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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need help! I love to cook, but with a 2 month old and a hyper 22 month old, I barely have time to think, much less cook! DH gets "Daddy time" in with the kids when he comes home from work so I can cook dinner, but problem is he gets home so late I have to hussle to whip something up! On the weekends I try to make big batches of soups/sauces/casseroles, but I don't always have the time.
We're all getting sick and tired of my old reliables: bean burritos and a couple different pasta dishes.
So help - give me some QUICK and HEALTHY vegetarian suggstions please! My family will thank you!

· Registered
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I just made this last night and it was so quick and easy - and best of all everybody loved it.

Tortilla Soup
This hearty, delicious soup is a favorite in my family. Although the ingredient lists looks long, this is really a quick soup to make. There¡¯s hardly any chopping at all. The tahini and miso give it a creamy rich taste. The sea vegetables add minerals to this high-protein meal. Since my children don¡¯t like spicy foods, I leave out the Tabasco and just put the bottle on the table. Then anyone who wants to can spice up their own soup. This soup freezes well.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups or 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, cooked
2 cups or 1 (15-ounce) can white beans, cooked
2 cups or 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, cooked
4 1/2 cups water
2 cups or 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon crushed arame or hiziki (optional)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon tahini
1 tablespoon miso
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce or to taste
sea salt, if necessary
Tortilla Chips
Optional Toppings:
Fresh minced cilantro
Sliced black olives
Shredded jack cheese

Heat oil in large soup pot over medium-low heat. Add onions and let cook 15 minutes. Stir just a couple of times and let them caramelize. Add beans with liquid, water, tomatoes, sea vegetables, cumin, oregano, and chili powder. Heat until soup starts to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered about 30 minutes to let flavors combine. Remove 2 cups of soup and place in blender with miso and tahini. Puree and return to soup. Add Tabasco and salt to taste.
To serve, ladle soup into bowls. Insert tortilla chips into soup around edges of bowl. Top with cilantro, olives, and/or cheese if desired.

Serves 8

Note: You may use just one or two types of beans or different ones than I suggest. Just make sure they add up to 6 cups.

This might work for you too:

Quick Franks and Beans

Try these with Carrot-Corn Muffins (page 107).

4 Tofu Pups (or other vegetarian hot dogs), cooked
and sliced
3 3/4 cups cooked white beans, with cooking water
1/4 cup fruit-sweetened ketchup
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon Bragg Liquid Aminos or low-sodium soy
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

Cook vegetarian hot dogs according to package direc-tions. Meanwhile, drain beans, but reserve ¨ø cup cooking water. Place beans in pan. In small bowl, mix reserved bean water, ketchup, mustard powder, nutritional yeast, salt, and Bragg Liquid Aminos or soy sauce together until smooth. Pour sauce over beans. Stir in parsley and sliced franks. Warm over low heat to desired temperature.

Yield: 4 servings

Note: Use 2 (15-ounce) cans white beans or cook your own.

Also, if you have rice already cooked before you dh gets home. you can stir fry veggies and tofu and eat with rice.

· Registered
5,687 Posts
Thought of a few more:
Quick Asian Noodles

This light, delicious supper or lunch takes literally 10 minutes to make. I love it in the spring with baby spinach and kale from my garden.

2 teaspoons toasted sesame or peanut oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces firm tofu or asian-flavored baked tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups coarsely chopped tender greens (spinach, young kale, chard, etc.)
1 (3.5-ounce) package Bifun Rice Pasta
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
juice of 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons)

Place 1 1/2 quarts water in pan for pasta. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.
Meanwhile, in small bowl, combine sauce ingredients.
Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and tofu. Saute until golden (about 5 minutes). Place greens in skillet and cover. Put noodles in boiling water. After two minutes, drain noodles and rinse with cold water. Drain and add them to skillet. Remove skillet from heat. Pour sauce over noodles. Toss noodles, tofu, and greens until coated with sauce. Pour into serving dish and top with cilantro.

Yield: 2 to 3 servings

Note: Start the water for the pasta boiling before you start cooking the tofu and vegebles. The noodles only take 2 minutes to cook so you want to be able to put them in at the same time as the greens.

Baked Ginger-Orange Tofu

1 pound firm tofu
1/4 cup orange marmalade
1/4 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon orange or lemon juice, or brown rice vinegar
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger or 1/2 teaspoon ground, dried
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 400. Place tofu in shallow dish. Place weighted cutting board over tofu to press out water while you prepare the sauce.

Mix marmalade with boiling water until smooth. Add soy sauce, juice or vinegar, and ginger. Stir well.

Place tofu on side and cut in thirds lengthwise though complete block. Turn tofu back flat and cut in half lengthwise. Then into thirds across width. You should have 18 squares of tofu. Arrange slices in a 9-inch baking dish. Pour sauce over top of tofu, making sure to cover each piece with sauce. Turn to coat. Sprinkle sesame seeds over top. Bake 30 minutes. Serve over rice or noodles.

Yield:4 to 6 servings

Tempeh-Squash Bake

1 medium onion, peeled and cut into chunks
1 medium kabosha squash, pulp removed and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 8-ounce package tempeh, cut into-inch chunks
1/4 cup pine nuts (optional)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 450. Place all ingredients in large bowl and toss. Use enough olive oil so that squash, tempeh, and onions are well coated. Pour mixture into 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Cover loosely with foil. Place in oven. Reduce heat to 375º. Bake 30 minutes, or until squash is tender.

Yield:4 to 6 servings

· Premium Member
11,611 Posts
My kids love noodles with almond sauce and peas. This is sort of the "mac n cheese" of meals...

Cook noodles- kids favorite shapes- elbows, shells, spirals, whatever (I use high protein bean/lentil noodles, quinoa/corn or rice noodles)

Meanwhile mix 1 T white miso, a lot of almond butter and almond milk (to thin sauce) in glass measuring cup.

When noodles are cooked, throw the frozen peas into the water to thaw/cook- then drain noodles and peas and pour the sauce over. If you use the same pot for serving, there are really only three dishes to wash- the pot, the colander and the measuring cup.

Also, we just had our favortite tonight- beet lentil soup-
3 beets- golden or red
1 onion
6-7 carrots
1 cup red lentils

Saute onion, garlic - chop veggies- put in the pot with washed lentils, bay leaf, 1tsp rosemary, 1 tsp oregeno, 1 tsp thyme and water. Simmer 45 minutes. Puree half the soup for thickness and serve with sandwiches.

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I recently started making whole dinners (not just rice) in my rice cooker and am totally hooked. It's super fast, easy and I can throw in whatever is in the fridge. Plus it's got grains, protein and vegetables all in one pot. How did I ever feed my kids before I got this thing??

I can usually prep. the ingredients in 15 minutes, and then it cooks for 30 in the cooker. We often have enough for leftovers and my 3-yr.-old often wants it re-warmed for breakfast!

Put in rice cooker in following order:

1.5 cups white jasmine rice (rinsed in a few changes of water)
2.5 cups water (may need to alter amt. of water with different rice)

fresh or frozen cut-up veggies: carrots, broccoli, edamame, green beans all work well. You can even use some fresh and some frozen. Simply put those that need to cook the most (e.g. carrots) on the bottom and those that need less cooking (e.g. zucchini) on the top.

Firm tofu, cubed. We use a whole package (1 lb., I think), but use however much you think you will eat.

Pour over rice/veg/tofu in cooker:
1 TBL rice vinegar
1 TBL sesame oil
3 TBL soy sauce

Easy add-ins in you've got time: garlic, fresh ginger

Set a timer for 30 minutes, and you've got dinner.

Our rice timer starts out with a "cook" phase and then switches to a "warming" phase. I just ignore what it's doing and let it all go for 30 minutes. It's always been just the right amount of time.

You can make the preparation even faster by having bags of frozen cup up veggies in the freezer. I often do this when we get a lot of something from our CSA (community supported agriculture) share.

Good luck!

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I, too, do soups, curries, etc. to freeze. Here are some staples that we use (ovo-lacto veg) regularly:

I freeze a batch of marinara about every month or two, and we usually eat that once/week. I freeze it in one-meal sizes. There was a post asking for recipes just a while ago, if you're looking for some. I posted on there but will post again if you'd likem e to give you mine.

Also, here are 3 of our 15-min. pasta staples:

Put some water on to boil. If you have a steamer, stick some frozen broccoli florets in the steamer and set it on top of the pasta water. At this point, grate some reggiano parmesan (or your favorite alternative) and chop some ripe tomatoes up. Also skin a couple of garlic cloves if you like garlic like we do. When water comes to a boil, add salt and angel hair pasta. Angel hair cooks in 3 min. Drain the pasta, melt some butter onto it, and then put the pasta on each person's plate, followed by pressed/minced fresh garlic, followed by a smidge of cheese followed by steamed florets followed by more cheese. Serve tomato wedges on the side.

Put some water on to boil. It takes longer to boil the water than it does to cook the sauce. When water comes to boil, add salt and angel hair pasta.

Slice a largish yellow onion - thin slices.

Heat a large skillet over high heat for a couple of minutes. Turn the heat down to med-high and add a T or 2 of olive oil. Swirl to coat the pan.

Add the onion. This is important: Cook the onion until it is brown or dark brown in spots but not totally burned. You don't want it transluscent either, because it won't give the proper taste. The great thing about this is that it gives you time and leeway to run to the pantry and grab a can of quartered artichokes.

Open the can, drain. If your canned artichokes tend to have tough outer layers etc., go through them. I've started getting mine at Trader Joe's or New Season's and don't have to 'review' them anymore.

If you have time in here, grate a cup of reggiano and chop some tomatoes.

When the onions are ready, add the 'chokes and 1 T of dried basil. Cook for 6 min. or so, until they're kind of browned or at least seem to have melded tastes.

Remove from fire/heat, then add/stir/mix in the following:
1/2 cup sour cream (I use all natural, full-fat)
1/2 cup cottage cheese (all natural, full-fat)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne
1/2 cup or more of reggiano

Serve topped with reggiano and with tomato wedges on the side.
This recipe is from the Enchanted Broccoli Forest (moosewood)

This recipe is from Sundays at Moosewood.

Start a pot of water to boiling. If you have a steamer basket, put about a half package or so of frozen peas into the basket while the water is coming to a boil. When the water is boiling, remove the peas and set them in the sink -- you'll pour the al dente pasta over them so that they cook completely before serving. Add salt and 1/2 pound farfalle to boiling water, cook 'til al dente, then drain in the steamer basket/colander.

Meanwhile, melt a couple of tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan. After it melts, add something like 1/4 tsp. saffron (I'm generous because we like the taste), let it cook for a minute or so and then crush the saffron up agains the sides of the pan with a wooden spoon.

Add 1/2 cup of cream and then turn the sauce down to low-ish to let it cook until the pasta's done.

Add the sauce to the pasta/peas along with 1/2 cup of grated reggiano/asiago/romano (we've settled on reggiano).

Serve with grated reggiano and tomatoes on the side.

Bon appetit!

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319 Posts
Have been struggling with this too - am a lazy cook! I get overwhelmed by complicated prep, lots of spices I don't always have, obscure ingredients, etc.

BEST cookbook I've ever found - am working my way through it and so far both me and my veggie-phobic DH have liked everything so much that I've bought two more of her cookbooks and am starting to work my way through those as well.

Everything is done in about 30 minutes, LOVE IT!

Quick Vegetarian Pleasures by Jeanne Lemlin

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we do sushi wraps occasionally. basically like burritos, but with sushi rice and tamari sauce instead. make the sushi rice according to the directions on the package and then chop up the veggies of your choice -- maybe carrots, cucumber, radishes, avocado, peppers, lettuce or other fresh greens. wrap it all up in a tortilla and season to taste with tamari/soy sauce/wasabi. if you don't have sushi rice or don't want to go buy any, just season whatever rice you do have with 1tbsp rice vinegar and a little less than 1 tbsp sugar to about 1 cup uncooked rice.


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We make TVP tacos. YUM!! I rehidrate the TVP in Veggie broth(I use better that bullion brand its the best tasting that I have found)Add some cumin let it cook for about 10 minutes and its done. We use soft flour shells, and its great

· Banned
1,138 Posts

Phyllo (Filo) dough (--found near the frozen pie crusts)
frozen spinach (or you can use fresh)
1 egg
feta cheese
lemon juice
onions (optional)
parsley (optional)

Melt the feta cheese in a frying pan over low heat. Add spinach, egg, and lemon juice. Add parsley and chopped onions if you want to. Mix together. Remove from heat.

Unwrap the phyllo dough. Working quickly, put several layers in a buttered pie pan. Then brush butter on top. Then add the spinach mixture. Put several more phyllo layers on top, and brush again with butter. Tuck the edges of the dough around the pie pan. Bake at 350 until golden brown (about a half hour or so.)

Sorry to not be more specific, but I don't follow a recipe on this one.

· Banned
1,138 Posts
Also, if you can find the "Morningstar Farms" brand in your frozen food section, they make really tasty "Veggie Chick Nuggets" and "Veggie Corn Dogs" (both made out of soy). That is an easy, yummy way to make dinner sometimes.

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I want to try that spankopita too - I have this phyllo dough that's been sitting in my freezer just waiting for an easy recipe.

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I just wanted to thank ya'll for all these awesome recipes and ideas. I've already incorporated some into our dinners!
MamaJulie - your spanikopita was an especially good hit! I did fudge the recipe though - I didn't have that much spinach on hand, and I wanted to get a little protein in there, so I added half a bag of Morningstar Farms veggie crumbles. I left out the lemon juice but added garlic and oregano. I also just had half a small container of feta on-hand, so I tossed in some Romano too! Ok, I guess I can't really call it spanikopita, but it was good!

I plan on trying Cathe's tortilla soup this weekend sometime. Yummy!

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Made the Spanakopita - BIG hit. Going into the "rotation" (as if I have one, LOL!)

Omegamama - haven't tried the Chilaquiles yet. Will put it on the plan for next week, though - love getting a testimonial!

I LOVE the easy way to take whatever leftover pasta dish you have and turn it into a frittata!
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