Dinner Diva: Vegetarian meals
If you have vegetarians and meat eaters cohabiting, you’re bound to have conflicts when it comes to dinner. But there are plenty of ways you can plan your meals so that everyone is happy. It just takes a bit of forethought.
For instance, if you’re making pizza for supper, it’s simple to only put meat on one half or to cook a second pie and load it with just veggies. If you’re making tomato sauce, make it vegetarian and add meat after you’ve jarred the veg version. If you’re preparing a stirfry, remove your vegetarian portion before adding the meat. See what I mean?
But here we’re talking about making allowances, and I want to give you some vegetarian meal ideas that will make even meat eaters weak in the knees!
Roasted spaghetti squash and kale. Prepare your spaghetti squash by slicing it in half (lengthwise) and removing the seeds. Brush the exposed flesh with olive oil and roast, cut side up, at 375 until tender (about 35–40 minutes). While the squash is roasting, sauté some onions and kale until the kale starts to wilt. When the squash is done, remove the beautifully stringy squash noodles and combine with the kale mixture. For something extra delicious, drizzle with a nice balsamic.
Vegetarian lasagna. You can easily adapt your favorite lasagna recipe to be vegetarian. If you’re gluten-free, replace the wheat noodles with thinly sliced zucchini for an extra vegetarian delight. Pair with a big green salad and a nice red wine, and nobody will ask for the beef!
Roasted Vegetable Quinoa. Quinoa provides a great source of protein. Roasted vegetables with quinoa is a wonderful meal for the whole family (find the full recipe at the bottom of this post).
Soup. Search our website for soup recipes (or there’s also Google, I suppose) until you find a vegetarian soup your family loves. Those with sweet potatoes or squash as a base tend to be very filling, rather than a broth-based “noodle” soup. Experiment! And always pair your soup with a green salad.
Frittata. Oh, how I adore frittatas. I’ve written about them before, and they are definitely one meal that can stand alone without any additional protein (though I do love my frittatas with ham or bacon!). Making frittatas is very simple. Preheat your oven to 400. In an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat, add some butter and/or coconut or olive oil. Sauté whatever veggies you have in the fridge. I like onions, peppers, mushrooms, leftover potatoes, zucchini—really, what-ever you have will work. Once your veggies are nice and brown, reduce the temperature to medium-low and add in 8–10 beaten eggs. (This will feed 4 people if you serve with a big salad). Now, as soon as the eggs start to set, turn off the heat. Add cheese if you wish and pop the pan into your preheated oven until the top is golden, about 5-10 minutes.
See? There are plenty of ways you can make an impressive meal that will please your vegetarians and meat eaters!
If you’re a Saving Dinner subscriber with a Premium membership, simply search our database for vegetarian options—that can keep you going for weeks!
Now, as promised, here is your bonus recipe, and it’s perfect for fall!
Roasted vegetable quinoa
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
- 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
- 2 tbsp chopped basil leaves
- 1tbsp chopped pine nuts
- 1 tbsp parmesan flavored rice sprinkles (optional)
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, divided
- 1 (15-oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 medium red onion, quartered
- 2 cups chopped eggplant
- 1 1/2 cups chopped zucchini
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 2 cups prepared quinoa
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine half of the olive oil in a food processor with the basil, pine nuts, parmesan rice sprinkles (if using), and half of the balsamic vinegar. Pulse until smooth, adding an additional tablespoon of olive oil, if needed. Transfer pesto to a large zipper-topped plastic bag, and add chickpeas through cherry tomatoes. Shake well and transfer to a lightly greased baking pan. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until veggies are fork tender. In a large bowl, combine roasted vegetables with prepared quinoa, and toss with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper, adding additional basil, if desired. Serve and enjoy!
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