Time-saving vegetarian recipes for busy weekends
Being a vegetarian doesn’t mean you have to spend hours in the kitchen preparing elaborate meals. In fact, there are plenty of time-saving tricks that can help you prepare delicious and nutritious vegetarian dishes in no time. Whether you’re a busy professional, a full-time parent, or just someone with a busy schedule, these recipe hacks will make your weekend cooking a breeze.
Prepare a meal in advance
One of the best ways to save time on busy weekends is to prepare some meals in advance. Spend some time on the weekend chopping vegetables, seasoning tofu or tempeh, and preparing grains like quinoa or rice. Store these pre-prepared ingredients in airtight containers in the refrigerator, and you’ll have the staples for quick and easy meals all week long. You can also cook larger batches of soups, stews or curries and freeze them in individual portions for later use.
Invest in a good blender
A high-speed blender can be a game-changer for quick, nutritious meals. You can use it to make smooth and creamy soups, sauces and dressings in minutes. Simply add your favorite vegetables, herbs and spices, then blend until smooth. You can also use the blender to make quick, filling smoothies for breakfast or a snack. Just add some leafy greens, fruits, nuts and seeds, and you’ll have a nutrient-packed meal in no time.
Use comfort foods wisely
While it’s best to cook from scratch whenever possible, there’s no shame in using convenience foods to save time on busy weekends. Pre-cooked lentils, canned beans, frozen vegetables, and pre-washed salad greens are great options for quick and easy vegetarian meals. You can also find a variety of pre-made, vegan-friendly sauces, pickles, and dressings at the grocery store to add flavor to your dishes without much effort.
Enjoy one-pot meals and Chinese meals
One-pot and one-skillet meals are a busy cook’s best friend. Not only does it require minimal setup and cleanup, but it also allows you to cook an entire meal in one go. For a simple one-pot pasta dish, simply place the pasta, vegetables, and some plant-based milk or broth in a pot and cook until the pasta is tender. Sheet meals, on the other hand, involve roasting your favorite vegetables and protein sources in one tray for a delicious, hands-free meal.
Reuse food scraps
Don’t let the remaining ingredients go to waste. Instead, get creative and repurpose them into new and exciting meals. For example, leftover roasted vegetables can be turned into a delicious salad, a delicious sandwich filling, or a topping for a grain bowl. Cooked grains can be made into quick fried rice or added to soups and stews. By using leftovers, you will not only save time but also reduce food waste.
Take advantage of your immediate ability
If you have an Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker, you’re in luck. These useful kitchen tools can significantly reduce the cooking time of grains, beans and vegetables. With the Instant Pot, you can cook delicious beans from dryness in a fraction of the time it would take on the stove. You can also prepare risottos, soups, and even quick, creamy desserts in your Instant Pot with minimal effort.
Batch cooking and freezing
Group cooking is a huge time saver on busy weekends. Whenever you have some free time, cook up a batch of your favorite vegetarian dishes and freeze individual portions for later. Soups, stews, curries and casseroles freeze well and can be quickly reheated for a convenient and satisfying meal. Having a stock of frozen meals on hand will reduce the temptation to order takeout on hectic evenings.
Rely on quick sources of protein
Protein is an essential part of any meal, and fortunately, there are plenty of quick and easy plant-based sources of protein. Tofu, tempeh, and seitan can be seasoned and cooked in a matter of minutes, making them perfect for busy weekends. Canned beans and lentils can also be added to salads, soups and stir-fries for a protein boost. And don’t forget nuts, seeds and nut butters which can be added to meals for a nutritious and delicious protein addition.
Use pre-cut vegetables
If you’re short on time, don’t feel guilty about using pre-cut vegetables. Many grocery stores offer a wide selection of pre-cut and washed vegetables, which can save you a significant amount of time in the kitchen. You can use these pre-cut vegetables in stir-fries, salads, wraps, and grain bowls for a quick, healthy meal. Just be sure to check the ingredient list to make sure there are no added oils or preservatives.
Simple and flexible meal plan
When you’re pressed for time, it’s best to stick to simple, flexible meals that can be easily customized based on what you have on hand. For example, a grain bowl can be made with whatever grains, vegetables, and protein sources you have in your refrigerator. Likewise, stir-frying can be modified to include whatever vegetables and protein sources you have on hand. By planning simple, flexible meals, you can save time and reduce food waste.
In conclusion, being vegan on busy weekends doesn’t have to be a struggle. With these time-saving recipes, you can enjoy delicious, nutritious meals without spending hours in the kitchen. By utilizing meal prep, kitchen tools, and comfort foods wisely, you can create quick, satisfying plant-based meals that will keep you full and satisfied all week long.