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What Are the Different Types of Quick Vegetarian Dinners?

Cynde Gregory
Cynde Gregory

Making quick dinners, particularly on a busy weeknight, is a challenge for many home cooks. Planning is key to being able to prepare a quick vegetarian dinner. Quick meals can be based on prepared batches of grains that cooks can pair with vegetables and proteins for a complete meal. Vegetarian cooks can rely on make-ahead casseroles and sauces to help create quick vegetarian dinners. Roasting vegetables also can create a quick meal with endless flavor variations when they're flavored with fresh herbs and spices.

Vegetarian cooks can master a few time-saving tricks to make meatless meals satisfying. Cooking enough brown rice, quinoa, couscous, or another grain to last a week can save time cooking and cleaning up later in the week. These grains can be served as a simple side dish or used as the basis for hot dishes, salads, or even desserts.

Quinoa pomegranate fennel salad.
Quinoa pomegranate fennel salad.

Herbs, such as basil or cilantro, can be transformed into a quick pesto in the blender just by adding olive oil, garlic, pine nuts, and cheese. This pesto freezes perfectly into perfect blocks in ice cube trays, and can be popped out and kept in a freezer bag until ready for individual use. Pesto is not only great on pasta or rice, it’s the perfect addition to a baked potato or grilled tofu.

A vegatarian dish.
A vegatarian dish.

Vegetarian casseroles can make good quick meals. Chopping a couple of good-sized onions and sautéing them with garlic and ginger at the beginning of the week makes several days of freshly prepared quick vegetarian dinners possible. Tossing some of the cooked onion mixture into a casserole dish with cabbage, green beans, tomatoes or other vegetables and a grain will make a good weeknight meal.

Pesto pasta.
Pesto pasta.

Quick vegetarian dinners can benefit from the generous use of herbs and spices. An assortment of veggies can be quickly roasted with varying combinations of herbs and spices. Other ways to transform leftovers into quick vegetarian dinners include blending them into a curry soup with a coconut milk base, stuffing them into whole grain pitas, or adding them to a quiche.

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      By: James Cohen
      Quinoa pomegranate fennel salad.
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