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In A Pinch

Healthy, Plant-Based Meals When You Don't Feel Like Cooking

Dr Padma Garvey/Plant-Based Doctor Mom

In A Pinch

Even the best laid plans fall through.  You may have planned to cook that meal but you didn’t leave work on time, you forgot to buy that one ingredient, or you are just too tired to cook.  There are some things you can do to stick to a healthy plant-based diet on those nights. 

Stock up on some of key items to always have something healthy to make in a pinch.  Here are four ideas.

Marinara sauce without added sugar or preservatives, box of whole grain pasta, and a can of garbanzo beans.  Some of the store brand sauces are really quite simple and healthy.  It takes about 8 minutes to boil a box of pasta.  Throw a can of garbanzo beans into the dish, add some nutritional yeast and you have a very nice, fast meal.  If your little ones turn their noses up at the garbanzo beans, simply mash them with a fork and mix with the sauce.  Nutritional yeast is a great source of vitamin B12.  I order mine off of Amazon.  It is a great substitute for Parmesan cheese. 

Hopewell Farms in Hopewell sells frozen Asian dumplings that are very tasty, plant-based, and quick.  Though they are not whole grain, I use them as a go to meal on nights when I don’t feel like cooking.  I shred some cabbage; add some lemon juice, scallions, cilantro, and soy sauce for a fantastic Asian salad to go with the dumplings.  The dumplings take about 5 minutes to cook.

Sometimes we will order some Chinese food from down the street.  We get the stream tofu and mixed vegetables.  I have a pressure cooker that lets me make delicious brown rice in 10 minutes.  I whip up a quick dressing at home of soy sauce, lemon juice, agave nectar, onion powder, and garlic powder to go on the stir-fry.

Have some frozen whole wheat tortillas handy.  Make sure they do not contain added fat in the form of shortening, lard, or oil.  You may have to search for these but when you find them, stock up.  Have some cans of vegetarian refried beans in your pantry and salsa.  Let the tortillas thaw and spread some refried beans, sprinkle lots of nutritional yeast, fold in half and grill on stove top until crust is brown.  Eat with salsa and salad of mixed greens.

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