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Hi everyone, this is my first post on veggieboards and Im encouraged to see such a thriving vegetarian community online! I was hoping that the veggie veterans on this board could help me get my vegetarian diet off the ground, and I promise Ill return my own advice as I learn some things worth sharing.<br><br>
My biggest question, as a college student who has a hectic schedule, is what are good meals that can be made in big batches in advance? Also, what kind of portable snacks have worked out for you guys? If I can hammer out mass meals and snacking on the go, I think I can make this diet work. Thank you all for all help.
 

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Meals:<br>
Stew<br>
Soup<br>
Chilli<br>
Pasta sauces<br>
Curry<br>
Lasagne<br>
Cottage pie<br><br>
All of those things can be frozen in takeaway containers or stored in the fridge, ready for a quick microwave/oven reheat. Maybe with a little, speedy side cooking of rice/pasta, and maybe boil up some frozen pre-prepared veg.<br><br>
Snacks:<br>
Crisps (chips to the americans)<br>
Power bars/cereal bars/snack bars<br>
Sandwiches<br>
Chocolate bars<br>
Fruit<br><br>
I was a vegetarian all through my hectic BA degree, and actually went vegan towards the last part of my final year. It's easy enough to do. There's also the odd veg*n microwave meal out there, as well as things like ramen noodles which can be veg*n, and a few takeaway places do veg options, so you should be just fine.
 

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I agree - Soups/Chili is great to make. If you have part of a day/evening to make a couple of different kinds of soups, you can buy freezable tupperware (I use these cool plastic jam tupperware containers) and then freeze like..10 containers and then just pop one in the fridge the day before so it'll be thawed out for you the next day.<br><br>
I've also made a bunch of patties and individually frozen like - my fave to freeze is curry chickpea patties. And I've made burritos and frozen them and I take one to work and it requires no utensils or anything.<br><br>
In terms of portable snacks - I usually prechop a lot of veggies and may some kind of a veggie dip so that I can take them on the go or if I'm really hungry and they are already all ready to go, it prevents me from eating something quick and naughty <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> Hmmm...you could also make a yummy spread and add it into a container with some crackers.<br><br>
Even though making a bunch of soup/patties can be a little time consuming, once you spend the couple of hours making them, you'll have food for a long time that's all ready to go!<br><br>
Oooh one last idea - <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ur5Su5eJVBw&feature=channel_video_title" target="_blank">no-bake granola bars</a> - just whip up the mixture, form them into bars and put them in the freezer!
 

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Oh yeah the no bake granola bar video is what I filmed at the beginning of my last year of university, so I know how hectic it can be.
 

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I forgot about burger patties and the like; I actually just made a batch for freezing. I got eight patties out of it, and it cost me the equivalent of about $8-9. Once they're made and frozen, you just defrost and fry them for about 5 minutes.
 

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making and freezing soup, particularly blended soups is a great idea, making a weeks worth for lunches to microwave at work takes the much the same time as making up one portion. only draw back is having the same thing all week but i only have a small freezer. if i had a bigger one i would make a months worth at a time, different types of course but blended soup blends really well and you through in a handful of lentils into it as a really healthy thickening agent instead of flour or cream.
 

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Chili is an excellent meal to make in advance because the flavor gets better as the days pass. I like to make chili and top it with cornbread. You can use ramekins, portion out the prepared chili, top it off with raw cornbread batter, and bake it. They store well in the freezer too, I have a few in there now.<br><br>
Have you ever tried Amy's Kitchen meals? They can be expensive or cheap, depending on where you shop. You can get a full meal (veggie loaf, corn/peas, and mashed potatoes) for $3.50-ish at Target. The meals are mostly organic too, no junk in them. They have a huge selection. <a href="http://amyskitchen.com/" target="_blank">http://amyskitchen.com/</a>
 

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Soups are my fave for prepping and freezing. Basically anything where the veg is pulverized or mushy will be alright. Avoid freezing anything where you want the veg to have some texture left, but aside from that most stuff works.<br>
Also some things like pasta with a basic tomato (or cream if you're not vegan or calorie counting) sauce and some veggies only take c.15 mins (pasta cooking time) to prepare from scratch, particularly if you have chopped the veg in advance.
 

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I would recommend a crockpot and lots of bean based foods. For example, I will make a crockpot of black beans with peppers and onions and a pot brown rice and make burrito bowls with salsa, sour cream, etc... Then, the next day, I will puree some of the beans and put them back in the pot and have black bean soup. I may add a scoop of rice and some queso fresco on top. Today, I am making a pot of beans for pasta e fagoli. It's a white bean soup with celery, garlic, onions, tomatoes, no chicken broth, and pasta. I eat on that for a few days. Then, I might make a pot of chick peas and use some of them for curry and the rest for hummus. I put the hummus on tortillas with cucumbers, roasted red peppers, and a bit of feta for a lunch wrap.<br><br>
One quick and fast meal is pita pizza. You use the pita as the crust, pasta sauce for the sauce, then sauteed or raw veggies as the topping. If you like cheese, you can add that. You bake it like you would a regular pizza. It is really great in a toaster oven as well. The great thing is, you can freeze the pitas so they don't go bad. They are also handy for hummus based sandwiches.
 
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