Vegan Meal Prep for a Kitchen Remodel

mini vegan burritos

In less than a week, I’m going to lose my kitchen for around 6 weeks. Not in an intense game of hide and seek, like you might think. My kitchen is being remodeled! It’s exciting but also scary because what am I going to eat for all those meals? I’ll still have access to my fridge, but I won’t have access to anything else in my kitchen. I tried to find a blog post from other vegans who have been in this situation but wasn’t able to, so I’m documenting my experience in an effort to help future vegan victims of the kitchen remodel.

Every vegan meal that I plan will assume the following.

  • I will have access to my fridge at all times.
  • All dishes will have to be washed in a bathroom sink.
  • I will only be able to use a single burner (with a small pot) and my air fryer to heat up food. (My instant pot liner is too large to wash in the bathroom sink.)
  • I’ll also have access to my hot water kettle and my coffee maker.
  • I’ll be buying a water filtering pitcher since my water filter is in my kitchen and will be inaccessible.

I have 3 nearby vegan restaurants and a couple food truck options, so I will likely order some takeout, but I’d rather save money and make as many meals as possible at home.

I’ll separate my list of meals by how I plan to reheat or cook them, in case not everyone reading this has a single burner or an air fryer. At the end of this post, I’m including a short list of meals that don’t require cooking, but since it’s winter, I’m not anticipating wanting any cold meals.

Air Fryer Meals

Breakfast Sandwiches

vegan breakfast sandwiches

I made a bunch of my vegan air fryer omelettes and froze them in a ziplock freezer bag to make breakfast sandwiches with. (Don’t forget to label all your freezer bags, because things start to all look the same in the freezer.) We usually order the 365 brand of organic everything bagels and the kite hill chive cream cheese from Whole Foods in our weekly grocery order, so I’ll toast the bagels in the air fryer for 3 minutes on 370º and reheat the omelettes at the same temperature for 5-7 minutes. Then, I’ll make breakfast sandwiches with the omelettes, the kite hill cream cheese, some violife cheese slices, and maybe some bacon strips. All of these items can be reheated in the air fryer individually, or we can assemble the breakfast sandwiches and heat them all together. We just need to add some sriracha mayo or some other sauce to it before eating, because as you know, the air fryer sometimes dries food out a bit.

Mini Breakfast Burritos

vegan mini burritos

Breakfast burritos might have breakfast in their name, but I’m planning on eating these for lunches and dinners. Costco sells a gazillion mini organic flour tortillas for hella cheap, so I’ve been making all sorts of vegan wrapped items to reheat during the remodel.

My breakfast burritos are just standard: tofu scramble, cheese, hashbrowns, and bacon. After wrapping them all (and eating some, of course), I wrapped the leftover burritos in compostable cling wrap and transferred them to a ziplock freezer bag. The nice thing about mini burritos is that if I forget to defrost them in the fridge the night before, I can still reheat them in the air fryer straight from the freezer. They’ll just take 2-3 times as long to cook, but we’re talking about the difference between 5 minutes and 10-15 minutes, which is still super quick compared to how long it usually takes me to make dinner. I’ll reheat them in the air fryer at 350º for 5-minute increments until they’re crispy and warm.

Mini Bean and (Vegan) Cheese Burritos

As you may have read above, I’m rich in tortillas, so I also made some bean, rice, and vegan cheese burritos with salsa. I wrapped the burritos in compostable cling wrap and transferred them to a ziplock freezer bag. I’ll reheat them in the air fryer at 350º for 5-minute increments until they’re crispy and warm. This will take around 7-10 minutes if they’re defrosted or 10-15 minutes, if they’re frozen.

Pizza

vegan heart pizza pockets

I make pizza almost every week around here, so I knew pizza had to be one of the items I prepared. I made my pizza pockets, because the tops are all enclosed, which will make for a less messy cleanup. If you’re not as worried about cleanup as I am, you can make my pizza donuts, which are even tastier in my opinion. Once they cooled, I wrapped them individually in compostable cling wrap and transferred them to a ziplock freezer bag. I plan to defrost them the night before by transferring them to the fridge. Then I’ll reheat them in the air fryer at 350º for 5-10 minutes. I think my air fryer can probably reheat these if I forgot to thaw them too. It will just take longer to cook them. I’ll update this post if that happens to give exact times for each.

Stuffed Pretzel Bites

Vegan Stuffed Bunny Tail Pretzel Bites

Follow my pretzel bite recipe. Then when they are completely cool, transfer them to a ziplock freezer bag and freeze them. Reheat them straight from the freezer in the air fryer at 350º for 5 minutes, after coating the air fryer basket with oil to keep them from sticking. Dip them in mustard.

Savory Waffles

Vegan Buffalo Chicken Waffles

Follow one of my savory waffle recipes. I have buffalo chicken waffles, pizza waffles, and minestrone waffles. When they are completely cool, transfer them to a ziplock freezer bag and freeze them. Reheat them straight from the freezer in the air fryer at 350º for 5 minutes, after coating the air fryer basket with oil to keep them from sticking. Dip them in organic marinara or vegan ranch.

Savory Scones

vegan bacon and cheddar scones

Since I collaborate with Amy’s Kitchen a lot, they gifted me some of their vegan canned soups for the holidays. I plan to use my single burner and my small pot to reheat the soups during the remodel. But I was worried the soup alone might not be filling enough, so I made some [bacon and cheddar scones(/recipes/vegan-savory-scones/) to reheat as an accompaniment on soup days. I followed my recipe and baked them as usual. Then when they were completely cool, I wrapped them individually in compostable cling wrap and transferred them to a ziplock freezer bag. On soup night, I took them out of the freezer and reheated them in the air fryer at 300º for 5 minutes.

Casseroles

I made 3 meals that I consider to fall into the category of casserole. The ideal situation is to make them in single serving portions, like a cupcake pan or donut pan.

Enchilada Casserole

vegan enchilada cupcakes

My enchilada cupcakes are a good example of this. I baked a double batch of these and froze half of them. Once they cooled down, I wrapped them individually with compostable cling wrap and transferred them to a ziplock freezer bag. To reheat them, I’ll defrost them completely by taking them out of the freezer the night before and leaving them in the fridge for around 24 hours. Then I’ll unwrap them and pop them into the air fryer for 5-10 minutes at 350º.

Since not everything holds well together when baked in a cupcake pan, here is how I handled my other 2 casserole recipes: tuna casserole and lasagna.

Tuna Casserole

bite of vegan tuna casserole

I followed my tuna casserole recipe that I make about once a month in my house, but when it was time to transfer it into the baking dish, I lined an oven safe dish that fits into my air fryer basket (which happens to be the same pan I use to bake my bread in) with parchment paper and scooped the pasta into that dish. Then I froze the dish without baking it. The next day, I removed the frozen casserole from the dish, wrapped it in compostable cling wrap as tightly as possible, and sealed it in a ziplock bag.

To reheat it, I’ll defrost it completely by taking it out of the freezer the night before and leaving it in the fridge overnight. Then, in the morning, I’ll unwrap it and place it back into the baking dish that fits into my air fryer, and will leave it out (somewhere that my dog can’t sneak and steal it) until around a half hour before dinnertime. I’ll place the baking dish into my air fryer and will set the air fryer to 350º. I’ll reheat it for 20-30 minutes, in 10-minute increments. If it starts to get too brown on the top, I cover it with foil to make sure it won’t burn on top before the middle is cooked.

Lasagna

I followed this spinach and mushroom lasagna recipe from Vegan Huggs, and while the proportions were a little off for my liking (not enough ricotta or veggies and too much sauce), my family thought it was delicious! Like the other recipes, I doubled the recipe to make some to eat the day I made it and some to save for the kitchen remodel. I baked it all, but when I baked the one to reheat in the air fryer later, I followed the same steps as the tuna casserole recipe. I lined an oven safe dish that fits into my air fryer basket with parchment paper and layered the lasagna into that dish. Then I froze the lasagna in the baking dish once it cooled down completely. The next day, I removed the frozen lasagna from the baking dish, wrapped it in compostable cling wrap as tightly as possible, and sealed it in a ziplock bag.

To reheat it, I’ll defrost it completely by taking it out of the freezer the night before and leaving it in the fridge overnight. Then, in the morning, I’ll unwrap it and place it back into the baking dish that fits into my air fryer, and will leave it out (somewhere that my dog can’t sneak and steal it) until around a half hour before dinnertime. I’ll place the baking dish into my air fryer and will set the air fryer to 350º. I’ll reheat it for 20-30 minutes, in 10-minute increments. If it starts to get too brown on the top, I cover it with foil to make sure it won’t burn on top before the middle is cooked.

Totchos

Totchos are the perfect meal for nights when you forgot to defrost something the night before. Cook frozen tots in the air fryer at 380º for 5-minute increments, stirring every 5 minutes, until they’re the desired crispiness. You can add some grated vegan cheese to them for the last 5 minutes if you want. Then put some into a bowl and top with refried beans, guacamole, and salsa.

Pot Pie

vegan chicken pot pie

I’ll be making my vegan pot pie recipe this weekend, which always makes a lot of leftovers! I’ll bake it like normal, but will save 2 of the single serving heart dishes for the kitchen famine of 2021, haha. Once they cool down, I’ll wrap them tightly with compostable cling wrap and pop them into the freezer. The night before I want to eat them, I’ll transfer them from the freezer to the fridge to defrost for around 24 hours.

To cook them, I’ll remove the compostable cling wrap and set them in the basket of my air fryer. I’ll set the air fryer to 350º and will heat them for 5-10 minutes.

Air Fryer Stir-Fry

I don’t think I can call this stir fry since there’s no rice involved, but I’m thinking that when I start to run out of freezer meals that I made in advance, I might be able to make an air fryer stir fry by cutting up veggies and making my tofu jenga and cooking it all in the air fryer. I think I’ll probably cook this at 390º for 20 minutes, stopping the air fryer every 5 minutes to stir it and make sure it’s not getting overcooked. This means I need to remember to leave a mixing bowl out for marinating my tofu. Normally, I would make a teriyaki sauce to go with this, but since I won’t have access to most of my kitchen tools, I’ll probably just top this with Braggs liquid aminos or soy sauce.

Corn Dogs

Field roast makes some cute corn dog bites that can be cooked in the air fryer if you don’t have time to make corn dogs in advance, like I didn’t. If you did have time to make you own in advance, reheat them straight from the freezer in your air fryer at 375º for 10-12 minutes, rotating them after 5 minutes. If you bought the mini vegan corn dogs from field roast, reheat them straight from the freezer in your air fryer at 375º for 8-10 minutes, stirring them after 5 minutes.

Twice Baked Potatoes and Single Baked Potatoes

Follow a recipe for twice baked potatoes, but before you bake them the second time, wrap them in compostable cling wrap as tightly as possible, and seal them in a ziplock freezer bag before you freeze them. This recipe from Hannah is a good one because it incorporates veggies. Then thaw them completely before reheating in the air fryer at 375º for 8 minutes. You can even top them with some extra grated vegan cheese and put them back into the air fryer for 2 more minutes if you like.

Making regular baked potatoes and baked yams in the air fryer is easy. Just wash them, stab them several times with a knife or fork, and coat them in oil before popping them into the air fryer at 390º for 45-50 minutes. I top mine with chili when they’re ready.

Packaged Food from the Store

a loaded vegan burger on a pink bun

I like the Sunshine brand of veggie burgers because they’re organic and have super clean ingredients. David likes the beyond burgers because they remind him of the hamburgers he had before he was vegan. My vegetable and grain veggie burgers only take 6 minutes in the air fryer at 370º, flipping halfway through. Beyond burgers need 8 minutes in the air fryer at 400º, flipping halfway through. When my kitchen isn’t taking a siesta, I usually make my own burger buns, but I’ll be buying buns from the store during my kitchenless 6 weeks. Burger buns will get warm and toasty in the air fryer in just 2 minutes at 370º. Then I’ll add lots of condiments and toppings, including guacamole and sauerkraut, because that’s what makes burgers really good.

My favorite brand of hot dogs is the field roast ones. I’ll be buying hot dogs and buns to make in the air fryer for nights when I run out of freezer meals. I’ll put the hot dogs into the air fryer basket and set it to 390º for 5 minutes. While the hot dogs cook, I’ll prepare the buns by filling them with sauerkraut and cheese. Then I’ll use my tongs (note to self, don’t pack the tongs) to grab the hot dogs from the air fryer and place them into the buns. I’ll grab the hot dog buns with the tongs and set them back into the air fryer basket and cook them for 2 more minutes to toast the buns. Then I’ll add condiments and sprouts or whatever else I have that looks good.

Gardein chicken nuggets can go in at 370º for 7 minutes and then flip them, and then 5-7 more minutes, depending how crispy you like them. Then I put about 5 of them on a bowl of baby mixed greens and I’ve been using follow your heart bottled dressings (which I never do) because it’s just easier to use bottled dressings when you don’t have a kitchen. I also added a few drops of Frank's RedHot to the salad.

Single Burner and Small Pot Meals

Pasta

vegan heart shaped transgender flag colored ravioli on a plate with marinara

I’ll follow my ravioli recipe, and after they’ve been boiled, I’ll line a tupperware with parchment paper and layer the ravioli in the tupperware, separating each layer of ravioli with parchment paper so they don’t stick together. Then I’ll freeze the tupperware.

To reheat it, I’ll defrost it completely by taking it out of the freezer the night before and leaving it in the fridge for around 24 hours. Then I’ll reboil them in my small pot of boiling water for 2-3 minutes. I’ll use my slotted spoon (I need to remember to not pack that up when I clear out my kitchen) to transfer the ravioli to a bowl, and I’ll open a jar of organic sauce to pour over them.

Or if I don’t have time to make ravioli before the kitchen crew show up to turn my life upside down, I can order kite hill ravioli from whole foods and have it delivered to my front porch.

Another night, I can just boil pasta with some frozen veggies or some handfuls of leafy greens and then mix that with some jarred sauce.

Chili

I don’t have my chili recipe on my website because it’s ugly, but I made a big batch of it and frozen some for the kitchenless future. I’ll be defrosting it and reheating it in my small pot to have as a dip for chips and a topping for tater tots, potatoes, and yams. I’ll cook the tater tots, potatoes, and yams in the air fryer while the chili warms in the pot.

Packaged Food from the Store

I have some cans of soup that Amy’s kitchen sent me and Whole Foods has Ocean’s Halo ramen bowls on sale right now (they have 3 flavors, and all of them are delicious and vegan) for like half price, so I stock up on those. I’ll heat the soup up in the pot on the burner, and the ramen bowls just require you to add boiling water, which I can heat using the hot water kettle.

No Cooking Needed

Some ideas for things I can eat that won’t require heating up include: Sandwiches Wraps Salads Carrots dipped in hummus Overnight oats

Coffee

coffee

I’ll be pre-grinding 6 weeks worth of coffee beans before packing up my grinder, along with all of my other kitchenly possessions. Then, I plan to set up a coffee making station in the laundry room, where we can make coffee every morning.

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