top picks: for vegetarians
Danny and I are not technically vegetarians because we all know I can't go with out my steak and burgers, but we do primarily practice a meat free diet. Here are some of our favorites, most of which I have just made up. We love them, and our kids love most of them.
1. Cheese Tortellini
Cook 1 package of cheese tortellini as package directs. In a skillet, on medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add 1 sliced yellow squash, 1 sliced zucchini, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper and cook 4 to 5 minutes until squash is tender.
Add 1 pint of grape tomatoes, each cut in half. Cook for two minutes until they soften. After the tortellini is cooked and drained, add the squash and tomato mixture to it. Also, add 3/4 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, 1 tablespoon butter. Toss until combined and sprinkle romano cheese on top.
2. Egg Rolls
In a bowl, add 1 can of bean sprouts, drained, 5 oz. of matchstick carrots, 1/2 a head of cabbage chopped, 1 stalk of celery chopped, 3 green onions chopped. Put 1/2 tablespoon of cooking oil in a wok on medium-high heat. Add the vegetables and fry for 1 minute. Add to it 1 tsp sesame oil, 2 tbs of soy sauce, salt and pepper. Fry for 1 more minute.
Take the vegetables and spread out on a cookie sheet. Tilt one end of the cookie sheet so that the juices drain. Scoop out the juices and pat the vegetables with a paper towel to dry any leftover juices.
To roll the egg rolls, buy refrigerated egg roll wrappers, put about 1/4 cup worth of the vegetable mixture on the egg roll wrapper and look here if you need a refresher on how to roll the egg roll. You will need some cornstarch and water to create a paste to seal the wrapper.
Cook the egg rolls in about an inch of heated cooking oil. I usually put the oil on medium heat and test to see if it's hot enough by putting a little piece of bread in it. If the bread cooks and turns brown then it's warm enough.
3. Tomato Basil Pasta
We always use a half of a box of Penne Pasta, boil it in water like you would make any pasta. Then in a skillet on medium heat, drizzle in some olive oil, add one clove of garlic minced, and a 1/4 of a onion chopped and 1/4 of a red pepper chopped. After the onions and garlic become fragrant, add a half of a jar of Alfredo sauce, 1 small tomato chopped, about 5 leaves of fresh basil chopped, 2 tablespoons of fresh parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Drain the pasta and add to the Alfredo sauce. Then serve.
This doesn't give our family many leftovers because the boys love it and eat so much, but it does allow to make it another time during the week because I just use half of the pasta and Alfredo sauce.
4. Taco Bowls
I mentioned these taco bowls in a previous post, but they are one of my favorites so I had to add them. Look for a box of taco bowls in the refrigerated section of your grocery store. They would be near the refrigerated taco shells. Sometimes they are hard to find so I always stock up when I find them. On the box you will see directions for how to cook the shells.
We heat up some refried beans and spread them on the bottom of the inside of the taco bowl. Then add a lot of lettuce, corn, red peppers, green peppers, green onions, tomatoes and some taco cheese. Then drizzle some thousand island dressing or ranch dressing on top. We rip off the edges of the taco bowl and eat it kind of like you would eat nachos.
5. Pita Salad
This is probably the easiest thing to make. I used to eat these all the time growing up and at college. And I love eating them for lunch because they are so quick.
Get pita pockets, and load them with a pre made salad (either one you make and just keep in a big zip lock bag in your refrigerator for easy access or a bagged salad from the store) then drizzle some ranch dressing on top.
6. Greek Pizza
This is my new favorite that I made up a few weeks ago. In a bowl, mix some olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic powder and oregano and stir. Then brush the mixture on top of a pita. Add some sliced grape tomatoes, fresh basil cut up, and some feta cheese. Put on a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes or until the edges of the pita feel a little crispy.