What’s the Secret to Quick Vegetarian Recipes?

» Posted by on Sep 20, 2011 in Environment, Ethics, Health, Quick Vegetarian Recipes, Recipes, Vegetarian vs. Vegan, What Can Vegetarians Eat | 0 comments

What’s the Secret to Quick Vegetarian Recipes?

One secret to making quick vegetarian recipes is one you might not expect.  It’s not having a bunch of different recipes that you can make at a moment’s notice, but still have to spend a ton of time reading a preparing.

Instead, for REAL quick vegetarian recipes, we recommend using a process called “templating.”

Templating involves using a few of the same ingredients, and then varying the details so that you can get quick vegetarian recipes without having to make something totally different.

For example, let’s say you want pizza for dinner.  You go to the store and buy a high-quality frozen cheese pizza.

You now have the “template” for hundreds of different variations on the same thing.  From that frozen cheese pizza, you could use various different vegetarian ingredients or meat analogs (fake meats) and make it a:

  • Bacon cheeseburger pizza
  • Black olive and feta pizza
  • Tri-color pepper pizza
  • Sausage and pepperoni pizza
  • Arugula and goat cheese pizza
  • Buffalo chick’n pizza
  • Broccoli and cheddar pizza
  • Meatball sub pizza

And so forth.  Doing so would involve getting that main “template” ingredient, and then buying and preparing a few other ingredients to spice it up.

You can use template salads into a million quick vegetarian recipes just as easily.  Let’s say you buy a prepackaged box of fresh spinach leaves once a week and, with this one very nutritious ingredient, you want to have a little fun and dress it up.

Quick Vegetarian Recipes: Spinach SaladYou could start by adding bleu cheese dressing and frying a breaded “chik’n” patty in some olive oil, then cutting it into strips.  Throw in some sliced strawberries and you have a great new salad full of bold flavors that might make you forget you’re eating a salad.

There are tons of variations on this for quick vegetarian recipes, and you don’t necessarily have to use cheese or meat analogs to make them happen.

Try different types of fruits, such as blueberries, raspberries, watermelon, grapes, kiwi, cantaloupe, or apples.

Use nuts like almonds (raw or toasted),  macadamia nuts, pecans, cashews, or peanuts.

Experiment with seeds, beans, and grains — sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds,  red beans, black beans, quinoa (full of protein!), and cous cous.

And of course, you can use toast slices of ciabatta, whole wheat bread, or gluten-free bread to have on the side; use croutons that you can buy prebagged; toss in dried fruits like cranberries and apricots; and then change the entire thing with different dressings, etc.  The combinations for quick vegetarian recipes are virtually endless.

What other “templates” can you think of for some quick vegetarian recipes?  I’ve had good luck doing this with not only pizzas and salads, but pastas, sandwiches, soups, and more.

With a little creative thinking, you can wind up using the same ingredients for different quick vegetarian recipes every night of the week.  Start by paying attention next time you’re at a good restaurant; look at what they’re putting in their soups, salads, sandwiches, pizzas, pastas, and main dishes, and get some ideas for what you can buy at the grocery store next time you’re there.  With a few simple tricks you’ll be building culinary masterpieces on a regular basis in no time, and that drastically increases your chances for staying vegetarian.

Have fun with it!

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