Minutes to Mealtime

5… 4… 3… 2… 1… EAT!

I consider myself quite capable when it comes to whipping up last-minute meals and fast whole foods, but Nava Atlas has raised the bar to the next level. Now author of twelve cookbooks, 5-Ingredient Vegan, her latest entry to the burgeoning field, is yet another smash hit poised to take off in kitchens around the nation. Believe it or not, every single edible masterpiece is composed of just five ingredients.

Skeptics may argue that such lofty words of praise are tainted with bias, seeing that I photographed about half of the dishes in this book. Rather, I would argue that such experience leaves me in a better position to more accurately assess the recipes, since I had the pleasure of both cooking and eating all of those subject, too!

A particular standout from the long list of favorites has been the understated yet spectacular Curried Greens Smashed Potatoes.

A literal flash in the pan, it takes mere minutes to wilt massive amounts of greens into manageable portions. Tossed with boldly spiced Indian simmer sauce, the exact flavor profile is highly flexible, making it effortless to switch it up and never get bored. In fact, this is a concept that knows no cultural boundaries. Reaching into a spare pantry, I’ve been delighted by the results that even a basic marinara sauce have wrought, to say nothing of the dazzling flavors infused by a simple enchilada sauce. That’s the beauty of this cookbook; each recipe is an outline to fill with any colors you see fit. Go ahead and paint the town tomato red, if that’s the hue du jour.

I don’t just mean that in a hypothetical way, of course. I want you to really experience these taste sensations in your own home! That’s why I’m GIVING AWAY a copy of 5-Ingredient Vegan to one lucky winner, right here, right now! To enter, use the form below the recipe and let me know in the comment section: What is your current go-to meal using five ingredients or less? If you don’t have one, which of the recipes in the book sound like a fast favorite to start with?

Even when your fridge is nearly vacant and time is scant, Nava Atlas is here to save the meal. Who else could possibly pull off restaurant-quality Chickpea Masala with just five ingredients, or deceptively rich Seed and Nut Butter Truffles, ready to grab and go in a matter of minutes? With decades of experience, Nava’s welcoming voice narrates each page with compelling ease, making everyday plant-based cooking accessible, effortless, and most importantly, delicious.

Yield: Makes 4 Servings

Curried Greens Smashed Potatoes

Curried Greens Smashed Potatoes

Greens enveloped in a luscious Indian sauce couldn’t be a tastier topping for smashed potatoes. Of course, you can substitute sweet potato for the golden potato, if you prefer. A simple salad of chickpeas, cucumbers, and tomatoes is the perfect companion.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 4 Medium Golden Potatoes
  • 5- to 6-Ounce Package Mixed Power Greens* or Baby Spinach
  • 2 Scallions, Sliced
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro
  • 1 Cup Indian Simmer Sauce, Your Favorite Variety


    1. Scrub the potatoes and microwave until done. Start with 2 minutes per potato, then add time as
      needed. They should be fairly soft, but not collapsed.
    2. Meanwhile, rinse the greens and wilt down in a large skillet or stir-fry pan. Drain well. Return
      them to the pan and stir in simmer sauce. Be generous without drowning the greens. Cook briefly
      over medium heat until the mixture comes to a gentle simmer.
    3. Cut the cooked potatoes in half lengthwise and smash lightly with a large fork. Divide the greens
      among them and serve at once.


*You’ll find power greens shelved near baby spinach and other packaged greens. If you can’t find
it, use baby spinach.

Reprinted with permission from 5-Ingredient Vegan © 2019 by Nava Atlas, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.

Photo by Hannah Kaminsky.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 302Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 318mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 14gSugar: 7gProtein: 12g

All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimates.

5-Ingredient Vegan Cookbook Giveaway

25 thoughts on “Minutes to Mealtime

  1. I made a similar recipe for supper last night except it was more complicated. I could learn from this cookbook! Would love to try the Udon Noodle Soup recipe.

  2. Looking forward to trying this Curried greens recipe. Simple go to 5 ingredient pressed for time recipe is baked potato topped with reheated black beans mixed with wilted greens or leftover broccoli, topped with homemade spicy vegan cheese sauce.

  3. My super simple dinner recipe is a can of beans and a packet of precooked rice (multi-grain preferably) mixed together and heated in one pot. If I’m feeling up to it, I’ll throw some vegan cheese or salsa in it, but that fills in all the empty spots in a matter of minutes.

  4. My favorite meals with 5 or fewer ingredients:
    1. Red wine & dark chocolate
    2. Bubble-n-squeak
    3. Erky Lerky
    4. Pan Amb Tomaquet
    5. leftovers from my fridge :)

  5. Favorite 5-ingredient vegan meal – seitan, vegan cream cheese, mild buffalo sauce, celery and “ranch-like” spices! Buffalo not-chicken skillet!

  6. My super simple dinner that everyone in the family loves–fried gnocchi with crispy sage. Boil gnocchi as directed on packet, drain and set aside (you can add a splash of oil so they won’t stick). Heat a large sauté pan with oil just to cover the bottom (I like avocado) and fry fresh sage leaves until crispy. Set aside on a paper towel. In the same pan and oil, fry the gnocchi until the bottom browns lightly. Add a dash of salt (season salt if you want) and pepper. Stir in the fried sage. Done!

  7. I have tried recipes like this many times before, but never got good results. I Learnt a lot from this cookbook. Very helpful, thanks for the article…

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