Is Vegan Food Expensive And Slow To Prepare? The Myth Of Vegan Cuisine
One of the main myths about veganism is the belief that vegan food is expensive and also slow to prepare.
The truth is quite the opposite and even though you can go to the store and find some expensive vegan products, in reality any dish can be made quickly and easily without losing its nutritional qualities and the need to spend any big amount of money.
Having the time, and with a few tips, on a Saturday afternoon, you could actually prepare your weekly menu thanks to the versatility of the Vegan Cuisine
Your Weekly Menu
Provided that you have in your kitchen a good selection of legumes, cereals, nuts and oils all you will need to buy for the week will be the fresh products taking into account which ones are in season.
Obviously you will want to preserve the food prepared in the best possible way so we will need a fridge, a freezer and airtight containers, all things that every house already has.
Keep all the ingredients and utensils you are going to use handy. We will need a large pot, where we are going to cook large amount of food at the same time.
In the big pot we can prepare at once a broth, one or two types of legume, a vegetable cream and some seitan. We will also need two or three cotton nets.
So once we are organized, to optimize the time, we can have several dishes cooking at the same time, in addition to the oven.
While the broth is cooking, we can prepare the pizza dough, and while we are waiting for the dough to be ready, we can prepare another dish.
Fruits and salads will always be present in a vegan kitchen so I am not going to mention it here but I presume you will buy it on a daily or weekly basis.
The food you can prepare on a Saturday afternoon
Broths and creams, legumes and seitan
We can cook a large amount of vegetables and legumes in the big pot we mentioned before, and we can do it at the same time., by using hairnets, we can separate the different ingredients.
We can also bake seitan balls at the same time. Once everything is cooked , we gonna separate it and we will have:
- Broth: Separate the vegetables from the liquid and let it cool. Put it in half-liter containers and freeze it.
- Legumes: You can split them in two parts: One part to use with broth or vegetables and another to make patés or hamburgers.
- Creams: Blend the tender vegetables with a blender and make a puree. Refrigerate the one you are not going to eat straight away.
- Seitan: You must always keep it covered in broth. It can be sautéed with onion or grilled to the plate.
Pizza, roasted vegetables, hamburgers
While preparing the pizza, put in the oven at 180 º C a tray full of vegetables; you can use potatoes, onions, peppers, eggplant, pumpkin, artichokes, and whatever else you like. Once cooked, peel them and chop them before you store it in a container in the refrigerator. That’s a very quick and practical way to have some cooked vegetables ready at hand.
Once you are done with the veggie you can rise the temperature of the oven to 200ºC and prepare the pizza. Once cooked you can cut it into slices and put it in the fridge or freezer to eat during the week.
After the pizza, you can still take advantage of the heat of the oven to cook some vegetable burgers. And if you’re a cake lover like myself, you even have time to prepare a vegan muffin.
Brown rice, quinoa, millet, polenta
Rice, polenta or quinoa are always a quick and easy solution to save a menu; you can serve them with a salad or any other dish. They go really well with nutritional yeast or soy sauce. You can also add artichoke, leek, carrot or peas to the cooking water.
Prepare a pot with brown rice and another with quinoa, or millet or pasta. You can cook them alone, or according to your favorite recipe. Put twice as many servings as you need, one in the fridge, and another in the freezer.
Part of the portions can be used to create other dishes for example by mixing the ingredients with onion and pepper, or with garlic and parsley. For example, I love polenta, one of the dishes my mom used to cook a lot when I was little.
Polenta is very easy to do and it is ready in just a few minutes, Once it’s done you can let it cool off and once it has solidify you can cut it in squares or round shapes (that’s what my mom used to do) and freeze it. When you are ready to eat it, all you have to do is put it on a tray, and sprinkle some Vegan cheese on top or some roasted vegetables and in the oven to warm up for a couple of minutes , it tastes absolutely delicious.
In the upper part of the pot where you are cooking the rice or quinoa, if you have an accessory to separate the pot you can steam some extra vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, Brussels sprouts, asparagus or green beans.
Stored in containers in the fridge or freezer they are an ideal complement for any dish
Who doesn’t love burgers? My kids could eat them all day.
They can be made with soy protein, cooked legumes, like lentils, chickpeas or with tofu, tempeh or seitan.
They are usually mixed with cooked rice, oat flakes or flour. I really like to stir-fry some vegetables with lots of onions or garlic, parsley, pepper or curry and then mix everything together. Once cold, create small round portions put them between two papers to keep it from sticking to each others and freeze them , to take out those that are needed during the week. They can be fried, roasted in the oven or grilled.
Your Weekly Broth Ingredients
Ok, to prepare our huge weekly broth we will need
- 400 gr of chickpeas –
- 200 gr of white beans-soaking from the previous night.
- 1 green pepper
- 1 potato
- 1 carrot
- 1 branch of celery
- 1 leek
- 1 turnip
- 1 parsnip
- 1 onion
- 250gr of pumpkin
- ¼ of cabbage
- ½ head of garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 pinch of pepper
- Fresh parsley
- 1 sprig of thyme
- 1 pinch of paprika
- 1 piece of kombu seaweed
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon of turmeric
- 3 liters of water
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons oat flakes
Separate the chickpeas from the beans by putting them in two different nets.
Put them in the pot along with the water, cold. In another net put all the ingredients that should not be crushed like the bay leaf, garlic with skin, thyme, celery and parsnips. Add the rest of the vegetables, washed, peeled and cut into pieces, and seasonings.
On a separate pan brown the onion and green pepper. Once stir-fried, you incorporate them into the pot. Cook everything together for one hour or 30 minutes in a pressure cooker.
To prepare the Seitan we need:
- 150 gr of gluten flour
- 50 gr of chickpea flour
- 50 ml of soy sauce
- 100 ml of water
Put the flours and seasonings in a bowl. Add the liquids and mix quickly, with the help of your hands, until there is a homogeneous mass. Make three or four balls the size of an orange and cook them in the broth for 30 minutes. Drain it and store it in a covered container, covered with broth.
To prepare the Pizza dough
- 100 ml of water
- 30 ml of oil
- 300 gr of wholemeal flour
- 12 gr of bread yeast1 pinch of salt
Put the flour and salt in a bowl. Crumble the yeast and mix.
Add the oil and water. Mix it well with your hands till you create a dough. Smooth for ten minutes and let it sit covered with a cloth, for one hour.
When the volume has doubled, stretch it and place it on a baking sheet protected with paper.
Let it rest 30 minutes more. Heat the oven at 200ºC for 10 minutes. Put the dough alone in the oven for 10 minutes, add the filling you like the most and cook 10 minutes more.
And you Pizza is ready to be eaten, or frozen for later.
So there you have it, if you still think that preparing a vegan meal can be expensive or lengthy in process, now you might have to think again.
It will probably take you your Saturday afternoon or morning, or whatever day you like to cook, but once it is done, if you look at it , you have ready the menu for your entire week!