Looking for a fresh and delicious vegan meal to serve on a spring evening? A simple and healthy meal can be easily made that will leave you feeling satisfied and refreshed. It begins with gazpacho, a chilled tomato soup. Following this, an avocado and tomato sandwich with fresh quinoa salad and seasoned sweet potato fries as sides will finish the meal. It is as healthy as it is flavorful, and can be enjoyed by vegans and omnivores alike.
Gazpacho is a great vegan dish. It may take a bit of getting used to if you are not already a fan, as many people aren’t used to chilled soups. But, once you’re used to it, it is delicious and great for you!
What you’ll need
3 cups tomato juice (use V8 if you don’t want to buy organic)
2 tomatoes, diced
¼ cup green pepper, large diced
¼ cup onion, large diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small cucumber, diced
1 small jalapeño, finely diced (optional)
Cilantro as garnish
Salt to taste
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Chill for a few hours (the longer the better!), and garnish with cilantro before serving. This is a great, easy, and quick recipe that anyone with an open mind is sure to love!
Fresh Quinoa Salad
If you are looking for a healthy addition to any diet, quinoa is an incredible grain for vegans and others on restricted diets. It is high in protein, fiber, and gluten free, so even those with a gluten intolerance can enjoy this versatile grain! Used in South America by the Mayans, this super grain has stood the test of time, and may be in part to its ease of cooking. Quinoa is prepared much like rice by adding it to boiling water and allowing it to absorb the liquid over a period of time. Once it is cooked, the possibilities are endless. Add any vegetables and nuts you would like, and your dish will likely still end up delicious! One of my favorite ways to prepare quinoa is to add sliced almonds, diced vegetables, and lemon juice! It is a light and delicious vegan recipe.
Here’s what you’ll need
1 ½ cup quinoa
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup small diced green peppers
¼ cup small diced onions
¼ cup small diced celery
¼ cup edamame
¼ cup sliced almonds
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt to taste
Prepare the quinoa by the directions on the box. When it is done cooking, let the quinoa cool before adding anything to prevent souring. Saute the garlic, pepper, onion, celery, and edamame in a small amount of oil until soft. Add to cooled quinoa, mix. Add sliced almonds and distribute through the mixture and incorporate the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Feel free to add more salt depending on your taste or your dietary restrictions. I like serving this while it’s still a little warm, but this tastes great cold, too!
Avocado and Tomato Sandwich
Who doesn’t love a good sandwich? One of the easiest things a vegan can put together is a sandwich! But spring leaves cravings for more than almond butter and jelly sandwiches, so we have to get creative. This sandwich is so addicting, and gives you your healthy fats and other essential nutrition while being super simple!
What you’ll need
2 slices of vegan bread
1 avocado, sliced lengthwise into thin strips
1 tomato, sliced
A handful of alfalfa sprouts
A few slices of red onion
1 tablespoon Veganaise (or any variation of vegan mayonnaise, I personally prefer this brand)
Toast bread. Mince basil and combine with Veganaise, spread on slices of bread. Add avocado, tomato, alfalfa sprouts, and red onion.
Sweet Potato Fries
These are easy and a great addition any to a meal any time of year!
What you’ll need:
2 sweet potatoes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup olive oil
Slice sweet potatoes into a basic French fry shape. In a bowl, beat together the garlic powder, salt, black pepper, and olive oil until they are well combined. Toss the sweet potatoes in the oil (you will have some oil left over) and place on a lined baking sheet. Cook at 350 for 15 – 20 minutes, or until tender. I have found that baking times vary depending on your preference for thinness and the oven used.
To finish this meal, you can make a simple fruit salad with pineapple, strawberry, kiwi, and blueberry. I promise you will feel amazing after eating all of the delicious fresh and vegan ingredients in this meal!