My husband is a vegetarian. I am not but I have found it much easier to cook vegetarian meals at dinner. Some nights I’m tired and don’t have energy to be creative so we created a list of foods that we like to have on hand to make a quick and healthy dinner.
- Whole wheat pasta
- Brown Rice
- Couscous or Quinoa
- Black Beans
- Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans (check the sodium content if you buy canned)
- Fresh Veggies- especially tomatoes, peppers, and mushrooms
- Extra Firm Tofu
- Spaghetti Sauce (low sodium)
- Peanut Sauce or Barbecue Sauce or lite-Soy Sauce
- Frozen Veggie Burgers
- Frozen vegetables (no sauce and low sodium)
- Olive Oil
- Smoked Paprika (AMAZING!)
My current Top 3 go- to-meals are the following :
Rice and Beans with Veggies
I grab the brown rice and put it in the rice cooker. It takes a long time (30-40 minutes) to cook brown rice so I usually do this then take our dog for her evening walk. When we come back from the walk, I turn on the stove, grab a pan and add olive oil, garlic, onion, and seasonings like smoked paprika. Then I look in fridge/freezer for veggies and cut some up. I microwave black beans or chickpeas for a couple minutes. Finally, I add veggies and beans to the skillet until everything is warm and done.
Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce
It is amazing how quickly this comes together. I cook the spaghetti at the same time I am sautéing the marinara sauce. Onions, mushrooms, peppers, and tomatoes are great choices and you can easily get 2 servings of veggies per person to put in the marinara sauce. I usually leave out any of the cut veggies that did not get put in the marinara sauce and we eat them at dinner as well.
Tofu and Sauce
I have always been a bit scared of cooking tofu. It always crumbles. I have found that using an extra –firm tofu allows you to cut the tofu up into a lot of different shapes and it still stays together when it cooks. My current preferences are sautéing in peanut sauce or a sweet barbecue sauce. It does not take more than 6-8 minutes to cook and it can be put on anything, rice, couscous, noodles, or even eaten on its own.