easy ways to vegetarian-ify recipes
I've been a vegetarian for over 15 years and I've been a lazy/bad cook for my entire life. I'm not over here making gourmet foodie vegetarian meals. I'm basically trying to get the right amount of nutrients and not eat all the carbs in the world. Oh and I live with a carnivore, so that keeps things interesting. So if you're a lazy vegetarian too (or even just like to eat veggie meals now and then!), here are my easy ways to vegetarian-ify recipes (did I make up a new word?)
This is probably the easiest one ever. You live with a carnivore? Get a meat sauce for the other person and a non-meat sauce for you. Voila! I'm too lazy to make my own sauce, but sometimes I'll beef up (punny!) my marinara sauce by first sauteing some veggies to add to the sauce. You can add peppers, onions, zucchini, tomatoes (duh), broccoli and even carrots. Chop the veggies to the size you like and add to your sauce. Fresh basil or parsley is great to amp up store bought sauce too. Or you could try my chunky tomato basil pasta recipeasy too - it's an easy way to use up fresh ingredients. I also want to learn and share my mom's veggie lasagna recipe soon too. She doesn't do the traditional white sauce veggie lasagna, but instead adds verrrrry finely chopped veggies to the sauce. You don't notice them, but it makes it more substantial than just a noodle/sauce/cheese combo. I need to make it soon!
It is nearly impossible to find tasty and interesting vegetarian soups in US grocery stores (I remember there being SO many more options in British grocery stores. Brits - send me your soups!) So it's easier to just make your own. My favorite veggie stock is by College Inn. It doesn't taste so much like strained out vegetable soup like some other brands. You can take most soup recipes and just substitute this broth in instead (and don't add the meat too, duh). Here are some past soup recipes that I've shared that are delish and easy - veggie dumpling soup, potato chickpea spinach soup and potato soup. If the carnivore in your life needs some meat, you can make separate versions with beef or chicken broth and add some meats (like my veggie / carnivore chilis). Or you can tell them to shut up and eat the soup you made. Your choice.
This is an easy one. I cook the carnivore ground meat. Then I made spanish rice (I use one of those store bought packets and add some extra canned tomatoes), get hard taco shells and taco accoutrements (sour cream, guacamole or avocados, salsa, cheese and shredded lettuce). I use a little rice and black beans for my tacos, plus the toppings and Jarrod eats beef tacos with a side of rice. It's a super easy meal that we both love.
This is a no-brainer, but a fun easy meal is just making your own pizzas. Similar to taco night, I put out a few toppings we both like, plus pepperoni for the dude. I love the pillsbury pizza crusts and we use our pizza stone for a tasty semi healthy meal. I usually just eat cheese pizza, but I also love adding peppers and onions. Delicious meal + stinky onion breath = my perfect Friday night.
By this, I mean something where steak or whatever is the main attraction. Whenever this is the case, I just make a few sides we can both enjoy (usually a veggie and a potato or pasta), then I just heat myself up a veggie burger to get my protein. These are pretty typical weeknight meals for us. I might also make a salad for myself if I'm feeling fancy.
If you're a vegetarian or having vegetarian guests, it's great to have a couple different options. At our Christmas party, I mostly had veggie food since it was basically all appetizers. A good thing about vegetarian recipes (as long as they aren't too "weird"), it that most people can/will eat them! If you're having mostly appetizers, dips are a great idea. For cookouts, you can just have some veggie burgers/hot dogs in addition to the meats. For a dinner party, consider a separate veggie entree or just have enough sides, basically like my tips above for "meat meals."
If you're a new/old vegetarian, like cooking veg meals or have to deal with an annoying veg friend/significant other, hope these tips helped. Any other suggestions or recommendations? Oh plus check out some of my other easy peasy recipes, aka recipes by clicking below -