ISO Your Most Tried-and-True Healthy Vegetarian Weeknight Staples
BF and I are experts in indulgent cooking, the slow-braised lamb shanks, the risotto with several pounds of cheese. However, like many other people, we are trying to cook more, with less expensive, healthier vegetarian ingredients.
We're seeking to expand our repertoire with more healthy delicious recipes that we can make over and over again. Here is what we're trying to find:
Recipes featuring green vegetables and legumes in a starring role a plus.
Trying to avoid cheese- and carb-centric recipes (though some is OK)
Looking for recipes we'll make again and again, we already make a good chili, lasagne and pizza, so something outside of that realm.
Labor intensive is OK, as long as it makes a large amount of leftovers that can be enjoyed over the week.
Thanks for any ideas!
Cozy Orzo from Mollie Katzen's Vegetable Heaven
Mix a pound cottage cheese (can use some/all ricotta, I think), 1/4 cup minced scallion, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp lemon zest, good amount of freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.
Cook 1/2 pound orzo per directions. Set a colander in the sink, and put 1 cup frozen peas inside the colander. Drain the pasta directly into the peas. This will defrost the peas. Shake off excess water. You can add it back to the pan if you want to heat up the peas a bit more. Stir in the cheese mixture. Grate on some fresh Parmesan. YUM.
re: twilight goddess
I've been on a cottage cheese kick lately too, so I just may have to try that one, as I have some fresh peas (frozen from the late Fall harvest) tucked away for a snowy day. Forgive me if I take some creative liberties with the recipe. I think a handful of fresh herbs would play nicely with the peas.
absolutely! Let me know what you devise for alterations. I've also thought about sundried tomatoes/olives here, maybe with some basil. Toasty pine nuts, even. I've only ever used the original b/c I usually go for this when I am exhausted without many ingreds at hand. It's a very cute little meal. Lots of black pepper to offset the cheese.
my favorite--a sort of tostada. I fry some corn tortillas in a couple of inches of oil (it's a good way to use up old tortillas, too). Flip them and fry till crisp (not TOO crisp, but that's personal preference). Then I set out some heated refried beans, sour cream, cheese, avocado, chopped onion, tomato, jalapeno, anything your little heart desires. If you have meateaters around you can easily have chicken out there, too. Anyway, everyone just builds there own (allow at least two per person). I pile on the refried beans, a touch of sour cream, a little onion and some avocado and a sh*t load of hot sauce. Soooo super easy, and everyone loves it.
If it swims, flies, or walks (with the exception of upright), I'll eat it... any part of it, but lately I have cut back on the amount of meat I have been eating. Never was a white bread eater, but have switched over to brown rice instead of Basmati and Jasmine and started incorporating many more varieties of vegetables into my diet. Two things that I recently found I can't do without: wheat berries and a daily batch of hummus. Wheat berries, dried cranberries, and greek yogurt... wheat berry salad with feta, olives, cucumber, chopped parsley, tomato... a touch of lemon juice and olive oil. Take it South of the border... fresh jalapeno, onion, tomato, cilantro, lime, your choice of dried chile powder (I prefer chipotle), and queso fresco. The hummus gets dipped with pitas and veggies, used as a schmear on a wrap with fresh spinach or sauteed rapini, some feta cheese, olives, and grilled chicken or tuna. Yeah, I know.... leave it out and add more hummus and veggies, if you like. I just can't get enough hummus!
Snazzy Mediterranean Delight
I found this dish on this site in the fall and it is a go-to now, a Mediterranean casserole with chickpeas, tomato, onion, eggplant, all baked together with a little broth.
I roast the eggplant first (2 eggplants, cubed), sometimes with cubed butternut squash. Sautee two sliced onions. Then in a glass baking dish I combine the onions with the olive oil from the sautee, roasted eggplant (and squash if using), about ten chopped Roma tomatoes, lots of fresh basil torn into ribbons, and one can chickpeas. Some Aleppo chili if you're in a daring mood! You can layer or not (eggplant on bottom, then onions, then tomatoes&chickpeas on top). Grind on lots of pepper. I toss over 1/2 cup broth or water. Bake in lower part of oven, 400, 40 to 60 minutes. Eat with toasty flatbread to dip. sprinkle with parm or feta. Leftovers are equally amazing. This is one of those that is sooo superior to how it appears upon glancing at the recipe/ingreds. Thank you, bakers delight.
penne arrabiata and a green salad - on the table within minutes of coming in from work
more labour intensive (but leftovers are great and bring them in your lunchbox too) - indian - chana masala, tarka dahl, turmeric & mustard seed spiced new potatoes, raita (made with soy yoghurt)
Smittekitchen's channa masala is delicious, easy to prepare and refrigerates/freezes well. I also love shakshouka as a quick veg meal. I don't use a particular recipe, but smittenskitchen has a good one. Hers includes cheese, but I omit this and it's still delicious. I've made a large batch of the tomato base to freeze in smaller portions, which is easily reheatable. Then all you have to do is add the eggs.
Baked sweet potatoes topped with spicy black beans, salsa, and cheese
Baked sweet potatoes topped with sauteed kale and garlic and ricotta or queso blanco
Lentil dal with spinach and baked squash
Mashed potatoes with spinach and scallions mixed in topped with crumbled sauteed tempeh and cheese and baked
Lentil salad with feta, red pepper and olives
quinoa salads with dried fruits and feta and veggies
French lentils with caramelized onions, suateed spinach and poached eggs
Roasted vegetables, aioli, and baguette
sauteed mushroom, spinach, and gruyere on foccacia
sesame tofu noodles
brown rice "risotto" with sauteed greens and walnuts
stuffed squash with apples and walnuts
baba ghanouj and hummus with fresh pita, feta, olives, and tomato-cuke salad
broccoli, red pepper flake, garlic and caper pasta
kale and white bean stew with whole wheat pasta and tomatoes
roasted beet, feta and walnut pasta
soft tacos with sauteed greens, feta and tomatillo salsa
roasted vegetable soft tacos with guacamole
chickpea socca "pizza" with toppings
arugula, roasted beet, and goat cheese sandwiches
beans, greens and cornbread
I make mujaddara/megadarra pretty regularly. You can make it with rice or bulgur; bulgur is probably lower carb.
If you're into Indian, I strongly recommend 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer. It includes tons of flavorful bean and lentil recipes that are really simple to make.
Sometimes I just make a simple recipe out of Chez Panisse Vegetables and eat just that for dinner.
One of my favorite vegetables ever! I haven't tried it with feta yet (yum), but I also make it like escondido, cut into smaller sections, steamed then cooked with garlic and olive oil, seasoned with salt, black pepper and lemon, and lots of times I'll also make it with browned sausage which is unvegetarianlike.
What about shakshouka? A Middle Eastern dish which is traditionally served out of the fry pan. A local restaurant owner, who owns a Middle Eastern restaurant suggested that the easy solution was to buy a jar of salsa and slowly poach an egg or eggs in the salsa. I like to cook so, I make my own version of a peppery salsa (sauted sweet onion with roasted tomatoes, roasted red peppers, roasted anaheim chilis) and then poach the eggs, very slowly. Also, if you like add some cumin and corriander prior to poaching the eggs. One egg per person, and the rest is veggies.
our weeknight dinner routine includes all the same constraints as yours PLUS quick and easy and minimal cleanup. Here are our favorites:
tacos--black beans + warm soft corn tortillas + any toppings, eg lettuce, avocado, plain yogurt, cilantro, pickled jalapenos, hot sauce, salsa. Even better, fish tacos (I do it on the grill pan)
eggs in purgatory--heat up tomato sauce in shallow pan (leftover from weekend, frozen homemade, jarred or whip up a quick one) with some crushed red pepper, break in a few eggs, cover, serve over garlic-rubbed toast or polenta, sprinkle of parm
broccoli sandwich--sounds weird but sooooo good. Steam just until tender broccoli in large-ish pieces, meanwhile toast whole wheat bread, smear with a little mayo, mustard, ketchup or all of the above, add broccoli and, ideally, a slice of cheese and/or a little sauerkraut
chopped salad--anything goes... base of lettuce, cabbage, beets, eggs, artichoke hearts, leftover roasted or steamed veggies, any bean, tuna, leftover quinoa or rice, chopped up veggie burgers (heat up in micro or grill pan or skillet), avocado, celery, fresh dates, figs, apples, raisins, any nut. Simple dressing of olive oil, lemon juice or vinegar and lots of dijon, YUM.
lentil sloppy joes--BBQ lentils on a bun, serve with steamed veggie
grilled cheese and tomato soup (homemade from freezer or good old Campbells) + steamed veggie
hot dogs (veggie) + baked beans + steamed veggie
No actual recipe.
Wash one large sweet potato, cut off ends, (if organically grown, no need to peel), cut into pieces of 1" cube or smaller, and cook in pressure cooker, and transfer to another container so you can reuse the pressure cooker.
Combine 2 cups quinoa, 3 1/2 cups water, 2 Tbsp adobo sauce, and 1/2-1 c raw pecans in pressure cooker, bring to pressure, cook 1 minute, allow natural pressure release.
While quinoa is cooking, wash collard greens and cut into ribbons (remove center "spine" if thick), and steam.
Add sweet potato and pineapple (chunks or crushed) to quinoa and serve over greens, adding additional adobo if desired. Enjoy!
Quick and easy. Noodles with Feta, sauted spinach and onion. Begin by bringing a pot of salted water to a boil. Begin cooking your noodles, penne, rotini, or whatever pasta you prefer. Meanwhile, heat some Olive oil to saute about 1/2 of a yellow onion, cut into strips. When the onion begins to lighten, add some red pepper flakes, black pepper, minced garlic, and an appropriate amount of coursely chopped fresh spinach. When the spinach cooks down, add the pasta, feta cheese, and a bit of the pasta water. Mix everything together and enjoy. You could also mix everything except the pasta to make a fine sauce to serve over polenta. Serve with a crusty roll and a decanter of Chianti. Mmmm.
I've been making risottos with grains other than rice. Barley has proven a favourite, but quinoa is good. Looking forward to trying some others.
The recipe is the same as rice risotto (I use my own veggie broth), just takes about ten minutes longer.
I toss in some parmesean rinds if I have them instead of putting tons of cheese in - I like it lighter tasting. I hardly add any butter.
Favourite veggies to add (in any combination):
leeks (instead of onions)
kale (tons of it)
roasted butternut squash (even better if it's roasted with maple syrup)
In addtion to those veggies, I ususally serve this with a big side of vegetables and some salad for a more well rounded meal.
I made this dosas recipe from Epicurious a few weeks ago and it turned out really well: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...
I omitted the coconut, and doubled the amount of all-purpose flour, in place of using semolina flour, but did use rice flour. Also, I did not have any cumin seeds, so I substituted a smaller amount of ground cumin. Otherwise followed the reciped exactly. If you wanted to reduce the carb content, you could substitute cauliflower for some or all of the potatoes, as one of the reviewers suggested.
The Orangette blog comes to mind as one with lots of great vegetarian and near vegetarian recipes, many healthy though some indulgent, and nearly all elegant and simple.
you can click on a link on the right of her front page that says "index of recipes"
or just go to:
I like to take any veggies I have in the fridge and make a frittata. A little olive oil or butter, a little cheese, a bunch of eggs, maybe some herbs, and a whole lot of veggies. It's delicious, chockfull of veggies, and there's always some leftover for lunch the next day.
I made some GREAT fried rice on Friday night with some leftover basmati rice. I sauteed some broccoli, red onion, napa cabbage, and red bell pepper, added some grated ginger and garlic toward the end of cooking (so it wouldn't burn) and some thawed frozen green peas, added the rice and sauteed a few minutes, scrambled a lightly beaten egg in the middle of the pan, mixed it all together, and sprinked on some sesame seeds and drizzled it with kecap manis before I ate it. Very tasty.
Also, on a trip to my local Indian supermarket, I bought some mixes. I don't usually buy mixes because they are heavy on sodium, but working full-time and going to grad school at night is starting to make me compromise a bit. I got a mix for mutter paneer and bought some packaged paneer. I also got some chana masala because I love those chickpeas at my local vegetarian Indian restaurant. I haven't tried either yet. I've got my fingers crossed. I've taken Indian cooking classes and mixes and packaged paneer were both frowned upon by the teacher -- but SOMEONE is using these mixes because they seem to be doing a brisk business.
OK don't laugh. I had a doctor's appointment a few weeks ago at lunchtime and I had to go "fasting" for blood tests and was STARVING by the time I got out and had to be back at work pronto. I went into a "Pret A Porter" take-out (redundant, I know) and looked for something fast and vegetarian that I could grab and go and found (this is the part that you don't laugh) a chutney and white cheddar sandwich. It was SO GOOD! Really good. Chutney (mixed with a little mayo, as I discovered from their website), sharp white cheddar (I use Cabot), lettuce, and sliced tomato on whole wheat bread. Really good. Seriously.
A few ideas:
1) Brown rice (rice cooker w/ timer, or pre-cook and freeze) with steamed or slightly boiled vegetables (I usually use kale, carrots, whatever else is fresh / available), topped with peanut sauce.
2) For really lazy nights: Club Sandwiches or veggie burgers. This doesn't really count, and I don't like to rely on processed food that often, but you can make them less boring with caramelized onions, the right condiments, etc.
3) Oven-roasted vegetables, esp. cauliflower (see http://recipes.egullet.org/recipes/r167.html - simple but delicious) or root vegetables
4) Orecchiette (handmade or store-bought) or other pasta with broccoli rabe, blanched, then sliced, sauteed with olive oil, thin slices of garlic, crushed red pepper, and something salty (black olives) added at the end.
5) re: lasagne - try adding chopped, sauteed kale and mushrooms to your next batch. I'm really a fan of this polenta vegan "lasagne": http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2007/02/polenta-lasagna-with-portabellas-and.html - I sometimes make it with normal lasagna noodles too.
6) Raw kale salad with preserved meyer lemon (a little goes a long way) - this is surprisingly good, and I'm not usually a big fan of raw dark leafy greens. You need to let the dressing sit on the salad for a while so that the greens soften up a little. Don't have an exact recipe, but my gf posted some pics on her site:
http://www.runawaysquirrels.com/2009/... (plug: not too many home meals recently, but if you dig far enough back in the archives, there are a lot of veg and vegan weeknight dinner posts on there).
Very simple, but very good -- something about this combination of flavors really is lovely together. Take a head of red or rainbow chard, clean and remove the stems (you can cook the stems too, but start them first so they get tender), chop the greens. Wilt in a skillet with a little oil or just in water. Put these on top of steamed quinoa. Top the whole thing with a basic tahini sauce -- tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, some EVOO and/or water to thin it out so that it's pourable. Dig in!
Quick, cheap, vegetarian meal and the only way my kid likes kale.
Pan fry 1/2 package of firm tofu, diced. Then add
1 bunch of kale, chopped (well rinsed) cook until tender, then
toss in some frozen/canned corn and 2 handfuls of pumpkin seeds.
Add 2 tbspn pesto for seasoning.
Serve over grain (quinoa, or brown rice)
I love the roasted chickpeas and bulgur recipe from Peter Berley's Flexitarian Table as an entree (but I halve the bulgur). During tomato season, I fold diced farmers' market tomatoes in at the end. It's paraphrased in this post: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/591999#4396574
I don't know if you are open to tofu, but if so here are a couple of ideas that even non-veg-happy eaters tend to love:
From the same cookbook as above, Tofu with Lemon, Soy, White Wine, and Butter Sauce (all kinds of raves on CH for this and the chickpea recipe above); paraphrased here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4341...
A quick recipe I make (though you have to get it marinating in advance): For one 12-oz cake tofu, mix marinade from 4 T soy sauce, 3 T rice vinegar, 1 T each honey, toasted sesame oil, grated or minced ginger, chili oil (or to taste). Cut tofu in 1/2- to 3/4-inch cubes, pour marinade over, and refrigerate for anywhere from a few hours to two days (longer is better), turning occasionally. The tofu will absorb most of this. Heat neutral oil in a skillet and cook tofu on all sides until it's browned a bit.
All of these just need a green veg and in the case of the tofu perhaps a grain on the side.
re: Caitlin McGrath
Also, I make a quick Southwestern veggie ragout with sauteed onions, garlic, bell pepper, then add chile powder, ground cumin seed, chipotle if you wish, and a can of drained, rinsed black beans (or equivalent you've cooked from dried), a can of stewed or diced tomatoes (Muir Glen fire roasted are nice here), and some frozen corn kernels. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, then add some chopped zucchini and simmer until it's tender. Add chopped cilantro if you've got it. Serve with cornbread, or with a grain.
re: Caitlin McGrath
I make what we refer to as "baby food soup". It's basically roasted root veggies (whatever looks good, sweet potatoes, carrots, potatoes, butternut squash, turnips, etc.) add a couple cans of veggie broth (or homemade stock, or chicken broth for the non-veggie crowd) puree with the hand blender and add applesauce and curry powder. You can make an even quicker, less complex tasting dish by using bagged, frozen squash and just cooking it in the stock on top of the stove.
sauteed wild mushrooms (reconstituted ones are fine) cooked with with a little shallot and butter, and then finish the sauce with a little port and maybe a spoon or two of cream (sounds decadent, but really a couple Tbs of cream in something that serves 4-5 is not a big deal) serve over polenta or a baked potato.
"Mexican casserole" which is basically your favorite chili recipe (works better if it is really thick), spread into a caserole, covered with cornbread batter and baked. I like to put a layer of cheese between the chili and the cornbread, but you could certainly do without, or with a very small amount.
Soup! I make a great "Greek" red lentil soup (sautee onion, carrot, garlic... toss in a bit of oregano, add lots of red lentils and lots of rosemary, add stock, cook until soft, add tons of lemon juice, add more rosemary, top with feta if desired). Serve with pita bread and homemade hummous (put some tahini, lemon juice and garlic in a blender, blend, slowly add in drained chickpeas and water, blend).
Another thing I do is roast up a big pile of vegetables- usually red peppers, zucchini, red onion, tomato and garlic, then do random stuff with it throughout the week. I might put some inside an omlette (serve with hash browns and have breakfast for dinner), or put it into corn tortillas with refried beans and salsa.
My husband and I are vegan and I'm gluten-free. We use the pressure cooker a lot and make enough for leftover for the next day's lunch.
Common meals for us include:
Brown rice, corn or quinoa pasta with veggies and hummus
Black beans with sweet potatoes, kale or collard greens, salsa, guac, chipotle cornbread
Brown rice with stir-fry veggies
Masamba (potatoes and kale or collard greens topped with mixture of salsa & pb)
Lentil soup with spinach, kale or collards in it
Shepherd's Salad (in the summer)
Brown rice with sweet potato, currants, and hazelnuts
Quinoa with adzukis and winter squash
See if your local library has Lorna Sass' Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure or Short-Cut Vegetarian or Debra Wasserman's Simply Vegan. You might also find Vegan Lunchbox and International Vegan Lunchbox useful.
4 Cups black beans -- cooked & mashed
12 Ounces evaporated milk
2 Tablespoons shortening -- melted
1/2 Pound cheddar cheese -- shredded
Salsa De Chile Colorado
Mash beans in skillet and add hot oil. Mix well. Stir in evaporated miklk.
Cook over very low heat, stirring frequently.
Before serving, refry beans by adding 2 tablespoons smoking hot fat,
shredded cheese to taste and some Salsa and stir briskly over high heat.
use a 12 inch cast iron skillet. I put about 2 - 3 tablespoons of lard in the pan and when hot, I add 2 pounds of extra long grain rice. When ready, I add a 49 1/2 oz can of chicken broth, one 8 oz can of tomato sauce and a very liberal sprinkling of garlic powder and about a tablespoon of Knorr's chicken bouillon (to take place of salt). Bring to a boil then turn the flame down to simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Then, without peeking, turn the flame off and let sit for at least 5 minutes and I have a pot of perfect, fluffy rice.
These chickpea patties freeze very well, can be cooked from frozen and are very tasty. I love them with a fried egg on top, another friend prefers them with guacamole on top and a third friend likes them with tahini sauce. Nice with sauteed greens on the side. (I never serve them as burgers.)
This is by far one of my favorite quick weeknight meals: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/lemony-chickpea-stirfry-recipe.html
Sometimes I leave out the tofu, sometimes I swap spinach with kale. Its awesome because chickpeas and zucchini go with so many flavors, you could change the seasonings to something else quite easily.
This is one of my SO's favorite recipes: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/...
Really recommend checking out that blog. The pictures are gorgeous to boot.
In my vegetarian years, I made a very simple broccoli and whole-grain pasta dish at least once a week. I mean VERY simple.
Boil the pasta water and add a one-pound box of your favorite small shape. I like rotini or farfalle best.
Chop a whole head of broccoli into rather small pieces -- no more than one centimeter. Also chop as much garlic as you like (or can stand -- I usually use at least five cloves).
Warm a little neutral oil (how much is up to you -- it's excellent with almost none, and also good, but very different and much more caloric, with up to a quarter cup) in a nonstick skillet to medium-high, and add the broccoli. It's fine if some of the water is still clinging to it from rinsing. Keep it moving, and add the garlic when it just turns bright green. If things start to stick, add a ladle of pasta water.
By the time your pasta is done, the broccoli should be done. Drain the pasta, add to the skillet, and mix. Serve topped with grating cheese of your choice.
My stomach is rumbling just thinking about this. It's too simple to be a recipe really, which is why it's so satisfying. It works with any cruciferous vegetable, but harder varieties like cauliflower or romanesco need more time in the skillet.
It's company-worthy if you cook it with a minimum of oil, then top the finished product with good olive oil or butter.
My friend Alexandra, who grew up in Milan, taught me how to make her pasta w/broccoli years ago - another simple variant on yours. She chopped her broccoli nice and small, too - but she added it to the pot to cook along with the pasta. She warmed olive oil with garlic and crushed red pepper, and added the cooked pasta/broccoli to the oil (with a little of the cooking liquid). Some grated parmigiano and she was done. Over the years I've added lemon zest and a bit of lemon juice at the end, when I have it, and I've garnished the whole thing with lots of chopped parsley. So delicious and so simple.
Check some of the recent threads re: using egg as the main protein, since there are many, varied, and different ideas there.
I also make a huge pot of seasoned black beans every few weeks and freeze them ~2 c. per bag to have on hand. These can be instant dinner w/ a poached egg and salsa on top, or can go into all kinds of variations of mexican or as a hearty side with which you have just a little bit of meat. This recipe is a good starting point: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/10/hea....
a big fat mushroom burger - sautee some sliced mushrooms in braggs liq amino, toast a big nice bun with a cheese to melt, smear on a lil mayo, guacamole if you have it, then shredded or grated carrots (nice mound), alfalfa sprouts (optional), then the mushrooms. sprinkle with spike seasoning, garlic powder and cayenne.
It's a very hearty sandwich that doesn't miss the meat.
today I had just the mushrooms (sauteed) on a bed of baby spinach (it wilted from teh heat of the mush), nice whole grain bread with cheese (not sure what kind it was).
Our absolute quickest veggie weeknight meal: tempeh fajitas. Every ingredient has either a long fridge and/or freezer life, so we always have the stuff on hand. We slice or crumble the tempeh, sautee with onions, peppers. Serve on tortillas (they make low-carb ones now, if that's a concern) with fixins as you please: jalapeños, diced tomatoes, salsa, cheese, avocado....whatever. I swear these can be made in less than 15 minutes. We add a schmear of refried beans sometimes, too. Very filling, and quite tasty.
I make tons of soup for weeknight dinners. Soup and a small salad for me, and grilled cheese or a panini for my husband.
Last night we had roasted cauliflower soup- no oil at all.
Recently I've made...
vegetable (tomato based and clear)
creamy mushroom (no cream)
Just let me know which ones you want and I'll type them up!
The cauliflower soup was super quick and easy- I made it about 45 minutes. It's a dark color from all the brown bits from the cauliflower and sauteed onion.
Roasted Cauliflower Soup-
2 cauliflowers, cut into florets
yellow onion (2 small or 1 large)
2 or 3 cloves of garlic
cumin, salt, black pepper
- Toss the cauliflower with salt, pepper, olive oil. Spread out on a cookie sheet and roast at 425 until very browned. This took about 30 minutes in my oven.
- While the cauliflower is in the oven, slice the onions and chop the garlic. Saute in a little olive oil until soft. Add the cumin and stir until it's fragrant. Deglaze the bottom with water- about 1 cup.
- Add in the cauliflower and any oil on the cookie sheet. Add water to cover.
- Cover the pot and let the soup boil, then reduce to a simmer. I cooked it for about 15 minutes, but I'm sure it could cook longer. With an immersion blender, puree the soup.
- Taste and add more cumin, salt, pepper if needed.
No problem!! I have some time now.. so here goes-
1 yellow onion
2 stalks celery
1 or 2 carrots
1 or 2 parsnips
2 small yukon gold potatoes (or whatever you have)
salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, thyme, pinch of cumin
- chop all veg - very small - tiny cubes
- add olive oil to a soup pot. saute onion and garlic until translucent. add salt and pepper and spices.
- add in potatoes, carrots, celery, parsnips. saute 5 minutes until starting to soften. add in zucchini
- add water to cover vegetables (can use stock, but it has great flavor w/o it)
- bring to a boil, then simmer 25-30 minutes with the lid tilted on the pot.
- good frozen and reheated in a pot.
Black Bean Soup
- 1 bag black beans, cooked (quick or long soak)- save cooking liquid
- 2 sweet potatoes (or equal amount of pumpkin or butternut) cubed
- 1 yellow onion + 1 vidalia onion (or whatever you have)
- chili powder, (or piece of a jalepeno) salt, pepper
- 4 cups water/vegetable stock (i used water)
- handful cilantro, chopped
- saute onion and garlic until lightly browned
- add in spices, pumpkin/squash/potato and sate 10 min until starting to soften
- add in liquid and bring to a boil
- lower to a simmer and add in beans
- when beans and sweet potatoes/pumpin/squash are very soft (soft enough to mash with a fork) blend with an immersion blender or in a regular blender
- you can mix in chopped cilantro into each serving or into the whole pot. I wouldn't freeze it with the cilantro mixed in
* served each bowl with a poached egg on top and a squeeze of lime mixed into the soup
You have some great suggestions so far.
Sara Moulton's Sauteed falafel patties are quite tasty. I served them on pocketless pita with tzatziki, lettuce and tomato, but to keep the carbs in check you could use whole grain rolls or just serve it on it's own. It's not authentic falafel (no soaked, dried beans), but perfect for a quick weeknight meal since it uses canned chick peas.
I also love black bean-chipotle burgers and lentil-rice burgers.
Giada DiLaurentis has a really tasty lentil meatloaf recipe, but it does take some prep time.
I had the most delicious grilled mushroom salad at a restaurant yesterday...Didn't miss the meat at all...And I found this recipe. Haven't had a chance to try it yet, but plan on doing so this week.
Also my go-to vegetarian meal is half a spaghetti squash, cooked in a m/w, shredded and then stir-fried with butter, garlic, zucchini, tomatoes and parmesan.
French Lentil Soup (French or Brown lentils with mirepoix and herbs) with salad and bread
Mujadarah - Rice, lentil, carmelized onion, so good.
Both of those are easy to make enough to eat one dinner and put another one in the freezer.
Simple stuff can be great if you do it right, like steamed broccoli and short grain brown rice, if you toss the broccoli in a little EVOO and lemon juice, and top the whole thing with chopped almonds.
We also have a default "nothing in the fridge" dinner of short grain brown rice topped with KimChi (we typically have a jar on hand) and a poached egg, maybe chopped peanuts and scallion if we have them.
Not vegetarian, and requires shopping, but picking up a (wild, not farmed) salmon filet, or some other fish or scallops and broiling them makes a quick, easy, healthy weeknight dinner.
Mussels (also not vegetarian) are super cheap and healthy, serve with a salad and bread and its a great dinner, also quick and cheap.
We make a dish called "Boo Boo Beans" (long story on the name) that is white beans (baby white limas or cannelini preferred) with lots of carmelized onion and fried sage leaves. Simple and good.
Polenta is a good trick here too. Topped with greens and beans (white beans with garlic and chard or kale) it's a great meal. Or top with a meat dish from the slow cooker or something cooked in a tomato-y sauce.
We don't eat a lot of pasta lately but we used to, quick and easy, probably obvious but learning a good recipe for peanut noodles and sesame noodles mixes it up a bit. Or we would make pesto from garden items in the summer and freeze, basil pesto of course, but also and asian-style cilantro pesto or whatever herbs we had a lot of. I remember mariniating shark filets in a sage pesto and grilling - yum.
A big salad goes a long way - add some chickpeas or leftover chicken or fish or nots or cheese to add oomph. I've been a big fan of a salad (modeled after a local cafe) with green apples, pecans, avocado, and gorgonzola. Also like roasted beet (make in advance and keep in fridge), red onion, citrus segments (blood orange is great, or grapefruit) and maybe goat cheese in a salad.
Deborah Madison has a great recipe in her local flavors book for a simple lasagna with chard and walnuts and garlic and ricotta, no red sauce.
It's possible to pull of healthier pizzas, we would tend to buy frozen balls of dough (many grocery stores sell them, we tend towards Whole Foods on this item) for under $2 and then that and top them ourselved. Pizza stone helps, oven on high. A pizza spread with pesto, baked butternut squash and feta of goat chevre is tasty and healthy both.
I love making big batches of soup and stews then just plating up a veggie sandwich or a quick quesadilla. The varieties of legumes and veggies prepped Indian style are endless and many can be made in slow cooker. I'm also a big fan of Thai stir fries and Chinese stir fries. I mince and chop the night before and then either saute or bake some tofu or throw in a few handfuls of peanuts, cashews or almonds. These curries and stir fries are nice too because you can play with the ingredients depending on what's in season or just throw in some frozen broccoli, peas, cauliflower etc. Not sure if you're looking for specific recipes or just ideas but give a holler if anything in particular piqued your interest ! I try to keep hoisin, various soy sauces, sesame oil and coconut vinegar around to keep things interesting.
One of my favorite quick veggie meals is a lentil chard ragout served over pasta, usually served with some crumbled goat cheese. I think we use a recipe from the Green's cookbook, but I've seen other similar ones. Very simple to whip together on a weeknight. Its OK as leftovers, except the lentils will tend to get too mushy.
There was a recipe in the NY Times a couple of years ago (also on smitten kitchen.com) for sweet potato lentil curry that we love. the yield is huge and doesn't take *that* long to cook.
Two favorite vegetarian shepherds pies: cook lentils (de puy) and drain. Mix with a carrot and piece of celery (tiny diced) and sautee with half of a 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes, salt, and smoked paprika. top with mashed potatoes, bake until bubbly and the potatoes are browning a little.
OR, saute one leek, one carrot, half an onion, clove of garlic. add about quarter cup of wine to deglaze, then add a can of rinsed white beans. season with salt, pepper, thyme. then add a cup of broth, cover, and let it simmer for ten min or so. Put in a casserole, top with mashed sweet potatoes and bake it up until the potatoes are toasty.
Quesadillas, with beans, veggies, a sprinkle of pepperjack cheese.
Eggs, in huevos rancheros, quiche (ok, not the healthiest but occasionally).
Big salads with dried fruit, blue cheese, and maple glazed pecans.
Chili, made with morningstar grillers crumbles and beans.
In the "make a big batch" category, you can make a lot of veggie-heavy enchiladas. My standard is black beans, zucchini, corn, and monterrey jack cheese. Use a bit more sauce than you would otherwise, I think the veggies soak up the liquid more than the meat or cheese would.
In the "easy, throw together weekday" staple, we have huevos rancheros, or chilaquiles as one of my cookbooks calls it (Almost Meatless, by Joy Manning and Tara Desmond). Basically, I just put a can of whatever tomatoes I have on hand, some garlic, and either canned or fresh chiles on the stove with a can of black beans. Let that simmer while you crisp some corn tortillas, then fry an egg or two for each person. Layer a tortilla or two with the bean mixture and top with the egg(s). Pretty quick and I usually have the ingredients in the house so it's become a weeknight staple.
Along the same lines but more Italian in nature, you can layer polenta cakes, spaghetti sauce, sauteed greens, and an egg with some Parmesan on top.
This is another recipe I like: http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/rec...
It has sausage in it, but only 2 links for 6 servings, so I figured if you're just cutting back on the meat consumption, you might enjoy it.
I'd recommend checking out mark bitmans' veg cooking book and madhur jaffrey's world vegetarian for some more ideas.
-Summer rolls, any and all variations. These are some ingredients that have worked for us successfully: smoked tofu, those skinny rice noodles, shredded lettuce or raw cabbage,matchsticks of apples, carrots, raw beets, grapefruit sections, avocado, mint, cilantro, basil. Hoisin or a nice spicy peanut sauce for dipping. I had this for dinner tonight and it was very pleasant.
-risotto but instead of oodles of cheese, tons of greens, so proportions of veg to rice are basically equal. Also, top with a fried egg for more oomph.
-black beans and rice and braised pumpkin and garlicky spinach. If you google rick bayless and pumpkin a reader's digest recipe comes up. I've skipped half of the labor intensive steps, and it is still phenomenal. All leftovers in the same pot with some crushed tomatoes to make hearty soup.
-turkish lentil soup: http://cmes.hmdc.harvard.edu/ecmes/photo/turkish_soup
-spoonbread. Eggy, corny and amazing even with very little cheese. I like this with black eyed peas, and sauted chard.Even though it is souffle-y, it microwaves very well at work the next day.
-mark bitman's chickpeas in broth, amazing, easy and delicious.
- these korean pancakes: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...
-I make a faux-bolognese with le puy lentils and dried mushrooms. Very good over pasta or polenta.
Basically, cook dried chickpeas. Reserve the water they cooked in. When cooked, add a pinch of rosemary, and some minced garlic and salt. Keep warm. Chop tons of parsley, fry bread crumbs in olive oil and salt. Serve chickpeas in their liquor, heavy parsley garnish, olive oil, pepper, and bread crumbs. DELICIOUS. If it isnt tasty, add more salt.
I like pairing vegetables with grains, that way I can make sure I get a complete protein while getting all the good vitamins/minerals and fiber that I need.
My recent go to dish is quinoa or barley (or both) tossed with chopped roasted veggies (e.g. bell peppers, artichokes, asparagus, tomatoes, kale, brocoli, cabbage, etc.) and garnished with some Sriricha sauce and EVOO.
Agree with quinoa, recently discovered it and it's a complete protein source. Also on weekends I'll roast a huge batch of veggies (mushrooms, squash, onions, broccoli, and so on) and use it all week for sandwiches, salads, quesadillas, or whatever you make to cut down on the prep time.
Roasting a batch of veggies with lots of fresh garlic and herbs on the weekend really can stretch the budget since it can be used so many ways throughout the week. I will buy whatever is on sale, but my favorites are eggplant, mushrooms, red onions, red, orange or yellow bell peppers, zucchini & yellow squash.
I t can be reheated as a side, served with a hearty grain, added to an omlette or frittata, really versatile and economical.
A resounding YES to groover and Barbara. I always think that I'm going to do this and then in the hustle/bustle of Sunday I don't get to it, and then I'm sad that I don't eat homemade during the week. I recently returned to work full-time after several years of self-employed life, and I'm accustomed to cooking everything slooooowly from scratch. So I need to return to this standby for quickie meals during the week, lunch and dinner.
I like sprinkling feta on top, or adding in a chicken sausage and stuffing in a nice soft tortilla. etc.
Found an easy idea on epicurious in December to change up the flavors with the roasted veg: Brush with a little melted butter/garlic/tarragon whisked with a few Tbsp white wine and 1 Tbsp olive oil. Yum. This one includes radicchio cut into wedges, with the classics -- bell peppers, squash, mushroom, red onion.
Stuffed peppers and stuffed zucchini are popular at our house. I tried freezing the stuffed veg but they don't freeze well so now I just make extra stuffing and freeze that. I usually do a mexican rice type of stuffing or a tomato, onion crouton stuffing. You said vegitarian but both are good with some crumbled meat and cheese in the stuffung. I do both ways depending on our waistlines With frozen filling I can make two fancy yellow peppers at a time.
You're describing my life here :)
1. How comfortable are you with Indian food? That's the default option for easy weeknight vegetarian meals, if your pantry is reasonably stocked.
Menu 1: Rice or chapatis? If the former, set a pot of rice to make on a back burner or rice cooker. If the latter, I use whole wheat tortillas, in a pinch. Weekends I make them.
Then, what dishes with that? A typical Indian food plate would balance the grain (rice or chapatis) with 1 protein (e.g. dal / beans) and 1-2 veggies (1 in case of a quick weeknight), rounded off with plain yogurt or quick raita.
A quick dal would be: boil 1 cup red lentils or split moong dal with salt, pinch turmeric, crushed ginger and garlic until done. Add the tarka (spices sauteed quickly in a small quantity of hot oil) of: hing, cumin or mustard seeds, coriander powder, red chilli powder. Dump into the cooked dal, and add some chopped tomatoes. The dal can be cooking alongside the rice, or if you have a pressure cooker, it takes no time at all. T
his is just one recipe, there are bazillion others. You could use canned chick peas which is even quicker. Begin with sauteeing minced onions, ginger, and garlic, add spices you like (e.g. garam masala, cumin/coriander powder, and lemon juice or pomegranate powder or tamarind, or other souring agent. )
Quick side veggie: When the dal and rice are simmering, take a bag of frozen green beans sliced. Heat oil in a skillet on the third burner. Tarka of: hing (optional), urad or chana dal, mustard seeds, dry red chillies, curry leaves (I'm just listing the ingredients here, not quantities). When spices are popping, throw in the frozen green beans, stir, cover, and cook (stirring) till done. You can use any veggie you have - spinach, or cauliflower, or whatever.
This meal literally takes only 1/2 hour from opening the pantry door to dishing up. You have rice or chapatis (heat the tortillas in the toaster), dal, sabzi, and end with yogurt.
You can tweak the grain by using quinoa or similar instead of rice or chapatis. Google for a quinoa pulao recipe.
2. Another easy staple: stock up on a really good brand of Thai curry paste. Then, make it per package directions: simmer appropriate amount on stove top in 1-2 cans of lite coconut milk (depending on how much finished product you want), oyster sauce, sometimes it asks for brown sugar, whatever. Add a bag of frozen stir fry veggies or other veggies you like. Add some tofu if you want, not essential (I like Nasoya extra firm, cubed tofu - It's already cut up for you). Or edamame. Simmer till done. Of course, before you began this, you started a pot of rice.
So, in about 15 minutes, you've got a meal, and leftovers for tomorrow's packed lunch.
I juggle two kids, job, commutes, and 25% single parenting. I am all about easy, tasty, inexpensive, non-junk weeknight meals.
Its already been mentioned, but you can't go wrong with the combination of kale/collards and beans...I prefer black beans...toss in a few potatoes and you have a very hearty meal. You can leave it vegan like that, or if you don't object to ruining the vegetarian aspect, just an inch of good Spanish chorizo finely chopped adds an incredible amount of flavor, without ruining the healthy aspects of the meal.
I also love the quick and easy Indian recipes as well. One of my personal faves is Rajma (red kidney bean curry). Just sauté some onions with some cumin, m-seeds, garlic, chili, etc. add in a can ot two of tomatoes, a can of Kidney beans (rinsed thouroughly), a bit of water. Cook 10-15 mins, servce over basmati. It also pretty flexible and hard to ruin. Like ginger, add a bit. Don't like, garlic, skip it.
Another great way to eat this in a bowl with a dollop of yogurt, chopped cilantro, diced red onions... almost like a bowl of American chili.
I really love these (you could do a taco salad to cut the carbs down if you want) - they call for chicken broth, but I'd imagine a veggie broth would be fine. We're not vegetarian in my home, in fact we're like super-carnivores, but everyone likes these, so I think that says good things.
One of our favorites is Santa Fe Chicken (without the chicken!) - much better as a veggie dish - from epicurious.com. It's quick and easy to make, yummy as the days go on and a nice hearty winter dish with vibrant colors. I use salsa verde instead of taco sauce and serve with warm corn tortillas and salad.
Holy crxp that looks good! I am off meat and cheese for two more weeks and I just may have to make this today!
Thank you for posting this, it would not have occured to me to make this as is just without the chicken.
and I have all the ingredients at home to boot!
Ok, I need to go eat some lunch and stop salivating over my computer.
all time fav is a sauteed mix of vegies - (these in particular work really well if you make this up big and just keep it in the fridge for salads or sautes or just steam it up):
broccoli, white cabbage, red cabbage, cauliflower and carrots (sliced thin diagonally). You can change it up but this base is nice because it last forever in the fridge without wilting or going back.
sautee quickly in lil oil and Braggs Liq Amino - then dump this on top of good brown rice, shave a great cheese on top, and sprinkle of Spike Seasoning. Hubby and I just love this dish, very comforting.
works great over quinoa too, can always add black beans as well.
Also love roasted vegies like red onions, peppers and eggplant with cumin - then just layer a good big healthy cracker (like wasa) with hummus and these roasted vegies.
I can run in the house and make up these two pretty quickly and use whatever vegies I have in teh fridge - mushrooms work great too.
I just got a really great black bean veggie burrito recipe that is fantastic, I'll have to find it though - made it a few times.
One of our dead-simple weeknight meals is "beanie-greenie" which consists of a bag of frozen collard greens sauteed in olive oil with several sliced cloves of garlic and smoked paprika, add two cans of rinsed white beans, then add a couple of cups of broth or even water to produce a stew-y consistency, and simmer until the beans are tender and the broth is infused with collard-garlic goodness. Serve with crusty bread or even rice.
My go-to veg meal choices tend to be pastas or Middle Eastern plates. Some faves include multi-grain pasta tossed with freshly made bruschetta, multi-grain pasta with pesto and broccoli, cauliflower or rapini, and kasha varnnishkes (toasted buckwheat groats simmered with onions, mushrooms and stock then tossed with whole wheat farfalle. A Middle Eastern plate might include tabbouleh, made with either bulgur or quinoa, hummus, baba ghanouj, grilled zucchini and/or eggplant and a minty garlic labneh (usually goat yogurt-based) sauce. This meal would only come about on a weeknight if I already have the dips around from the weekend. Other good meals are bean-based soups I find in my Italian cookbooks. I've made veg versions of those that call for pancetta with lots of success, provided a strong cheese is added at the end. A slow cooker is ideal for these soups.
Was reading this post the other day and thought that can't really taste good, so I figured I would try it, and then report back and complain. But- it was great :) DH really liked it as well, made some crostini, per your suggestion. And just had leftovers for lunch. Thanks for sharing!
Hadn't checked this thread in a while, but I'm very glad you liked the beanie-greenie.
Here's our "Chinese-style" variation: Add a couple of teaspoons of brown sugar along with the garlic. Use about half the salt you'd normally use, and add soy sauce to taste. Cook til the greens are just about done. Instead of using white beans, add about half a bag of frozen shelled edamame and cook a couple more minutes until the beans are done. I often serve this with Vietnamese broken rice, which cooks in just about the same amount of time and soaks up the broth nicely, but white rice is cool too.
I especially like this with a cube of Chinese fermented tofu in chili oil smushed up into it, which gives it spice & funk, but I serve that on the side because my husband & son don't like it at all.
This veggie sandwich recipe is a weeknight staple at my house. Most of the time, and especially in the winter, I saute the veggies on my stovetop rather than using the grill. We also eat them as an open faced sandwich which is a little different than the picture.