Quick Meals: Veg-Style!

By Jessie Funchion, MS, RD, LDN

 

Most of these ideas…

  • Take about 15 minutes to prepare
  • Use a mix of convenience foods and fresh foods
  • Have at least 3 food groups
  • Are around 350-450 calories (subject to portion size/appetite!)

 

1)    Breakfast for dinner

  • Whole wheat toast with 1/3 avocado and fried egg (5 minutes)
    • Make it vegan – sub ½ cup white beans and smash with avocado to make a guacamole like spread
  • Clean out the fridge frittata (30 minutes) – use any vegetable you want.
  • Cereal (Kashi Barbara’s, Nature’s Path) low-fat milk of choice, ½ cup fruit (1 minute)

2)    Semi-Homemade

  • Asian Noodle Salad: Noodles (soba/udon), Baked Tofu or frozen edamame + Slaw Mix + Sesame or Teriyaki dressing (15 minutes
  • Tip: Throw shelled frozen edamame into your boiling noodle-water for last couple minutes
  • Israeli Salad: Israeli couscous, cucumber, tomato, feta cheese, white beans, capers, lemon, olive oil (15 minutes)
  • Bi Bim Bap – frozen rice, tofu, fried egg, frozen or fresh vegetables, Gochuchang sauce (15 minutes)
  • Banza Pasta (15 minutes)
  • Red sauce w/ frozen vegetables
  • White sauce with garlic, spinach and goat cheese (recipe)

3)    The Freezer is your Friend

  • Vegetable Frozen Pizza + Side salad (20 minutes)
  • Check the calories and make sure to keep ‘pizza calories’ to less than 300, which is usually 1/3 the pizza
  • Trader Joe’s Vegetable Stir Fried Rice (5-10 minutes)
  • Tip: Add extra edamame and frozen vegetables for a more filling meal
  • Chana Masala (5 minutes)
  • Add extra drained/canned chickpeas to maximize protein and minimize the heavy sauce + frozen rice

4)    Simple Sandwiches (5 minutes)

  • PB & J or fruit slices on whole wheat bread
  • Veggie Sandwich: Hummus, roasted red peppers, arugula, onion, etc.

5)    Hearty Snacks (less than 5 minutes)

  • ½ cup black beans, ½ cup corn, salsa + Triscuits or Flax chips
  • Yogurt Parfait: Low fat greek yogurt, 1 cup fruit and 1/3 cup granola

 

In order to execute these super quick meals, set up your pantry for success by stocking up on these staples:

 

Proteins: Canned beans, eggs, prepared tofu, frozen edamame, peanut butter, hummus

Grains: Frozen brown rice or grain mixes, whole wheat bread, whole grain cereal, whole wheat or bean based pasta

Frozen: fruit/veg mixes, 1-2 frozen meals or pizzas

Dairy: low fat milk or unsweetened soy milk, yogurt

Sauces: 1-2 flavorful sauces such as Teriyaki sauce, salsa, Gochuchang

 

In addition to these staples, try to purchase 3-5 varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables each week to supplement these recipes with. But if that’s tough to do, frozen fruits and veggies work too.

 

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