4 steps to a easy vegan, gluten free dinner

If you have vegetables, beans and other vegan basics on hand, here is my go-to method for creating a one dish meal on the fly. Barely one week into my vegan challenge and I have relied on this for creating more than a couple meals. The best part? quick, easy, gluten free, and delicious! Not vegan? This is the perfect formula for say a Meatless Monday or a way to decrease the amount of meat eaten in a week.

Step 1 – choose your vegetables

Start with lots and lots of veggies!

Start with lots and lots of veggies!

spinach – kale – tomatoes – onion – broccoli – cauliflower – bell peppers – eggplant – green beans – carrots – ETC – many other options (these are the items I frequently have on hand)

Step 2 – saute and season vegetables in olive oil over medium heat

Just a tablespoon or so of oil, get most of the flavor from herbs and spices!

Just a tablespoon or so of oil, get most of the flavor from herbs and spices!

garlic – onion powder – oregano – curry powder – basil – cilantro – chili powder – cumin – balsamic vinegar – soy sauce – lime/lemon juice – ETC – many other options again!

Cook until veggies are tender or to your preference

Cook until veggies are tender or to your preference

Step 3 – add a plant based protein (or a combo of ingredients)

Keep canned beans on hand for pulling together a quick meal

Keep canned beans on hand for pulling together a quick meal

chick peas – brown rice – quinoa – cannellini beans – black beans – edamame – rice – kidney beans – ETC – and the ingredient should already be cooked (like the quinoa, brown rice and kidney beans)

Stir in the beans/grain and simmer just a couple minutes

Stir in the beans/grain and simmer just a couple minutes

Step 4 – remove from heat and add final toppings (optional)

Tonight's pick was salsa... although I found out this was a little too spicy for my liking

Tonight’s pick was salsa… although I found out this was a little too spicy for my liking

craisins – raisins – avocado – hummus – salsa – tahini – sunflower seeds – pine nuts – pesto (vegan – no parmesan cheese)

Quick, easy, one dish meal that maybe took a total of 10 minutes!

Quick, easy, one dish meal that maybe took a total of 10 minutes!

And that’s it! I try and make half my bowl vegetables so I go heavy in that department and eyeball to match that amount with the grains and the beans after the vegetables have cooked down. I have been loving the combo of balsamic vinegar and fresh garlic, and I hope to experiment with some international flavors, like curry, soon.