6 Easy Vegetarian Dinners for Busy Days

None of these are really recipes worthy of their own post, but I always find it helpful to have some ideas for quick meals.  These are quick if you’re prepared: I’ve included what I have ready in advance, because prepping a bunch of beans, grains, and vegetables on Sunday really does make healthy eating much easier all week long!


Throw a few corn tortillas in the toaster oven to crisp up, and while they’re in there, saute half an onion, a clove of garlic, and a few kale leaves in some olive oil.  Stir in the black beans, and grate some pepperjack cheese.

Put the tortillas on a baking sheet with some black bean mixture and top with shredded cheese.  Heat under the broiler until the cheese is melted


This is my favorite thing to do with vegetable odds and ends.  I fry the tofu in a little oil first, then set it aside while I cook the vegetables (this mix included broccoli stems, kale, and cabbage).  The sauce I added this week included soy sauce, lime juice, and minced garlic.


I made Moosewood lentil soup, which basically just entails sauteeing some onion, celery, and carrot until soft with a pinch of thyme.  Then I added 2 cups of lentils, a can of drained diced tomatoes, and 6 cups of vegetable broth.  I am definitely planning on trying it in a slow cooker!

While it simmered, I poured 2 cups of boiling water over 1 cup of bulgur and let it stand for 20 minutes, then added the juice of a lemon, a bunch of chopped parsley, and some crumbled feta.


If you have a big batch of cooked quinoa and some roasted squash in the fridge, this comes together really quickly.  Just toss together quinoa, black beans, and roasted butternut squash cubes, and season with salt.  To make the dressing: stir together 2 tbsp olive oil, 4 tbsp lime juice, and 1/2 tsp (or more to taste) ground cumin.  Toss with salad greens just before serving.


Rub some chopped kale with olive oil and let stand.  Put some oil in a skillet and add cubes of tofu and some chopped shallot.  Add cubes of roasted sweet potatoes and heath through.  Toss with the kale and add some cooked wheat berries.  Dress with a little balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper.


This is just like fried rice, but with quinoa instead.  Heat a tablespoon of oil in a skillet, add half an onion, 2 minced garlic cloves, a small head of broccoli (chopped) and a cup or two of shredded cabbage.  Cook for a few minutes, then stir in two cups of quinoa, and a few dashes of vegetarian fish sauce and soy sauce (or Golden Mountain sauce).

It can be kind of tough to put together a healthy dinner after a long day of work, workouts, and errands, but if you take a little time to get food ready on the weekend, there are lots of easy, healthy options!

3 Responses to “6 Easy Vegetarian Dinners for Busy Days”

  1. 1 Kate March 11, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    It’s funny, I definitely come here looking for quick and easy weeknight meals. You’re my go-to with certain ingredients like chard and quinoa!

  2. 2 Renee March 13, 2013 at 11:05 am

    I never thought of frying quinoa — great idea to spice up a favorite of mine. Thanks!

  3. 3 Cathryn March 16, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    Thank you! Needed some inspiration.

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