Are you a veggie person?
Most don’t think of themselves that way when they realize our bodies need 9-12 servings of vegetables every day—but it’s a breeze to get there when you eat real, locally sourced food.
We didn’t used to consider ourselves veggie people because our parents didn’t know quite how to turn them into quick meals without losing their sanity to The Joy of Cooking. But reaching that many servings isn’t hard—especially if you know how to make it all taste like a homemade meal!
For reference: one serving is about one cup, so each meal should have at least two servings per day—and that still leaves room to spare. Keep that in mind when you reach for a snack between lunch and dinner!
Use these common vegetables to shake up your quick meals:
- Celery Carrots
- Green, red, and yellow peppers
- Diced tomatoes
- Green onions
You can also get the nutritional value of common veggies here.
You can make just about any quick meal with these veggies—salads, stir-fries, quiches, sautéed veggies are all possible on a tight schedule and budget. Check out these dishes to get the veggies you need without feeling like a slave to the latest diet fad.
Beef Teriyaki Mix
Just add some beef and teriyaki sauce to your veggie mix to add that savoury flavour. The sweet undertone to the teriyaki sauce will soak into the veggies, adding a new layer of flavour that you wouldn’t get by eating them raw.
Also consider adding:
- Bok choy
- Brown rice
- Sweet bell peppers
- Red cabbage
Add more of these optional veggies if cooking for a larger group—but it’s perfectly fine to stick to the basics if cooking a quick meal for one!
Egg ‘n Veggies
A classic breakfast meal, adding a dose of protein from your egg rounds out your veggies to start your day on the right foot--and kick your metabolism into high gear with the right nutrients.
We recommend mixing the veggies into a half-cup of brown rice with a dash of pepper, or creating a kimchi-style dish by laying the egg sunny-side-up (just like your day!).
Also consider adding these veggies to the mix:
- Sweet potatoes
When breakfast is good, so is everything else.
This is definitely a dish for dinner with friends, so keep this in mind for your next gathering! Just add these veggies to your basic mix:
- Kidney beans
- Corn Onions (mix with green onions too!)
- Pickled peppers
- Chipotle peppers
Toss some Chipotle BBQ sauce, extra virgin olive oil, and marinara sauce to have yourself a quick meal ready to go in the oven!
Pro tip: earn brownie points by bringing veggie casseroles to social events! And soak the pan to avoid scrubbing it down later.
Homemade Tomato Soup
This one speaks for itself. It’s hard to go wrong with “ye old faithful” soup de jour, but we can still take it one step further and still keep it a quick meal. Just chop up your veggies while the soup’s heating, toss them in as you go, and get the best of both worlds:- The full nutritional value of raw veggies
- The taste of cooked veggies
Tomato soup is about as free-form as it gets, so don’t be afraid to try some “out there” ideas to spice it up!
Cauliflower Crust Pizza
Pizza doesn’t need to be the enemy of health. Our two main culprits are the cheese and the crust, so make something delicious without bogging yourself down with the weight of carbs and dairy.
Let’s be honest here: we all love them both. So we thought of something for the iron chefs out there who want to eat pizza without cheating on their lifestyles. Disclaimer: this one might be worth buying a home food processor! Follow steps after preheating the oven:- Add the cauliflower to a food processor and grind it finely, with 2-3 cups
- Microwave the cauliflower for 4-5 minutes
- Stir into it with an egg, your choice of cheese, and a few dashes of Italian seasoning (salt and pepper are optional, but recommended)
- Pour the mix into a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes
- Add your pizza sauce, toppings, and cheese as normal!
We all love tacos and burritos, but frozen ones just aren’t that good for our bodies. That’s why you can make your own in a few minutes.
Throw together a quick meal with some of these ingredients:- Brown rice
- Salsa (or spice some diced tomatoes)
- Red peppers
- Dried garlic, if you have it
- Black beans
- Touch of lime juice
You’ll be good to go! If you’re unsure about eating a taco shell, rice, or both, you can always eat this one straight out of a bowl. Believe us—it tastes just as good!
Sweet Potato Nachos
This quick meal is perfect for a Friday night in with a movie. Slice the sweet potatoes, add a touch of seasoning (your choice), and throw on a light layer of cheese with these diced veggies:
- Green and red peppers add yellow peppers if you’re feeling adventurous!
- Green onions (they cook faster than regular onions)
- Add chicken to keep it lean!
The stir-fry is another great option for Friday (call it Stir-Friday—a freebie from us!). You can throw almost anything into a wok and make a tasty, quick meal out of it with some soy or hoisin sauce! You can even make a stir-fry with a tomato base, if you’re suddenly short on ingredients!
- Start with your basic veggie mix and add:
- Broccoli (it soaks up sauce beautifully)
- Six-bean mix (or just kidney beans)
- Yellow peppers
- Onions (regular variety works best)
Classic Chicken Caesar
You can always make a quick meal out of these three ingredients:- Lettuce
- Caesar dressing
It doesn’t get more straightforward than that. Just watch that garlic breath for the rest of the day.
You can make quick meals like these with ingredients at your local grocery store—but we don’t always have time to prepare them. And that’s where Meal in a Jar has your back. Grab quick meals on the go that never sacrifice your health for time.