Feeding a Vegetarian, the Easy Way

Cormac studied in Finland last fall and, while abroad, became a vegetarian.  Originally, I thought (hoped) that his new diet would be short-lived, but it’s been over 18 months, and he’s still at it!  Since I am generally the one who does our grocery shopping and meal planning, and don’t want to plan two meals each night, I have also been eating vegetarian at home.

When I started looking for vegetarian recipes that weren’t spaghetti or salad, I found that a lot of recipes call for obscure ingredients, or worse expensive ingredients.  Since food is the largest share of our household budget, expensive varieties of tofu just weren’t in our cards.  Plus we both think it’s kind of gross.  The other problem is that we will soon be moving… errr, somewhere… so I needed to develop a cookbook that would travel well!  And so began my quest through the interwebs to find some affordable, easy, vegetarian recipes.

Some of our relatives have asked me for recipes so they could try going meatless once a week, so I’ve decided to share them here.  If you’re not in to cooking, ignore the rest of this post!  And if you have any cookbooks or recipes that you love (vegetarian, ideally), please share in the comments!

I find a lot of my recipes on this blog: www.veggiebelly.com  I found this blog when I was learning to cook curry, which I accomplished!  I had to invest in some spices, but don’t feel bad about it because I use them so often now.  She gives great ingredient substitution tips and provides pictures of each step so you know if you’re doing it right!

Last night, Cormac and I had “Stupidly Easy Peanut Noodles”  (http://www.veggiebelly.com/2013/02/stupidly-easy-peanut-noodles.html)

Ingredients list:

  • 3 cups of vegetables (whatever is in the fridge, last night it was broccoli and peas)
  • 8 oz pasta (linguini or spaghetti)
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter (the natural/organic kind works and tastes best)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (can use low sodium)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice (I use the juice of one lime)
  • 1 tablespoon seasame oil (I use olive oil and it still tastes great!)
  • 1-2 cloves minced garlic (I use the stuff pre-minced in a jar)
  • crushed red pepper flakes or siracha (optional)
  • chopped green onion to garnish (optional)

Bring water to boil, toss in vegetables to cook.  Fish out vegetables, throw in pasta to cook. Whisk peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, oil, garlic, and pepper together.  Drain pasta.  Combine sauce, pasta, and vegetables.  Serve hot or cold!

When I make this dish, it’s usually enough for two of us to eat a bowl, and one of us to take a bowl for lunch the next day.  So we eat it hot the first night and cold the next day.


3 thoughts on “Feeding a Vegetarian, the Easy Way

  1. Here is one of my fave vegetarian dishes. Travels well, too (with couscous pre-cooked in a separate container) so goes to a lot of homes after a birth, death, sickness, or just because.

    West African Sweet Potato Dish

    vegetable oil
    1 medium sweet onion
    1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
    1 tsp chili powder
    1/2 tsp ground ginger
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
    3 large sweet potatoes
    2-3 cloves garlic
    2 cans diced tomatoes (undrained)
    1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
    1 1/2 cups sweet corn (or 1 can whole kernel corn, drained)
    ~ 4 servings of cooked couscous

    Peel and cut sweet potatoes into roughly 1 inch cubes. Steam or cook potatoes until fork tender (I usually pop them in microwave for a few minutes, but roasting in the oven is delish if you have time)

    Heat oil and cook onion and garlic until translucent. Stir in remaining ingredients (except couscous), bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until potatoes are done.

    Season to taste. I usually add a bit more salt, some cumin, and more cayenne for heat.

    Serve over couscous.

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