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    Easy Vegetarian Recipes For Those Of Us Who Have No Extra Time

    Just a few short months ago I was still in college. It was my senior year and I had a lot of time on my hands so I cooked all the time. Now that I've graduated, started working, and actually have things to do when I'm not working I don't have as much time to cook. BUT fear not, I have found and adapted recipes to work for my busy schedule and the lack of energy I have when I get home after work. Be warned, some of these may seem daunting at first but once you get them down they go by fast. Also many of these allow you to walk away to work on something else while it's cooking. Convenient!

    Hard Boiled Eggs

    Jenna Ballinger / Via instagram.com

    I know. Almost too simple. But I've found the trick to the perfect boiled eggs. Vinegar and a lid.

    Grab however many eggs you want. Put them in a pot with cold water just enough to cover the top of the eggs, add in a cap or two of white distilled vinegar (this helps to get the peel off easier). Stir a little to mix the vinegar in. Put on medium heat. Once it gets to a boil turn that shit off. Put a lid on top, or if you're like me and you don't have a lid use a plate. Set the timer for 12 minutes. Once they're done put them in a bowl of ice water. Take them out, take the peel off, add salt and cayenne pepper, eat.

    Over medium eggs

    Jenna Ballinger / Via instagram.com

    I live in New York so there's a farmers market on every freaking block. Aka lots of farm fresh eggs. Ok so this one I stole from Rapo4 on Instagram. He works for Bon Appetit.

    Literally it's just olive oil, an egg, and salt. Put olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Use a wooden spoon to test if it's hot enough to drop the egg in. The oil should spit around the wooden spoon. Crack the egg into the pan, add salt. Let it sit until the whites are cooked through on the bottom. Flip it over and cook the other side until the whites are cooked through. You will probably get an over medium egg. It'll have crispy edges and it will be delicious.

    Potato and Egg Hash

    Jenna Ballinger / Via instagram.com

    Hash is one of those things that I make frequently. It's easy, it has tons of vegetables, and the eggs add in some good protein.

    I never make the same hash twice. I use whatever I have on hand and add in seasoning that go well with those vegetables. This one in particular is more of a southwest type hash. Know with hash that the chopping is never precise. We're not trying to make it look pretty. Heat a skillet to medium and add in two tablespoons of olive oil, or as I usually say, "A shit ton." Then add in diced yukon gold potatoes. Sauté those for a bit then add the diced red bell pepper. Sauté for a minute or so then add the diced red and white onion. Add in some chopped up jalapeño and sauté until all of it is softened and the potatoes are browned. Crack in 2-3 eggs into a bowl and add a touch of milk. Whisk together and throw into the skillet. Add in cayenne pepper and salt. Stir until the eggs are cooked and everything is coated in egg and spices. Serve.

    Easy Caesar Salad

    Jenna Ballinger / Via instagram.com

    It's salad. Not complicated.

    Add whatever green you want. I happen to enjoy romaine lettuce because I'm boring. Add in whatever caesar dressing you like. I like yogurt based dressing. An easy one to make is greek yogurt, pinch of italian seasoning, garlic, and feta cheese. I always add in red onion but sometimes I also like cherry tomatoes and white button mushrooms. Toss and eat.

    Spring Rolls w/ Peanut Sauce

    Jenna Ballinger / Via instagram.com

    These are so easy and I don't know why I don't make them more often.

    Things you need:

    Rice paper rolls

    Rice Noodles

    Cilantro

    Carrot

    Bean Sprouts

    Soy Sauce

    Sesame oil

    Creamy Peanut Butter

    Coconut Milk

    Curry Powder

    I don't specify how much because it depends on how many you make. And you can never really make too many.

    Ok so the Spring Rolls themselves are easy. Boil water, take off the heat, add the noodles. Peel carrot and then chop into matchsticks. The only real labor I see is the cilantro because you only want the leaves. Drain the noodles. Throw the noodles, carrots, cilantro, and bean sprouts into a bowl with a two tablespoons each of soy sauce and sesame oil. Toss together. Get the rice paper wet so it's pliable. Fill each one with the amount of filling you see necessary. Fold.

    Folding them (except I use a lot more filling)

    The sauce is 1/3 cup peanut butter, 1/2 cup coconut milk, 1/2 tbsp of curry powder. Throw into a food processor or blender. Mix for about 30sec. You can try hand mixing if you want. I don't suggest it.

    Tortilla Soup

    Jenna Ballinger / Via instagram.com

    My mom used to make this all the time and I've adapted it to be vegetarian friendly. It's literally my favorite comfort food. Great to make on Sundays so you can have it for monday and tuesday.

    First off, the base is passata. It's just strained tomatoes that have been jarred. It usually comes in a 24oz jar. My mom uses V8 juice. To each their own. Put that into a crock pot. You better have a crockpot if you're a vegetarian. Add in a can of chipotles in adobo sauce, a can of refried black beans, and 1/3 cup of frozen corn (or fresh). Stir that then put a lid on it. Put it on high heat. Now chop 1/2 medium white onion, and two jalapeños. Sauté those on medium heat in olive oil for about 5min or until browned. Throw them into the crockpot. Stir again. Lid back on. Let that sit for about an hour and half. Take out the chipotle peppers and throw away. Serve with homemade chili cheese fritos and some cilantro.

    Ricotta with Sautéed Veg and Spaghetti

    Jenna Ballinger / Via instagram.com

    There are three pasta dishes I make really well. Spaghetti with homemade arribbiata sauce, baked mostaccioli, and ricotta with sautéed veg and spaghetti. That mostaccioli is demanded by my brother every time I come home for holidays. Yes, even around Christmas. For now you guys have to live with the ricotta spaghetti.

    Boil 10oz spaghetti. Easy, done with that. Set that aside. Chop up two stalks of swiss chard, make sure to discard the rib. Cut yellow bell pepper into strips. Clean then slice several crimini mushrooms. Mince four cloves garlic. Grab a handful of cherry tomatoes. Add in a ton of olive oil into the pan. Throw in bell pepper first. Sauté for about 3min. Add in everything else and sauté until soft. Add it to the spaghetti, including the oil left in the pan, in a pot along with an obscene amount of ricotta. I think I used two small tubs from whole foods. Add a little salt. Stir, heat and serve.

    Roasted Vegetables

    Jenna Ballinger / Via instagram.com

    Roasted veggies is something everyone should know how to make. It's so simple and it's fucking delicious.

    You can basically roast any veggies that you want but here's my way. Dice red potatoes (roughly 6). Slice half a yellow onion. Peel and roughly chop one carrot. Cut up 1 stalk celery. Slice 3-4 garlic cloves. Put all that into a bowl and toss with tons of italian seasoning, salt, and olive oil. Put aluminum foil over the pan and brush with olive oil. Spread mixture onto the pan. Cook for 40min at 450F degrees. Shake the pan a little half way through to move it around. Take out of pan and shake all of it off the aluminum into a bowl. Eat.

    Pancit

    Jenna Ballinger / Via instagram.com

    Thank you Philippines for creating the most versatile dish there is. Pancit is basically veggies, a protein, noodles, and soy sauce.

    Grab whatever stirfry veggies and spices you want. Onion, scallions, snap peas, bell pepper, ginger, garlic bok choy, whatever. Saute that with peanut oil. Get some dry thin rice noodles and cook those to package instructions. Add in prepared tofu or peanuts or both. Throw the noodles into the pan and add soy sauce to taste. Serve and eat.

    Garlic Mashed Potatoes

    Jenna Ballinger / Via instagram.com

    I don't fuck around with this recipe. It's won over some very picky eaters so I stick with it.

    4-5 medium sized Yukon gold potatoes, diced

    1/3 cup milk (2% or higher)

    1 stick butter

    4 cloves garlic, crushed

    Salt to taste

    Dice potatoes and put into a pot. Pour just enough water into the pot to cover the potatoes. Put on medium high heat and set timer for 25min. Drain the pot into a strainer. Set potatoes off to the side. Turn the stove down to low medium heat. Add the butter and once it's melted add the milk. Turn off the stove. Drop potatoes back into the pan. Mash them then stir together. Using a garlic crusher add garlic to the pot. Add salt and stir. Taste until it has the right amount of salt then serve. Additional add ins can be chives or sautéed kale.

    Side note: I have added up to 8 cloves of garlic in this thing but thats only when I eat it alone. But it's freaking delicious if you love garlic.

    Thanks for reading!

    Make sure to tell me if you guys make these dishes! I'd love to hear how they turned out.

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