Thursday 7 May 2020

My Top Five Easy Time Saving Vegetarian and Vegan Recipe Hacks For Lock down

With the Lock down extended, we are spending more time at home with the family. Working from home is increasing difficult with all the interruptions you get and having a schedule is very important. I find having a free digital planner is helpful. 
The second interruptions is feeding the kids and family constantly during lock down as every one is at home.One of the most asked questions I get from my readers is what can I cook, my kids are always hungry? I am constantly in the kitchen making breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks and I am running out ideas of what to cook without spending hours in the kitchen. I feel like I am chained to the kitchen stove!!

In this post I am going to teach you some great hacks that will free you from kitchen time. I am a vegetarian, almost vegan although not fully since I do consume dairy products like milk, butter and cheese. Being vegetarian is not difficult as it just needs carefully balancing your diet by eating the right foods. If you are already a vegetarian or vegan and worried that your body might be missing anything you can take a nutritional test  to find out if your body is lacing in anything. If you want to take the test for peace of mind I have a 15% off discount code you can use.

Back to the recipe hacks, each portion in the recipe ideas will serve an average family of four.

1. The Chilli Hack
Make a big pot of vegetarian chilli, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a pan, fry 1 onion and a couple of cloves of garlic until onions turn pink and translucent. Next add in a couple of tins of  kidney beans, 1 tin of sweetcorn, 2 tins of chopped tomatoes, 1 carrot diced, 1 courgette diced, 1 sweet potato diced, 1 each red and green peppers dice. Add  500 ml water and simmer the chilli on a low heat for 30 minutes. After 30 mins add Italian herbs, salt to taste, paprika, chilli flakes and black pepper. Simmer for another five minutes until chilli is thick and bubbling. Mash a few of the beans down with the back of the spoon to make it rich and creamy. If you have a family of 4 this makes enough for three family meals. Divide the chilli into three separate tupperware. Keep one tub for immediate use and freeze the other two for later use.

Meal One
Serve chilli in tacos with lots of salad topped with cheese, sour cream and avocado.

Meal Two
Serve chilli with spaghetti or courgetti and a side of garlic bread.

Meal three
Serve the chilli with either boiled rice or quinoa and a side salad.

2. The Smoothie Hack
Buy any seasonal fruit such as apples, pears, bananas, kiwi, peaches, melon, watermelon, nectarines, strawberries, pineapple, mangoes, blue berries, blackberries and raspberries. (Avoid oranges, clementines and satsumas are they don't freeze well) Peel if necessary like melon and kiwi, rest of the fruit  you can just wash, and chop up into 1 inch pieces.
Get some zip lock bags and make individual smoothie packs, ask your family members what they like in their smoothie mix and encourage them to make their own bags by  choosing a mix of three or more different fruits. You can also sneak in some kale, spinach, piece of ginger or fresh turmeric root to increase the health benefit. Label the smoothie packs and put into the freezer.

In the morning each person can choose their smoothie pack, put it into a blender with either 100 ml of water, plant based milk, normal milk or juice of their choice and blend. You now have a perfect glass of homemade smoothie either for breakfast or  mid morning snack. Use sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup if needed.

3. The Curry Hack
In a large pan heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil, add 4 cloves finely chopped garlic, 2 finely chopped onions and saute till onions are translucent, add 2 tins of chopped tomatoes or the a couple of boxes of passata  and 1 teaspoonful ginger paste. Next add salt to taste, 1 teaspoon of chilli powder, 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder, 1/2 teaspoon of coriander powder, 1/2 teaspoon of cumin powder and cook the mixture until oil starts to separate.Divide the curry sauce into three tubs.

Meal one 
Put the curry sauce in a frying pan and add some chopped baby spinach, saute for 2-3 minutes  and then add 2 tins of drained cooked chickpeas and 100 ml water. Simmer for 5 minutes and you have a lovely chickpea and spinach curry ready to serve with any flat bread.

Meal Two
Boil some some baby potatoes in salted water until tender. Drain and keep aside. In a pan heat up the tub of curry sauce, add the boiled potatoes and 100 ml of water. Simmer the potatoes for 5 minutes in the sauce and you have a delicious Bombay Aloo to serve with some rice.

Meal Three
Steam some cauliflower florets until tender. In a pan add the last tub of curry sauce and add 100 ml water. Now add the steamed florets and toss to cover with the curry sauce. Stir fry the cauliflower in the curry sauce for 3-4 minutes. Warm the pitta bread and split it open, fill it with cauliflower curry and top with some cooling yoghurt

4. The Roasted Vegetable Hack
In a large roasting pan add couple of red onion slices, 3 red peppers cut into slices, fennel bulb,some garlic pods, two big punnets of cherry tomatoes. Season with salt and coarsely ground black pepper and a generous drizzle of olive oil and Italian herbs. Roast the vegetables in the oven for 30 mins. Once the vegetables are roasted mash up the garlic cloves and mix everything together. Add chilli flakes at this point if you prefer a little spicy kick. Divide the mixture into two parts.

Meal One
Spread some hummus onto tortilla warps and spoon over the roasted vegetables and wrap up the tortilla. Serve the wraps with some sweet potato wedges.

Meal Two 
Boil some pasta, once its cooked add the roasted vegetables to it and toss together to heat through. Serve the  pasta with lots of Parmesan shavings and garlic bread slices.

5. The Soup Hack

In a pan heat two tablespoon full of  olive oil, add a couple of cloves of roughly chopped garlic, 2 kg of chopped tomatoes and 500 ml water. Boil the soup for 10 minutes until tomatoes are soft.
Remove from heat and blend the soup. Strain the soup to remove any skin and seeds. Return the tomato soup to the pan and season with salt and black pepper.
Divide the soup into two portions.

Meal one
Serve the tomato soup with some fresh crusty bread.

Meal two
Chop up a carrot, potato, some celery and put it all in a microwaveable pot. Cook the vegetables for 5 minutes or until tender. In a large pan add the cooked tomato soup, and add the cooked vegetables with 100 ml of water. Add a handful of mini soup pasta and simmer the soup till pasta is cooked.
Serve the vegetable soup with bread rolls.

All the recipes ideas I have shared can be frozen and cuts down on time spent in the kitchen. I hope you find these time saving these hacks useful. I also find looking through recipe books for recipe ideas a great way to create delicious recipes on the budget.
I would love to hear if you have any hacks that you use to cut down on time spent in the kitchen. You can also check out this post about vegetarian cooking on a budget.

**collaborative post.


  1. Great post I do love meals that are versatile and can be used in various ways x

  2. The smoothie bags are a great idea to avoid food waste and have a mix of fruit and veg ready to go at any moment

  3. Ooooh that chilli looks amazing! I'm a huge fan of veggie chillies. We usually serve ours in tacos, the best thing is making quesadillas with leftovers the next day!!

  4. I'm loving the idea of making one big pot of food last two or three meals - perfect for when you want to be doing anything other than cooking.

  5. I do love a kitchen hack. I made a massive pot of chilli today and will turn it into various meals over the next few days.

  6. These recipes are so easy to prepare and they do look delicious as well. I am loving the smoothing hack ideas. I would love to do this and keep then frozen for a quick fix

  7. Who doesn't like a hack?! I'll bookmark this - definitely going to try the chickpea curry and Bombay Aloo!

  8. Oh these are great tips! I am always looking for ways to save time midweek (once everything gets a little more back to normal) and these are perfect!

  9. Brilliant hacks, I often run out of ideas for meals and these all look super quick and tasty

  10. Smoothies are a great way to get sneaky nutrients into kids and we love how you've separated the ingredients into bags.

  11. This is great. I am vegan so this is perfect for me and will be trying a few of these out x


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