Let’s dive fork first into the “girl dinner” trend. The idea behind it is to whip up a quick and easy meal that’s more like a spread of appetizers than a traditional hearty dinner. Picture no-fuss finger foods bursting with flavor—perfect for a light yet satisfying meal.
But this trend deserves a compassionate makeover. Enter vegan “girl dinner”—the ultimate fusion of convenience, compassion, and tastiness. Some of these meals can have beautiful presentations, while others just involve putting together handfuls of things from the pantry. Vegetables in every color? “Girl dinner.” Beans on a taco shell? “Girl dinner.”
The ‘Why’ Behind Vegan ‘Girl Dinners’
Besides being delicious and easy, vegan “girl dinners” are a fantastic opportunity to reduce your carbon footprint. By some estimates, animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gases than all the world’s transportation systems combined. Plus, raising animals for food requires massive amounts of land, food, energy, and water and causes animals immense suffering. By going vegan, you’ll be supporting sustainable farming practices and reducing the demand for animal-based ingredients.
We’ve compiled a list of ideas to inspire your own vegan “girl dinner.” But don’t let the name fool you—these meals are for anyone at any time.
Chickpea ‘Tuna’ Salad on Crackers
Get ready for a taste sensation with this Vegan Chickpea Tuna recipe. Try making a batch on your meal prep day to enjoy throughout the week.
Choosing chickpeas over tuna shows respects for intelligent animals and helps fight the environmental havoc caused by fishing. Plus, you’re safeguarding your health from heavy metals and food poisoning.
Get ready to create a Mediterranean masterpiece! Arrange a colorful array of olives, cherry tomatoes, crunchy cucumber slices, creamy hummus, vegan feta, and whole wheat pita on your plate. It’s like a mini vacation for your taste buds.
When you buy vegan feta, you’re being kind to sheep. These sensitive animals exploited for their milk endure pain, stress, and confinement. Farmers separate mothers and lambs shortly after birth. Sheep are slaughtered when they stop making them money.
Isn’t eating food on a stick more fun? Load up skewers with a vibrant array of your favorite raw vegetables. Try red onions, bell pepper slices, cucumber rounds, and even precooked marinated tofu cubes. There are tons of dips to try with these skewers.
When you choose to leave meat and cheese off your skewers, you’re helping animals. In the U.S., a staggering 99% of animals used for food endure life on cramped, dismal farms. Workers cram animals into cages, crates, and sheds, robbing them of the opportunity to engage in natural behavior and to satisfy their needs. Many animals never experience the warmth of the sun or fresh air until they’re packed on trucks destined for slaughterhouses.
On meal prep night, whip up a trio of creamy hummus flavors: classic, roasted red pepper, and spinach artichoke, and enjoy them all week long. Or even easier, purchase ready-made hummus from the store. Then, pair the hummus with veggie sticks and pita triangles for a dippable delight.
Avocado Rose Toast
Avocado toast is one of the easiest things to make. If you’re feeling extra, take your avocado game to the next level by arranging slices in the shape of a rose on a slice of whole-grain toast. Sprinkle them with nutritional yeast, black sesame seeds, and a pinch of red pepper flakes for some extra flair.
Fill red cabbage cups with zesty quinoa salad featuring diced veggies, fresh herbs, and tangy vinaigrette. These adorable cups are as delightful to look at as they are to devour. This is another recipe that’s easy to make in advance and eat all week.
Vegan Charcuterie Plate
Feeling fancy? Check out our guide to creating a vegan charcuterie board in order to make an appetizing spread for “girl dinner” that will be perfect for sharing with friends.
Handfuls of Random Vegan Foods
Feeling less fancy? Here’s a list of foods to inspire you. By mixing and matching these vegan snacks, you’ll not only be satisfying your taste buds but also sparing the lives of countless animals—while ensuring that you’re getting plenty of vitamins and minerals. Let your imagination run wild—you might just stumble upon your next favorite flavor combination. Try a mix of the following animal-free foods:
- Dips and spreads
- Dry cereal
- Fresh or dried fruit
- Fruit preserves
- Nuts and seeds
- Olives or pickles
- Trail mix
- Vegan cheese
- Vegan chicken nuggets
- Vegan chocolate chunks
- Vegan deli slices
- WunderEggs Plant-Based Boiled Eggs
Need more help going vegan? We’d love to send you our free vegan starter kit, and you can order one for a friend. And don’t forget to show #PETA your #VeganGirlDinner masterpieces. Let’s inspire people around the world to live with compassion. Happy eating!