EASY healthy vegetarian main dishes?

I am the worst cook...ever. However, I need to eat. I am a vegetarian and am looking for ideas or recipes for main dishes?

I seem to always find myself hungry/unsatisfied after dinner. I will generally do one of the following:
- a rice and veggie stirfry
- a rice and tofu/veggie stirfry
- canned soup
- quinoa salad

Any suggestions on new things I can try? I need it to be filling and under/around 600 cals! Recipes would be awesome but ideas are also great :) Or ways to make my existing meals have more substance?



  • tinyfitlauren
  • JennetteMac
    JennetteMac Posts: 763 Member
    Your best friend is going to be Google.

    My diary is open if you want to look, although I am far from inventive.
    Recommend skinnytaste, bbc.co.uk, allrecipes sites.

    It's not that hard to find stuff.
    Use more pulses, eg chick peas, kidney beans...
    Curries are an easy bet.
    Jacket potatoes stuffed with anything you like.

    Good luck!
  • _quirky_girl_
    _quirky_girl_ Posts: 27 Member
    I rely heavily on canned beans and lentils. Use garbanzo beans to top green salads. Also mash them up with celery/chopped pickles/spring onions and light mayo and put it in a pita. Use lentils to top green salads and make quick soup--chop and soften carrot-celery-onion mixture then add can of cooked lentils and veggie broth.

    Eggs make a very quick, low-calorie, protein-rich meal. Stir fry veg, throw a couple eggs in and stir it all around.

    I make one batch of pizza dough (I use this recipe http://www.marthastewart.com/316808/whole-wheat-pizza-dough but omit the oil), break it into six separate balls and freeze it. When I want pizza I take a ball out of the freezer in the morning and its ready to go by dinner time. It's approximately 330 calories per serving. Some dieters use pita bread as a pizza base to save time and calories.

    This week I made a huge batch of marinara sauce on Sunday and used it for four meals--pizza (as sauce), roasted veggies mixed and baked w/ sauce over polenta (you can buy pre-made polenta in tubes at Trader Joes and I imagine at many other grocery stores), as "pasta" sauce (I used a veggie peeler to create ribbons of raw zucchini and use that as my pasta), and tonight where I used the last of the marinara by throwing it with green peas, fresh spinach and cooked pearl barley into a small baking dish, topped it with parmesan cheese and popped it in the oven which resulted in a strange but delicious veggie bake thing. These dishes all still work with store bought marinara, of course.

    Mexican food can be quick and healthy. Tortillas and black beans with veggies (I use peppers, onions and mushrooms and prepare like you would a stir fry but season it with chili powder and cumin) for tacos or burritos. Top with salsa and avocado. Veggie chili can also be very healthy and filling--canned or homemade.

    I find that when eating vegetarian (I sometimes eat seafood) I have to really load up on the vegetables to keep myself full. My husband is a meat eater and he will serve himself like a half cup of broccoli as a side dish for dinner. I have to at least triple that to keep myself full. I also add canned beans to whatever I can to add substance and protein to veggie meals. I still haven't figured out how to add protein to pizza though.

    Here are some sites that might be helpful:

    I hope this helps! Good luck : )
  • dandelyon
    dandelyon Posts: 620 Member
    Baked/roasted potatoes, egg bake/quiches, and burritos are all easily done vegetarian although they all take some prep

    Pasta once in a while; I love veggies and parmesan cheese on pretty much any kind of noodle.

    Eggplant Rollatini... Weight Watchers has a great recipe and they keep well as leftovers.

    Mini pizzas and quesadillas are my "I have 10 minutes to make dinner" specialties

    Sometimes my dinners are really light on protein, but I usually have cottage cheese or Greek yogurt as "dessert" to make up for it.
  • dandelyon
    dandelyon Posts: 620 Member

    I find that when eating vegetarian (I sometimes eat seafood) I have to really load up on the vegetables to keep myself full. My husband is a meat eater and he will serve himself like a half cup of broccoli as a side dish for dinner. I have to at least triple that to keep myself full. I also add canned beans to whatever I can to add substance and protein to veggie meals. I still haven't figured out how to add protein to pizza though.

    I have a pizza recipe somewhere that uses pureed canellini beans as a white pizza sauce. I made it a couple of times because why not... and I guess that's one way to add protein! Texture leaves something to desired, as you might imagine.
  • lexiek47
    lexiek47 Posts: 18 Member
    go check out pinterest for some nice inspiration! it varies from really simple to more entertaining type meals but that way you might find something that suits your taste and preferences :)
  • zillah73
    zillah73 Posts: 505 Member
    I like spaghetti squash with marinara sauce and loads of veggies – mushrooms, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, onions, whatever. A lot of volume, very filling and low in calories. I like to mix in some Upton's Naturals Italian Sausage style seitan.
  • dellaquilaa
    dellaquilaa Posts: 230 Member
    I'm not a vegetarian, but I recently started cutting back on animal products (thank you, Netflix documentaries)
    Lately, my favorite has been a pita pocket stuffed with hummus, romaine and/or baby spinach, avocado and dried cranberries. I'm a pretty big eater, but half a stuffed pita is plenty for me.
  • _quirky_girl_
    _quirky_girl_ Posts: 27 Member
    I just googled cannellini sauce and found this recipe. I'm so making this! Thank you so much for the idea!
  • rachaelgifford
    rachaelgifford Posts: 320 Member
    I love veggie cottage pie with sweet potato mash. I just chuck the veg and quorn in a pan - cook it up, and add some gravy the I pop it in a oven dish and put the sweet potato mash on top and bake it.

    It is great, and depending how much you eat ( I don't eat a great deal in one sitting) it comes in at about 300 calories. :-)
  • Miiimii
    Miiimii Posts: 279 Member
    You can have a look at my diary, if you want to.

    I love to prepare indian dishes like palak paneer or paneer with cauliflower and potatos. also indiam noodles (Papadams) with tomatosauce are great. I can send you some recepies, if you want to.

  • grimendale
    grimendale Posts: 2,154 Member
    The hungry girl blog has a lot of easy vegetarian options that are relatively healthy.
  • Gdeeaz
    Gdeeaz Posts: 60
    I am not a vegetarian but I do make a lot of vegetarian meals. I mostly get my recipes from All Recipes.


    Some of my favorites are
    Black bean veggie burgers
    black bean burritos
    black bean and salsa soup
    vegetarian chili
    Baked Falafels

    I also really like Soy Glazed Tofu and Asparagus
  • tazhinshaw
    tazhinshaw Posts: 297 Member
    You can join the Happy Herbivores group. They have a lot of recipes listed in there.
  • windra06
    windra06 Posts: 50 Member
    I had stuffed peppers for dinner last night:

    Stuffed peppers per person:
    45g(dry weight) brown rice, cooked
    tbsp sunflower seeds
    few sun dried tomatoes, soaked for 20mins then chopped
    cup spinach diced
    1/4 -1/2 avocado diced depending on your calorie limits
    handful of basil
    garlic clove crushed
    2 spring onions diced
    1/2 tbsp tamari
    1/2 tbsp lime juice
    pinch ground ginger
    1/2 tsp cumin
    2 Bell peppers

    Core and bake the peppers in a hot oven for 30mins, mix everything else together and stuff the pepper...easy :)

    My favorite veggie burgers - These are AWESOME:
    I use half mixed beans half butter beans
  • SailorKnightWing
    SailorKnightWing Posts: 875 Member
    I'm not vegetarian, but try to eat at least one meat-free meal per week for variety. My favorite is my mom's spaghetti. As long as you keep your portions in check, it can be perfectly healthful. The main part is the doctored sauce:

    1/2 medium onion
    2 cloves garlic
    1 stalk celery
    1 tablespoon regular olive oil
    1 jar pre-made marinara sauce (I like Great Value Chunky Italian Garden, pick a fairly neutral-flavored one)
    3/4 cup Merlot (I like blackberry) or any red wine

    Chop up the onion, garlic and celery in the food processor until it's lots of little chunks. Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven and add the vegetable mixture, saute until softened. Add the jar of marinara sauce and the Merlot and reduce the heat to the lowest temperature. Heat as long as possible to reduce to as thick as you can get it, stirring every hour or two. Serves up to 6.

    If you aren't able to babysit the pot, you can saute the vegetables in a skillet then add everything in a slow cooker with the lid ajar on low.
  • sullus
    sullus Posts: 2,839 Member
    Easiest healthy vegetarian meal I can think of is Pasta Marinara
  • KyleB65
    KyleB65 Posts: 1,196 Member
    Making curried lentils & sweet potatoes tonight. Lentils, sweet potato, can of tomatoes, onion, curry powder/paste. Serve with basmati rice.
  • mrshallewell
    Recipe for my Veggiebobble pasta
    pasta 2oz
    passata 1l
    peppers 3
    red onions 3
    cherry tomatos 15
    garlic 10 cloves
    cheese 30g
    chop all your veggies to the sizes you like
    brown your peppers then add in your onions and passata, let it settle for a minute or two then add in tomato's and garlic
    while thats simmering boil your pasta and grate your cheese
    seperate your sauce into seperate containers if you are going to serve on seperate occasions
    serve your meal and top with cheese
    or if your like me mix it all in together

    this has been made in bulk but you can just make the one serving if you want. depending on the cheese used it works out at under 400 cals
  • writergeek313
    writergeek313 Posts: 390 Member
    I'm not a vegetarian, but I usually eat meatless meals a few times a week. I made these a few weeks ago: http://www.thegardengrazer.com/2012/06/quinoa-fajita-burritos.html

    They were really easy and really good, and the best part was that in the time it took me to make dinner I was able to make 8 meals. I kept a few in the refrigerator, then froze the rest.

    I had wanted to use whole wheat tortillas, but I couldn't find them in the size I needed. Even with white tortillas, they came out to 426 calories, 7g of fat, and 16g of protein (I used reduced fat cheese). One of these and a big salad was a satisfying meal. I topped mine with more salsa and some avocado. Sour cream or Greek yogurt would probably be good on it, too.