Here are a couple of my guaranteed-FAST recipes. These aren't haute cuisine.
/> They're the foods I make when I'm too tired to cook, but we have to eat anyway. They're the kind of thing that most people just come up with on their own, but if you're new to vegetarian cooking, they might not be obvious to you.
Poor Man's Lasagne
Takes around 20 minutes to make, including time to boil the water
6 ounces whole wheat macaroni or penne pasta
1.5 cups low-fat cottage or ricotta cheese
(or full-fat if you need the calories, which some young men do)
2 cups meat-free spaghetti sauce from a jar
(I use Classico tomato and basil)
In a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Add pasta and stir. Boil for 10 minutes.
Pour the pasta sauce into a pan and heat it or pour it into a bowl and microwave it.
When the pasta has cooked, pour it into a strainer and shake, to get all the water off. Put the drained pasta back into the empty pot.
Add the cottage/ricotta cheese and stir until the cheese is evenly distributed through the pasta.
Add the warmed spaghetti sauce and stir well. Makes 1 - 4 servings, depending on your appetite. It would be 3 servings for my husband and me, but for a young man, it might be just one.
Serve with a salad or steamed broccoli or cooked baby peas (or the vegetable of your choice, but these all pair well with it).
This is nowhere near as good as real lasagne, so don't let the name get your hopes up too high.
/> But it's very fast, fairly cheap, and quite nutritious.
Black Bean & Corn Burritos
1 15-oz can black beans
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp cumin
1 bag frozen yellow corn kernels
-- mild, moderate, or hot, to taste
shredded Monterey Jack cheese
whole wheat flour tortillas
oil or butter
In a large saucepan, heat 1 tbsp oil or butter. Add the minced garlic and sauté for one minute. Add the chili powder and cumin, sauté for an additional minute.
Add the can of black beans (with the liquid). Stir. Cover the pot, reduce heat to simmer, and simmer for 10 minutes.
While that's cooking, warm up the corn. You can steam it on the stove or nuke it, whichever you like.
Put a whole wheat tortilla on a microwave-safe plate. Put a tablespoon of salsa on the tortilla and spread it thinly over the entire tortilla, just enough to moisten the whole thing.
Put 1/3 cup shredded mild cheese in a line down the center of the tortilla, reaching from top to bottom and about 4 centimeters wide.
When the beans have had their 10 minutes, pour the contents of the pot into a fine mesh strainer (we want to strain out the water but not the minced garlic). Put the drained beans back into the empty pot.
Add 1.5 cups of hot corn kernels to the pot and stir until combined.
Take ½ to ¾ cup (depending on the size of your tortilla) of the bean-corn mixture and put it in a line down the center of the tortilla, on top of the cheese.
Fold in the sides of the tortilla to make a long tube and flip it over so that it's seam-side down.
Put a couple of tablespoons of salsa on top of the burrito and spread it up and down so that the entire top of the burrito is covered.
Put the plate in the microwave and nuke for a short time. If you have an old, low-power microwave, nuke it for 1.5 minutes. If you have a new, high-power microwave, nuke it for one minute.
Put one or two beans and one or two corn kernels on top of the burrito, in the center, for garnish.
Serve with lettuce and tomato or with guacamole. We drink carrot juice with these.
The bean mixture will be enough for around 4 burritos. It freezes well, if you don't want to have burritos four nights in a row.
Whole wheat tortillas freeze well, and if you take out one or two at a time, they defrost by themselves in the time that it takes the beans to simmer.
These take about 15 minutes to make.
See? Vegetarian food is EASY. And it doesn't have to contain any soy.