7 Vegetarian Dinners in 30 Minutes or Less!

When I posted Five 20 minute meals, I got a lot of great feedback because many people get home from work late and just don’t have time to spend hours cooking a meal… but just because you are busy or work late doesn’t mean you can’t end the day with healthful wholesome meals. So here is a week’s worth of meals you can make in 30 minutes or less :). And the good news is you’ll probably have left overs to take with you for lunch!

1. Delicata Squash and Tofu Curry

Delicata Squash and Tofu Curry

2. Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad… 

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Kung Pao Tofu

Kung Pao Tofu

I’m not the hugest fan of chinese food because I don’t like the thick sauces but my husband loves the Kung Pao at our local Chinese spot (we always sub the chicken out for tofu). It is actually quite good because it has a lighter sauce. So I searched far and wide to find a recipe that would give a lighter sauce – FYI, you’d be amazed how hard it is to find a Kung Pao dish without a few table spoons of sugar in the sauce!!! I ended up finding a great recipe at Eating Well but subbed in my own veggies that I thought would be a better combo and made some modifications to the sauce, to give it that extra little kick.

Kung Pao Tofu
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
  • 1 (14 oz) package extra-firm water-packed tofu, rinsed
  • 1 tsp five-spice powder, divided (can be found in the spice section of most grocery stores)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons oyster-flavored sauce, (0yster sauce works if you are not worried about a vegetarian meal)
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp chili garlic sauce
  • 2 cups broccoli crowns, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 2-inch strips
  • 2 cups sugar snap peas
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted roasted peanuts, plus more for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce, (omit or find gluten free soy sauce for gluten free recipe)
  • 1 bunch of scallions, chopped
Instructions
  1. Pat tofu dry and cut into ½-inch cubes. Combine with ½ teaspoon five-spice powder in a medium bowl.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu and cook, stirring every 1 to 2 minutes, until golden brown, 7 to 9 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk water, oyster sauce, cornstarch, chili garlic sauce and the remaining ½ teaspoon five-spice powder in a small bowl.
  4. Add broccoli, red bell pepper and snap peas to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 6 minutes. Add ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Reduce heat to low, add the oyster sauce mixture and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 30 seconds.
  5. Return the tofu to the pan along with peanuts and stir to coat with sauce; stir in scallions and soy sauce (if using).

Serving Suggestion: Serve over brown rice or grain of choice.

Sesame Crusted Tofu Stir-Fry

I cook with tofu a lot so I am always looking for ways to make it a little more fun! I’ve baked, breaded, marinated but this was my first time crusting with sesame seeds and I was very pleasantly surprised. I modified based on the veggies I had in the house, but the idea for the recipe goes to Eating Well.

Average Time: 50-60 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

Tofu and Marinade

1 package (14 oz) extra firm tofu, drained

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated or minced

1 tsp reduced sodium soy sauce

1 tsp mirin

1tsp chile-garlic sauce

1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil (regular sesame oil or just olive oil will work as well)

Sauce

1/2 cup water or vegetable broth

3 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce

2 Tbsp mirin or sherry

2 tsp chile-garlic sauce

2 tsp cornstarch

1 tsp toasted sesame oil (regular sesame oil or just olive oil will work as well)

Stir-Fry

2 Tbsp sesame seeds

1 Tbsp olive oil, divided into 1 tsp and 2 tsp

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger

1 1/2 lbs bok choy, trimmed and very coarsely chopped

1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 cups mushrooms, sliced

1 bunch broccolini, sliced

1 bunch scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

Directions

1. Combine garlic, ginger, soy sauce, mirin, chile-garlic sauce and oil in a bowl. Cut the drained tofu into 1-inch cubes. Add to the marinade and toss to coat. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

2. To prepare sauce: Whisk water (or broth), soy sauce, mirin, chile-garlic sauce, cornstarch and oil in a small bowl. Set aside.

3. To stir-fry tofu & vegetables: Toss the tofu with sesame seeds in a large bowl. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the tofu and cook, turning often, until golden and crusty, 8 to 10 minutes. Cover and keep warm.

4. Heat 2 tsp oil in a wok or large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and ginger; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add vegetables; cook, stirring, until the vegetables are crisp-tender, 5 to 7 minutes.

5. Make a well in the vegetables; whisk the reserved sauce and add to the center of the pan. Bring the sauce to a boil, stirring, until slightly thickened. Toss the vegetables with the sauce. Transfer to a large shallow serving bowl and top with the tofu.

Serving Suggestion: Serve over top of quinoa, brown rice or grain of choice.