Three Ultra-Fast Plant-based Meals… Using Canned Food

I value and enjoy making meals for myself and my family from local and in-season ingredients, blah blah blah sometimes you just need to crack open a can and call it a day. Here are my top three cheater meals you can have on the table in under five minutes.

canned food meals

Baked Beans on Toast

Canned baked beans were a mainstay of my diet in the 90s. I would pour them into a bowl, grate cheese on top, cover the bowl in *plastic wrap,* and microwave until steaming hot. I KNOW!!!

Now, I pour them into a bowl, grate nothing on top, cover the bowl with nothing, and microwave until medium hot to maintain nutrients. (Stovetops work too, of course.)

Scrape onto buttered toast and eat with knife and fork. Bonus! My kids both like this, too. How can they not? Baked beans are sweet, savoury, and creamy—top comfort food material.

Refried Bean Tacos

Heat a can of refried beans, spread onto wheat or corn tortillas, add some salsa from a jar if you’d like, and top with any veggies you happen to have: shredded red cabbage, shredded carrots, lettuce, and avocado are all leading taco topping contenders for us. Don’t forget the hot sauce!

Chickpea Salad Sandwiches

Fun fact: in 2010/2011 I kept a vegan food blog, mostly for recording my own recipes, although it does have seven loyal subscribers. It’s way too embarrassing to link to (do you ever cringe reading things you wrote in the past? I do constantly) but I bring this up to say that I wrote about chickpea salad back then and said “this is so delicious that my mouth is watering just thinking about it and i’m still full from eating it.” 

That is still true. 

This is basically the vegan version of the tuna salad sandwiches that many of us are familiar with. To make: open a can of chickpeas, drain and rinse, then mash them up in a bowl until there are no whole chickpeas left. Add a dollop of mayo, a diced pickle or two, and a splash of the pickle brine. Have on toasted bread, with crackers/veggies, or scooped onto salad.