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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello
I have been a vegetarian for just over a month now and I am really enjoying the change. I made the change for ethical reasons, but I was hoping for a healthier alternative as well. However, my staples and regular go-to items are not all that great. I feel like I've been surviving on cheese, french fries, and potato chips. I know that's not very good. Any suggestions for good QUICK meal alternatives that are just as satisfying? And hopefully have a lot more green to them lol (I also have a 2 year old so I don't have a lot of time for long prep work
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Riot Nrrrd
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What could be greener than greens?
You can buy canned collards (check the ingredients though - sometimes pork is added
). Just pour 'em in a pot and heat. Fix up some grits (I heat them in the microwave) and presto! A meal. Probably wanna nuke up some vegetarian baked beans to complete the meal. Total time investment for the whole meal 10-15 minutes.

(Note that I live in Minnesota even though I eat like I'm from Tennessee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Limes View Post

Thanks for the reply
I was starting to wonder if I'd asked something dumb...
Awwww. I understand that feeling all too well.
I wrote up a lengthy reply earlier today, but it got lost and I didn't have time to rewrite it.

Short version:

When I am looking for quick, compact, and vegetable loaded I make burritos. I start with black beans, cooked up with onion, tomatoes, chopped spinach (you can't taste it) and diced eggplant. The eggplant lends a creamy texture and flavour to the dish. Once every thing is soft, I mash with a fork. Fill wraps up with it. Serve with a (preferably) fresh salsa, avocado and cabbage salad. Even if you think you dislike eggplant, trust me on this one.

Also, if you're not crazy about greens, try this recipe: A head of kale with all the leaves torn into bite-size pieces, scrunch them up with about a teaspoon of sesame oil and bake on a cookie sheet in a 400 F oven for 10 minutes. They're really crunchy and tasty and an easy way to polish off a lot of kale.

You should wander over to the "Food Discussion" and "Recipes" sections of the board, tonnes of great ideas and lots of inspiration!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sounds great
I like greens, I just honestly haven't been cooking real food for myself long enough to know how to prepare most of the good ones
(Only been graduated a year hehe)
 

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I eat lots of salads, and to make it more convenient, I keep a little salad bar in my fridge. Get all the ingredients you want, rinse them, chop them, etc.. and keep them in tupperware. That way you don't have to do lots of work when you want a salad, you just have to assemble it. A salad with edamame, chickpeas, or tofu in it can even become a meal. (Or cheese or hard-boiled egg if that floats your boat.)
 

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Riot Nrrrd
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My first year 'on my own' I pretty much lived on peanut butter and sprout bagel sandwiches (trust me it's yummy) and pretzels for lunch with spaghetti for dinner. I couldn't afford prepared sauce, so learned how to make canned plain tomato sauce taste good with spices. Ahh ... the good old days


Two appliances that I find really useful on days I don't have much time are my slow cooker and my rice cooker. You don't need anything too fancy, so both were pretty affordable. Might as well call my slow cooker a chili maker, because that's 95% of what I do with it. Maybe 10 minutes to throw ingredients in it, turn on and ignore it for 8ish hours, and I get 3-4 nice meals from it. I have microwavable baking stuff, so can go from 'gee, this would be good with cornbread' to freshly made cornbread in a matter of minutes.

Dang, now I want chili.
 

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mccains stir fry the asian one is great - you use a little bit of olive oil and fry then add 2 minute noodles and add some already made sweet and sour sauce and roasted seeds.
 

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I love humus with fresh carrots and cucumbers. Or with cucumbers, red bell peppers and sprouts on a sandwich. Or in a wrap with black beans, lettuce and tomato. Humus is great, easy to make or you can buy it in any supermarket.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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Originally Posted by Jenbug26 View Post

I love humus with fresh carrots and cucumbers. Or with cucumbers, red bell peppers and sprouts on a sandwich. Or in a wrap with black beans, lettuce and tomato. Humus is great, easy to make or you can buy it in any supermarket.
Mmm red pepper hummus with pita chips was one of my fav snacks even before making the change
 

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Originally Posted by kasandra View Post

mccains stir fry the asian one is great - you use a little bit of olive oil and fry then add 2 minute noodles and add some already made sweet and sour sauce and roasted seeds.
Mmmmmm! I have t o try it without the noodles though. Wheat/gluten allergy. I am a new vegetarian also. I had been trying to go all the way for awhile. I am eating a lot of sauteed mushrooms. I also thought I did not care for beans because they tasted too starchy for me but I made some from dried beans and didn't over do them. Just until they get too mushy. They are more nutty. Is it alright to eat them that way? Limes, just don't get discouraged.

Barbie
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave in MPLS View Post

My first year 'on my own' I pretty much lived on peanut butter and sprout bagel sandwiches (trust me it's yummy) and pretzels for lunch with spaghetti for dinner. I couldn't afford prepared sauce, so learned how to make canned plain tomato sauce taste good with spices. Ahh ... the good old days


Two appliances that I find really useful on days I don't have much time are my slow cooker and my rice cooker. You don't need anything too fancy, so both were pretty affordable. Might as well call my slow cooker a chili maker, because that's 95% of what I do with it. Maybe 10 minutes to throw ingredients in it, turn on and ignore it for 8ish hours, and I get 3-4 nice meals from it. I have microwavable baking stuff, so can go from 'gee, this would be good with cornbread' to freshly made cornbread in a matter of minutes.

Dang, now I want chili.
We got a panini maker. I found it is great for veggie sandwiches. My fiancee got it for his meat and cheese sandwiches, but I believe i will be using it a lot more. Roasted peppers, avocado all the good stuff in there. I made a peanut butter and jam sandwich that was so good. Crispy on the outside and melty in the inside. mmmmmm mmmm mmmmm
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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Originally Posted by penny79 View Post

Smoothies are pretty fast to make, and you can add greens to those.
Good thing I got some smoothy mix at the farmers market today :3 I wonder if strawberry spinach is a good combo
 

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I never made a green smoothie. I will though. Especially for my boyfriend who does not care for salad. He would love that. Strawberry sounds as if it would go great with spinach. So is spinach high in iron? Then I think the vitamin C in the strawberries would help the absorption of the iron?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
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Originally Posted by NightOwl View Post

I never made a green smoothie. I will though. Especially for my boyfriend who does not care for salad. He would love that. Strawberry sounds as if it would go great with spinach. So is spinach high in iron? Then I think the vitamin C in the strawberries would help the absorption of the iron?
I think any dark green is high in iron. So if you prefer kale to spinach, I think they're about the same nutritionally...as far as vitamin C, I have no idea what it does really, except that its good
 

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I like 60% fruit, 40% greens, and usually include at least one banana.


No smoothie mix is needed. Just fresh foods for mine.
 

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I have two tools that I love. I use a rice cooker with a steamer and a crockpot. You can make a big pot of beans with some veggies like bell peppers, tomatoes and onion thrown in, in the crockpot. You can have them with rice made in the rice cooker. I also throw a bunch of fresh veggies like cauliflower, potatoes, chickpeas, bell pepper, and onion with a can of coconut milk and couple of tbsp curry powder and cook it in the crockpot for about 4 hours. I also eat this over rice. You can do brown rice and put some veggies to steam in the rice cooker towards the end. You can get some wicked bottled sauces to top meals like this. I also cook quinoa in the rice cooker, put it in the fridge to chill, mix in a few salad veggies, feta and serve with vinegarette. For me, the key is to make extra of everything so I can eat on it for a couple of days. I also cut up fruit and veggies at the beginning of the week and keep them to snack on. I make a yogurt dip for the veggie sticks.
 

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I usually most of the time eat only brown rice as a base for my foods as I dont do gluten/wheat a lot.

IT BLOATS me... hate that feeling of discomfort.
 

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Make a green smoothie! It's the best way to get loads of green into your diet without cooking. And it's quick and delicious.

My tried and true recipe:

1 cup Kale (torn to smaller pieces)
1 cup Spinach (torn to smaller pieces)
1 cup non-dairy milk (I use rice)
1 packet of vegan sweetener (like Stevia)
1 Pear, cored and chopped into chunks

Blend first three ingredients first till there are no green chunks or little pieces of green left. It will look like a bright green juice. (depends on how good your blender is. I like to start with the lowest speed, then slowly increase it and then keep it on the highest setting for a couple of minutes to achieve this smooth result).

While you are waiting for the greens to blend smoothly, chop up and core the pear (easiest way is to cut off the tip of the top of the pear where the stem is, stand it up right, and slice down around the core and discard, and chop up the rest).

Then add the sweetener and pear and blend again till there are no pieces of pear remaining.

VIOLA, a pear tasting smoothie, with tons of greens.

Now if you don't like pear, you can sub the pear for just about any ripe fruit, about a cup. I've tried melons, kiwi, berries. All have different results, it just depends on your taste.

You can also add things like milled flax seed for Omega-3 boost, or soy protein for a protein shake, or anything you want to add to it.
 
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