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Vegetarian/vegan

heathernacaratoheathernacarato Posts: 1Member Member Posts: 1Member Member
in Recipes
Hey y’all! I’m a vegetarian teen that’s aspiring to be vegan. However, I’m in a household of meat eaters. I want to start eating healthier and preparing my own meals and I was wondering if any of y’all had some good easy recipes that I could try?

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  • estherdragonbatestherdragonbat Posts: 4,641Member Member Posts: 4,641Member Member
    I have plenty; I've been working my way through the 1,000 Vegan Recipes cookbook, recipe by recipe for a few years. What sorts of dishes are you looking for?

    https://www.vegetariantimes.com/ has good recipes. Their searchability is a bit poor (in the sense that you can search on, for example, "main dishes" OR "tofu" OR "Italian cuisine" but you can't search for Italian mains containing tofu. And if you're searching on a specific ingredient, the search function won't weed out if, say, your search is on "carrots" and there's a tempeh dish which, in the short description, says, "try serving this with mashed parsnips and carrots.") but there's a huge selection.

    Also, not trying to be snarky, but speaking as someone who's been cooking and baking since preschool (Mom handled the oven part until I was a little older), what's your definition of "easy"?
  • apullumapullum Posts: 2,656Member Member Posts: 2,656Member Member
    When I stopped eating meat, I was in college and I had little time/money/desire to buy groceries and cook. I just switched the meat in recipes for its Boca/Morningstar/etc. equivalent. (This was back before we had nice things like Gardein or Beyond Meat.). That was the easiest thing for me at the time. I would make things like a “hamburger helper” style pasta with soy crumbles, or a “chicken” sandwich.

    There are also a lot of books marketed as “student” cookbooks that have quick/easy/cheap meals. Search for “vegan student cookbook” and see if one strikes your fancy.

    My favorite cookbook today is Vegan with a Vengeance, followed by Veganomicon. Anything by Isa Chandra Moskowitz is good, really. Those recipes may be more involved than you’re looking for, though.
  • sheloves89sheloves89 Posts: 38Member Member Posts: 38Member Member
    I was a veggie teen in a household of meat eaters - I feel your pain! We had far less palatable veggie meat replacement options when I was growing up, but Boca burgers have come lightyears in terms of flavor, and I've never met a Quorn product I didn't like. =]

    If you're looking for super, super, super easy, my go-to in high school was brown rice + vegetables (frozen mixed veggies) + a scrambled egg (you could replace the egg with tofu to make it full vegan).

    To cook brown rice: 1 cup rice + 2 cups water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then drop heat to low, cover, and simmer until the water is gone. If you have an Instant Pot, put 1 cup rice + 1 cup water in, close the valve, pressure cook on high for 12 minutes, and then let it depressurize normally (will take about another 20 minutes).
    For the veggies, I would just microwave about a cup of frozen mixed veg in some water, then drain the water.
    The egg is easy enough, but if you're wanting tofu, it's going to take an extra hour or so to drain/marinate, so give yourself time. I go for Extra Firm tofu. Let it drain for about 25-30 minutes by putting it on a plate lined by paper towels, and then put a second plate on top of it and weigh the top plate down with something (I usually use a saucepan with some water in it). This gives it a denser texture. Once it's drained to your liking, cut it into small squares and put it in a dish with a little bit of soy sauce or teriyaki sauce in it, and let it marinate covered in the fridge for about 30 minutes or so (the longer the better, but 30 minimum). You can eat it as-is, or stir fry it in a little bit of oil over medium-high heat until it takes on a golden color. Mix it in with your rice and veg, top with some more soy sauce or some mustard or some salsa or a bit of cheese or hummus or tzatziki sauce or whatever you enjoy. =]

    If you don't want to microwave your veggies, you can stir fry them the same way you do the tofu. Or you could steam them! Put a saucepan with water over high heat, get it boiling, and then put a colander on the saucepan, toss your veggies in and cover them. The colander doesn't have to fit, you just want to make sure your vegetables aren't actually in the water (unless you want to boil them, in which case, forget the colander completely!). For fresh, leafy vegetables like spinach and kale, steaming will take less than a minute; for stemmier vegetables like broccoli, they'll take about 2 minutes. You want them to be bright green, but not soggy.

    And if you don't like rice, you can replace that with almost anything - quinoa, pasta, etc.

    I also ate a lot of potatoes, both russet and sweet, which I also often topped with vegetables and an egg. Sweet potato + black beans + egg + salsa is still one of my faves! Russet + broccoli/carrot/cauliflower (you can buy this as a bag of mixed frozen veggies) + yellow mustard is really good, too, imho, though a bit lacking for protein.

    To cook potatoes in the oven (both sweet and russet): wash them, dry them, rub a little bit of oil and salt/garlic powder/black pepper on the outside, pierce them all over with a fork, and put them in an oven preheated to 425F for 60-75 minutes. You can wrap them in foil if you want, but I usually don't (the skin crisps up nicer that way) - just make sure you put a baking sheet on the shelf under them if you don't put them in foil. Especially sweet potatoes, they like to ooze in the oven. =]

    Hope this gets you off to a good start!
    edited March 13
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