Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Week of Easy, Vegetarian Meals

I want to offer you a week of easy, vegetarian meals.

I often am asked by meat eaters what are my favorite dishes and what I commonly eat. I usually just say pasta because that's the first thing that comes to my mind, but I've been thinking about it for a few days and wanted to document some of my favorite meals. These are meals I can make on a weeknight because I usually keep these ingredients on hand and they are relatively quick to make.

You will see spinach salad on here with almost every meal because I actually do eat that all the time. I love it, it's good for me and it's easy.

For dressing, I like to make homemade peppercorn ranch dressing or balsamic vinegar. I'll share my peppercorn ranch recipe tomorrow.

1) Tri-color rotini pasta with green beans, bread and spinach salad.

I love this recipe. I have it memorized by now because I make it alllll the time. I always have the ingredients on hand for this one so it's a go-to dish.

I found the recipe many years ago on Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade website, but I can't find it now. Here it is from my recipe book:


1 (1 pound) package of tricolor rotini (I like the hidden veggie kind)
1 package frozen broccoli stir-fry mix (Birds Eye brand)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups shredded Parmesan

In a large pot, bring 4 quarts water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Add the stir-fry mix to pasta water during the last 2 to 3 minutes. Drain well.

In a bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, pepper, red pepper and salt. I like to add basil too. Add the pasta mix and cheese, tossing to coat. Serve.

Here's the recipe for the Focaccia.

2) Baked Potatoes, parmesan green beans and spinach salad.

This one is easy peasy.  There's only like 5 minutes of actual cooking time for you! You just have to plan ahead to get the potatoes in the oven. I first pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. I wash/scrub the potatoes, cut up aluminum foil for each potato, rub the potatoes with olive oil, sprinkle sea salt on and then wrap them in their little aluminum foil blankets and toss them in the oven. After an hour they are steamy and ready for eating.

When the potatoes are almost ready I start the green beans and prepare my salad.

I've shared the green bean recipe before, you can find it here. They are soooo easy! It takes about 5 minutes to make them.

3) Lemon pasta, spinach salad, edamame

The pasta is Pioneer Woman's Baked Lemon Pasta

In the picture those are Parmesan green beans, but I like to switch it up sometimes and have edamame. It's yummy and easy (I just heat up one of those 'steam in the bag' packages in the microwave) and they have protein.

4) Pita pizzas, fresh fruit, spinach salad

This one is just fun. I like this for guests because they can put whatever they want on it. I buy the pitas when they are BOGO at Publix. :) On mine, I like pesto sauce, a little sea salt, spinach, cut up tomatoes, olives, mushrooms (if I have them), mozzarella cheese.

This is the brand of pitas that I buy, but I prefer the wheat kind.

I put them in the oven for about ten to fifteen minutes and they're good to go.

I always keep fresh fruit around the house. I like to wash and cut it up when I get home from the store so it's ready to go, so whatever I have on hand I serve.

5) Stuffed peppers, mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.

Yes, I like cheese. I will admit this one takes me a little more time because I have to prepare the items for the "stuffing" of the bell peppers, but it's still easy.

I found the recipe I use on the blog Mom Machine. I love these peppers! I add cayenne pepper to mine cause I like the rice to be a little spicy to contrast with the sweetness of the bell peppers.

And there you have it,

Man, I could have listed even more. I didn't even get to the soups yet. Yum, soup.

Now, please don't let me mislead you into thinking that I cook every night. I don't. On days that I have improv rehearsal (yes, I really do improv) or church I usually head straight there after work and eat leftovers when I get home. These are just ideas for meals that I make pretty regularly. :) I also have the habit of when I cook, making a lot extra of stuff so I usually can eat on it for a few days and take leftovers to work so that cuts down on how often I cook too.

And sometimes I just eat this for dinner. :)


Heather{Our Life In a Click} said...

These are all making me very hungry!! I can't wait to try that baked lemon pasta! We eat baked potatoes and stuffed peppers a lot too!

Dee D said...

I didn't know that you were a vegetarian... that's awesome. Your post is right on time. A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I were talking about having a day or two of meatless meals every week. I think I'll try your rotini recipe first. Thanks for sharing.

Brandi said...

Well if I wasn't hungry before I sure am now! Everything looks delicious, Morgan. I've been juicing for the last few weeks so I feel like a vegetarian. LOL! I also use my juicer to make really healthy soups. My kids even tried the last one I made and enjoyed it!