At the end of a long day, the last thing we want to do is cook time-consuming meals. Sometimes we just want to kick back, Netflix and Chill and eat a pizza. But for those with a vegetarian lifestyle, who are looking for quick, easy ways to cook veggie-based dishes, it's a lot easier than you think, and a lot less expensive than ordering takeout. Cooking quick vegetarian recipes for you or your family is easy with the right ingredients.
So, let's get down to the basics: What do you need to make a hearty, good-for-you meal? The first ingredient might seem obvious, but it's one of the most important items in any vegetarian dish---vegetables! Broccoli, squash, tomatoes, onions, green beans, asparagus. Whatever veggie matches your mood, go for it. And the great thing about vegetables is that it only takes a few minutes to prep. Sharpen your knife skills and chop up fresh veggies for a myriad of different recipes. If you're looking to partner your veggies with pasta, look no further than a quick, light pasta primavera. Boil a pot of whatever pasta you prefer, sautee summer squash, red peppers, tomatoes and broccoli with garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil, toss together and top with grated parmesan cheese.
More in a rice mood? Nothing works better than a quick and healthy stir-fry. It's versatile, easy to make and it always tastes great. To get the most balanced stir-fry, always make sure to include these three components: vegetables, protein and a tasty sauce. For protein, choose any soft or firm tofu, cubed or not cubed. And if you're not a tofu fan, add seitan (wheat gluten) or keep it strictly veggie. Heat olive oil in a wok or frying pan, add your protein, making sure to brown the tofu or seitan on both sides and set aside on a plate when it's done. Next, fry those veggies. Fry vegetables that take the longest to cook, like peppers, broccoli, and carrots, and cook for one minute. Then, add in the quicker cooking vegetables like pea pods, onions and mushrooms. Sautee with two cloves of garlic (or however much garlic you want), and when done, transfer the protein back into the pan, toss together with a basic stir-fry sauce--veggie broth, soy sauce, sugar and rice wine--serve with hot brown or white rice, and voila! Time to stir-fry.
Other quick vegetarian recipes include pizza, salads, and hearty chilis. For pizza, as long as you have a pizza pan, grab pre-made dough at the supermarket, flour, fresh mushrooms, broccoli, spinach, mozzarella and tomato sauce. Easy steps include flouring your kitchen surface to avoid sticking, stretching the dough, adding your sauce, veggies, and cheese, and cooking for 12 to 15 minutes at 425 degrees. If you're craving a salad, you can never go wrong with Greek salad. With fresh iceberg lettuce, top your salad with chunky cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, greek olives, pepperoncinis and feta cheese. Drizzle either greek dressing or balsamic vinaigrette on top and serve with pita bread. If the weather calls for soup, making a basic vegetarian chili can make the cold disappear fast. Heat olive oil in a large pot, stir in chopped white onions with a pinch of salt, oregano and cumin, and stir until the onion is cooked. Mix in garlic, green peppers, and jalapeno peppers and simmer for five minutes. Once done, add two cans of crushed peeled tomatoes, chili powder, garbanzo beans, black beans and kidney beans, bring to a boil and simmer for 40 minutes.
Food is life, but it doesn't have to be difficult to make to be tasty. Add these easy meals to any weekday dinner and you'll be cooking vegetarian in no time.