4 Vegetarian Dishes That You Can Make at Home

Vegetarian dishes are often cheaper than meaty dishes. They are staples in my house because having meat every day gets quite expensive. Here are some vegetarian recipe suggestions from one of our readers.

Whether you are a fresh vegetarian or have been looking for new recipes for a long time, we promise you that it is possible to enjoy a delicious meat-free meal that is healthy and significantly affordable. Here are a few vegetarian recipes to try, ranging from 15-minute fried rice to almost anything in between.

Vegetable Fried Rice

Stir-fried rice is a wonderful and easy recipe to start exploring. You'll get flavourful fried rice with chopped and sliced vegetables like carrots, cabbage, and peppers that you can eat for days. To begin, heat a wok or large skillet over high heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil, followed by the veggies. Stir them for about 4 minutes, or until crisp-tender, and then place them on a plate. Next, heat 1 tablespoon oil over high heat and scramble the beaten eggs for about 1 minute. When they are just cooked through, place them on the platter with the veggies. 

Return the wok to high heat, then add another tablespoon of oil, followed by the cooled rice. Day-old cooked rice works well in stir-fried rice meals because it won't clump up when you re-heat it. Stir fry the cooled rice for about 3 minutes and return the vegetables, eggs, and rice to the wok. Cook for another 3 minutes or until everything is combined and the vegetables are tender. Don't forget to season with salt and pepper. Topped with scallions and serve while still hot.

Grilled Vegetable Quesadilla

Grilled vegetable quesadillas are another easy meal you should try. Made with only fresh ingredients from your local market, these quesadillas are perfect for a quick lunch or dinner. To begin, coat the pepper, onion, corn, then squash with cooking spray, and grill them for 4 minutes, covered, over medium heat. You want them to be soft and barely browned when you grill them. Next, remove the corn kernels off the cob and finely chop the vegetables. Remember to season the vegetables with black pepper.

Once the vegetables are chopped, spoon them onto tortillas, slightly below the center, and top with cheese. Fold the tortillas in half and layer them on top of the filling. It's now time to fry it! If you don't have a grill, you can cook it in an air fryer or a skillet. If you're using a skillet, coat the bottom with cooking spray. Lightly press the quesadilla onto it and grill them for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until brown and crisp. Turn them at least once while cooking and cut each piece into quarters.

Creamy Spinach Pasta

Pasta is one of the most nutritious and simple meals to prepare, especially on busy weekdays when all you want is a pleasant dinner with the family. Spaghetti, in general, takes less time to prepare, and the creamy spinach pasta is no exception.

To begin, boil 2 quarts of salted water over high heat, then add the pasta and cook until al dente. Short pasta is preferred, but any regular or whole-grain spaghetti would suffice. Drain the pasta and set it aside when it's done. Heat the olive oil and garlic in a large skillet until fragrant, then add the spinach and half a teaspoon of salt.

Stir until the spinach starts to wilt, then cover and simmer until the spinach is completely wilted. Bring the cream to a boil and keep it there for 2 minutes. Stir in the cooked spaghetti until well mixed. The greens inside might stick together, so break them up a little if you want them spread evenly throughout the spaghetti. Cook for another 2 minutes to allow the pasta to absorb some of the juices. Enjoy with a splash of cream and Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top!

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

It's never too late to have shepherd pie — particularly the vegetarian version. Made using green lentils, this recipe takes a little longer to prepare than others, but it's well worth the extra work. To begin, cut your potatoes in half and lay them in a large saucepan with just enough water to cover them. Bring to a low boil over medium-high heat, then season well, cover, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until they easily slide off a knife.

After cooking, drain and return to the pot to evaporate any remaining water before transferring to a mixing bowl. Next, mash the potatoes with a large fork until smooth and seasoned with salt and pepper after adding the vegan butter.

Set those aside and while the potatoes are cooking, preheat the oven to 218 °C and gently grease a 2-quart baking dish. In a large pan, sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until lightly browned and caramelized. Season with tomato paste, salt, and pepper, then mix in the lentils, stock, and thyme. Cook for another 35 to 40 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.

Continue to stir to evaporate any excess liquid then gently transfer to an oven-safe baking dish and top with mashed potatoes. Smooth with a spoon or fork and season with a pinch of sea salt and another crack of pepper. Finally, bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the tops of the mashers are lightly browned. Allow for a few minutes of cooling before serving, and you're ready to go!

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal

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