|Homemade individual pizza|
I am not much of a meal planner (although I do try!) but we have several dinner routines that make life considerably easier for me. This post summarises some of them.
|Chickpea flour pancakes with quintuple spiced lentil eggplant curry|
First up, set meals. There are two to three nights each week where a standing dinner applies. This means there are two or three nights each week where I don't need to spend time thinking up dinner.
- Saturday: Mr Bite has a take away burger and I have something easy to prepare that he's unlikely to enjoy (think lots of tofu, vegetables, quinoa, legumes, sweet potato, and/or spices).
- Thursday: We make homemade pizza on alternate Thursdays (at the moment, using a base adapted from No Meat and Three Veg). On the alternating Thursday, we may eat out or buy take away if we're in the mood for that, but otherwise any of the meals below may apply.
- Friday: Mr Bite cooks a pasta or rice dish.
|Simple but effective|
On the nights where we don't have a set routine, the following dishes are in frequent rotation. They usually appear fortnightly or so, but sometimes even weekly.
- Stir fry tofu with rice or noodles (Mr Bite sometimes has Quorn strips instead, which he prefers). I have recently been enjoying a Marmite variation of my Vegemite tofu stir fry, and also did a saucier remake of my recent teriyaki tofu.
- Baked potatoes with baked beans. We also enjoy baked potatoes with other fillings, but baked beans are something we'll both have and are cheap and quick to prepare.
- Lentils or other legumes with chickpea flour pancakes. Example recipes include my quintuple spiced lentil eggplant curry and spiced pancakes with tomato and basil beans. I love these meals because the same basic dish can be endlessly adjusted by mixing up the beans / accompanying vegetables / spices. Plus, Mr Bite enjoys legumes in this form.
- Linda McCartney veggie sausages or store bought vegan falafel balls. I try not to use processed products too often, but these options provides an easy meal that we both enjoy. I tend to serve the falafel balls in wraps, whilst the sausages may appear in rolls or with some simple vegetable sides. In Australia, we also enjoyed Fry's vegetarian schnitzels (they are available here, but at greater cost and from fewer stores).
|Linda McCartney veggie sausages with roast vegetables|
There are also some seasonal options that I pull out at different times of year: soup with bread, savoury pancakes or savoury scones in winter, and salad with cold potatoes and tofu or beans (me) or smoked salmon (Mr Bite) in summer.
|A Saturday night type meal - lots of foods Mr B does not enjoy!|
By the time these standard meals are rotated through, it isn't too often that I need to think up new dishes. I do like to try something different at least once per week, but I am clearly a creature of habit most of the time. For me, the biggest advantage of this approach is convenience, aided by always having the ingredients for our standard meals on hand.
One additional point to note is that Mr Bite is not vegan, or even fully vegetarian. We do have 'his and hers' variations of meals in light of this - such as the smoked salmon he likes in summer, and the Quorn strips he'll have in place of tofu. There are other similar scenarios too, but as this post is vegan focused, I haven't gone into them in detail for this post. Suffice to say, though, that he will usually have fish at least once per week and cheese is added to many dishes he has.
Do you plan your evening meals in advance? Or do you have your own routines to facilitate an easy dinner time?