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#1 Old 07-15-2015, 09:43 AM
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i need ideas!

Since becoming vegetarian about 7 months ago my biggest problem has been finding simple meals to eat for lunch or a quick dinner. i usually work until 10 at night and so i don't have time to cook myself dinner when i get home and usually end up eating pasta half the week. same goes for lunch. i like to be productive during the day so i don't want to waste an hour cooking lunch, i feel like so many vegetarian recipes i look at call for a lot of work? maybe that's just me or maybe I'm looking in the wrong place but even after checking out the 'sandwiches and burgers' section of the recipes on this site, they were all burgers. don't get me wrong, i love cooking, and on my nights off i will gladly spend 2-3 hours cooking a wonderful dinner but i just don't always have the time. i try to stay away from frozen and processed foods so maybe thats part of the issue. but i can't keep living off of pb&j and pasta for half the week. if anyone has any good, quick, and unique ideas (like other than salad, pasta, basic sandwiches that everyone knows etc.) they would be greatly appreciated. thanks
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#2 Old 07-15-2015, 09:51 AM
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Stir fry.

Pasta n' marinara sauce.

Peanut butter on toast.

Noodles.

Anything "ethnic" - some spices and a leaf becomes a meal.

Make base sauces and freeze them - then add varying spices on preparing meal and veg.

Fruit.

Cereal n "milk".
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#3 Old 07-15-2015, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by alannon View Post
Since becoming vegetarian about 7 months ago my biggest problem has been finding simple meals to eat for lunch or a quick dinner. i usually work until 10 at night and so i don't have time to cook myself dinner when i get home and usually end up eating pasta half the week. same goes for lunch. i like to be productive during the day so i don't want to waste an hour cooking lunch, i feel like so many vegetarian recipes i look at call for a lot of work? maybe that's just me or maybe I'm looking in the wrong place but even after checking out the 'sandwiches and burgers' section of the recipes on this site, they were all burgers. don't get me wrong, i love cooking, and on my nights off i will gladly spend 2-3 hours cooking a wonderful dinner but i just don't always have the time. i try to stay away from frozen and processed foods so maybe thats part of the issue. but i can't keep living off of pb&j and pasta for half the week. if anyone has any good, quick, and unique ideas (like other than salad, pasta, basic sandwiches that everyone knows etc.) they would be greatly appreciated. thanks
I'm a self-proclaimed lazy cook. I find using a rice cooker, slow cooker and/or food processor to be a great time saver. I also rely on frozen vegetables and canned beans and salsa when I'm really pressed for time. Studies show frozen veggies can be just as nutritious as fresh. Here are the healthier processed foods I rely on the most: http://veggieprimer.com/processed-foods/

And here are some of my favorite quick recipes:
- http://veggieprimer.com/quick-rice-and-beans/
- http://veggieprimer.com/teriyaki-veggie-spring-rolls/
- http://veggieprimer.com/easy-homemade-veggie-pizza/

I hope you find this information helpful! Good luck!
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#4 Old 07-15-2015, 04:09 PM
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A rice cooker/veg steamer does sound like a good idea.
I make larger portions of rice and freeze half in zip bags. Quinoa can be made in 20 minutes so that I often make in the morning. Frozen veggies never get cooked- I let them thaw over grains/noodles and shake some spices, Braggs, or mix in some Better than Boullion No chicken base in the hot grain. I'll toss in some nuts or seeds and there's a quick lunch

Ever make seitan? Here's the recipe I use. It takes time to cook, but almost no time to prepare.

Tofu cubed, seasoned and sauteed with other veggies. I don't press, just squeeze the excess and maybe toss in cornstarch with seasoning. If you have an empty bag from crackers, pretzels or chips that works really well and you can crush the leftover chips for coating

Hummus, fat free refried beans, mashed beans all make great sandwich/wraps with veggies

Garbanzos! Sometimes I just eat them as they are. Lightly mash and mix with whatever you would have used for egg, chicken or tuna salad. Endless variations. I use Old Bay, curry powder, Black salt (very eggy at Indian grocers) or even an Italian style oil and vinegar with chopped onion, pickles, and peppers

Soup

Rice and lentils. lentils are quick cooking and you can have rice in the freezer. there are ways of cooking both together but I've never tried
If you cook red lentils and brown lentils together the red ones mush down and you can mix in some tomato paste (or ketchup) season and mix with pasta or hAve sloppy jos or have with pitas

Canned chili seasoned beans. Great with rice, or mixed with chopped tomatoes and sauteed veggies for quick chili
Canned vegetarian baked beans. heck, I eat them out of the can. Surprising the ones that are vegan-esp the 'steakhouse' type! just read. The one's I've contacted about natural flavore (Hanover, Aldi) have confirmed they are vegan
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#5 Old 07-16-2015, 09:07 PM
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thanks for the answers guys! you've given me some great ideas. I've actually been thinking about getting a rice cooker so maybe now i'll actually get around to it also i love the idea of the lentil sloppy joes. i have a bunch of red and i believe green in my cabinet and have yet to use them because i've only eaten them a handful of times so I'm not exactly comfortable cooking with them yet, but this will be a great start!
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#6 Old 07-29-2015, 06:43 AM
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Yes. One of the drawbacks of vegetarian/vegan for some people is that you do end up cooking more. It takes 15 minutes (about 5 minutes prep time, and 15 of cooking) to make rice and veggies. My go to food is rice-cooker rice. By pre-making bean dishes, like on the weekend or at night, you can put it into containers and have ready made microwaveable bean dishes that you can bring to work and zap in the microwave.

I make vegetarian sandwiches out of bean pastes. Like Hummus, or re-fried beans. Just get a can of vegetarian re-fried beans, spread some on bread or a baguette, load up with veggies, and maybe a spritz of olive oil & vinegar dressing, and you have a quick sandwich. You can use a well ripened avocado also as sandwich spread using the same principal.

Remember hummus, cous-cous even steel cut oatmeal. YOu can make "savory" as opposed to sweet oatmeal and other grains. Hust ad spices, salt pepper, cut up onions, peppers, mushrooms to your old fashioned or steel cut oatmeal and you have a rice-like dish that tastes great.

I was a O-L Vegetarian for many years, now I am a no dairy/no eggs vegetarian, but not quite vegan.
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#7 Old 07-29-2015, 06:06 PM
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Garden salads can actually be quite filling if you add stuff like canned beans or nuts/seeds to them, and/or fresh or dried fruits and of course lots of interesting veggies. Jicama and orange slices for example can add a nice twist to a garden salad. Bring along some toast and a bean spread.

Sometimes I buy those tubes of polenta, slice them, and add canned vegan baked beans on top. I might have some steamed broccoli on the side. It takes about five or ten minutes to chop some broccoli and throw it in a steamer basket and steam it. I dip it in the baked beans when I eat it.

Once you peel sweet potato, just chop it into cubes and again steam for ten minutes in a steamer basket to soften it. I like to mix canned or dried cooked black beans, sweet potato, coconut, and chopped lightly steamed kale together (I steam kale with the sweet potato).

Sliced tempeh goes well in a pita with tomato, lettuce, and veggie mayo or avocado.

Or it can be something as simple as a mango and handful of almonds for me for lunch.

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#8 Old 07-29-2015, 07:06 PM
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The sandwiches thing is easy - take any fruits and veggies that you like and think compliment each other and stick them between some bread.

This is what I like to make. It's cheap. It's healthy. It's zesty and delicious. Like you, I have a limited amount of time to spend on food, but this only takes a few short minutes.

Sub sandwich rolls (for some reason, this makes a sandwich way better than two slices of bread)
Your favorite kind of lettuce. I tend to go with Romaine.
Sliced tomatoes
Red onion
Pickled Peppercinis. I get the "hot" flavor, but there's a mild one available too. They're sweet, very zesty, and hot if you want them to be. This adds a TON of flavor to your sandwich.
Olives
Cucumbers
Your choice of cheese, if not vegan (I love my pepperjack.)
Dazzle with olive oil and vinegar. Lightly shake herbal seasonings if you want (I do basil and oregano).

If you want more food in your plate, add a scoop of potato salad (I just buy mine pre-made) and/or heat up your choice of beans.

I used to constantly go out to eat. Wasted a lot of time and money. This is way cheaper, and in the time it takes you to drive to a restaurant, you'll already have one of these made.
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#9 Old 07-29-2015, 08:10 PM
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How do you feel about eggs? Since I became a vegetarian about 8 months ago I have been eating more of them. You can have egg sandwiches, with tomato or bell peppers. Also make skillets, just throw some veggies (onion, bell peppers, broccoli, leeks, scallions, zucchini, potatoes) in a pan and when they're soft you add eggs and scrambled them with the veggies.

Also I am a big van of wraps. You can fill them up with cheese, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion, anything really. Or fill them with eggs and veggies.

Also eggplant parm is one of my favorites. It takes a little longer but you can make a lot of it at once and freeze it. You can have it with pasta (i know you're trying to get away from that) or made eggplant parm sandwiches.

Last, but not least have you tried veggetti? Spaghetti made from vegetables? It takes about just as much time as making pasta does, yet it have a completely different taste. Especially is you mix up the sauces. Such as peanut sesame, pesto, Alfredo, garlic, marinara, and many other.

Also try cooking with quinoa, it's delicious.

I have a blog if you're interested in more! http://meababes.weebly.com/

Hope this helps!
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Last edited by MEA; 07-29-2015 at 08:13 PM.
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#10 Old 08-03-2015, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zack View Post
The sandwiches thing is easy - take any fruits and veggies that you like and think compliment each other and stick them between some bread.

This is what I like to make. It's cheap. It's healthy. It's zesty and delicious. Like you, I have a limited amount of time to spend on food, but this only takes a few short minutes.

Sub sandwich rolls (for some reason, this makes a sandwich way better than two slices of bread)
Your favorite kind of lettuce. I tend to go with Romaine.
Sliced tomatoes
Red onion
Pickled Peppercinis. I get the "hot" flavor, but there's a mild one available too. They're sweet, very zesty, and hot if you want them to be. This adds a TON of flavor to your sandwich.
Olives
Cucumbers
Your choice of cheese, if not vegan (I love my pepperjack.)
Dazzle with olive oil and vinegar. Lightly shake herbal seasonings if you want (I do basil and oregano).

If you want more food in your plate, add a scoop of potato salad (I just buy mine pre-made) and/or heat up your choice of beans.

I used to constantly go out to eat. Wasted a lot of time and money. This is way cheaper, and in the time it takes you to drive to a restaurant, you'll already have one of these made.
that sandwich sounds amazing, i will definitely have to try that.
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