A Very Veggie Week

Full disclosure: I’m not a vegetarian. But the more I dabble in meatless dishes, the more I appreciate them. The subtle veggie flavors. The crisp-tender or meltingly soft textures. The savings from removing meat from my grocery bill. (That last one perhaps most of all!) 

Maybe you too are cutting back on meat because of the cost. (I feel ya!) Or maybe you’re a dedicated vegetarian on the prowl for quick dinner ideas. (You’re in the right spot.) Whatever your motivations, here you’ll find an entire week of vegetarian-friendly entrées, complete with a handy-dandy printable shopping list containing everything you’ll need for the week (at the bottom of this post). I’ve even thrown in some tips on how I make menu planning easy. Like, ridiculously easy. You’re very welcome.

Here’s the menu!

Monday: Go shopping, then make Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas

There are few things I love more than Mexican food, and I’m a real sucker for these cheesy tortilla roll-ups. The sweet roasted peppers, eggplant and onions just make ‘em even better. This gooey bake also serves 12, so for my little family, that means no worrying about lunch tomorrow!

While the enchilada veggies are roasting, go ahead and chop your fresh veggies for the rest of the week. If you bought more fresh veg than you’re using for the recipes, store them in containers in your fridge and add them to salads throughout the week. (Speaking of which, take the time to prep your salad greens today! I top my chopped lettuce with a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture released during their stint in the fridge.) One hint about onions and garlic: It’s OK to dice or mince ’em ahead, but make sure they’re tightly sealed. No one likes a stinky fridge!

And pssst…remember to thaw your frozen spinach overnight for tomorrow’s quiche.

Tuesday: Greek Spinach & Cheese Quiche Squares

How do you get kiddos to eat spinach without complaint? Pack it in a cheesy egg bake! You can’t beat frozen spinach for its convenience, and it’s a great way to include more veggies in your diet without worrying about fresh produce wilting in your fridge. Serve this cheesy, salty bake as breakfast-for-dinner, and serve any leftovers as breakfast-for-breakfast the next day.

Wednesday: Pizza Margherita

Hump day calls for a quick dinner (at my house, at least!), and this classic vegetarian-friendly pizza fits that bill. Grab the ready-to-use pizza crust you bought previously and pile on the sliced tomatoes, fresh basil leaves and creamy cheese. (Now’s the time to use the rest of your shredded mozzarella from Monday’s enchiladas.) Round it out with a salad starring any extra chopped veggies from Monday’s mass veggie-prepping session, et voilà. Dinner is served!

vegetarian quick dinner ideas_2

Thursday: Spicy Rice, Bean & Cheese Skillet

I deeply appreciate one-pan recipes on weeknights, so this cheesy, tongue-tingling rice-and-bean skillet is a natch. And no kidding, you don’t even have to cook the rice separately. Toss in the remaining chopped green bell pepper, and use more of the cilantro you prepped for Monday’s enchiladas. If there’s any cilantro left over, just toss it on the salad! (Fact: Fresh herbs take same-ol’ lettuce and chopped veggies to new and delicious heights.) Using canned tomatoes and chilies makes prepping this spicy skillet even easier—not that 25 minutes of hands-on time is much to complain about!

Friday: Slow-Cooker Vegetable Lasagna

I’m rounding out our weeklong vegetarian extravaganza with this cooker-ful of creamy deliciousness. Sauté the remaining chopped peppers and sliced mushrooms, then simmer them with tomato sauce and fresh spinach until bubbly and delicious. A little quick layering in your cooker with your homemade veggie sauce, uncooked (!) lasagna noodles and an eggy ricotta mixture results, a few hours later, in a dish that smells amazing and tastes even better.

Wanna make your own weekly menus? Keep these tips in mind:

  1. Plan to prep as many ingredients as possible on Monday after your shopping trip or as soon as you start to use them. Yes, it’s a lot of chopping all at once—but it’s easier to do it now in bulk than to do it every day of the week!
  2. Look for recipes that share ingredients so you have fewer items on your shopping list and less potential for unused, wilting ingredients to stare you down when you open your refrigerator. I’m using ingredients such as peppers, cilantro, garlic and mozzarella multiple times this week for this very reason.
  3. And speaking of minimizing waste…if a recipe uses all of an ingredient (think an entire package of cheese or spinach leaves), that’s even better. If you do wind up with extra veggies, you can easily throw them in a side salad.

Hungry for more? Check out more of our fave vegetarian recipes.

veggie-week-shopping-list

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