Cooking has been my passion for a number of years. As a mom, I have no time for hobbies, but we all gotta eat. Cooking allows me to engage in a creative outlet while also forcing myself to be productive.
Kids Suck the Joy Out of Cooking (In My House)
I’ll be honest, my kids are kind of jerks and no longer want to eat anything that’s not chicken, cheese, or bread. I didn’t have this problem when I was the parent to only one. He routinely ate steamed kale and charred tofu for dinner without batting an eye, allowing me to flex my kitchen muscle when it came to vegetarian recipes. My girls, however, have learned to excel at the art of knowing exactly what they want. This is great in life, not so much when it comes to cooking for five people.
Deciding What to Cook is the Hardest Part
Most nights, I can’t deal with the battle. I always said I would never be that parent who makes separate meals. Yet here I am: that parent who makes separate meals.
Vegetarian Husband Makes it Harder
To further complicate issues, my husband is a vegetarian. Our entire family used to be, but as the kids have grown older and I’ve gotten busier, we’ve become more apt to turn to meat for our protein. Not Aaron. He’s steadfast in his ways. I’ve never seen the man eat a single piece of meat, except for part of my freshly steamed placenta when our second child was born. Ask him about that one, not me.
While I do now eat meat, most of my meals are meat free for my sanity, and almost all of my consistent favorites happen to be vegetarian recipes. My perfect husband always ask me to not go out of my way to make sure he can eat, but I’m such a bitch all the time that I feel the only way I can truly show my love is to feed him.
Over the years, I’ve found that certain recipes draw me back. I find myself googling search strings like “egg curry husband” when I need to find my favorite egg curry recipe; or “brussel sprouts tofu pecan” when I can’t seem to put my hand on my favorite brussel sprouts recipe.
My Favorite Vegetarian Recipes
I’ve compiled a list of my top 11 all time favorite online recipes. They all just so happen to be vegetarian recipes, and they’re all so good that I make these standards my go-to meals and cook them all multiple times per year.
1. Dan Bing
This is basically a Taiwanese eggy rolled up thing. It’s soft and crispy and the green onions give it a nice light flavor.
2. Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna
When someone has a baby or loses a loved one, THIS is what I feed them. This recipe is easily doubled so you can go ahead and make one for yourself if you’re cooking for someone else. It freezes beautifully and is one of those vegetarian recipes you’ll want to eat over and over again.
3. Buffalo Cauliflower
Being a veggie loving (ahem, adults. kids eat cheese only, remember?) household, we are always looking for new ways to cook the same old standards. My husband, myself and our big kid all love spicy food and seek it out often. I’m ashamed to admit how much hot sauce we go through on a weekly basis. These baked buffalo cauliflower bites are packed with flavor and make a great party food (I imagine, we don’t have parties. We have kids.)
4. Carmelized Tofu and Brussels Sprouts
If I had to list one vegetarian recipe that I loved more than anything in the world, it would be this one. I wasn’t a brussels sprouts lover as a child. Turns out it was because I only ever had the mushy, steamed one from frozen. When sliced thin and pan-fried they get a great char and flavor. Topped with this tofu, cilantro and pecan mixture and it’s a meal that’s out of this world.
5. Broccoli Cheese Bites
The top choices on this list for “Shit Your Kids Will Probably Eat If You Don’t Eat Them All First”. This recipe was initially adapted from a wholesome baby food recipe, but it’s good enough for adults as well. These are great cold, in lunchboxes, reheated, or fresh out of the oven. they also freeze well, I would guess, but I don’t really know because we always eat ours quickly.
6. Chana Masala
We go out for Indian food a couple of times a month. The rest of the time, when the craving strikes, we do our best at re-creating at home. This Chana Masala recipe is super easy and we always happen to have chickpeas on hand anyways. Makes for a great quick meal with rice and naan.
7. Slowcooker Mexican Quinoa
While the kids individually hate many of the ingredients in this recipe, I can still trick them into eating a full bowl and asking for another. Yay taco seasoning! This one has the added bonus of being basically hands off and is perfect for days when you need a good crockpot meal.
8. Pumpkin-Miso Mini Muffins
These are a holdover from the days when I was vegan and had two less children. These mini muffins make an excellent appetizer, brunch addition, or savory lunchbox treat. They are slightly spiced with just a hint of sweet from the maple. Even my little picky eaters gobble these up.
9. Vegan Butter Cauliflower
Rich and creamy, sweet and spicy, this is basically comfort on a plate. I rarely make the rice accompaniment with it, I find that I’m happy with plain rice, however I have made the rice on other occasions, and it’s fantastic!
10. Egg Curry
I have been eating Indian food for a number of years and what initially got me into it was my fascination with a dish written about by Jumpha Lahiri in several of her short stories. I was so fascinated with the concept, that I sought out to find the perfect recipe, and thus my introduction to Indian Food was born. This is what started it all. Don’t forget to put some of the yolks in separately, super important to get the creamy aspect of this dish.
11. Cranberry Tarts
I don’t eat many sweets anymore, so my recipes for sweets get cycled through over and over. Consistently, though make these cranberry tarts any time I need to bring something to a gathering or to have something small and sweet when we’re having people over. I especially like making them at Christmas and including in tins of sweets that we give out.
What are Some of Your Favorite Vegetarian Recipes?
Do you have any vegetarian recipes that you consistently find yourself going to time and time again? Drop them below and lemme see! Also, let me know if you’ve tried any of these.