College Cooking: Vegetarian Edition

Photo posted by @Suneeapp on Instagram

When you’re balancing classes, extracurriculars, jobs, and a social life, it can be difficult to find time for cooking and planning meals. Finding a recipe, gathering all of the necessary ingredients and getting around to actually cooking can seem overwhelming and undesirable.

VALLEY knows that you’re running on a tight schedule, so we have some quick recipes (which all take between 10-25 minutes), that are bound to put a smile on your face. Not to mention, these recipes are all vegetarian or plant-based!

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is a surprisingly quick, easy, and healthy alternative to your average spaghetti. Like any normal pasta, you can pair spaghetti squash with the sauce of your choosing. Pesto is a great addition in this dish and you can find some options at your nearest grocery store! The best part about this dish is that it only takes about 10-15 minutes to complete — here’s how to do it…

What You’ll Need
  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • Water
  • Sauce of your choosing
What You’ll Do
  • Cut your spaghetti squash in half. This may be difficult, so make sure to use a sharp knife. Scrape out the seeds from the inside.
  • Pour 1/4 cup of water into the bottom of a casserole dish. Put the squash face down inside the dish.
  • Microwave the squash for 6-10 minutes depending on the size of the squash. Once the squash is easily pierced by a fork, take it out of the microwave.
  • Run a fork from top to bottom of the squash to pull out the spaghetti strands.
  • Put the spaghetti squash in a bowl and add a sauce of your choice. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!
Mini Tacos

The magic of tacos is that you can truly put whatever you want in them! Look through your kitchen cabinets and your fridge and you’re bound to have a few ingredients to whip up some amazing mini tacos. Here’s a guide for some inspiration!

What You’ll Need
  • 1 pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 1 can of beans
  • 1 avocado
  • Mini tortillas
  • Rice
  • Salsa
  • Tofu (optional)
What You’ll Do
  • Heat up a pan with olive oil. Put your vegetables of choice in the pan on medium heat. We recommend peppers and onions. You can also choose to add extra firm tofu.
  • Open a can of beans. You can choose to heat them up or keep them cooler depending on preference.
  • Mash up an avocado, while continuing to monitor the vegetables cooking in the pan.
  • Heat up an instant microwavable rice packet of your choosing.
  • Place your mini tortillas in the oven, or heat them up in the microwave.
  • Begin assembling the mini tacos once the tortillas are heated. Add your rice and beans, followed by the cooked vegetables. Place mashed avocado and salsa or sauce of your choosing on top. Enjoy!
Veggie Stir Fry

Who doesn’t love veggie stir fry? This dish is perfect for almost everyone since the vegetables and spice level can be easily adjusted. You can choose to have these vegetables plain, or accompanied by some jasmine or brown rice!

What You’ll Need
  • Oil (Olive Oil or Sesame Oil)
  • Broccoli
  • Peppers
  • Snap peas
  • Carrots
  • Tofu
  • Sauce (Teriyaki or Soy)
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Seasoning
  • Rice
What You’ll Do
  • Heat up a pan to medium heat and add either EV olive oil or sesame oil. Add your vegetables and tofu to the pan.
  • Cook the vegetables until they are tender. Add garlic/garlic powder and ginger if it is accessible. Use other seasonings of your choice, such as red pepper flakes, to create your desired flavor.
  • Flip the tofu frequently to create a crispy and chewy texture.
  • Add your sauce to the pan. You can choose to use a basic soy sauce, a teriyaki sauce, or any other sauce of your choosing.
  • Heat up some instant rice in the microwave.
  • Put the stir-fried veggies and tofu over rice. Enjoy the dish!
Spicy Noodles — Tofu

Noodles are such a fast and easy dish that will be sure to fill you up during a busy day. To add some much-needed protein, tofu is a great addition. This dish can get a little spicy, so keep that in mind if you don’t like the heat! For a dish that only takes 10-20 minutes to make, it tastes restaurant quality.

What You’ll Need
  • Thai Rice Noodles
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic/Minced Garlic
  • Oil
  • Soy Sauce
  • Black Vinegar
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Chili Oil
  • Crushed Red Pepper
  • Cucumber
What You’ll Do
  • Start by mincing your garlic cloves, or by getting out your pre-minced garlic.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce to a bowl.
  • Add 3 tablespoons of black vinegar.
  • Add 1.5 tablespoons of chili oil.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of crushed red pepper.
  • Add the minced garlic to the bowl.
  • Cook the rice noodles. They should be ready after about 3-6 minutes in boiling water.
  • Add 5 tablespoons of oil to a separate heated pan and add in the sauce created previously.
  • Mix together the sauce and the noodles. Garnish with cucumber and more sesame seeds!
Roasted Veggie Bowl

On a night that you’re feeling tired and overwhelmed, a roasted veggie bowl is a comforting dish that takes minimal effort to create. Most vegetables in your kitchen will work for this dish, but here is our roasted veggie recommendation.

What You’ll Need
  • Olive Oil
  • Seasoning (Optional)
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Potato
  • Sweet Potato
  • Any other veggies of your choosing!
  • Sauce (Optional)
What You’ll Do
  • Get out a pan and line it with aluminum foil.
  • Mix up your veggies on the pan. We recommend using brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, potato, sweet potato, and any other veggies you enjoy.
  • Drizzle olive oil over the veggies and garnish them with salt, pepper, and your favorite seasoning.
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Put the pan in the oven once it is ready.
  • The vegetables may take different time to cook, so monitor the veggies and flip them if needed.
  • Take the pan out when the veggies are done and add them to a bowl. Garnish with more salt and pepper, and choose to enjoy it with your favorite sauce!

Have you tried any of these recipes? Tweet us, @VALLEYmag, with your favorite!

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