Making positive changes to the way you eat can be challenging, especially if you’re new to cooking from scratch or learning different techniques. One of the biggest objections I hear from people resistant to change is lack of time – cooking a whole-food plant-based diet just takes up too much of this precious commodity.
It’s true that some dishes can take a while, and that often the last thing you want to do on a busy week day evening is spend a couple of hours chopping and stirring your way to a dinner you may just be too tired to eat.
But not all whole-food plant-based recipes make you a slave to the kitchen. In fact, I find it the simplest and quickest way of rustling up a super tasty and nutritious meal with minimal ingredients. But then, I do like a challenge and enjoy creative, eclectic dishes. Not everyones ideal!
So with this in mind, I’m going to share a selection of super quick recipes that take between 10-20 minutes tops and still include a lovely rainbow array of fresh produce, healthy whole-grains and nutritious plant proteins.
To start off, here’s a super quick roasted veg and lentil dish that is packed full of lovely rainbow nutrients and fibre. Roasting veg means that you get a lovely intense flavour, but also are freed up to do other things whilst they’re cooking in the oven. And if you’re wondering how lentils can be cooked in 20 minutes, the answer is use ready cooked ones. Tinned green lentils are so useful to have to hand, I always keep some in my cupboard. Although recently I have been buying these ready-cooked puy lentils instead. With a firmer texture and deeper flavour, they really are rather delicious and make dishes super rich and enjoyable.
Cashew cream adds an extra element of flavour as well as healthy fats. Adding some roasted garlic to the mix pops in some healthful phytonutrients too.
This dish is so easy, super tasty and full of amazing anti-inflammatory plant-based foods, I’m sure you will enjoy it so much it will become a quick weekday regular.
Roasted rainbow veg and lentils
- 2 small parsnips
- 2 medium carrots
- 1 small sweet potato
- olive oil spray or water
- 1 medium red pepper
- 1/2 head broccoli
- 250 grams cooked green or puy lentils drained from a tin or in a foil packet
- 2 handfuls rocket or spinach
- 1 portion garlic cashew cream optional - p259 of my book
- Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC
- Peel the parsnip, carrot and sweet potato (if not organic or if the skin is too marked). Chop into small chunks and rinse under the tap. Tip onto a baking tray and add a couple of squirts of olive oil spray (optional as the water from rinsing will help the veg brown). Place the tray in the oven to roast.
- Chop the red pepper into chunks and add to the baking tray. Then slice the broccoli and rinse. Tip onto the tray after the other veg have been roasting for 10 minutes.
- Warm the lentils in small pan. Make the cashew cream.
- After 20 minutes the veg should be soft and cooked through. Remove the tray from the oven. Spoon half the lentils into a large bowl, top with half the roasted veg, cashew cream and finished with rocket and spinach. Repeat for the second portion.