Healthy & Quick Vegetarian Recipes anyone? - Healthy Eating

Healthy Eating

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Healthy & Quick Vegetarian Recipes anyone?

Annabanana0715 profile image

Hey! It's my first post on here, so hello!

I've finally put on my big-girl-britches and have begun the long process of losing the 50 pounds I need to lose in order to reach a healthy weight again, and so far I'm 11 pounds in!! (It doesn't sounds like much, but that's HUGE for me, and I'm the thinnest I've been in 2 years! Whoo hoo!)

However, I'm a busy (and usually very lazy) full time college student/part time law clerk that rarely has time to cook fancy meals, but I want to keep losing weight so I need to stop running to Chipotle and Subway all the time for quick and filling lunches. I'm vegetarian, so my options are more limited than for your average omnivore, so I'm having trouble finding meals that I can just grab on my way out the door and are delicious and filling. I've noticed that I've been relying on a lot of mock meats lately as well to make up my protein needs, but I know all that constant processed food can't be the healthiest for my body.

Anyone have any ideas for a quick and easy, but filling vegetarian meal? (Well, technically pescatarian, but I'll only eat tuna salad and crab because I don't like any other seafood lol) xD

20 Replies
Jerry profile image

Hi Annabanana0715, great user name so welcome and I hope you enjoy being a member. We have a vegetarian section as well as vegan so you’re in good company on here,

Jerry 😊

Will you eat salad and nuts? If it's lunch, I think of it less of a meal, more like a load of stuff spread out in front of me (if that makes sense)

I've gone keto for a few weeks before I ease back into paleo after a winter of potatoes and roasted parsnips with every meal but usually for lunches, I just always have a bag with tomatoes, avocados, olives, peppers, mushrooms, pistachios, almonds, some infused oils, salt, pepper a knife and fork and some wipes ( for cleaning the knife and fork if I'm not near a kitchen.

You can add other stuff obviously like spinach and tuna in cans and fennel, it's easy enough but people do look at you like your a freak ( as the tuck into their very hearty cheese sandwich on white, haha.)

Unfortunately, I've been cursed (probably by an evil witch that collects monetary compensation from the meat industry) I'm the one vegetarian in the world that doesn't like salads because I don't like lettuce 😅 lol plus they never fill me up and I end up drowning it in dressing to give the bland lettuce flavor so I end up negating the health benefits of the salad anyway. 😂 But nuts are a really good idea! I LOVE to snack on pistachios, although they get kinda too expensive for everyday eating. But I could also try buying salted sunflower seeds or macadamia nuts or something like that since I wouldn't mind snacking on those either. Plus, it's plant-based protein which is always a plus!

The bag of assorted vegetables is also a good idea! Although it would take some planning on my part, it might be something to try though, especially since I take a medicine that makes me not very hungry at all during the workday, but knowing I need to eat ~something~ tends to make me grab whatever crappy convenience food is available. So having healthy options at the ready would be a good idea for me so I don't overeat or eat garbage.

And lol yeah I know what the judging eyes of the food police feel like! 😂 Especially felt them a lot when I was high-carb-low-fat vegan lol. Although I'm lucky now since I have my own office in the back. Plus my coworker eats a hamburger from Wendy's literally almost every day so I don't think there's really room to judge, Suuuuusan. 😂 (I meant it for comedic effect but her name actually is Susan lmao. I'm sorry Susan no judgment but neither of us are in a position to be pointing fingers hahaha) 😂 I will definitely look into it though!

I try to stay away from any sort of "fad" diets since I just want to change to an overall healthier diet that I can easily sustain, but maybe roasting a pan of veggies in the oven with a lil pepper and olive oil and then taking the leftovers for lunch along with some snack nuts would be a good idea :) Definitely healthier than Subway and Chipotle! 😂

Hiya, we were replying to each other at the same time ( mine's at the bottom of the page ) so I didn't see this post till I'd pressed the rely button.

You can make salad dressings that are amazing, healthy and with fat in them ( olive oil, or almond or avocado oil to name a few ) .

I really want you to find something that works for you because I completely know what you're on about!

Zest profile image

Hi Annabanana0715,

Welcome to the Healthy Eating forum. I would like to give you a link to the NHS Choices information on Vegetarian and Vegan foods, incase there's anything there that is helpful to your search for recipes etc:

There are various information links within that, which might be helpful, and we have lots of 'Topics' in our forum that you can also look through.

Enjoy your week.

Zest :-)

Annabanana0715 profile image
Annabanana0715 in reply to Zest

I just realized that this is a forum through the NHS. I just joined this page because I had a HealthUnlocked account and thought this would be good for encouraging myself to eat healthily. haha Awesome! (I'm American if you couldn't tell by my use of the word "awesome", so being on a British site makes me feel ~fancy~ 😂)

Thanks for the NHS page still though! I doubt the healthy diet information is any less relevant simply because I'm American. The American "" isn't nearly as helpful with vegetarian-specific (and user-friendly) diet advice.

Zest profile image
ZestStar in reply to Annabanana0715

Hi Annabanana0715,

Glad you found the information helpful, and it's great that you're enjoying the Healthy eating forum. Some of us post photos of our meals and recipes, so do have a look around, and maybe you can join in with some of that, if it appeals to you! :-)

Zest :-)

Hi Annabanana0715 & welcome. You will find two camps here offering advice. These are at first seemingly opposites. One is to heat fat to lose weight (through the process of ketosis etc) and the other is to head towards a vegan lifestyle and reduce fat intake. Both of these styles encourage removal of processed foods from your diet.

I am very much more in the vegan lifestyle and argue that if you are overweight is it almost impossible not to lose weight the closer you get to a whole-foods plant-based lifestyle, especially when it is low-oils.

Be aware that whenever changing diet if you have other health issues then a doctor's advice should be sought. But assuming it is just extra pounds that taxes your body then I would argue strongly in favour of learning how to cook for all your needs so that you are eating minimal prepared aka processed foods.

If you do make the change to a vegan lifestyle be sure to get enough calories daily. This is the great thing about a whole-foods plant based lifestyle. You can eat as much as you like at each and every meal - and still lose weight. That's not just me saying that. It is what the research shows. People following such a diet, even if they do NOT exercise, still lose weight.

This means you could use that exercise time (say an hour down the gym, plus travel) to prepare your own food. Though of course good exercise builds a good strong heart etc etc.

I tried being Whole Food High Carb Low Fat (HCLF) for a bit because various vegan YouTubers told me it was the ~only~ way to ~really~ lose weight, and I just found that for me personally it just made me hungry all the time and I way overate (plus I don't like lettuce or tomatoes so I was basically just living off rice and beans which got tiring really quickly) so I basically just gained more weight, and as someone with extreme body image anxiety at the time, I found it wasn't a good diet personally for me since I had so few options.

But since then I did a lot of research on the ethical and environmental reasoning behind veganism, and it has convinced me 100% without a doubt that veganism is the best most ethical diet we can have today. The only reason I switched to vegetarianism (well technically pescatarian since I'll eat subway tuna sandwiches because again I hate lettuce and tomato [and peppers and too much onion and spinach] so their veggie sandwiches would basically be olives and bread for me lol) was because I found that it was much easier for me to completely stay away and not even be tempted by meat if I allowed myself to have cheese and occasionally an egg (still sticking to almond/soy milk though, lol the vegan documentaries about what's in a glass of milk have repulsed me forever haha). I LOVE animals, so I would never want to go back to a life of eating meat, and I try to be conscious about limiting my dairy intake as well, but then, you know, the convenience food comes knocking again and pulling me back into cheese quesadillas and frozen mac & cheese dinners. I also am living with my (omnivorous) parents right now, so I really have to think ahead to anticipate what things I might need or want in the upcoming weeks so I can ask it to be added to the grocery list so again the processed convenience meals are easiest for me to get (sometimes I'll ask for fresh produce and then forget I asked for it and end up being wasteful :( but that's irrelevant if I could find some yummy recipes that would put the fresh produce to good use).

Do you have any easy vegan recipes though? I would love to find a go-to vegan meal that I like so I can remind myself of the importance and relative ease that limiting/eliminating animal products can be, and feel like I'm feeding my body healthy things instead of constantly shoving down crap lol.

Well done for trying. On the subject of tuna, I don't think this is available in the UK, but there is a vegan alternative to tuna. It even comes in the same type of cans!

Spinach is better cooked into stews or stir frys because it increases bio-availability.

What is available in-store that is easy to prepare, eg microwave, is indeed incredibly tempting. The gut adapts over time and what was not tasty can magically become quite pleasant, even to the point of being desirable. So going vegan can take time, and indeed it can be best to take time over the process. Think of it more as a life journey, just gradually finding what works for you and being open to new ideas.

When I started cooking oil-free I just found the concept a total anathema that would never work. I objected and probably took six months before I first tried it. I just could not believe it would work. Once I began to dabble I had failures and felt I had to learn about cooking again.

For instance cooking onions dry on a high heat for five minutes browns them beautifully. No oil, no water, nothing except onions. That took about six tries to get the process right. In the end I realised I had a mind-blockage that said "this is not right", but in the end it was right, exactly right.

-- Today's recipe

Today I cooked in water, onion, 1/4 head of celery chopped, 2 cloves garlic, 4 parsnips, chopped stem of 2 heads of broccoli. Cook and then gently puree. Add cooked & drained mung beans (pre-soaked overnight, washed and cooked in fresh water for 30 mins) generous black pepper and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast (incl B12). Correcting for water eventually stir in chopped broccoli florets, heavy lid on and heat through to cook the broccoli.

This took around 45-1hr mins of my time total. At the same time I also did a large tub of banana-data-cacao ice cream.


My biggest tip for going vegan is cook a large pot once a week. Put what you don't eat into plastic pots in the freezer for the rest of the week, or for the weeks ahead. That way an hour's effort means all you need is a microwave thereafter.

hi again. I had weight/ body image issues from the ages of 'early as I can remember' till my late teens/ early twenties and was advised to go fat free at fifteen (which is really just very low fat) and it was a disaster.

My weight dropped off when I cut out refined carbs ( flour made from grains- so bread, pasta, rice and limited potatoes / sweet potatoes) and dairy.

This can be relatively successful if you're prepared to read the back of every packet if you're eating packaged food and only eat stuff which is both low carb and low dairy but you're severley limiting yourself and to be brutally honest, wasting your time.

I only say this in support of you because I struggled for years, blamed myself etc. when the only way to really make it work is cook for yourself from whole foods. I was lucky in that my mum was a chef and I learned to cook really early on (also I love food) though I didn't make that much effort till after I graduated from university.

It'd be worth setting aside a day, if you can, to research the whole starch/ dairy thing then go and see a doctor (or nutritionalist ideally) about it.

I want to say 'try it, it worked for me' but everyone who's found what works for them wants to say that and we're all different. Often it's only arrived at through a combination of research and trial/ error.

There is one thing that I defy you to dispute though, if you want to be vegetarian, you've got to eat veg. I suppose there's no 'refined-meat- substitute-arian diet.

I really hope you find something that gets you the results you want though, best wishes, it is do-able.

Aww, thank you! Yeah, that is definitely helpful. There's so much noise out there regarding "fat is bad. Cut out all fat", "no carbs are bad, cut out all carbs", and both diets seem to work for some people, but to avoid turning my body into a science experiment, I try to just ideally eat whole foods, like you said. And always, fast food/desserts/candy = generally bad, and whole foods/whole food recipes = generally good. But of course, working and going to school full time it's easy to forget that eating healthy foods, and not just low-calorie foods, are important to obtaining a truly healthy body. And sometimes carving out time to cook something can be beneficial.

I used to have one of those healthy meal subscription boxes that forced me to cook and with whole foods, but the price of it and time it took to actually start and finish cooking the meal that only I was eating quickly became too much to upkeep. I would like to get back into occasionally cooking good dinners for myself though! Finding recipes that look delicious, would be worth the hassle of cooking, and are healthy is the trick though. Any suggestions for delicious recipe hubs?

These are the pages that spring to mind, there are more but it's just gone eleven here in the uk and I've got to be up early to take my dog out before work.

My only other quick suggestion is a slow cooker. You can prepare a weeks worth of veg, herbs and spices in one go and store them in a bags in the freezer. Then you can just tip them into the slow cooker and switch it on!

I'll try and remember what other websites I used to go on and send a link. Good luck.

Thank you so much! And aww "gone eleven" is a phrase I've never heard but it sounds very cute and British! I might start using it 😂. Thank you for the advice! I will definitely look into it.

yes, it means after eleven o' clock. (You probably worked that out.)

I sometimes use the Americanism 'Why I oughtta...' If something goes wrong but I only do it in a New York accent.

You could also cast your eye over these recipes too. They're a good thing to have with raw veg to dip in.

To me, the world's yummiest vegan and vegetarian cuisine is Indian food, but I have no idea if any of it is fast and easy to do. I can make a meal of Mexican rice and beans with guacamole, but also don't think it's fast and easy. I'm off dairy for a while, but a feel good about it all quick lunch is a grass fed organic (vanilla for me) yogurt plus fresh fruit, organic if you can afford it. I found a yogurt I think it's called latta made with kefir cultures that I liked. I absolutely love all beans and can eat them no salt aded straight out of the can. I also love anything with yams and carrots. I love plain steamed vegetables. Becoming aware of the food you're eating is a nice part of going vegan or vegetarian.

Activity2004 profile image
Activity2004Administrator in reply to IChoose

Some Indian meals are fast to cook, but it depends on the brands.

mdr1000 profile image
mdr1000 in reply to IChoose

I think you're right, a curry or dhaal is very quick to throw together. you can stick a few veg in the oven to roast while you do the rest and it can be on the table in half an hour.

I prep my lunches on a Sunday for the week. They vary from pasta bakes to wraps using tofu, quorn alternatives or just beans and chickpeas and lentils. For a while I made pitta pizzas.

Although, Friday I will treat myself to a different meal because eating the same thing every day bores me. I’m fortunate enough to have a good selection of vegetarian meals where I work!

Look up the Food Monster app on One Green Planet's website. :)

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