Easy because I have never been much of a cook.
Simple because I live in a little town and the only place to buy ingredients is an IGA, so they don’t tend to have anything too fancy.
Healthy because I am starting to think that having popcorn for breakfast & pizza every night for dinner isn’t working out too well for me.
And for one person because most recipes I have found online tend to result in too much food.
Anyone have anything they really like? I’m vegetarian, not vegan, so I can eat cheese.
Easy because I have never been much of a cook.
Umm… you know you can just slash everything in half or whatever, right? If you put less into the pot, you get less out of it.
Do you have access to quorn products, soybean products or the like?
Where do you live? What languages do you speak? I have some recipes, but translating them could be a bitch. Do you understand metric measurements?
I know that in theory I can devide recipes in half, but that never seems to work out right for me, I’m slightly food incompetent, I think the problem lies in the cooking part, I don’t know how to adjust that if I have halfed the recipe.
Anway, I live in Ontario, and I do understand metric. I have a hard time locating tofu or soyabean products around here, not that I know how to prepare them (incompetent)
I work in a grocery store in Ontario and most will be more than happy to order veggie stuff for you.
Some suggestions: Yves Veggie Cuisine
Also do you have any local health food shops? Check them out cause they often have veggie friendly stuff.
I’d post recipies but I can hardly boil water.
Depending on how much you’re willing to spend, you can order foodstuffs over the web easily enough. Also, in addition to the suggestion about just making smaller portions, you can make more and freeze the leftovers/extra if you have a decent freezer.
If you’re okay with carbs, pasta is your friend. There are umpteen different recipes for pasta, so a simple search should turn up a lot of options.
Oh, and get the book “French Cooking in Ten Minutes” by de Pomiane.
That being said, here are a couple of recipe-type suggestions:
Braised greens. There are umpteen different recipes for greens, so a search should turn up a lot of options. I tend to do something like the following:
1 - Get a bunch of broccoli rabe or whatever else leafy looks good (it takes more than you think, because it cooks down a lot)
2 - Heat your pan, dump in the oil of your choice (I usually start with butter, then drizzle on extra-virgin olive oil later)
3 - Dump in some chopped garlic, let it cook for a little bit
4 - Dump in the greens, sprinkle on salt & pepper to taste, cover the pan
5 - Let it steam for a while (till it cooks down a bit)
6 - Remove the cover, check the texture, adjust seasonings
Braised farro. This is conceptually similar to risotto but is made with whole-grain farro instead (farro is an old variety of wheat). I do something like the following:
1 - Soak a pound of farro overnight (i.e., dump it in a bowl, cover it with water, and stick it in the fridge till the next day)
2 - Drain the farro
3 - Heat up about a couple quarts of stock so it’s simmering–it doesn’t need to boil. I’d personally use some species of meat stock, but you would need to use veggie stock or that fake meat stock. (I say “about” a couple quarts because it’s hard to tell exactly how much you’ll need–you’re better off starting with too much and then not using it all. If this is the case, you can just make soup with the extra stock.)
4 - While the stock is starting to heat, chop a decent-sized onion and a large double handful of mushrooms, maybe a bit more (keep the onions and mushrooms separate, though)
5 - Heat your pot to about medium heat, dump in the oil of your choice (it’s better to use too much oil than to try to go for the low-fat route). When it heats up, dump in the chopped onion and start letting it cook. Make sure to stir it every so often. (If you want, you can also put in a little carrot and/or celery.) For your pot, you’ll want to use something with a wide bottom. I use a 5.5-liter saute pan with vertical sides, but a stockpot would work fine.
6 - At about the same time, heat up a pan, dump in the oil of your choice. When it heats up, dump in the chopped mushrooms and start letting them cook. If you want, sprinkle them with some salt & pepper to taste. (Follow the instructions that de Pomiane gives–basically, you should cover the pan till steam starts escaping, then remove the cover; you’ll see the mushrooms swimming in water they’ve exuded. Let them cook till this water evaporates.)
7 - Going back to the pot with the onion–when the onion looks kind of amber colored, dump in the drained farro and stir everything around a bit. (Remember how I said it was better to use too much oil to saute the onion? This is why–you don’t want the farro to stick.)
8 - Turn down the heat on the pot with the farro so it’s at about the same temperature as the pot with the simmering stock.
Interlude: By now, the stock you started heating earlier should be hot. What you’re going to do is dump in the hot stock a cup at a time and stir the farro until it slowly absorbs the liquid, then dump in another cup and repeat the process. You’ll end up seeing the grains plump up and get softer as they absorb the liquid. As more stock goes into the farro, it’ll take more time to absorb. When you’ve used not quite a couple quarts of stock, start tasting a few grains of the farro. When the texture seems good, you’ll know it’s time to stop. (Or you can add in some more stock and make it kind of soupy if you want.) You may have heard horror stories about people trying to make risotto and stirring, stirring, stirring, trying desperately to keep it from sticking, blah blah blah. This is the same basic technique, but because you’re using farro instead of rice it’s easy. Takes a little time, but it’s easy.
9 - If you want, dump in a glass or so of red wine and stir till it’s absorbed.
10 - Start adding the stock and stirring as described above.
11 - Remember the mushrooms? When they’re done, dump 'em in with the farro, along with any oil that’s left in the mushroom pan (all the water should be evaporated) and stir 'em in.
12 - Keep up the add-stock-and-stir process.
13 - When about half your stock has been used, start adding salt & pepper to the farro to taste. You’ll want to adjust the seasonings as you go on.
14 - Keep going with the add-stock-and-stir process till you’re done.
I’m an omnivore, so I’d use this as a side dish with grilled or braised meat, but it’s also good on its own. You might want to grate some Parmesan cheese on top of it. This will make waaaaaay more than you could dream of eating in a single meal, but it tastes good reheated. Alternatively, it would be easy to cut down on the volume of ingredients.
Keep in mind that “veggie cuisine” != “healthy”. I’ve seen some veggie meals with an appalling amount of fat and carbs.
Veggie cuisine can be healthy, but just 'cause it says it’s veggie, don’t assume!
French Fries, healthy-style
Go out and buy a cast-iron skillet (it’ll cost you 10-12 bucks tops and will last you a lifetime.) Season the pan as per instructions on pan (usually “cover with crisco or some other oil/shortening and put in low 250 F oven for 3-4 hours”). When you’re done, the pan will be black and frictionless. DON’T put it in the dishwasher after that or you’ll clean off the frictionless coating
Once that’s done, crank your oven as high as it’ll go and put the bottom shelf as low as it’ll go. Wash and slice up a potato or two into french fry shapes (if you leave the skin on, you get extra fiber). Spritz the fries with veggie spray (Pam, or similar). Put the potatos in the pan. Sprinkle with salt (coarse/Kosher salt is better). Put pan in oven for 20 minutes. Stir the fries. Cook another 10 minutes. Add pepper or other seasonings. Eat.
A nifty varient on this would be to use peeled, cubed butternut squash and add some fresh (or dried, if you have to ) thyme. Follow the recipe otherwise). The sugar in the squash carmelizes and it’s really really good.
Vegetarian from Western Canada here…have you tried looking at Mollie Katzen’s cookbooks? She’s published a number of them that I’m fond of such as the Enchanted Broccoli Forest.
The cookbooks I have are not written specifically for one person, but that’d be okay if you like leftovers. And a couple of the cookbooks seem to be targeted towards children and teens, so would probably have simple recipes. Most of the ingredients in the books I have could be found in an IGA and most do not have tofu based products. Well, some of them probably do, but I’m not a big fan so I ignore them.
Ooh, yeah, speaking of this, you can also do something similar with cauliflower. Slice the head into slices about a quarter inch thick (don’t worry if they break apart), toss with oil and kosher/sea salt, spread on a baking sheet, and roast at about 450F till they caramelize a bit. You’ll probably want to stir it once or twice while it’s cooking. This is really good. If you want to, you can also add a little curry powder with the oil.
Stir fry is the savior of the vegetarian bachelor. Trust me on this :).
Before you get going on the stirfry, put on some brown rice. It’s a lot healthier than white rice, and is also more filling and (IMO) tastier. The short-grain is better than long-grain, if you can find it. 1/2 rice into 1 cup boiling water will make plenty for one meal, with some left over for the next.
Two simple stirfries:
- Make a marinade of soy sauce, fresh ginger, crushed garlic, and red pepper flakes, mixed according to your taste. You can add a little brown sugar if you like; I don’t. Put it in a bowl.
- Cube some tofu into the marinade. Add a bit of water until the tofu is covered. Microwave the bowl for 8 minutes or so: insta-marinate!
- Pour some oil into a wok or other pan and get it hot. Meanwhile, drain the tofu, reserving some marinade.
- Throw the tofu into the pan and stir it around some.
- Throw in your already-chopped veggies: carrots, onions, scallions, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, mushrooms, mung bean sprouts, whatever you like. Generally add the hardest veggies early on, and add the softer ones later.
- Once things are looking good, mix a bit of corn starch into the reserved marinade. If the marinade is still pretty hot, mix the corn starch into a little cold water and then stir the water into the marinade – otherwise, you’ll get nasty marinade-flavored gumdrops. Pour that starchy marinade over your veggies and stir it around a bit. Presto – stirfry!
This one is simpler.
*Boil some water for spaghetti noodles (or udon or soba noodles, if you can find them). At some point, start the noodles.
*Chop about half a cabbage into long threads. Also chop carrots into long pieces, and if you want, some scallions or onions. Crush up some garlic and chop or grate up some ginger.
*Stir fry the veggies in oil. Once the cabbage is turning bright green, toss in a little sherry (or rice wine or sake), some soy sauce, some red pepper flakes, and maybe a little rice vinegar if you want.
- Cook a little bit longer. Just before you’re ready to eat, break an egg or two into the pan and stir vigorously until the egg mixes with all the veggies and sauces and you get little bits of scrambled eggs scattered throughout.
- Drain the noodles and stir them into the pan. Another stir fry!
Both of these are pretty healthy and pretty easy.
Also, a minestrone recipe:
- Chop up an onion and throw it into a soup-pot along with some oil, salt and pepper, and your favorite herbs. I use a lot of herbs in this.
- Crush some garlic into the pot.
- When it’s looking soft, add in some chopped-up carrots and a green pepper (normally I hate green peppers, but they’re good in stuff like this) and a stalk or two of celery. Saute a little longer.
- When the pan starts to get some brown crust on the bottom, but before it actually begins to burn, add in a cup of water and stir it vigorously to get all that yummy caramelized vegetable stuff off the bottom of the pan. Add a large can of crushed tomatoes. Swirl some red wine in the bottom of the tomato can to get out the last of the goo, and pour that into the soup. (I use almost a full glass of wine in making this; use more or less as your budget and taste buds require).
- Add more water until you’ve got as much soup as you want. You can use prefab (or homemade!) vegetable broth or add a cube of veggie bouillon if you want, but it’s not really necessary: the slow simmer of vegetables gives the soup plenty of flavor.
- Chop up a potato or two and toss them in.
- Simmer it on low heat for as long as you can – go play a computer game or read a book or do laundry or something, and just check on the soup every half hour or so to make sure it’s not burning. Two hours or more is good, but you can eat it after an hour.
- Right before you’re ready to eat, you can throw in some fresh or frozen sweet peas and a handful of chopped parsley if you want; this is good but not necessary.
- Excellent eaten with cheese toast.
Note that all three of these recipes are extremely forgiving on ingredient quantities; experiment with them until you’ve got it how you like it. In fact, as long as you avoid burning things, these recipes will come out pretty tasty; the only other real worry is cooking things to mushiness, or using too much corn starch in the first one.
Cooking times and such, you mean? Huh. I’ve never adjusted them at all, and it always works out fine.
They’re prepared much (read exactly) like meat. Soybean sausages are fried or grilled or boiled just like regular sausages.
Hunter Hawk and Left Hand of Dorkness have given much the same suggestions as I was going to, so I’ll shut up now.
When you cure your cast iron skillet, do so on an upper rack upside down, with a baking sheet on the rack below to catch the Crisco drippings. That way you don’t get puddles of Crisco in the bottom of your pan, all you end up with is a nice smooth surface. And never wash it with soap of any kind as it’ll eat away the finish you’re building up (as was said, no dishwasher… but also no soap when handwashing and dry it thoroughly once done, and put a thin thin thin fresh coating of oil on it with a paper towel before putting it away). If you do get burnt on bits that won’t come off, kosher salt is a good abrasive. But believe me, in a short time your cast iron will be more non stick than some non stick skillets.
here’s a site that does all sorts of nifty cooking conversions:
- A good collection of veg recipes:
The roasting cauliflower trick (just tossed in olive oil and kosher salt roasted in the oven) works really well with many root vegetables. I adore broccoli done this way. I imagine carrots would be yummy, with their natural sugars and all.
I like the idea of taking recipes that normally have meat and just omitting it - like fajitas without the meat, just lots of julienned veggies and the seasoning in the tortilla with salsa, cheese, what have you. Spanish style rice and black beans, veggie chili (makes a lot but you can portion it into containers and save it), if you eat eggs you can make fritatas and quiches (same here, cut into individual portions and freeze)… there are many choices that don’t require weird ingredients you may not have access to, even ones you thought might be hard to make. A really yummy one is cold noodles in sesame sauce - you whiz up the sauce in a blender and chuck that in a container in the fridge. You just cook thin spaghetti up as you need it and add the sauce as desired. The sauce keeps pretty well and I’m pretty sure you can find everything needed in a normal supermarket. Here’s one recipe:
I love making my own cold sesame noodles - I can make the sauce as thick and spicy as I like.
Alton Brown did a curried veggie thing this week where he made his own curry mix, but you can use a premade mix just as easily - the idea I love is that he used a bag of frozen veggies for it:
You get the idea. Have fun with it!
Here you go, this is quick and easy, and you can live on it.
1 cup minute rice
1 can kidney beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1 half can water
some crushed red pepper
Stir it all in a pot and cook it until it boils. Cut off the fire and cover the pot. It will be ready to eat in 20 minutes.
You should check out The Victory Garden Cookbook by Marian Morash. It’s loaded with excellent recipes.