The quest for wholesome, tasty, fast, faff free vegetarian family meals

(41 Posts)
Tweet2tweet Sat 10-Aug-13 20:26:44

I'm planning for my returning to work FT. Have a family to feed and want us to be healthy but ideally want meals to take no longer than 1/2 an hour. Even better if they'll do for two nights. So far I have:
Spaghetti Bol, red lentils substituting meat
Veg chilli

Everything else seems to be shop bought, quiche, pasta sauce etc. Anyone have an good recipes that fit the bill that you're willing to share please?

Pasta with a quick sauce? Eg: fry onion, garlic, peppers, add some herbs and a pot of passatta, splash of wine, olives if wished and cook until thick.

Pitta breads with falafels and salad?

Soup? I usually do a quick fruit crumble with (bought) custard if having soup. You can make the crumble mix whenever and use it from the freezer.

Spanish omelette?

Have you got a slow cooker?

Stir fry and rice or noodles.

iklboo Sat 10-Aug-13 20:32:17

Do you eat fish at all or strictly veggie?

Cleanandclothed Sat 10-Aug-13 20:32:54

Macaroni peas (Hugh f-w)
Baked potatoes with fillings if you can time your oven to come on while you are out.
Scrambled eggs

Tweet2tweet Sat 10-Aug-13 20:50:42

thank you!
We sometimes eat very light tasting fish Luke cod, lemon sole etc. Mainly so kids get omegas.
I do have a slow cooker but haven't come across many decent vegetarian recipes. Those I have seem to need a lot of prep. Do you know any good vegetarian slow cooker recipes?

Tweet2tweet Sat 10-Aug-13 20:51:31

Sorry, like not Luke! Predictive text!shock

Chillis, soups and curries all fine in the slowcooker. If you have no objection to quorn mince, I can give you my recipe for Shepherd's pie filling, if any use.

CorrieDale Sat 10-Aug-13 21:12:05

Slow cookers are great even for veggies. I just chuck in any veg I have with some potatoes, chickpeas and a tin of tomatoes. A few herbs and stuck it on medium for a few hours.

A recipe that we all like is sliced potatoes, onions, tinned tomatoes, baked beans, quorn sausages and s&p. it cooks down to a carby delicious mush. Great for swimming nights!

Rice cooked with coconut cream, tinned toms, kidney beans and veg is delicious. Finish with some coriander leaf.

Noodles with one of those trays of prepared stir fry veg and a lime and coconut sauce is reasonably priced and tasty. Very fast to prep too.

sameoldIggi Sat 10-Aug-13 21:40:58

Remus, I'd love to know how to turn quorn into a tastier shepherds pie!

sharond101 Sat 10-Aug-13 21:57:11

vegetable fajitas
boston baked beans
bean enchiladas
roasted red peppers and tomatoes with cous cous

Right - this is the only way I have found that makes quorn mince edible!

In the slowcooker put -

a chopped onion
a couple of sticks of diced celery
a couple cloves chopped garlic
a couple of sliced leeks
3 carrots cut into rings
packet of mince
glass red wine
spoon of Marmite
couple of tablespoons Bisto
some rosemary and/or thyme
lots of black pepper
a cup or two of hot water

Cook on low all day.

Transfer to an oven proof dish and top with either mash or pastry then cook in the oven until done.

Sharond - do you have a t&t recipe for the Boston beans?

sameoldIggi Sat 10-Aug-13 22:06:13

Thanks! thanks (are you sure about the marmite??)

Positive! It adds a depth that's needed - is it called umame or something like that? Mushrooms chopped up small would work too but the dds can detect mushrooms at a hundred yards!

DameFanny Sat 10-Aug-13 22:24:37

Use your Bolognese as the basis for a shepherd's pie.

Mushroom, halloumi and thyme risotto is easy to cook while overseeing others' chores.

Get some puff pastry in and keep in the freezer. Take it out in the morning - putting it in the microwave if you have cats - then put flat on a baking tray, squidge up the edges and cover in thin slices of Courgette, tomato, mushrooms etc plus cheese. Chuck in the oven for 15 mins while you make a salad to go with.

Make a big frittata - fry off onions and peppers,stir in sliced Courgette, mushrooms etc for a couple of minutes, then add whisked eggs - at least two per person - and season. turn the heat right down and put a lid on, and when it's nearly cooked through take the lid off and put it under a hot grill for 2 minutes to brown the top. Serve with salad, and keep a slice for a luscious packed lunch the next day.

Soften finely chopped onions in a large saucepan. Add thinly sliced mushroom for 2-3 minutes, then wilt in baby leaf spinach for a minute or so. Take off the heat, grind in some black pepper, then stir in some cream. Stir into the pasta of your choice.

Tweet2tweet Sun 11-Aug-13 19:01:21

Thanks so much for all the tips and recipes, fantastic! I'm going to try them this week. DP won't touch quorn so I'm going to see whether I can disguise it using slow cooker....

amigababy Sun 11-Aug-13 19:11:30

my favourite rice at the moment is:

white or brown rice
veg stick cube
chopped onion
dried puttanesca spices (bought for my birthday - seems to include sliced garlic, chillli flakes, capers, black olives etc etc)

Just cook altogether in a pan till the rice is cooked, so not long for white rice.
This week I added tomato puree to it to make it a pretty colour.
I'm thinking of adding white wine to head towards a risotto.

It's a bit lacking in protein so I sometimes add:
-pre-boiled eggs (a sort of veggie kedgeree, or you could add fish too)
-chick peas
-Quorn chicken style pieces (no good if dp not keen on quorn)

My family eat meat so I do slow cooker casseroles for them using the Schwarz packets eg Sausage and bean. The actual packets of spices are suitable for vegetarians so you could still buy them and then use for a bean, veg and tomato slow cooker casserole instead.

sharond101 Sun 11-Aug-13 22:14:29

Thank you, Sharond. I should have said that it needed to not have tinned tomatoes in it. Will have a google.

TwasBrillig Sun 11-Aug-13 22:16:34

Ooh fab thread -I'm going to write some of these down!

Drladybird Mon 12-Aug-13 10:30:43

We'd also make lentil bolagnese or maybe a curry. Other suggestions to add to the mix:
Vegetarian paella Tasty and you don't need to stir it= once preparation is done, it's really easy!

Beetroot, lentil and raisin stew A tasty little stew to serve with rice or cous cous.

Tweet2tweet Tue 13-Aug-13 20:29:09

Just wanted to add, picked up a fab Vegetable Laska recipe in Sainbury's today. Was one the free recipe cards. Took less than half an hour, just needed one pan and was delicious. I added some marinated tofu to make it a little bit more substantial. It's the closest I've come to making a Thai noodle broth and was lovely.

Tweet2tweet Tue 13-Aug-13 20:30:18

Here's the recipe

ColdfeetPinksocks Wed 14-Aug-13 01:05:36

Roast veggies (pepper, onion, sweet potato, mushies etc) stirred through pasta with a dash of balsamic.

Also try

LoveSewingBee Wed 14-Aug-13 10:20:20

Vegetable curries with pulses. You can cook them in bulk in advance and then freeze them. Pop in microwave and serve with rice or naan bread.

LoveSewingBee Wed 14-Aug-13 10:21:34

Also vegetarian chilli, filled tacos - make in advance and freeze.

BlueMonday17 Fri 16-Aug-13 23:16:54

This sweet potato, lentil and coconut curry is a doddle to make and goes down well with the kids. I use Quorn pieces instead of the chicken, water/veggie stock instead of the chicken stock, and however-spicy-you-like curry powder rather than curry paste. I've served it with noodles, rice, chappatis or poppadoms.

My kids have finally come round to macaroni cheese, so that's a current fave and only takes 15-20 minutes. Serve with broccoli and garlic bread, and toasted seeds for extra crunch sprinkled on top.

JeanPaget Mon 26-Aug-13 17:25:29

I love Mushroom and halloumi burgers.

We do a lot of Mexican stuff as well (vegetable fajitas, quesadillas, enchiladas) you can use a range of veg, beans and cheese depending on what you've got lying around.

Veg curry is also great for using up odds and ends, I especially like a chickpea based curry.

DoItTooJulia Mon 26-Aug-13 18:20:33

I picked up that Laska recipe card! Good to know it worked!

Spanish chickpeas is easy. Fry onions, carrots cubed and garlic add chopped tomatoes and smoked paprika. Add drained chickpeas, chilli powder and spinach. Cook. Serve with sourdough or something crusty to mop up.

Daal is dead easy. Cook lentils in stock with a bay leaf and turmeric. I find channa daal or toor daal best. 10 minutes before they are ready frying ones, garlic, ginger, chilli, garam masala and any other spices you like. Add to the lentil mix just before serving. Check the consistency and add water as needed. You can add a handful of fresh chopped tomatoes if you like.

Might think of a couple more!

DoItTooJulia Mon 26-Aug-13 18:22:18

Oh, huevos rancheros is dead easy too! Fry onions and garlic and loads of sliced peppers. I mean loads. Add paprika and smoked paprika and chopped tomatoes. 10 minutes before the dish is ready add herbs like thyme or whatever you like and crack in eggs. Let the eggs cook to how you like them. Great served with wraps.

racingheart Mon 26-Aug-13 18:25:43

Make a big batch of pomodoro sauce (onions, garlic, courgettes, peppers, mushrooms, celery if you like it all chopped and slow cooked together in olive oil until soft then add tinned toms or passata and herbs and seasoning, bring to a simmer. Then blend if you like a smooth paste.

Can freeze half the batch and use it for a chilli or a quorn spag bol. But if you stir some into cooked pasta, slice mozarella cheese into it and bake for a while it's heavenly. Add chillis and black olives if DC will eat them.

shrinkingnora Mon 26-Aug-13 18:38:04

Lentil and buckwheat slice is yummy hot or cold.

DoItTooJulia Mon 26-Aug-13 19:00:48

I also roast veg and garlic and mix through cous cous.

At the weekend I also make big batches of various salads to have in for packed lunches or for tea if I am lazy with a veggie burger thrown in the oven.

Tabbouleh is easy enough. Soak bulgar wheat in boiling water for half an hour. Drain. Season and pour over plenty of olive oil. Add chopped mint, celery and cucumber. Done.

Bean salad. I boil up shelled soya beans and peas. Drain and refresh. Add sliced radish, red onion or salad onion, halved cherry tomatoes and anything else you like. Season and cover in oil. I usually add cubed avocado just before serving.

DoItTooJulia Mon 26-Aug-13 19:04:19

Oh, I also make a cauliflower and broccoli cheese to serve with jacket potatoes and salad.

Easy white sauce: melt butter. Add the same weight of flour to butter, eg 50 g butter is 50g flour. Mix flour into melted butter over low heat for 2 mins. Pour in milk in small amounts stirring until yo have the desired consistency. Can use for loads of stuff, takes 10 minutes!

bikeblues Tue 27-Aug-13 19:28:54

If you are happy to batch cook and freeze:
-chick pea burgers ( really just falafel) served on pitta and sweet chilli sauce or a yog sauce and salad.
- broccoli and cheesy pasta
-spicy tomato sauce with baked eggs .

The falafel freeze well individually and defrost overnight then bung in the oven and assemble on the night you are eating? The pasta bake freezes as a complete meal in those tinfoil cases so just defrost overnight and bung in the ovn with a bit of extra cheese and tomato. The tomato sauce is easy and freezes so just heatit up and the eggs take about 5 min when it is hot when cracked on top of simmering sauce. They are all on the good food website.

Other quick one is a couscous salad with feta eggs tomatoes olives cucumber sweetcorn and a nice salad dressing.

MERLYPUSS Thu 29-Aug-13 08:38:27

You beat me to the huevos rancheros - my CBA dinner.
Pasta is always quick - blue chesse and brocolli is my kids fave. Mixed rice with bits/veg/egg and sweet and sour sauce h/m with value pineapple from morrisons. (enough left over for them to have desert)
If you're not too fussy about quorn/veggie sausages you could do toad in the hole with roasts and veg in 1/2 hour. Or mashed pots, onions and baked beans which is one of my fave dinners. Linda Mccartney do a passable red onion and rosemary sausage which is £1 a box in Morrisons at the mo. And that's from a carnivore.

Tweet2tweet Thu 29-Aug-13 17:11:38

Thanks for further updates. I'd never heard of bular wheat and lentil slice. It's in oven as I type. If it tastes as good as smells I think I'll have a happy family! I'm making with roast potatoes and an apple and cheddar salad.

shrinkingnora Fri 30-Aug-13 09:12:11

I love it but the rest of my family do not! It's fab with cauliflower cheese or cold slices in a packed lunch.

multitaskmama Thu 05-Sep-13 17:09:53

Roasted veggies
Vegetable lasgna
Vegetable curry
Green beans
Spinach and potato curry
Chickpeas with couscous
Stuffed peppers (stuff with couscous / mash / rice)
Homemade veggie kebabs
Tomato Soup with rolls

Faff-free Veggie Stuff

newlark Sat 07-Sep-13 19:16:19

Moroccan chickpeas: onion, garlic, red & yellow pepper softened in olive oil, add chopped tomatoes, tin of chickpeas, generous amount of ras-al-hanout spices and maybe a bit of tomato puree. simmer for a bit... I also add mushrooms. I think it would freeze ok.

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