Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Quick, easy and veg-friendly weeknight winners

Some of the tastiest meals I came up with during our (now long-forgotten) vegetarian month were quite quick and simple.

For example, I made a speedy tomato sauce that worked well with back-to-back weeknight dinners. All it took was one 28-ounce can of plum tomatoes, one red bell pepper, diced, and a handful of garlic cloves, minced. I crushed the tomatoes by hand and simmered them (and the juice in which they were canned) with the pepper and garlic for a few minutes before puréeing everything.

This sauce tasted great simmered with some sliced Tofurkey Italian Sausage and a can of cannellini beans (rinsed and drained), served atop a huge plateful of spinach which I wilted with a couple dashes of soy sauce and some red pepper flakes.

The sauce tasted equally delicious the next night with Trader Joe’s Meatless Meatballs and whole wheat spaghetti.

Some other successful veg-friendly meals that I’d make again even if I wasn’t trying to avoid meat:

  • Trader Joe’s Masala Simmer Sauce heated up with a can of chickpeas and a few handfuls of fresh spinach and poured over brown rice. A piece of masala tandoori naan (also from TJ’s) on the side was great for soaking up the sauce.
  • Sandwiches with Trader Joe’s Masala Veggie Patties (toasted in a frying pan), tandoori naan, micro greens and spicy hummus
  • Quinoa with Black Beans and Cilantro, wrapped in wheat tortillas 
  • And assembling this trusty lasagna took just a couple minutes without cooking up any Italian sausage.