With vegetarian lifestyles growing in popularity, there is no shortage of meal ideas on the menu. Learning to maximize your time by making quick and easy vegetarian meals can help you to keep pace with a life that may require your attention more urgently. Using fresh vegetables that are in season from local grocery stores or farmers markets will help to keep your costs down while providing ample supplies for quick eating.
Grocery stores offer a wide variety of products that can replace meat in almost every meat-based meal. Slapping a veggie patty or tofu burger on the George Forman grill will yield delicious vegetarian burgers in minutes. You can also season the patties with you favorite herbs and spices to add flavor.
Another protein-rich meal can be made by cutting up some tofu into French fry-sized pieces and placing them in a foil-lined pan. Sprinkle the top with salt, ground pepper and about 2 tsp. of olive oil. Coat the concoction with a cup of grated mozzarella or cheddar cheese and cook it in the oven for 10 minutes at 400 degrees F. This will yield a macaroni-and-cheese-like meal that is prepared in less than 20 minutes total.
Quick Cold Meals
Sometimes you may not feel like cooking. Cold meals such as stuffed wheat pita sandwiches can provide a quick and delicious vegetarian meal without having to cook. To make this meal, simply stuff your wheat pita bread with your favorite cold veggies. A suggestion is to use tomato, lettuce, cucumber, green or black olives, onion and green pepper. Add your favorite nuts such as almonds, sunflower kernels, peanuts or pecans and sprinkle with feta cheese. Drizzle your sandwich lightly with a vinegar-based dressing or olive oil to top it off. Have some apple slices on the side to round out your meal.
Another quick and cold meal is to simply make a wheat bread peanut-butter-and-fruit sandwich. These sandwiches can be high in fiber when wheat bread is used and provide good amounts of protein. Spread your favorite brand of peanut butter over two slices of bread and add slices of bananas, apples or even whole seedless grapes.
Quick Hot Meals
Quesadillas are a popular favorite that take little time to cook. Simply preheat some of your vegetable-based oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Put a tortilla in the pan when the oil is hot and generously add cheese on the top of the tortilla. Arrange your favorite fresh veggies over the cheese and cover that with another tortilla. Depending on the heating on your stove, flip your quick quesadilla over after about a minute or when the cheese begins to visibly melt. Let the other side of your quesadilla brown and serve warm. You can clock out at 10 minutes when you get good at making these.
One more quick meal is made by boiling some of your favorite pasta. Ensure you make enough pasta to yield 1 cup of cooked pasta per person. Chop up some of your favorite vegetables like onions, squash, snap peas, carrots or even broccoli so that it all adds up to a half cup total for each person eating. While your pasta is cooking, stir fry your chopped vegetables over medium-high heat in a frying pan coated with vegetable-based cooking oil. Add some of your favorite nuts for a boost of protein to the stir fry. Once your pasta is finished and drained, cover it with your stir-fried concoction.