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4 Ingredient Vegetarian Dinners

As a busy college student one of the best things I can do to make sure that I am eating healthy while also staying under a budget is to make dinners that only require a few main ingredients. I have published a similar blog post, but that one included meat products while this one does not. Like I mention in all of my food blog posts, I am milk free, gluten free, garlic free, and I limit the types of starch that I have. All of these meals are vegetarian and all vegan except one. In this blog post I am sharing some of my favorite quick and easy 4 ingredient vegetarian dinners. 

I would like to mention that all of these meals meal prep great except the pizza and the Banza pasta.  

Pantry Stapes

  • soy sauce/tamari/coconut aminos
  • salt
  • pepper
  • oil (olive oil or avocado oil)

BBQ Caulipower Chickpea Pizza

Over the summer I had a BBQ chicken pizza and when I went vegetarian I wanted to find a way to recreate it. I used the above ingredients to do so. I mixed together a few spoonfuls of both the BBQ sauce and the tomato sauce. I then smeared that onto the frozen caulipower pizza crust. I drained and rinsed a can of chickpeas and topped the pizza with one serving or 1/4 cup. This recipe also allows you to top the pizza with any other toppings that you like or whatever vegetable you need to use up. When making this I have also added mushrooms and spinach. Once all the pizza toppings are on bake the pizza in a 425 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.

When I make this meal I cut one pizza crust in half and consider that a serving.

Chickpea Fried Broccoli Rice

  • 15 oz can chickpeas
  • head of broccoli
  • 1 egg
  • corn/frozen vegetable, onion/ zucchini
Even though I am not a huge fan of Chinese food, I do love a good bowl of fried broccoli rice. When I went vegetarian I swapped the chicken for chickpeas. To make this recipe, drain and rinse a can of chickpeas and place them in a pan on medium heat on the stove with olive oil. Stir occasionally and add salt, pepper and ground ginger if you have it. While the chickpeas are crisping up, cut the head of broccoli into florets, peel and chop the stem too, place into a food processor and process until it is the size of rice. Add the broccoli to a separate sauce pan and cook that adding water to tenderize it. To the chickpeas add 1 egg and scramble it. Also add the frozen or raw vegetable. At this time you can also add the soy sauce, coconut amnions or tamari, which ever you have. If you have it I recommend also adding sesame oil at the end. Once the broccoli rice is tender and all the vegetables are cooked add to a bowl and enjoy. 

This amount of ingredients makes 3 servings.

Lentil Tacos

  • 15 oz can lentils
  • taco seasoning
  • 2 peppers (with every color is cheapest or your favorite)
  • desired toppings (avocado, lettuce, salsa)
I can eat Mexican inspired food every day of the week. One of my favorite Mexican inspired dinners is lentil tacos/lentil taco salad. This is such an easy dinner because all you have to do is chop the peppers and sauté them on medium heat in oil and taco seasoning. Once almost fully softened add the drained and rinsed lentils to the pan and cook until heated through adding more seasoning to taste. I like to either eat the lentils and peppers in roman lettuce wraps or on a salad of roman lettuce. My favorite toppings are avocado and salsa.

This amount of ingredients makes 3 servings.

Seasonal Sheet Pan Dinner

  • 15 oz can chickpeas
  • head of broccoli
  • carrots
  • zucchini
For this dinner you start by chopping the carrots and broccoli into similar sized pieces. Then drain and rinse the can of chickpeas. Add it all to a baking sheet. Add olive oil, salt, pepper, and any other seasonings that you like. Mix it all together and bake for 20 minutes on 425 degrees mixing it around at the half way mark. For this recipe I recommend choosing seasonal vegetable to keep the cost down. This could mean winter squash in the winter and asparagus in the spring. You can try out different spice blends each time to mix of the flavors. Some recommendations are lemon pepper seasoning, paprika, garlic powered, and onion powder.

This amount of ingredients makes 3 servings.

Pesto Spaghetti Squash

  • spaghetti squash
  • green tops of carrots or basil
  • avocado
  • pepitas or pine nuts
One way to save on money and limit food waste is to plan the sheet pan dinner with this dinner for the same week. For this meal and the last you can buy a bunch of organic carrots with the green tops. You then wash the green tops and use them to make the pesto. For the pesto add the washed green carrots tops, a whole avocado, 1/4 cup of pepitas or pine nuts and olive oil to a food processor. Process until it comes to a smooth consistence. Adding oil as needed. Make sure to add salt and pepper to taste. For the spaghetti squash put it in the microwave for 3 minutes so that you can cut it in half long way. Then scoop out the seeds and coat with olive oil and salt and pepper before placing cut side down on a baking sheet. Roast in a 425 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. The spaghetti noodles should be soft enough to pull away from the skin with a fork. 

I usually get a small spaghetti squash and use if for two servings. The pesto will usually make 3 servings.

Cashew Cheese Sauce

  • unsalted raw cashews
  • Banza pasta
  • nutritional yeast
  • almond milk
Soak the unsalted raw cashews in warm water for 30 minutes. Once soaked pour out the water and add to a blender or food processor. To the food processor add salt, pepper, nutritional yeast and almond milk. I will link the recipe that I followed for this below. Just know that I only added the ingredients that I stated here and it still turned out great. Process or blend until the sauce becomes smooth. While making the sauce cook a serving of high protein Banza chickpea pasta. I would like to say that I kept this sauce in the fridge and ate if for meal prep through out the week and it was great each day. 

I used 5 oz of cashews and it made 4-5 servings.

I hope that these meals have inspired you to try new recipes, ingredients and healthy meals. Below are additional links to other food related posts on the blog.

Additional Links
Summer Weekly Meal Prep Plan

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