Sunday, October 28, 2012

30 minute meals, including tahini sushi

As the end of Vegan MoFo approaches, I thought I would mention some of the quick and easy meals that we have had this month. Some of them have been mentioned before and are semi-regular dishes for us. Others are new or appear less often. All of them can be prepared in 30 minutes or so, which sometimes is a critical factor when deciding what to have for dinner.

Tahini sushi

I made this in the same week as my sushi salad, having decided in advance to make a double batch of sushi rice. I liked the idea of putting tahini into sushi form, and used nothing more than tahini and finely sliced cucumber and carrot as the sushi filling. It was surprisingly delicious and is definitely something I will make again.

Served with a side of edamame beans

If you are using pre-cooked sushi rice then this dish can be made in 5 minutes flat. If you aren't, cooling the rice in the fridge or freezer should allow you to go from uncooked rice to finished sushi in close to the 30 minute time frame!

Mexican with cauliflower rice

This is almost two meals in one, as the first stage was a repeat version of stacked quesadillas. They have become a regular dinner for us, as they provide an easy vegetarian meal that Mr B and I both love. 

Stacked quesadillas

Last week, I paired leftover filling from the quesadillas with cauliflower rice. It made for a great lunch, and I almost liked it more than the original quesadilla dish from the night before.

Leftover quesadilla filling with cauliflower rice

This used about one-third of a head of cauliflower, processed into cauliflower rice, and a mix of tomato salsa, refried beans, lentils, grated zucchini and grated carrot for the topping. I squeezed some lime juice on the cauliflower before serving.

Supermarket black bean stir fry

After our enjoyment of Wok to Walk in Portugal, I promised Mr Bite that I would get my wok down from the top shelf of the pantry and have a go at re-creating their version of vegetable stir fry. I also, foolishly, promised that I would make him the black bean sauce that he enjoyed on his orders.

This was foolish because in the week I wanted to make this, I couldn't find black beans at any of our nearby supermarkets. I have previously bought the beans at a further away store, but didn't have the time (or inclination) to go there in the week in question. I thus gave in and bought a supermarket jar, which was part of what made this meal so quick.

I used to use my wok regularly, but over time have moved to using flat non-stick pans for stir fries instead. They are easier to store and to clean. I did enjoy re-discovering the wok for a change, and had forgotten how helpful it is for tossing ingredients whilst cooking.

I did my utmost to make Mr Bite's dish as close to the ones he had whilst away, which meant plenty of noodles, plenty of sauce, and a vegetable list that included onions, capsicum (pepper), bok choi and bean sprouts. My version was heavier on vegetables and lighter on sauce, with brocolli playing a starring role. It was also cooked in a regular pan because we only have one wok. We both had tofu, although I didn't bother marinating it separately before cooking.

The sauce was declared sufficiently authentic, we both liked our meals, and I think black bean flavours will be appearing again (possibly, next time, from scratch).

Stuffed peppers

These used to be a near weekly dish, so I was surprised to note that I didn't have a recipe for stuffed peppers on my Recipe page. I suppose they are so simple that a recipe is almost redundant. 

This version was made using two yellow peppers, which were cut in half and roasted in a 200'C oven for 15 minutes. While they were roasting, I cooked one cup of rice in two cups of vegetable stock and sauteed some diced onion, celery and carrot in a non-stick pan. When the rice was cooked, I combined the rice and vegetables, along with some diced tofu and dried basil, and then spooned the rice mixture into the pepper halves. If you roast the stuffed peppers for an additional 10 - 15 minutes, the meal is done. 

Much as I love adventurous and/or new dishes, sometimes a quick and easy meal is what is called for. I also like reflecting on how our tastes have changed over time - stuffed peppers have gone through a high and low period, and are only now returning to the rotation. We also used to have veggie sausages at least fortnightly, whereas we are now slightly off them. I am sure in another few months it will all change again.

What quick and easy meals have you been enjoying lately?

This post is part of my Vegan Month of Food contributions for October 2012. 


  1. Everything there looks good! I'm intrigued by the sushi. I want to try making that again.. I did once and it fell apart when I cut it.

    1. I have had that problem too - and still do, sometimes! I find using a sharp knife and cutting reasonably thick slices to help; thin ones are impossible for me to manage. Making sure the rice is cold and you have enough rice vinegar makes a difference too.

  2. Love the sound of the tahini sushi! I'd have to throw sriracha in there somewhere though ;)

  3. all your meals look great- and you remind me that I really want to try making my own sushi!

    1. It's well worth it! I hadn't made it for ages prior to this but want to make it something regularly from now on.

  4. The last sushi that I made had no filling - that is how sylvia prefers it. I love the bowls of endamame by your sushi - looks delicious.

    I go in phases with favourite meals - and it changes with the weather too - will be making more burgers with lots of salad now that the weather is getting warmer - and more stirfries - I don't do enough vegies - like the idea of chopped tofu tossed in with the rice

    1. Bless Sylvia's taste buds :) At least filling-less sushi would be simple!

      I suspect our tastes will adjust in line with summer temperatures too. We seem to have a lot of cold potatoes in summer whereas the rest of the year they don't interest me at all. With that said, Mr B would have soup in 35'C weather if I served it. He is odd that way - I am far more temperature dependent!

  5. I LOVE the look of the leftover filling with cauliflower rice. i can taste it now! glad to have stopped by x

    1. Thanks Meg! I'm glad you stopped by too, and that you like the look of the cauliflower rice dish. It was pretty delicious :)

  6. Some great looking quick meals here! I used to make stir frys with black bean sauce frequently but haven't done so for a long time now, and I still haven't tried out cauliflower rice. I usually make a bowl of pasta or a noodle dish for a fast meal as they always come together quickly for me.

    1. Pasta is a definite winner for a quick meal. Mr Bite makes it weekly so we usually have it taken as an option, but it is one we use a lot when travelling if we have self-catering facilities!


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