I have to admit, I have a great view while I work, even on a stormy day. However, because I’ve been incredibly busy lately both with working and trying to get things straight to move back to my beloved Asheville, I haven’t had a lot of time to devote to prepping and cooking food. So here is a bit of what I’ve been eating over the past week.

Peanut butter tofu with veggies and brown rice. This dish (and a bunch of variations on it) has been in regular rotation for me for a long time. I can’t share a recipe, because I always wing it and use what I have laying around. Generally though, I dry-fry tofu until it’s golden brown (I used frozen and thawed tofu for this version, and it worked great), and then set aside. Then I add canola oil, and saute vegetables. Most of the time I use frozen vegetables because there is no prep involved and you can get a nice variety for really cheap. After the vegetables are cooked, I add the tofu back into the pan. In a small bowl, I combine peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sriacha or chili-garlic sauce, crushed garlic, minced ginger, and water, and then whisk. I pour this over the vegetables and tofu, and toss to coat. Turn off the heat, and serve.

One great tip for being able to throw together quick meals is to always keep extra cooked grains on hand. For example, any time I make brown rice, I make at least four cups of it. It lasts up to a week in the fridge, and you don’t have to worry about having a healthy, filling base for a weeknight meal.

Black beans with Salsa. This is so ridiculously easy: saute aromatics (garlic, onion), add 1 can of drained and rinsed beans, and about half a jar of really chunky salsa. Serve with rice. I also had some orange baked tofu.

Cajun-Creole-Spiced Tempeh Pieces with Creamy Grits from Vegan Soul Kitchen by Bryant Terry. Ok, so this wasn’t exactly a quick meal, but it was fucking delicious. The tempeh is tossed with a ton of spices in this recipe, and the flavors are so vibrant. And spicy! I’ve always loved grits, but I’ve never had them with almond milk and creamed cashews, which made them so creamy and rich-tasting. I also thought the cherry tomato/green onion (I didn’t have the leeks called for in the recipe, so I used a large scallion) went really well with the tempeh and grits. This recipe made me really sad that I haven’t made very much from this cookbook. Now I’ve got several pages marked so I can try more in the future. I also love that every recipe comes with a song suggestion!

I’ve also been eating meals out of Student’s Go Vegan Cookbook by Carole Raymond. I received this cookbook as a Christmas present from my cousins, and it’s been a great help to me. Sometimes I come home and don’t feel like being creative, so I just want a cookbook I can rely on that doesn’t have ingredient lists a mile long, and with recipes that are truly quick. So far, I’ve made several recipes from this book, and they have all proved simple yet flavorful. The Chinese Vegetable Lo Mein with Tofu, the Barbecued Beans, Caramelized Onion, Walnut, and Sage Pizza, and the Crusty Tempeh Cutlets are all particularly awesome.

What are your favorite quick weeknight meals?

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