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Meals don’t have to be pre-packaged and microwaveable to be fast and simple. At Practice Vitality, we try to give you different ways to eat healthy, but not all meals require a recipe. You can use ingredients that are already in your refrigerator and pull together a tasty meal. Below are some suggestions for a quick and easy vegetarian meal ideas to help you get cooking!

1. Huevos Rancheros inspired plate

Huevos Rancheros isnt just confined to brunch. Heat a can of refried beans, roast whatever vegetable suits your fancy (or make a side of raw greens), and add an egg or two, cooked to your preference. Voila, you have a filling meal in less than 10 minutes.

2. Sandwiches

People often associate sandwiches with deli meats & cheese, but its just as easy to make a healthy vegetarian sandwich. Key to making readily available sandwiches is to stock up spreads in the house. Examples would be hummus, babaganoush, pesto, or guacamole/mashed avocados. You can add vegetables (such as kale, mushrooms, beets or onions) – cooked or raw, on top of the spread. You can also top it with cheese or variety of cheeses if desired. I like to make my sandwich then toast it on a frying pan with some butter for an added flavor and crunch. For a hardier option, fry an egg and put it over your sandwich.

3. Soups

Don’t be intimidated by the idea of making a soup-base. We love our hardy soups, like this vegetarian chilli, but a liquid-based soup can still be very filling and take less time. You can also add a number of vegetables into the blender to make a creamy soup. A great example is our creamy vegan cauliflower and mushroom soup. If you want something sweet, you can do a puree of steamed or roasted butternut squash and ginger. Mark Bittman recently wrote a great article in The New York Times on customizable soup.

4. Hearty Salads

Salads don’t have to be completely raw or follow a recipe. Everything in the fridge is fair-game. Mix cooked and raw greens, other cooked veggies and beans. You can be creative with your dressings: lemon-juice and oil, tahini with a little salt and lemon, yogurt with salt, and lemon and dried or fresh herbs are all easy options aside from ready-made salad dressings.

5. Casseroles

This one pot dish is fast and makes an easy cleanup. Just dump whatever veggies you have in the fridge (fresh or frozen!) into a casserole pan, add your favorite seasonings, cooked grains such as quinoa or brown rice, and cheese if you want something creamy. Put it in the oven covered at 375-400 degrees. An 8x8in casserole pan might take about 20 minutes. See our vegetarian casserole dish as a recipe example.

We hope these tips will inspire you to be creative and start cooking!

-DS & NZ