So you’ve decided to go full veg. You’ve vowed to never again walk the meat aisle. You’ve sworn off cheeseburgers and dedicated yourself entirely to the veggie patty. Congratulations, your commitment to the cause at 3AM in the face of a dirty drive-thru burger is admirable.
Now, I’m not going to ask your reason for going vego. That’s personal, and we’re only just beginning to get to know each other. But let me ask you another question – are you daunted by the sheer number of veggies you’re about to consume and/or chop? I mean, you’ve got things to do, places to be, TV to watch. You don’t have time to slice and dice 17 zucchinis and 700 potatoes before dinner.
But fear not, new vegetariano. We hear ya. We see ya. We smell that lentil dhal simmering away on the stovetop. And so we’ve put together a list of vegetarian cooking hacks to save you time in the kitchen.
All hail the can
As a carnivore, any sort of meat out of a can is a hard pass. Unless it’s tuna, I don’t want a bar of it. Let alone a can of it. Get that spam away from me. But lentils? Chickpeas? Red beans? Yes, please. As a time-poor vego, cans are about to become your best mate. Your sous chef. The facon to your eggs. Add them to stews, turn them into burgers, chuck them in a curry. You’re welcome.
Have you checked out the frozen food aisle lately? It’s all killer, no filler, straight-up deliciousness. It’s no longer the chicken nugget and party pie aisle of our childhoods, nowadays it’s stacked with all sorts of wholesome, ready-to-eat dishes – like these Ruffie frozen-ready meals. Entirely plant-based and made with primo seasonal ingredients these meals are pure, tasty convenience. Whether you fancy a Mushroom Risotto or Chickenless Schnitzel with Penne Pomodoro, you’re guaranteed a delicious after work quickie.
Buy a blender
….or even better, a food processor. But if you don’t have the big bucks to spare, your everyday blender will work a treat. Why? Because a blender is a magical time-saver that will spare your wrists endless amounts of chopping. Use said blender to blitz up hearty winter soups, pasta sauces or a veggie-heavy smoothie. Proceed to pat yourself on the back.
Embrace world cuisine
Here in Oz, we’re a predominantly omnivorous society. Butchers are still a big thing. We love lamb, all that. But in other parts of the world, being vegetarian is the norm. So if you’re looking for quick-and-easy recipe inspiration, it’s time to go global. Think fluffy French quiche, Mexican refried beans, Italian pasta aglio e olio and Indian saag aloo.
Got a slow cooker? Use it. A slow cooker does all the hard work for you. Whether it’s a curry or a casserole, all you gotta do is roughly chop your veg, press go and leave it for a day. Seriously, you can leave it on ALL DAY. But heaps up! Just make sure to leave your chop your veggies big otherwise they’ll turn to delicious, delicious mush.
There you have it, folks. Just because you’ve decided to embrace that plant-based lifestyle doesn’t mean you’ll spend the rest of said life chopping veggies. There’s a whole world of vego food options out there – go forth and chow down.Image: Ace Ventura