TELL VT: Got Weeknight Dinner Ideas? | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

TELL VT: Got Weeknight Dinner Ideas?

TELL VT: Got Weeknight Dinner Ideas?

Roasted Red Pepper Pita Pizzas

We want to know: What’s your best throw-together dinner idea after a long day at the office? We love the Roasted Red Pepper Pita Pizzas, pictured above. Share your answer below and see what others have to say. Our favorite responses will be published in the next issue of Vegetarian Times.


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Pasta Primavera a la Convenience: whole-grain pasta with frozen spinach and artichoke hearts, topped with store-bought tomato-basil sauce.

Old-fashioned grits cooked in the microwave (7 minutes!) topped with small cubes of cheddar cheese served with a salad. The Southern gal's polenta!

I don't usually have bread in the house, but I always, always have corn tortillas. When I'm too tired to figure out dinner, I default to vegetarian tacos made with Amy's Organic Refried Beans with Green Chiles (the Cadillac of refried beans). I heat the beans in the microwave while warming two tortillas in the toaster. Meanwhile, I chop some tomato, avocado and red onion, and shred some lettuce. I layer everything into the tortillas, top 'em with salsa, and voila! Healthy, tasty dinner in under 10 minutes.

Grilled polenta and vegetables! Put some vegetables in a basket on your grill: Red onions, eggplant,that sort of thing. While that's cooking, Lightly oil polenta on both sides. Grill on one side. Flip it over. Add tomato sauce to the top of the polenta. Put some of your grilled vegetables on the top of that. Add a wee bit of parmesan if you want. Let warm for a while on the grill. Add fresh basil. Devour!

I have a great recipe for a quick muttar paneer that is super satisfying and super comfort food. The best part is that the prep time is really short...all you really have to do is cut up the onions and paneer! Then start adding things to the wok and let the heat do its work.

Chickpea Awesome as it known in my house. Onions, garlic, add chickpeas, all the edible veggies remaining in fridge diced, cook on high heat in frypan because you are hungry as hell. Then when everything looks pretty cook - crack eggs over top stir through till cooked. Add spinach leaves and pepper and another fresh tomato. Warm for 2 seconds. Eat with lettuce. Or not. Voila. Fed and heartily delighted in half hour. This can be varied then to taste or season. Add herbs if you have em corresponding yo your vegies

I have a quick fix but , great tasting dinner recipe, I first I cook angel hair pasta, drain it, then add 1 tbsp. basil pesto, then 1 1/2 tsp black olive tapenade, then 1 tblsp sundried tomatoes pesto, and top of with 1/2 tblsp. artichoke bruchetta, and a little Parmesan or remano Cheese. These are things I keep in the friq. If I don't have time to cook otherwise.

I like to cook sliced polenta in a pan with a little sesame oil and butter, garlic, salt pepper, cumin, cinnamon Garlic powder, dried onions. Then in another pan saute 1tblsp garlic, 2 diced scallion in 2tblsp butter 1 1/2 tsp.sesame oil, then add 1c portabella mushrooms, and 1/2c steak mushroom,Then about 11/2 tblsp. of fresh thyme, pinch of salt,& pepper and about 1tblsp of Cilantro or parsley; saute for a five or seven minutes , then add 1/2 c of vegetable broth simmer for 5 min. then add 3/4 and Marsala wine let it simmer 10 min. Then I take a package of Channa Masala which is an indian cuisine of Chickpeas, with onions,tomatoes,& spices already prepared just cook for 1 min. in microwae . Start plating with polenta, then add mushrooms, then top off with a large spoonful of Channa Masala. You can subsitue the Polenta with tofu if you prefer. or just eat the mushrooms alone with the Channa Masala with a side salad. I found Mushrooms with Chick Peas is a great combo, a real treat to eat.

After a long day I also find it nice to give your self a little treat after dinner sometimes; so, I use a slice of vanilla pound cake soak in a little Pear liquor, top with slice pears, drizzled with a little more liquor, top with vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup!

cook a bag of microwavable brown rice, then throw the rice, a can of refried beans in a mixing bowl. add anything you have on hand: shredded cheese, chopped tomato, chopped red pepper, olives, corn, etc and mix together. put in an 8 inch square baking dish that has been coated with cooking spray. bake at 350 for 20 to 30 minutes. serve with tortillas (whole wheat or corn), chips, or on its own.

Creamy avocado spaghetti. Put the spaghetti on to cook (I like to use wholewheat). While it's cooking (approx. 12 minutes) take an avocado, a handful of fresh basil, the juice and zest of half a lemon, a couple of cloves of garlic, some salt, fresh black pepper and olive oil. Mash/blend it all together, then drain the cooked spaghetti and toss it with the sauce. Raw, full of vitamins, wonderfully creamy and SO quick.

Sun-Dried tomato, Artichoke Heart and soy Chik'n Spiced Pasta: Find recipe and pictures here

I just made my first frittata last night, and I think I'm hooked. I basically threw whatever needed to be used up from the fridge into a cast-iron skillet—half a chopped onion, a cup of cubed tofu, a bunch of sliced mushrooms, some leftover penne cut into little pieces, shredded cheddar, and a couple of eggs. Easiest 15-minute dinner ever!

Spicy Tomato Macaroni with French bread -cook pasta according to directions then transfer to baking dish. Add one 15oz can of diced tomatoes with fennel and red pepper to pasta along with sprinklings of Italian seasoning, Mrs. Dash seasoning and a few cut up sprigs of fresh rosemary. Top with Italian style breadcrumbs and mild cheddar cheese. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes. serve with slices of French bread.

Soba noodles with sesame seeds, wakame, tofu and or edamame dressed with a little white miso, honey and sesame oil. I cook frozen edaname (out of shell) with the soba noodles. While that is cooking, soak dried wakame (I like the precut shake out of the package ones for convenience), cube some soft tofu, make the sauce. Mix honey (to desired sweetness) miso (for umami saltiness) and sesame oil and seeds (for mouth feel) together. After the noodles and edamame are cooked, rinse and mix in everything else --dinner in 15 min with just pantry stuff.

I dice up an avocado and some tomatoes, toss them with soy sauce and sriracha, and then top it with sesame seeds. It's light on the stomach, but tastes indulgent and is so satisfying!

Mexican Baked Sweet Potato are easy and filling. I cook the sweet potato in the microwave until its soft. Slice it open, add your favorite salsa and beans then top with shredded cheese. Put it in the toaster oven until cheese is melted and serve! Delicious!

To 1 c. or so of leftover or quickly cooked spinach, I add 1/2 can chickpeas and 1/2 can tomatoes with green chiles, then add cumin and cinnamon for a Moroccan vibe. Spooned over rice or into pita, heated or not, it rocks!

During the Summer there are so many ways to make "Fast Food". My favorite is actually a double whammy. I cut up market fresh squash, eggplant, onions, fresh chopped tomatoes and mix with garlic, fresh herbs and a bit of olive oil and simmer for 45 minutes while I do other end of the day tasks. I serve the half of the Ratatouille on seared, sliced Polenta (pre-made and at most Grocery Stores). The next night I dump the leftover Ratatouille, 2 cups of Veggie broth and a can of beans (red or white) into a soup pot, heat and serve a "SOUPer" supper.

My go-to weeknight meal, on those occasions I've failed to plan anything, is tostadas: vegetarian refried beans on whole wheat tortillas brushed with a little oil and crisped in a skillet, with or without cheese. When the tortillas are crisped, I top with a whatever salsas and vegetables I happen to find in the fridge: avocados, bell or hot peppers, lettuce or cabbage, herbs, thinly sliced red onion.

Whenever I have vegetables that I need to use up, I just cut them up and roast them at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Then you just add them to rice or pasta with a little cheese and maybe even some pesto. Easy, healthy, and filling! Believe it or not, radishes are excellent in this so it's a great way to use them up without having a salad.

We call it clean out the frig stir fry. I use up all the veggies in the refrigerator from the week. Might be carrots, cabbage, bell peppers, squash and onions. Pretty much all the items that did not get used from previous planned meals from the week. There is usually leftover baked tofu or grilled seitan to add a little protein. I whip together a sauce of tamari, sweet chili sauce, sesame oil and sarachi. Served with rice or ramen noodle sprinkled with roasted peanuts for a quick go to dinner. Not much thought required so perfect after a hectic day.

Being a gluten free vegan, I'm always trying to come up with throw-together dinner ideas! My favorite right now is quesadillas. I top a corn tortilla with canned vegan refried beans mixed with jarred salsa, sliced red peppers and vegan cheese, then place second tortilla on top and throw in my panini press. Voila, one minute later it's done! I serve it with sliced avocado, yummy!

One of my favorites is a deconstructed "sushi" bowl made with cauliflower "rice," coleslaw mix, onions, kale, seitan (optional), and Bragg's Liquid Aminos. Finally, I top it off with avocado slices. It is SO good!

Vegetarian Chili! I use tofu crumbles, black beans, corn, and bell pepper as the base and throw in anything else I have lying around the kitchen, everything from garbanzo beans to sweet potatoes. It's a simple recipe that everyone loves.

One pot Black Bean Soup - ready in 15 minutes. Heat 2 cans drained black beans, a 16 oz jar of your favorite salsa ( mild, spicy, etc..), 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth in a sauce pan. When hot, blend till smooth & creamy with an immersion blender. If it needs a little kick add some cumin & chili powder. Delicious low-fat, high fiber & protein meal!