5 Protein-Packed Vegetarian Dinners

1. Asian-Style Fried Rice and Beans


  1. Quarter pineapple slices. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet heat 2 teaspoons of the oil over medium heat. Add pineapple; cook about 2 minutes per side or until golden brown. Remove from skillet; set aside.
  2. Pour the remaining 1 teaspoon oil into the hot skillet. Add carrots; cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until just tender. Add garlic and ginger; cook for 30 seconds.
  3. Stir in brown rice, garbanzo beans, and peas. Add soy sauce. Cook and stir about 4 minutes or until heated through. Stir in the 1/3 cup cilantro. Return pineapple to skillet; heat through.
  4. To serve, squeeze lime over pineapple mixture. If desired, top with additional cilantro leaves.

From the Test Kitchen


Fresh ginger is a freezer gem. Place unpeeled ginger in a freezer bag. When a recipe calls for fresh ginger, peel and grate in its frozen state, no thawing required.


Leftover or quick-cooking microwaveable rice also works great.

2. Breakfast Enchiladas 


  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 medium potato, shredded (see notes)
  • 6 eggs, whisked
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 (14 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 8-10 tortillas (corn, flour, whole wheat, your choice!)
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (use whatever you like)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro


  1. POTATOES: Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the shredded potatoes, season with a pinch of salt and pepper and allow the potatoes to cook on one side before flipping, this will take about 2-3 minutes per side. When the hash browns are crispy, remove to a plate and set aside.
  2. BLACK BEANS: Place the black beans in a medium bowl, add ½ cup of the ranchero sauce, toss, and set aside.
  3. EGGS: Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan and heat on the low heat setting. Add the whisked eggs and push them around to scramble. You want to keep them soft, because we’ll be baking the casserole off in the oven. Add the scrambled eggs to the black beans mixture. Add the shredded potatoes to the black beans as well, along with the salt and 1 tablespoon of cilantro. Stir to combine.
  4. ASSEMBLE: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray a large 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray. Add a thin layer of the ranchero sauce to the bottom of the baking pan. Fill each of the tortillas with the black bean, egg, and potato mixture. Place the enchiladas seam side down in the dish. Drizzle the remaining sauce over the enchiladas and top with the shredded cheese. Bake the breakfast enchiladas for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese melts. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons of cilantro. Serve warm with sour cream and diced or sliced avocados.


  1. You can use the pre-shredded potatoes that you find in the refrigerated section of your grocery store if you’d like. Just measure about 1 heaping cup to replace the 1 medium potato I used.

3. Quinoa Stuffed Peppers



  • 1 cup quinoa or rice (thoroughly rinsed and drained)
  • 2 scant cups vegetable stock (sub water, but it will be less flavorful)
  • 4 large red, yellow, or orange bell peppers (halved, seeds removed)
  • 1/2 cup salsa (plus more for serving)
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans (drained // if unsalted, add 1/4 tsp sea salt per can)
  • 1 cup whole kernel corn (drained)

TOPPINGS optional

  • 1 ripe avocado (sliced)
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Hot sauce
  • Cilantro (chopped)
  • Diced red onion
  • Creamy Cilantro Dressing
  • Chipotle Red Salsa (or your favorite salsa)


  1. Add quinoa and vegetable stock to a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until all liquid is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy – about 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C) and lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish or rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Brush halved peppers with a neutral, high heat oil, such as avocado oil or refined coconut oil.

  4. Add cooked quinoa to a large mixing bowl and add remaining ingredients – salsa through corn. Mix to thoroughly combine then taste and adjust seasonings accordingly, adding salt, pepper, or more spices as desired.
  5. Generously stuff halved peppers with quinoa mixture until all peppers are full, then cover the dish with foil.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes covered. Then remove foil, increase heat to 400 degrees F (204 C), and bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until peppers are soft and slightly golden brown. For softer peppers, bake 5-10 minutes more.
  7. Serve with desired toppings (listed above) or as is. Best when fresh, though leftovers keep covered in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Reheat in a 350-degree F (176 C) oven until warmed through – about 20 minutes.

4. Chickpea and Potato Marsala 


  • 1 lb russet potato ($0.37)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.24)
  • 1 yellow onion ($0.31)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh grated ginger ($0.14)
  • 1 Tbsp garam masala (or to taste) ($0.50)
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes ($1.69)
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste ($0.12)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste) ($0.02)
  • 15 oz can chickpeas ($1.15)
  • 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro (optional) ($0.20)
  • 6 oz plain yogurt (optional) ($1.09)
  • 4 cups cooked rice (optional) ($0.88)


  • Peel the potato and cut it into one-inch cubes. Place the cubes in a sauce pot, add enough water to cover the potatoes by one inch, and bring the pot to a boil over high heat. Boil the potatoes for 5-7 minutes, or until they can easily be pierced with a fork. Drain the potatoes and set them aside.
  • Dice the onion, mince the garlic, and peel and grate the ginger (use a small-holed cheese grater). Add the olive oil, onion, garlic, and ginger to a large deep skillet and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and transparent (3-5 minutes).
  • Add the garam masala to the skillet and continue to sauté for about a minute more to toast the spices. It’s okay if the spices begin to stick to the surface of the skillet slightly, but be sure not to let them burn.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste to the skillet. Stir to dissolve the tomato paste into the crushed tomatoes and to dissolve the spices off the bottom of the skillet. Allow the sauce to heat through (about five minutes). Taste the sauce and add salt as needed (I added 1/2 tsp salt).
  • Drain the chickpeas, then add them to the skillet along with the cooked potatoes. Stir everything to coat in the hot sauce, then heat through. Spoon the Chana Aloo Masala over cooked rice (or serve with naan), topped with chopped cilantro and a dollop of plain yogurt (regular or Greek style).


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