21 Weeknight Vegetarian Dinners | Naturally Ella

With kids starting back to school and life falling into a new normal, dinners often rushed (or on the road). I grew up in a family where both my parents worked until 5 and I often had after school activities. Dinners were never our strong area. Now that I have a child of my own, I put an emphasis on it. They’re not elaborate and often they are wedged in between toddler play-sessions. However, they are there and I make sure we sit down almost every night. The recipes below are the foundation to our quick, weeknight meals. I like to vary each meal but my focus is usually making something that is packed full of goodness.

Pasta

Summer Squash Pasta with Basil-Yogurt Sauce | @naturallyella

I used to frown on pasta because when I first turned to vegetarianism, I found pasta was about the only thing I ate. However, over the years, I’ve developed recipes that I love; full of vegetables and not as heavy as those pastas I used to eat. I find I make pasta when I don’t have a plan. Load it up with vegetables, toss it with a bit of sauce- you can’t get much easier than that!

 

Cakes/Fritters

Cauliflower Cakes with Brown Rice | http://naturallyella.com

These are my weakness. I love a fried vegetable cake and the cauliflower cakes linked below are what I make when I’m craving something unhealthy but don’t want to incur the money or leaving of the house. There are so many combinations but these are a few of my favorites.

 

Tacos

We eat tacos almost every week. It’s easy to whip together a tasty and healthy filling with just a few simple ingredients. If you’re not into cooking dried beans, I recommend keeping a can or two of black beans on hand. Add a few pinches of spices and you have a perfect taco filling within 15 minutes.

 

Pizza

White Bean Pizza with Arugula Salad | Naturally Ella

Pizza is a must in our house. We don’t live within any solid pizza delivery places and so homemade pizza has become our go-to week after week. I love experimenting with toppings and have found quite a few unique flavors we love. One tip: make or buy dough and keep in the freezer. Pull out the night before and let thaw for dinner the next day.

 

Odd and Ends

Spicy Peanut Sauce with Brown Rice Noodles | @naturallyella

This list is a mix of all my favorites. Noodle bowls and grain bowls: both are an easy place to start and are often a source of inspiration for other meals I make. Keep a well stocked pantry to make these meals when you’re asking yourself at 5pm what to make that evening!