or farro, quinoa, orzo, couscous, lentils, etc), heat up some veggies (boil, or bake, or sautee them – they can be fresh or frozen), and top with some sauce (just something store-bought like teriyaki, or marinara, or vinaigrette, or just use olive oil).

Lentils, farro, asparagus, tomato, artichoke hearts, with honey-mustard vinaigrette
Rice with onion, bell pepper, pineapple, tempeh, and sweet and sour sauce
Lentils, freekeh, kale, portobello, radishes, walnuts, goat cheese, and a poached egg
Stir fry: Rice, mixed frozen veggies, mushrooms, tofu, soy sauce
Rice, collard greens, potatoes, peanuts, peanut sauce
Rice, lentils, lima beans, bell peppers, onion, olive oil
Farro, beets, brussels sprouts, almonds, thyme, lemon juice, olive oil.
Adzuki beans, sweet potato, parsley, poached egg
Rice, chickpeas, brussels sprouts, fennel, marinara sauce

6. Salads
Don’t underestimate the heartiness of a big-ass salad. I try to keep bagged/boxed salad greens stocked (whether that’s lettuce, spinach, kale, arugula, or whatever) and I just toss in whatever fresh veggies, canned veggies (artichoke hearts, beans, olives, etc), and “extras” (like quinoa, nuts, cheese, egg, tempeh, tofu, etc) I happen to have on hand. I’ll sometimes buy a bag of already chopped, mixed veggies (they’re typically marketed as stir-fry veggies) and just throw those into the salad. You could even add some fruit (strawberries, grapes, apple, pear, etc). Use any dressing you like!

Kale, tomato, chickpeas, radish
Arugula, carrot, avocado, olives, hemp seeds
Spinach, beet, edamame, carrot, cabbage, chickpea, quinoa
Arugula, cabbage, white beans, tomato
Kale, tomato, quinoa, chickpeas
Avocado, tomato, chickpeas, feta (no leafy greens in this one)
Taco salad with soyrizo, black beans, sour cream, salsa
Kale, craisins, pear, pecans
Lettuce, tomato, cucumber, chickpeas, avocado, egg

Don’t be afraid to experiment! You can get creative with all of these meal ideas and they’re all super quick and easy to make. Enjoy!

Black bean, corn, and collard green enchiladas

Black bean, corn, and collard green enchiladas

Corn tortillas
Olive oil
1 can black beans
1 can corn
A few leaves of collard greens, chopped (other greens would work too – kale or spinach, etc)
Roasted red peppers, chopped (optional)
1-2 tbs cream cheese (optional)
Shredded cheese or vegan cheese
Red enchilada sauce (from a can/jar is fine, or make your own with the ingredients below)

Sauce Ingredients
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup of salsa (I like to use Pace Picante Sauce)
3 tbs tomato paste
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes (fire roasted work great for this)
1 cup water

Cilantro-lime quinoa ingredients
1 lime
Pepitas (optional)


1. Preheat oven to broil. If preparing quinoa: boil the quinoa according to directions.

2. In a pan, saute the can of beans, can of corn, roasted red peppers, and chopped collard greens with some olive oil, until the greens turn bright green and everything is warmed through. Optional: Add 1-2 tbs cream cheese and stir into veggies until melted. Remove pan from heat and set aside.

3. If making your own sauce: In a pot, saute the chopped onion and garlic then turn off the heat. Add all other sauce ingredients to the pot and mix well. If the sauce tastes too vinegary, add a tsp of sugar.

4. Heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan. You are going to flash-fry each corn tortilla individually to prevent it from cracking when you roll it. To flash-fry your tortilla, place it in the pan of hot oil for about 3 seconds, then flip it over for another 3 seconds, then remove it.


5. Put a thin layer of enchilada sauce on the bottom of your baking pan to prevent them from sticking. In your flash-fried corn tortilla, add a few spoonfuls of veggie mixture. Roll the tortilla around the fillings and place it in the baking pan (seam side down, if you need to, so it stays rolled). Continue rolling all of the enchiladas until the pan is full or you run out of ingredients.

Veggie enchiladas

6. Pour enchilada sauce over rolled enchiladas, then top it all with shredded cheese.

6. Bake for 5-10 mins, or until cheese is melted and begins to bubble and brown. (Remember, broil is really hot! Watch them carefully so they don’t burn!)

7. If preparing quinoa: Mix cooked, drained quinoa with chopped cilantro leaves and juice of 1/2 – 1 lime. (I also sprinkled some pepitas on mine. )

Orange Cauliflower

Orange Cauliflower

cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
1/2 cup flour
4 tbsp corn starch, divided in half
1/4 – 1/2 cup water
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup orange juice (freshly squeezed is best)
1 tbsp orange zest
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp vinegar (a clear one, like white or rice vinegar)
1 – 2 tbsp Sriracha sauce

Optional: I served mine over a bok choy, bell pepper, and ramen noodle salad.
diced bell pepper
diced bok choy (raw)
ramen noodles (I used black rice ramen noodles)
ginger-sesame salad dressing


1. Preheat oven to 400. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and grease with oil or cooking spray.

2. In a medium sized bowl, mix together flour, 2 tbsp cornstarch, a bit of salt & pepper, and enough water to make a batter. It should be thick enough to evenly coat the cauliflower florets, without being watery and running off entirely.

3. Coat each floret in the batter, then place onto the prepared baking sheet.

4. Bake battered cauliflower until golden brown and tender, about 15-20 minutes.

5. Optional: Make salad by boiling ramen noodles, chopping bok choy and bell pepper. When ramen noodles are done cooking (about 5 mins), drain and run under cold water to cool them. Combine noodles with chopped bok choy and bell pepper, then dress with ginger-sesame dressing.

6. When the cauliflower has about 5 minutes of cooking time remaining, mix together the broth, orange juice, zest, soy sauce, vinegar, honey and Sriracha sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

7. In a small bowl, mix 2 tbs cornstarch with 2 tbs water. Slow pour the cornstarch mixture in to the orange sauce, constantly stirring until sauce thickens.

8. Add cooked cauliflower to orange sauce and stir to coat cauliflower.

9. Serve cauliflower over prepared salad.

Hot and Sour Soup with Crispy Tofu


2 cans vegetable broth OR 4 cups water + 1 vegetable bouillon cube
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 to 4 tablespoons rice vinegar (depending on how “sour” you want it)
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
1/2 package firm tofu, drained
4-6 tablespoons cornstarch
shiitake mushrooms (fresh are best, but you can do dried if that’s all you can find)
1 carrot
snow peas
1 egg


1. Cube the tofu and toss with some cornstarch. Cook tofu in a pan with some olive oil, turning so that all sides become crispy.
(PS – Tofu turns out SO YUMMY this way! I like to eat it like popcorn tofu!)

2. Boil the soba noodles. When done, just set aside. (You can drain or not-drain – it doesn’t really matter.)

3. In the pot where you’ll make the soup, combine vegetable broth + 1-2 cups water OR 4 cups water + vegetable bouillon cube, soy sauce, rice vinegar, red pepper flakes, and ginger. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat. If you would like the soup broth to be thicker, add 2 tbs cornstarch to the pot.

4. Slice the mushrooms. Cook them in a pan with some olive oil for about 3-4 minutes. Add them to the soup pot.

5. Slice the carrot and snow peas. Add them to the soup pot.

6. Beat the egg in a bowl or cup. (If you have a measuring cup with a spout, that’d be perfect for this.) Turn the heat off on the soup. Pour the egg into the soup pot in a spiral pattern.

7. Serve soup: Put soba noodles in a bowl, ladle in the soup, and top with crispy tofu!

Where to find me

I don’t really post much on the blog anymore. I’ve moved over to Instagram (@poweredbyproduce) and Facebook! I’ve been posting pictures of all the meals I cook and a few other veg-related things. So if you’re looking for delicious vegan and vegetarian meal ideas, make sure to follow me on one or both of those! I’ve been cooking up a storm lately….!

(On Instagram/Facebook, I typically just post a picture and a breif description; not a full recipe with an ingredient list and instructions. But if you see something you like and want a full recipe, just ask and I can post the full recipe!)

Also, these dishtowels are available in my Etsy shop, if anyone’s interested.

vegan dishtowels

I’ll probably still post things on the blog from time to time, but for now, I’ll see y’all on Facebook and Instagram!



Avocado and Roasted Veggie Pita

I hadn’t made homemade guacamole in a while… Dang, I’d forgotten how good this stuff is! So addicting.

I topped my pita with a super-easy-to-make cashew sauce, that tastes kind of like sour cream. It’s delicious, trust me!

Avocado and Roasted Veggie Pita

pita bread
1 can chickpeas
chopped veggies, like cauliflower, broccoli, carrots
1-2 tsp chili powder
1/4 cup breadcrumbs (optional)
1 avocado
1 garlic clove
1 lemon
handful of cilantro
1/4 cup cashews
1/2 – 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 – 1 tsp lemon juice
olive oil


1. Preheat oven to 400. While the oven is heating, chop the veggies and spread them out on half of a baking sheet. Spread the chickpeas on the other half of the baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle chili powder over the veggies and chickpeas. Optionally, sprinkle breadcrumbs over chickpeas (this makes the roasted chickpeas crispier). Use your hands to stir them around and get everything nice and coated in olive oil, chili powder, and breadcrumbs (for the chickpeas).

Roasted Veggies and Chickpeas

2. Bake the veggies and chickpeas for about 10-15 mins, or until they begin to brown.

3. While the veggies are roasting, make the guacamole. Mix 1 avocado, 1 clove garlic, some cilantro leaves, and juice of 1/2 – 1 lemon. You can either mash these together by hand (with a fork), or use a food processor. I used the food processor because I wanted it smoother/creamier.


4. Make the cashew “sour cream” sauce. In the food processor, mix cashews, apple cider vinegar, and 1/2 – 1 tsp lemon juice. With the food processor running, very slowly add small amounts of water until you reach a creamy, but not TOO watery consistency.

Cashew Sauce

5. Toast the pitas, if desired (either in oven for a few mins with the veggies, or in toaster or toaster oven.)

6. When the veggies are done, assemble the pita. Layer pita, guacamole, veggies, chickpeas, cashew sauce.


pita with guac

pita, guac, roasted veggies

avocado and roasted veggie pita

West African Peanut Soup with Potato and Collard Greens

West African Peanut Soup with potato and collard greens

4 cups vegetable broth or water
3/4 cup unsalted, creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 tbs Sriracha sauce (or more, to taste)
1 tbs fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 – 1/2 red onion, chopped
1 potato or sweet potato
collard greens, chopped
rice (1/2 – 3/4 cup, dry)
peanuts (optional)


1. Cook the rice and collard greens together, following the rice cooking instructions.

2. Make the soup by mixing in a pot: vegetable broth/water, peanut butter, tomato paste, sriracha sauce, ginger, garlic, and onion. Heat until boiling, then lower to a simmer. Add more or less broth/water until soup is a consistency you like.

3. Slice the potato and place in boiling water for 5-10 minutes, or until soft.

4. Serve by placing potatoes and rice-collard green mixture in a bowl, then topping with peanut soup. Sprinkle peanuts over the top (optional).

One Pot Veggie Mac And Cheese

One Pot Veggie Mac And Cheese

uncooked pasta
chopped veggies – I used: mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, asparagus
shredded cheese – I used: cheddar, monterey jack, parmesan
1 clove garlic, chopped
1-2 cup whole milk 1-2 cup vegetable stock
2 tbs flour
olive oil


1. In a large pot, saute the mushrooms and chopped garlic in some olive oil until garlic is fragrant and soft.

2. Add all other ingredients to the pot. Start with 1 cup milk and 1 cup veggie stock. Add more if needed – pasta should be fully submerged so that it can boil.
One Pot Veggie Mac And Cheese

3. Stir well, bring to a boil, then cover and lower heat to a simmer. Cook until pasta is done (about 15 mins). IMG_6485

One Pot Veggie Mac And Cheese

4. OPTIONAL: If you’re anxious to dig in, you can eat it at this point and it’s delicious! Or you can take the extra step to bake it. Scoop pasta mixture into a baking pan, top with some extra cheese, and bake at 400 until the cheese on top is melted (about 7-10 mins).

One Pot Veggie Mac And Cheese

Green Chile and Cheese Enchiladas

Green Chile and Cheese Enchiladas

6 corn tortillas
3 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
2 4 ounce cans diced green chiles, do not drain
2 cups sour cream
1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
cilantro leaves, chopped (optional)
vegetable or olive oil


1. Preheat oven to 425. In a bowl, mix sour cream, green chiles, cilantro, onion, garlic, and cumin.

2. Separate out about 1/3 of the sour cream mixture. This will be used later to top the enchiladas. In the remaining 2/3, mix in the cheese. This will be the enchilada filling.


3. Flash-fry the tortillas by heating the oil in a pan, then placing the tortilla in the oil for about 3 seconds, then flip it and fry the other side for about 3 seconds. Stack the flash-fried tortillas on a paper towel.


4. Put some of the cheese mixture into the middle of a tortilla and roll the tortilla around the filling. Place in a greased baking pan. Finish filling and rolling all tortillas.

Green Chile and Cheese Enchiladas

5. If there is any remaining cheese mixture, top the enchiladas with it. Then top with the sour cream mixture that was set aside in step 2.

Green Chile and Cheese Enchiladas
Green Chile and Cheese Enchiladas

6. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Green Chile and Cheese Enchiladas

Green Chile and Cheese Enchiladas

Vegetable Ramen with Egg

Two of our girls!

Two of our girls!

Several months ago we got backyard chickens! Only one of our ladies has started laying so far, but even just one egg a day is enough to where I’m already trying to come up with different ways of using them. This ramen was perfect with an egg!

Vegetable Ramen with Egg

Vegetable Ramen with Soft-Boiled Egg

4 cups vegetable broth
2 tbs soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 packages instant ramen noodles (flavor packets discarded)
Any vegetables you like, some suggestions are:
bok choy
shitake and/or oyster mushrooms
sweet corn (frozen or canned)
green onion


1. The eggs can either be soft-boiled, or they can be poached into the soup itself. If you prefer to poach them in the soup, skip to step 2. If you prefer to soft-boil them, boil some water in a pot, add the eggs, and let them boil for about 6 minutes. Remove eggs from water and let them cool. Once cooled, peel and cut in half.

2. Mix the soy sauce and crushed garlic into the vegetable broth and bring to a boil.

3. Add vegetables to the soup and boil for 5-7 minutes.

4. Add the ramen noodles. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring to separate them.

5. If you are poaching the eggs: Reduce heat to low. Carefully crack eggs into the pot. Cover the pot and poach the eggs for 3-4 minutes.

Vegetable Ramen with Poached Egg

Vegetable Ramen with Poached Egg