When time is running short and your hunger is impatient, foods that are processed and ready-to-eat can be quite the temptation. Here are ten alternative options, that are just as quick but will spare you the excitotoxin hangover that often comes with packaged foods.
First up, a satisfying black bean soup that couldn’t be any easier to make. An extra benefit: black beans are high in fiber, good for your heart, and fight high-cholesterol.
Quick Black Bean Soup (Click the title for the recipe.)
Next: Sauteed Leeks and Carrots
(Click through to the end for all the recipe links on one page.)
Carrots and leeks are great to keep around in winter months; they will stay fresh for about one to two weeks in the refrigerator and they are packed with nutritional goodness.
Pair this dish with pasta or rice to make it more substantial. To save cooking time, choose couscous (which takes five minutes to make) or pasta that’s thin, like angel hair.
Bonus leek recipe:
Creamy Potato Leek Vegan Soup
Next: Lemony Spiced Chickpeas With Spinach
Chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) are a great source of fiber, protein, Folic acid and Vitamin B6; they are also heart-healthy and touted as a depression-fighting food.
This recipe, created by Myra Kornfeld and published in Experience Life, is fast but does not compromise flavor or nutrition. For more tips from Kornfeld and other chefs on quick and delicious food, click here.
Lemony Spiced Chickpeas With Spinach
- 3 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups thinly sliced onions (2 medium onions)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas)
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne
- 3 tbs. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3/4 pound baby spinach
- Freshly ground black pepper
Warm the oil over low heat in a large skillet. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until they are juicy and tender.
Add the chickpeas, spices, lemon juice and salt. Cook five minutes uncovered, stirring from time to time.
Stir in the spinach; cover and cook until the spinach has wilted, about four minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with black pepper. Taste and add a pinch more salt if necessary.
Next: Watercress Walnut Stir Fry
Watercress stir-fry is great on its own or with fried tofu or sauteed Portobello mushrooms. Watercress may seem delicate, but it packs a strong nutritional punch, especially when it comes to vitamins K, A, and C. Be careful not to overcook it; two to three minutes should be enough to lose the raw taste while retain the texture and some of the nutrition. The additional flavors of ginger and omega-3-rich walnuts make it even tastier and more nutritional.
Next: Golden Tofu with Sweet and Sour Sauce
When the Thai food craving hits, this dish will surely satisfy. And you can make it in your home in less time it takes to call and get carryout. You can find this recipe and others in the cookbook Bangkok to Bali in 30 Minutes, by Theresa Volpe Laursen and Byron Laursen.
Next: Pizza Primavera
This recipe has the flexibility and the ease perfect for nights when a trip to the grocery store is out of the question. Use vegetables you have on hand and pre-made pizza dough that has been stored in the freezer.
Next: Garden Couscous
Another flexible option that goes well with whatever vegetables are available…
Another version of Couscous:
Couscous with Lettuce, Peas and Mint
Next: Guinness Quick Bread
Homemade bread is unbeatable. But some days it’s hard to commit the rising-and-baking time that’s generally involved. With this Guinness quick bread, there’s no yeast that requires rising, so all you have to do is mix the ingredients together and put it in the oven! Drink a Guinness while you wait, and it will feel like no time at all!
Next: Light, Crispy, Addictive Kale Chips…
This vegetable has some opponents, but for those on the pro-kale side, the enthusiasm can be strong. For those on the fence, these kale chips might just be the trick to make you a loyal fan for good.
For the kale naysayer, try this equally easy recipe for roasted asparagus.
Next: Quick Vegan Fruit Pie
We could never forget dessert. Last but certainly not least, here’s a recipe for a quick (but beautiful!) fruit pie. Follow the directions below, or watch the delightful video by Care2 blogger Laetitia Mailhes by clicking here.
1.5 cups of nuts (mixture of walnuts, hazlenuts, and almonds would work well)
2 Tbs Agave Syrup
7 Cardamom Pods
Overripe fruit (Peaches and plums work well)
1 Vanilla bean (or 1 Tbs of vanilla extract)
Wash and chop 2 peaches and 2 plums (or whatever fruit you have on hand). Put chopped fruit in a cooking pot and add the agave syrup and seeds from the cardamom pods. Stir and leave on medium heat for about 20 minutes.
To make the crust…
Remove seeds from the dates and throw in a food processor to create a date paste. Remove the date paste from the processor, put the nuts in the processor and pulse until they are coarse. Throw the date paste back in the food processor with the nuts. Scrape the vanilla bean into 1/8 cup of water and add to the mixture.
Line a springform pan with parchment paper, with the removable bottom placed upside down. Press the raw crust into the bottom of the pan.
Just before serving…
With a slotted spoon, gently drain the excess juice and transfer the fruit compote to the pan. Make sure the fruit compote has cooled down (lukewarm at most). Remove the parchment paper, and enjoy!
Next: Links to all the recipes
Do you have any quick and delicious recipes to add? Tell is in the comment field!