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lazy vegetarians are everywhere. this is a collection of easy recipes and tips for dining out for vegetarians with little time or effort.

Monday, November 22, 2010

"Chicken" noodle casserole

This week we have a “chicken” noodle casserole that is made with just a bunch of stuff I happened to have around the kitchen. This is one of my favorite ways to cook because it really brings out the lazy in me since I don’t have to go to the store. Casseroles often happen in this way, and experimenting is always encouraged when making any casserole.

The recipe is easy, and the leftovers heat up nicely. And, this meal is awesome for comfort food when the weather is getting colder.

Start by boiling the noodles according to the package directions.

While the noodles are boiling, heat the onion in the olive oil over medium heat.

As the onions start to get translucent, add in the Chic’n strips and heat according to package directions, turning frequently until slightly browned on all sides.

Pre-heat the oven to 375.

Mix the gravy packets into the two cups of water and microwave to make the gravy, about two or three minutes, stopping to stir a couple of times, or whatever the directions say.

Once the noodles are done, drain well and put into a large casserole dish.

Stir in the onions and Chic’n Strips and any seasoning you might like.

Next stir in the gravy and combine all the ingredients together to make a consistent mixture throughout the dish.

Top with the shredded cheese or Daiya, then breadcrumbs and thin pats of margarine.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.


1 package (1 pound) noodles

2 tbsps. olive oil

1 small onion, diced

1 package Morningstar Farms Chik’n Strips Meal Starters

2 packets of vegetarian gravy mix

(Hain makes a great chicken flavored one)

2 cups water

1 cup shredded cheese or Daiya vegan cheese

1/4 cup bread crumbs

1/4 to 1/2 stick of margarine

Taking it slow gives baked beans a kick

Baked beans seem like something that should be vegetarian friendly without much effort, but to buy them in the store takes effort. A few brands have one variety of vegetarian baked beans, but most have bacon or pork or some other part of a pig.

A little experimenting will give you the exact flavor you want, but using a crock pot and cooking them slowly will give almost any attempt amazing results.

You’re going to need a crock pot for this recipe, but I’m sure stove top will work if you have to.

You can sub an appropriate amount of canned beans instead of cooking the dried beans, but 79 cents worth of dried beans will probably mean about four or five bucks worth of the cans.

To prepare the beans, ignore the instructions on the bag. They have always steered me way wrong and I end up with beans that are too hard to enjoy.

Boil about eight or nine cups of water in a large pot. Rinse the beans and put them in the boiling water for a few minutes.

Remove from the heat and let sit for an hour.

Place back over low heat and allow them to simmer for another hour or two, until the beans are soft.

Dice the onion and peppers fine. I like red onion in this recipe, but any onion will do.

The hot peppers are also a variable, I like using two different types of peppers to create a slightly more complex flavor.

Drain the beans once they are soft enough, set aside about a cup and a half of the liquid.

Put the beans, onions and peppers into the crock pot.

In a separate bowl, mix the bean water with the molasses, sriracha, sugar, garlic, salt and mustard.

If you’re not familiar with sriracha, it is a Chinese hot sauce that has more flavor than most other hot sauces, but still has the spicy kick. It has become my choice for hot sauce in most recipes, but if you don’t have it, use regular hot sauce. If you haven’t tried sriracha, go buy it on your next trip to the supermarket.

Mix these up and pour into the crock pot and stir into the beans.

Cut the butter or margarine into thin pats and place on top when you are done.

Put the lid on and cook on low heat for 8-10 hours.

Stir it up and enjoy.

This recipe is easy to make vegan by just using Earth Balance sticks or another dairy free margarine instead of butter. I recommend the Earth Balance because it is the most butter-like vegan margarine out there.


1 lb dried beans (pinto, kidney, great northern, whatever)

1 small onion or ½ large onion, chopped fine

2 small hot peppers

1/3 cup molasses

1 tbsp sriracha (optional)

2 tbsp brown sugar

2 tsp salt

½ tsp dried mustard

1 clove garlic, minced

1 stick butter or margarine

Friday, November 5, 2010

Bill Clinton and the Power Vegans? Sounds dangerous.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Veggie Meatloaf

Some of the simplest recipes are the best.

This is one of the easiest vegetarian meatloaf recipes I’ve tried, but it is also the best.

It comes to me from a nonprofit group based in D.C. called Compassion over Killing. From the group’s name, you probably already figured out that they are an animal advocacy organization. Check them out at for more recipes and info.

Obviously this group supports a cause that is close to my heart, so I really urge everyone to check them out and learn a thing or two.

One of the many great things about cooking vegan dishes is that you never have to worry about undercooked veggies making you sick like you do with meats that may not be cooked all the way through.

I tried making this meatloaf in the easiest way possible by using the frozen veggie crumbles, mixing in all of the ingredients and tossing them in a loaf pan and baking.

I added liquid smoke to the mixture and it was a pretty good addition to an already great recipe.

The recipe calls for baking this meatloaf at 350 for one hour and twenty minutes wrapped in foil.

It’s probably a good idea to let the crumbles defrost first, because it took mine an extra 25 minutes or so. The recipe is so simple and so flavorful that it is well worth the time spent waiting.

So chop the onions finely, mix everything together in a large bowl, transfer to the loaf pan and bake until the top is nicely browned.

Serve with mashed potatoes and maybe some veg gravy (Hain makes a super-easy packet that you just mix with a cup of water and microwave for two minutes) and some basic veggies on the side.

1 pound of veggie crumbles/ground beef substitute

3 tbsp ketchup

2/3 tbsp prepared mustard

½ tbsp horseradish

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 tsp salt

½ cup bread crumbs

¼ cup soy milk

½ tbsp soy sauce (or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos)

1 tsp liquid smoke