It can be a challenge to fit balanced meals into a busy lifestyle. Here are a few fast and easy protein packed vegetarian dinners that will make your life healthier, easier and tastier.
The Legendary Frittata
This Italian dish is a healthy, delicious, and protein packed addition to your dinner rotation. Preparation time is only about 20 minutes and aside from eggs, the heart of the dish, all ingredients are negotiable. The beauty of the frittata is that you can basically incorporate whatever you happen to have in the house and still come up with a terrific meal.
First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Next: sauté a mixture of veggies of your choice in a skillet, adding any herbs or spices you desire. While they’re cooking, whisk 6 to 8 eggs in a separate bowl with pinches of salt and pepper and three tablespoons of water, milk, soy milk, half and half or cream. If you have any grated cheese to add, layer it atop the veggies now. Pour the eggs over the sauté and cook on medium heat until the eggs begin to harden around the sides of the pan. Put the pan in the oven and bake for eight to ten minutes or until eggs are set.
Frittatas make great leftovers as well; whether cold, nuked or slightly toasted, they make an excellent next day’s lunch.
Spicy Black Bean Tacos
Another meatless meal that’s as simple as it is tasty, black bean tacos take 20 minutes to prepare. Sauté chopped onion and minced garlic in a medium sized skillet, adding chopped hot and/or sweet peppers after a few minutes. Next add two and a half cups of cooked black beans, or refried black beans if you so choose. Add half teaspoons of cumin and paprika. Add chili flakes to taste. Cook on medium heat for five to ten minutes or until hot. Serve on warmed rice-flower tortillas and top with diced tomatoes and chopped spinach, kale or kale chips. For a twist, try substituting ginger for garlic.
Pot-stickers are much easier to make than you might think. Most grocery stores now carry pot-stickers wrappers, and you’ll certainly find them at any Asian grocer’s. All you need is a sheaf of wrappers, one cup of broccoli, one cup of carrots, one cup of green and/or purple cabbage, a block of tofu and two teaspoons of minced garlic and ginger. Mince veggies and tofu and combine with garlic and/or ginger. Next, get a bowl of water wet a pot-sticker wrapper, fill with you veggie-tofu combo, fold over and press to seal; repeat.
When you’ve finished wrapping your pot-stickers, place them in a skillet on medium heat with one to two tablespoons of healthy high-temperate cooking oil like canola, grapeseed or sunflower oil. Cook for ten minutes and then add half a cup of water. Once it has steamed off, your delicious pot-stickers are ready to eat. For a great dipping sauce, try mixing a teaspoon of hoisin sauce with some soy sauce, topped with chopped green onion.
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