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My Favorite Easy Vegetarian Recipes

Updated on April 18, 2013

My personal story of vegetarian living

I chose to become a vegetarian firstly because of the health benefits --- the food is so much healthier that I cannot help but feel good about everything I eat! Most meats, especially red meats, are very high in saturated (artery-clogging) fats. Ugh!

I also chose to become a vegetarian because I have respect for all animals. The treatment of animals and poultry kept in food lots is the very definition of inhumane. Free-range meat is much more humane, but unfortunately, I cannot afford to purchase this alternative. Despite the recent popularity of vegetarianism, it seems the public is still painfully unaware about how those animals they are eating were treated.

A final reason for becoming a vegetarian is the impact all of the raising, transporting, and processing of animals (especially cattle) is having on our planet. This process creates a tremendous amount of waste and methane gas. Methane is a greenhouse gas.

With so many cookbooks and websites dedicated to vegetarianism now is a great time to give it a try!

Please note that many of these recipes can also be made vegan with slight alterations.

Are you a vegetarian?

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Jonathan Safran Foer from Eating Animals

"Perhaps in the back of our minds we already understand, without all the science I've discussed, that something terribly wrong is happening. Our sustenance now comes from misery. We know that if someone offers to show us a film on how our meat is produced, it will be a horror film. We perhaps know more than we care to admit...When we eat factory-farmed meat we live, literally, on tortured flesh. Increasingly, that tortured flesh is becoming our own."

  • Prep time: 30 min
  • Cook time: 1 hour 10 min
  • Ready in: 1 hour 40 min
  • Yields: 8

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces lasagna noodles
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach
  • 1/2 onion
  • chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • crushed
  • 1 (32 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups non-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 (8 ounce) package part skim mozzarella cheese or vegan cheese
  • shredded
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese or vegan cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. 2. In a large pot over medium heat saute spinach, onion, oregano, basil and garlic in the olive oil. Pour in spaghetti sauce and water; simmer 20 minutes. In a large bowl mix cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, parsley, salt, pepper and egg.
  3. 3. Place a small amount of sauce in the bottom of a lasagna pan. Place 4 uncooked noodles on top of sauce and top with layer of sauce. Add 4 more noodles and layer with 1/2 sauce and 1/2 cheese mixture, noodles and repeat until all is layered, finishing with sauce.
  4. 4. Cover with foil and bake in a preheated oven for 55 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.
  5. Delicious recipe --- enjoy!!
Cast your vote for Easy Vegetarian Lasagna

Spinach Salad with Strawberries - Quick, easy, and delicious!

The best thing about salads is that they are so quick and easy to make! This one takes only ten minutes, I can usually get it done in eight, if I hustle! Kids LOVE the strawberries and this is a crowd pleaser. :)

Cook Time

Prep Time: 10

Total Time: 10

Serves: 8

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches spinach
  • rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces
  • 4 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Instructions

  1. 1. In a large bowl, toss together the spinach and strawberries.
  2. 2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, sugar, paprika, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds. Pour over the spinach and strawberries, and toss to coat.
  3. TIPS: You can also use red wine vinegar or raspberry balsamic vinegar. I find the dressing comes out a tad-bit too sweet for me with the 1/2 cup of sugar, so I typically just use 1/4 cup. If you have time, let the dressing chill in the refrigerator before serving.
  4. Feel free to experiment and add as many goodies as you like! Some ideas: sliced almonds, red onions, mandarin oranges, pecans, the possibilities are endless!

Easy Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans - (contains dairy products and eggs)

This is a very yummy sweet-potato casserole! I made it to bring to Thanksgiving dinner last year and many people begged me for the recipe. :) It does contain eggs and milk, so it is not a vegan-friendly recipe, fyi.

  • Prep time: 30 min
  • Cook time: 30 min
  • Ready in: 1 hour
  • Yields: 12

Ingredients

  • 4 cups sweet potato
  • cubed
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs or egg substitute such as applesauce or tofu
  • beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • softened
  • 1/2 cup milk or soy milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • softened
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Put sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan with water to cover. Cook over medium high heat until tender; drain and mash.
  2. 2. In a large bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes, white sugar, eggs, salt, butter, milk and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Transfer to a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  3. 3. In medium bowl, mix the brown sugar and flour. Cut in the butter until the mixture is coarse. Stir in the pecans. Sprinkle the mixture over the sweet potato mixture.
  4. 4. Bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until the topping is lightly brown.
  5. TIPS: I have been told by a Southern friend that using sweet potatoes baked for 1.5-2 hours make this casserole tastier. You can also add: 1 TSP ground cinnamon, 1/4 TSP ground cloves, and 1/4 TSP ground nutmeg if you love the taste of those spices! I really didn't think 1/2 cup pecans was enough, so I doubled the topping even for a single recipe.

Malai Kofta Recipe (Indian)

Vege-balls in a thick sauce

This main course is a delicious vegetarian alternative to meatballs. Perfect for a special occasion or a comfy night at home!

Kofta Ingredients

  • 1 cup boiled mash potatoes
  • 1 cup mash paneer
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro (hara dhania)
  • 1/2 teaspoons cumin seed (jeera)
  • 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 small finally chopped green chili pepper

(You will also need oil for frying)

Batter Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons water

To prepare kofta:

1. Mix all the kofta ingredients together.

2. With oiled hands, make 14-16 balls.

3. Mix flour with about 4 tablespoons of water and stir well until batter is smooth.

4. Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium high heat.

5. The frying pan should have at least 1 1/2 inch of oil. To check if the oil is ready, just put one small piece of the flour mix in the oil, it should come up right away, but not change color.

6. Dip the paneer balls in the flour batter one at a time and slowly drop into the frying pan.

7. Turn them occasionally. Fry koftas until golden-brown all around.

Gravy Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • Generous pinch of asafetida (hing)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon shredded ginger (adrak)
  • 1 green chili pepper
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder (dhania)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (haldi)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon all purpose flour (maida, plain flour)
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro (hara dhania)

To prepare gravy:

1. Blend the tomatoes, green chilies and ginger to make a puree. If you prefer a milder sauce, take the seeds out of the green chili pepper before blending.

2. Mix cream and flour, put aside.

3. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Test the heat by adding one cumin seed to the oil; if it cracks right away oil is ready.

4. Add the hing and cumin seeds.

5. Add the tomato puree, coriander powder, turmeric, and red chili powder. Cook for about 4 minutes on medium heat.

6. Tomato mixture will start leaving the oil and will reduce to about half in quantity.

7. Add milk and flour mix, salt and one cup of water and let it cook covered for 7 to 8 minutes on medium heat.

8. Add the garam masala, salt and cilantro. Let it cook for another minute.

9. Add koftas as soon it comes to boil turn off the heat. Note: koftas will expand to about 11/2 times, if you like more gravy this is the time to add some more boiled water and adjust salt.

10. Koftas are very soft they should be added to the gravy when you are ready to serve, otherwise koftas will break.

Serves 4-6.

These are so good, I like them as spicy as possible! :P They are a little complex, but a nice treat for a special occasion.

Watch how it's made!

My favorite vegetarian resource - Easy and delicious recipes!

  • Prep time: 5 min
  • Cook time: 10 min
  • Ready in: 15 min
  • Yields: 4

Grilled Green Apple and Gruyere Sandwich - This is an award-winning sandwich, easy & quick to make!

  • 8 slices of your favorite bread
  • 8 teaspoons softened butter OR margarine
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • 1.5 cups grated Gruyere cheese (or try your favorite)
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper

Instructions

  1. 1. Preheat large heavy skillet over medium heat.
  2. 2. Spread 1 side of each slice of bread with 1 teaspoon butter. Place 4 slices bread, butter side down, into skillet.
  3. 3. Core, quarter and thinly slice the apple. Layer apple slices, cheese and honey evenly onto bread in skillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with remaining bread, butter side up, creating 4 sandwiches.
  4. 4. Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until the bottom slices of bread are golden brown. Carefully flip each sandwich. Cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown and cheese is melted.
  5. Tip: the honey makes this sandwich, make sure to use good quality. Try using a pear instead of an apple. Make sure the cheese melts prior to serving for maximum yummy-ness! :P

Learn how to make naan bread!

  • Prep time: 10 min
  • Cook time: 25 min
  • Ready in: 35 min
  • Yields: 15-18

Mocha Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

  • 1 cup margarine
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
  • dissolved in
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. 2. Blend butter or margarine, sugar, egg, banana, dissolved coffee, and vanilla in food processor for 2 minutes. Add flour, salt, baking powder, and soda, and blend just until flour disappears. Add chocolate chips and mix in with wooden spoon. Spoon mixture into 15 to 18 paper-lined or silicone muffin cups.
  3. 3. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

Winter Fruit Salad - With Lemon Poppy Dressing

This is such an easy salad and VERY delicious! Perfect if you live in the Northeast like me, and don't have summer fruits around all the time. Great for holidays, such as Christmas or Thanksgiving.

  • Prep time: 30 min
  • Ready in: 30 min
  • Yields: 12

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons diced onion
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon-style prepared mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • torn into bite-size pieces
  • 4 ounces shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 apple - peeled
  • cored and diced
  • 1 pear - peeled
  • cored and diced

Instructions

  1. 1. In a blender or food processor, combine sugar, lemon juice, onion, mustard and salt. Process until well blended. With machine still running add oil in a slow steady stream until mixture is thick and smooth. Add poppy seeds and process just a few seconds more to mix.
  2. 2. In a large serving bowl combine the romaine lettuce, shredded Swiss cheese, cashews, dried cranberries, cubed apple and cubed pear. Toss to mix then pour dressing over salad just before serving and toss to coat.
  3. TIPS: Feel free to use spinach instead of the lettuce or I like to use half-spinach and half-lettuce. You can use pecans or walnuts instead of cashews. Feel free to keep the dressing on the side if you prefer. I'll occasionally make this with blueberry or pomegranate Craisins. Freshly squeezed lemon tastes best in the dressing and feel free to leave the fruit peeled if you prefer.

Grilled Veggie Sandwich - Great for summer!

I have not tried this one yet, but I will once summer rolls around! Looks like it's sure to be a hit at summer bbq's.

  • Prep time: 30 min
  • Cook time: 20 min
  • Ready in: 50 min
  • Yields: 4

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced red bell peppers
  • 1 small zucchini
  • sliced
  • 1 red onion
  • sliced
  • 1 small yellow squash
  • sliced
  • 2 (4-x6-inch) focaccia bread pieces
  • split horizontally
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Instructions

  1. 1. In a bowl, mix the mayonnaise, minced garlic, and lemon juice. Set aside in the refrigerator.
  2. 2. Preheat the grill for high heat.
  3. 3. Brush vegetables with olive oil on each side. Brush grate with oil. Place bell peppers and zucchini closest to the middle of the grill, and set onion and squash pieces around them. Cook for about 3 minutes, turn, and cook for another 3 minutes. The peppers may take a bit longer. Remove from grill, and set aside.
  4. 4. Spread some of the mayonnaise mixture on the cut sides of the bread, and sprinkle each one with feta cheese. Place on the grill cheese side up, and cover with lid for 2 to 3 minutes. This will warm the bread, and slightly melt the cheese. Watch carefully so the bottoms don't burn. Remove from grill, and layer with the vegetables. Enjoy as open faced grilled sandwiches.
  • Prep time: 10 min
  • Cook time: 20 min
  • Ready in: 30 min
  • Yields: 6

Penne Pasta & Vegetables

  • 2 cups uncooked penne or medium tube pasta
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 small yellow summer squash
  • sliced
  • 1 small zucchini
  • sliced
  • 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Instructions

  1. 1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute the onion, summer squash, zucchini, mushrooms and garlic in butter until tender.
  2. 2. In a bowl, whisk the flour, seasonings and cream until smooth; add to the skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until thickened. Drain pasta and add to vegetable mixture. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until heated through.
  3. Tips: I usually always use skim milk instead of heavy cream. Try adding Parmesan or Romano cheese for an even tastier dish! I have also tried this with carrots, very yummy. The best thing about this recipe is that it is versatile....so feel free to experiment with your favorite veggies!

Learn how to make Indian Pani Puri - So delicious! :P

Tell your own vegetarian story

It's open to everyone, easy and free to do.

WHY VEG? is a collection of personal stories and manifestos (and favorite recipes!) from vegetarians.

Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, or eat meat-free occasionally, this group welcomes you to share your story about vegetarianism. In the spirit of healthy bodies and a healthy planet, tell us about your transformation and why you did it. We're also open to yummy recipes, restaurants and any tips you've got on living a vegetarian lifestyle. You could make a page about 'Why I Gave Up Bacon (and lots more)' or 'Why My Girlfriend Convinced Me To Go Vegetarian' or 'Vegetarian Sloppy Joes' -- just a few examples. It's free, of course.

Thanks for reading! Are you a vegetarian, or do you just enjoy the occasional vegetarian meal? Leave your thoughts and comments here!

Are you a vegetarian? - What do you think of my Why Veg page?

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    • Magda2012 profile image

      Magda2012 4 years ago

      Healthy food indeed! Thanks for sharing the recipes,

    • TransplantedSoul profile image

      TransplantedSoul 5 years ago

      Having been vegatarian for 15 years, it is always a good thing to find new recipes.

    • snazzify lm profile image

      Katie Harp 5 years ago

      blessed by a squid angel :) <3

    • gypsyman27 lm profile image

      gypsyman27 lm 5 years ago

      I'm not a vegetarian but I haven't eaten red meat since 1975 or there about. The gruyere and apple sandwich takes me back to that year, I would have a gruyere sandwich with mushrooms for lunch from a deli near my office then. I will refer back to this page often for recipes for meals. Very well done, great lens. I hope you are enjoying the holiday season. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year. See you around the galaxy...

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 5 years ago

      Came back to google +1 this great selection, I must try these (even I could handle making some of them, I think).

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 5 years ago from Colorado

      When I was in grad school, I was vegetarian, and so healthy for making the lifestyle switch. Hoping to return to a more vegetarian way of life. The more I read about how animals are treated, the more I wish to make choices that do not contribute to cruelty in any way. These recipes sound totally delicious. I will definitely try them. Thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I'm not a vegetarian but I do appreciate good food and that is just what you have here, this is just plain yummy deliciously done!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Very very wonderful work of you.. dear Jenna :) I'm now trying to be a next vegetarian. Many thanks for your yummy veg recipes tribute to lead me in my good green life.. Feel healthier right now :D

    • profile image

      JennySui 6 years ago

      This is a very useful lens for me as it has so many good recipes and being a vegetarian i would like to try these.

    • RawBill1 profile image

      Bill 6 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      I consider myself more of a vegan so there are too many dairy products in these recipes for my liking. I actually gained more health benefits from giving up dairy than I did from giving up meat. You have done a great job putting it all together though. :-)

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 6 years ago

      That Green Apple sandwich sounds mouth watering! I also have some vegetarian cooking lenses. Good job on this lens. Thanks for the recipes

    • phoenix arizona f profile image

      phoenix arizona f 6 years ago

      That grilled veggie sandwich looks AWESOME, I'll have to try.

    • akumar46 lm profile image

      akumar46 lm 6 years ago

      Nice Malai Kofta Recipe,I will love to try.Thanks for such delicious Indian recipes....Nice lens.

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 6 years ago

      I must come back and try your Kofta and naan bread recipes. You really captured my interest with your simple (and healthy) ingredients chosen for every recipe. And most people have no idea that strawberries are great in salads and pecans are fabulous in casseroles. Love this lens, thanks for sharing. Lensrolling this to my 'Getting a Guy to Cook' and 'Preventive Medicine is UNDERfunded, why?' lenses. Hope it helps! Sincerely, Rose

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 6 years ago from Vermont

      Oh my goodness, you have a library of veggie recipes in one lens - how wonderful. They all look delicious and I have saved/faved but that green apple Gruyere is a must-try-soon. My daughter will love it and so will her toddler.

    • clouda9 lm profile image

      clouda9 lm 6 years ago

      You have gathered a really tasty list of vegetarian recipes on this page. The Malai Kofta recipe was especially intriguing to me and one that I will be trying. Thanks for your visit to my vegetarian sandwich fillings page and for lensrolling it here. Sweetness!

    • driveuwild profile image

      driveuwild 6 years ago

      Your recipies look delicious, I can't wait to try them out!

    • fluffyclouds profile image

      fluffyclouds 6 years ago

      Being a vegetarian is almost not an option for diabetics. I mostly avoid meat, but when I became pregnant, I developed Gestational Diabetes. It has greatly changed my perspective on a "healthy" diet. However, I look forward to the birth of the baby and getting back to more fruit!! Great lens!

    • KarenHC profile image

      Karen 6 years ago from U.S.

      A number of these recipes look very good! We're not vegetarian, but we are trying to reduce the amount of meat we eat. I already make a vegetarian lasagna very similar to your recipe, and it's a favorite of the family. The grilled green apple and gruyere sandwich sounds absolutely delicious!

    • pheonix76 profile image
      Author

      pheonix76 6 years ago from WNY

      @annieangel1: Thank you so much!!! Glad you like it.

    • annieangel1 profile image

      Ann 6 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      nice lens - well done - Angel blessed and featured on my angel blessed lenses

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 6 years ago from Australia

      I do mean to eat more vegetarian meals. I should start with some of these! Thanks for sharing.

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 6 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      These look so tasty! =D Can't wait to try a few!

    • pheonix76 profile image
      Author

      pheonix76 6 years ago from WNY

      @hlkljgk: It is VERY good! :P

    • hlkljgk profile image

      hlkljgk 6 years ago from Western Mass

      oooo, that apple and gruyere sandwich looks terrific. i can't wati to try it.