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Aug 12, 2010 10:39 AM

Quick/few ingredient recipes for a college student (vegetarian)?

I saw the "Recipes for starving college students?" thread but most recipes seemed to involve meat. I'm not lazy or even paralyzingly busy, I'm just worried about buying too great a variety of vegetables and not being able to eat/cook them all before they go bad. I suppose the solution to this is probably meal planning.
So, does anyone have any healthy relatively quick (30 mins or so) vegetarian recipes? Oven, stovetop, microwave, and pan-fried are all fine, and limiting numbers of ingredients or rarely used sauces/ingredients is preferable. Thanks!

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  1. Are you ovo-lacto?

    Keep a container of cooked brown rice or barley or your grain of choice in the fridge. It's a great thing to throw in a stir-fry, soup, or salad. Also canned beans, although cooking a bag of 99-cent beans is more economical. They freeze well, just keep them submerged in cooking liquid, drain off when thawed to avoid gas.

    If you have a day when you can cook, make a pot of soup, roast peppers/onions/eggplant/zucchini, bake some non-sugar veggie quick breads, then freeze individual portions.

    A microwaved potato topped with caramelized onions and your cheese of choice.

    Saute cauliflower florets in OO until slightly brown, add a box of frozen chopped spinach (thawed, juice as well) mix in, season with S&P, curry powder, extra cumin. Lid on until cauliflower is tender. That's probably two meals for the week with grain.

    Potatoes don't freeze well. Nor cauliflower.

    Lentils are quick to cook and a good protein source. Saute chopped carrots, celery and onions in OO (I always think the saute makes them taste less boiled and watery), pick over and rinse lentils. Add to pot, add water or veggie stock (I like Imagine No-Chicken broth), simmer until lentils are tender. Freeze in individual portions. A handful of grain can be added when reheating.

    3 Replies
    1. re: nemo

      I'm a devout omnivorous carnivore, but I like to make vegetable stock because it is so versatile. Coarsely cut up potatoes, carrots, celery, a peeled rutabaga, onion, garlic, yada, yada, yada... Toss them in a stock pot with water, bring to a boil, turn down the heat to simmer, and cook until very soft. DO NOT ADD SALT...yet. Pour off the stock at the end of about an hour. DO NOT DISCARD THE SOLIDS OF THE VEGETABLES. Puree the solids and add the puree back to the stock. Now add salt to your taste and ground black pepper (if you must...a pepper to me is a capsicum like a bell pepper, or better yet, a pungent chile). Vegetable stock is an experiment...PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD!

      Buon appetito e mangia bene!

      1. re: ChiliDude

        Thanks for the ideas, both of you!
        Now I just have to find some time to get a decent amount of cooking done.

        1. re: tinnywatty

          do you eat fish? 'cause open a jar of salsa, pour it over some salmon, and bake.

    2. This time of year makes me think of zucchini pancakes. Get one zucchini and grate it, along with some onion. Mix in salt, pepper, breadcrumbs and an egg, maybe some parm, until the consistency of a potato pancake, then pan-fry.

      As the weather cools, I love cooked greens with eggs. Get a bag of spinach (or kale, or chard, or whatever you like) and wilt it down with onions and garlic and crushed red pepper. Poach or fry an egg and serve on top! You can add harissa for spice, or tomato sauce, and serve on top of chickpeas or barley or polenta or, really, anything you like. IF you eat eggs, they're a great dinner protein for a vegetarian.

      1. Here's the soup/stew that sustained me through grad school. I found it on epicurious I believe. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a saucepan. Add one bay leaf and one clove of garlic lightly smacked with the back of knife. While that is cooking, rough chop a small onion. Throw that in as well, stirring once in a while. Open a can of chickpeas, rinse and drain. Add those. Add a pinch of chili flakes or more to taste. Add a heaping tbsp of tomato paste (I have used ketchup instead and it works fine, may need more in that case). Stir everything around. Now add 2-3 cups of water, partially cover and bring it to a boil. Then add a couple of handfuls of smallish pasta like macaroni, orchiette or radiatore. Add salt to taste and let it simmer until pasta is cooked to desired doneness. The result should be soupy. You could add parmesan rinds when you add water. Or just serve with grated parmesan when done. Finely chopped cilantro or parsley on top is a must in my book. Serve with a crusty piece of bread like a ciabatta.