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This is going to be a bit rambling because I completely fail at being succinct and/or brief in any way.
So, I'm not vegetarian yet due to family structure/financial reasons but I'm sort of slowly shifting. I figure if I am eating vegetarian (and actually often vegan because I don't eat much by way of eggs or dairy normally from simple preference) every other week or so for now, by the time I can actually start increasing the amount of days I do it I'll have improved my cooking skills (which currently consist of the ability to make the best [cheaters] caramel cinnamon rolls ever and that's it) and I'll have a better grasp on what a day of healthy eating should look like for me.
It's going to be really hot for a while and I don't have many ideas on what to make for my vegetarian/vegan days.
It's going to be (and already is) hot enough that I won't feel like cooking stuff that takes more than a little while (even if I knew how) and my sister who will be showing me how to make stuff certainly won't. A person can only take so many salads and sandwiches (and I'm kind of lost on how to make vegetarian/vegan sandwiches too; what do you put on them?).

Like anyone I have some preferences that I'll list below:
- I don't know if I like 'mock meat' products, never had them but I will note that I am willing to try them.
- I don't currently have 'pantry' items like non-dairy margarine or milk but I do have access to it (and possibly non-dairy mayonnaise).
- I like most every vegetable I've ever tasted (except fennel, arugula, and Brussels sprouts) and am willing (read: LOVE) to try new stuff.
- It can't be too expensive or 'gourmet' as I'll be bribing my (other) sister into buying the ingredients for me with the aforementioned caramel cinnamon rolls.
- I live in a tiny little microscopic town, we have two farmers markets. I've never been to or heard of before last week one of them, and the other is a single aisle of about 20 ft with 8-10 vendors who only sell plain produce and the nearest whole foods or trader joes is more than an hour away but we do have a little independent health store down-town that I'm pretty sure stocks stuff like non-dairy mayonnaise and vegan vitamins and our local Walmart has non-dairy milk and margarine.
- Any meal is fine (particularly cold non-box cereal/yoghurt breakfasts)
- I'd prefer exact (or at least close) recipes if you can, my sister is an amazing cook but when it comes to things uncommon in 'omnivorous' diet she doesn't have any knowledge about that so at least the first time would be nice to have a specific guide.
(Suggestions that lead me to place that could help me figure out how I should be eating without needing to go get a degree in nutrition to read it would be helpful too.)
Hope that's not too picky!
 

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Okay, first of all, I am addicted to sandwiches-vegetarian sandwiches are the GREATEST. Some examples:
-Portobello mushroom cap, spinach, roasted red pepper, olive oil, goat cheese
-baked tempeh, avocado, alfalfa sprouts, whole grain mustard, hot sauce (best sandwich OF ALL TIME)
-avocado, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, sprouts, black olives, whole grain mustard, red wine vinegar
-hummus, lettuce, tomato, sprouts, red wine vinegar

Instead of hummus, you can make other kinds of dips the same way. I like using black beans, cannelini beans, and eggplant. Just blend the beans/eggplant in a food processor with a little bit of olive oil and water, then add whatever spices you want. With eggplant, make sure you bake it first, and DEFINITELY make sure you stab it with a fork before baking it, or it will explode.

As for hot weather food, I like eating spicy food in the Summer. I'll give you a recipe for the dinner I had the other night:

Ingredients
-black eyed peas (canned or dry)
-spinach
-tomato, diced (canned or fresh)
-fresh garlic, five cloves. Add onion if you'd like.
-vegetable stock
-liquid smoke (should be near the hot sauces in your supermarket, this is a staple in my pantry tbh)
-your favourite hot sauce
-canola oil

Directions

1. Cook black eyed peas, if using dry.
2. Finely chop garlic. Heat canola oil (about 1-2 tbsp.) in a large pot under medium high heat. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until browned.
3. Add black eyed peas, fresh spinach (several handfuls) and tomato.
4. Add 1 cup vegetable broth, and liquid smoke and hot sauce to taste.
5. Turn heat down to low, and let reduce about 15 minutes.
6. Serve with these corn muffins: http://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipes/11199?section=

Hope that makes sense to you-I don't measure at all when I cook, and go by smell/taste when adding ingredients. This was a big hit with my husband and me!
 

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Lately I've been eating almost exclusively salads and things I can throw on the grill (personally, I prefer grilling actual vegetables, not the ubiquitous tofu dogs or veggie burgers.)

By "salads," I don't mean just greens and tomato with dressing -- that's not my thing at all. What I really like are hearty salads that are filling enough to serve either as a meal in themselves, or a substantial part of a meal. Here are some examples of salads I have in the fridge right now:

- Cold cooked rice, cold cooked broccoli, chickpeas, sunflower seeds, basil, thyme, mint, red wine vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil

- Cold cooked quinoa, black beans, mango, scallion, red pepper, cilantro, grapeseed oil and red wine vinegar (this one's from Veganomicon)

- Fruit salad: 1 apple, 2 nectarines, a bunch of cherries I had lying around, about 1/2 a bunch of seedless red grapes, and a box of raspberries, with shredded mint

- Potato salad: Cold cooked fingerling potatoes, avocado blended in food processor with juice of 2 limes, chopped plum tomato and red onion, pinch of cayenne

As for grilling, my favorite vegetables to grill are red bell pepper, eggplant, onion, zucchini or summer squash, and of course, portobello caps. Last night I had a sandwich of grilled red bell pepper, eggplant, onion and zucchini, on ciabatta bread (which I also grilled), spread with kalamata olive tapenade. Tonight I'm going to grill some more of these veggies and pour miso-tahini dressing over them.

Basically in summer I'm a fruit and veggie person.
 

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Riot Nrrrd
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Cold grain salads are good in hot weather and involve very little stove use.
 

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This is more delicious than it sounds:
Can of black beans rinsed and drained (black eyed peas are good too)
Chop red onion, celery, bell peppers, cucumber,
cooked corn-about two cups-fresh or frozen thawed, drained well.
All mixed together.

I don't bother with dressing, but is great over greens and tomatoes with an oil and balsamic vinegar.
 

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Riot Nrrrd
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Quote:
delicious than it sounds
Sounds pretty good actually. I'd probably just mix in some salsa instead of the veggies. Less prep. I get really lazy hot days. Top with a big dollop of plain soygurt. Ans some crumbled tortilla chips for crunch.
 

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My favorite sandwich is a tortilla wrap with hummus, roasted red pepper, cucumber, and feta. I am not a huge sandwich eater, but I do eat a lot of sauteed veggie tacos (mushrooms, red bell pepper, onion, etc...) I wrap them in a corn tortilla with guacamole and a chipotle sauce I make from Greek yogurt and Chipotle Tabasco.

For a quick meal you can make, how about nachos made with baked chips, black beans, and either some light regular or vegan cheese, salsa, jalapenos, and avocado?

I know you want warm weather foods, but a veggie soup with wheat pasta would be great b/c you can eat on it for 4 days or so, or freeze some of it.
 
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