Quick veggie, chickpea and tofu bowl

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Here’s another quick weeknight meal. It’s one I reach for when I’m really short on time. Chopped raw veggies with beans over couscous takes only minutes to prepare and it’s a reliable kid-pleaser.

Today, I cubed tofu, covered it in olive oil, a splash of apple cider vinegar, garlic clove and oregano and put it under the broiler while I prepared the rest of the food. I added chopped broccoli under the broiler for the last five minutes and it was delicious.

For the grownups, I made a tahini-miso sauce. A couple tablespoons of tahini mixed with a tablespoon of each olive oil, miso and water to thin it.

Rinse the canned chickpeas under hot watch to get rid of some of the sodium from the can and warm them up. The couscous is ready about 5 minutes after the water boils – my kids like the rainbow couscous.

The best part – altogether, it takes about 15 minutes to prepare. What’s your easiest home-cooked weeknight dinner?

Prepping for the week

vegan meals ready to cook

This week, things are going to be different around here. I’m starting a new job and will be focused on learning everything I can about a new industry so I can write about it with authenticity. For the next few weeks, I’ll be making a longer commute to my new office – as I learn as much as I can from my new colleagues.

I’m not going to abandon this blog – but my posts may be more of a weekly or bi-weekly nature rather than a daily one. Since I won’t be the first one through the door, I won’t be making dinner.

My husband is going to be shouldering most of the family work until I can find some balance between work and home. He’s a great cook and we’re in good hands. We’re very lucky.

I’m doing my best to support him by stocking the freezer with supplies, helping with the meal planning and making fail-safe back up meals for those days when starting dinner from scratch is just too much to ask.

Some days, everything is not okay. The kids are feeling battered and bruised emotionally from something that happened at school (these are often little things to us but feel huge to my sensitive little ones – like someone saying my son’s tuque looks like an acorn or squabbles between friends). On these days, the littlest thing triggers tears or an argument.

Of course, we may have come home from challenging days as well. What’s left of our energy is spent restoring calm between siblings or soothing raw emotions. In the midst of this chaos, it’s nice to have dinner in the can (so to speak).

We’ll be meal planning throughout the week but these act as super simple back ups for when we need them. These meals are “just add water” or very simple steps.

Lentil and pasta soup – just dump the jar in boiling water and cook 12 minutes or until the lentils are done.

Lentils masala – this is one of my favourite meals but the list of ingredients is daunting. I’ve premixed the spices in a bag in the jar. Cook the lentils and at the same time, make a savoury sauce. The only actual prep is chopping an onion and opening a can of tomatoes.

TVP taco meat – one of our most relied-upon mid-week meals is tacos. The kids like them with black beans, avocado and whatever else we have on hand. But us parents want something different. Just pour boiling water over the TVP and wait 10 minutes and it’s good to go. Not gourmet but quick and sometimes that’s good enough.

These are also great to have on hand for babysitters. You can find plenty of options for these kinds of meals inĀ Vegan Food Gifts: More Than 100 Inspired Recipes for Homemade Baked Goods, Preserves, and Other Edible Gifts Everyone Will Love.

How do you prep for busy weeks?