One Pot Vegetarian Meals That Pack Protein
Cooking can be a chore or a wonderful hobby to engage in. However, if you are the former you probably don’t like the extra work that comes along with it i.e., washing dishes. For that, you need to know about one-pot meals; whether it’s in a skillet, wok, pot, or pan, one-pot meals mean no extra cleaning or clutter.
And, vegetarian one-pot meals are just like a cherry on the top, since they require less cooking time and are quite simple. Vegetarian protein sources like tofu, chickpeas, beans, lentils, etc. can be a wonderful addition to your diet for extra nutrients. You might feel that eating only vegetarian food can be lacking, but that’s not the case. The key is to include a lot of high vegetarian protein-rich foods in your meal which will keep your stomach loaded.
Here are some delicious easy vegetarian dishes that you can try.
One Pot Vegetarian Chilli Mac
½ small yellow onion, diced
1 small red pepper, diced
1 small green pepper, diced
1 small zucchini, diced
1 small summer squash, diced
2 cans of beans, drained and rinsed
1 can sweet corn, drained and rinsed
1 can small diced tomatoes, juice included
4 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups elbow pasta (gluten-free if needed)
3 cups vegetable broth
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Here is how to prepare one-pot vegetarian chili mac rich in vegetarian protein:
Heat a large pot on medium flame and add olive oil followed by onions. Cook the onions for 2 minutes and then add the peppers, zucchini, and summer squash. Cook till tender for 7-10 minutes.
Add the beans, corn, canned tomatoes, and tomato paste into the pot. Stir to combine well and then add all the seasonings, broth, and pasta into the mix.
Stir well and bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and wait for the pasta to cook for about 20 minutes. Your one-pot vegetarian chili mac is now ready to be eaten, add any toppings of your choice(if necessary) and enjoy.
Chickpea and Vegetable Coconut Curry
1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small cauliflower head, cut into bite-size florets
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
3 tablespoons red curry paste
One 14 ounce can of coconut milk
1 half lime
One 28 ounce can of chickpeas
1 ½ cups of frozen peas
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
Steamed rice (optional)
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 scallions, thinly sliced
Here is how to prepare chickpea and vegetable coconut curry rich in vegetarian protein:
In a large pot or saucepan, heat virgin coconut oil over medium flame. Add the onions and bell pepper, and stir it until nearly tender for 5 minutes. Add the freshly minced ginger and garlic and mix it for about 1 minute till it becomes fragrant.
Add the cauliflower into the pot and combine well. Stir in the chili powder, coriander, and red curry paste, and cook until the mixture starts to caramelize for about 1 minute.
Pour the coconut milk and bring it to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cover with a lid and let it simmer for 8 to 10 minutes till the cauliflower is tender.
Remove the lid and squeeze in the lime juice, stir well to combine. Add the chickpeas and peas, season with salt and pepper then bring the mixture to a simmer again.
Serve with rice, if necessary. Use the freshly chopped scallions and cilantro to garnish and enjoy.
One Pot Broccoli Cheese and Wild Rice Casserole
3 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
2 small shallots, thinly sliced
8 ounces of cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon dried dill
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, keep some extra for garnish
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons salted butter
2 cups wild rice blend
3 broccoli heads, cut into florets
2 cups fresh baby spinach
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded gruyere cheese
Here is how to prepare one-pot broccoli cheese and wild rice casserole rich in vegetarian protein:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Heat virgin coconut oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium flame. Add the shallots after the oil heats up for about 2-3 minutes and cook until fragrant. Add the mushrooms, thyme, dill, crushed red pepper into the skillet and season with salt and pepper.
Cook for 5 minutes or until it turns golden. Add the butter and wild rice into the mix and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the rice is golden and toasted. Pour in 4 cups of water and bring it to a boil, cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 40-45 minutes keeping the pot covered.
Once the rice is cooked, stir in the broccoli, spinach, and ½ cup of each cheese. Season with salt and pepper and scatter the remaining cheese on top.
Transfer to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the cheese is melted and starts turning brown on top. Garnish with some fresh thyme and serve warm.
One Skillet Mexican Quinoa
2 tablespoons oil (extra virgin coconut oil is recommended)
1 small onion, diced
2 bell pepper, cored and diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
¾ cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
15 ounces tomato sauce (unsalted)
1 ⅓ cup water
Here is how to prepare one skillet Mexican quinoa rich in vegetarian protein:
2 avocados, pitted
Juice of 1 lemon and 2 limes
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
½ small red onion
How to prepare:
In a large skillet warm 2 tablespoons of oil on medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes or until translucent. Add the bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and oregano then stir till combined, cook everything for 5 minutes.
Next add the beans, rinsed quinoa, tomato sauce, and ⅓ cup water. Stir it all together then turn the heat to me\duim high and bring it to a low boil. Cover with a lid and cook it for 30 more minutes, stirred intermittently. When it is done the quinoa will be soft and have absorbed all the liquid.
Make the guacamole on the side by mashing all the ingredients together in a bowl. Serve the quinoa warm with guacamole, fresh cilantro, and tortilla chips. Leftovers can be stored for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
Vegetarian protein meals can be delicious and filling if made right. When you think of vegetarian food, you probably imagine a bunch of greens on your plate but to be fair that is just a part of it, your plate doesn’t need to be full of sad green leaves. You can always spice it up by adding different colours and textures to your meal to make it more visually and physically appetising.