How I Survived My First Week of Being A Part-Time Vegetarian

I kind of slayed in the kitchen for the first 4 days of my attempt to be a part-time vegetarian, and I have zero complaints about the lack of variety or flavor because neither existed in my meal plan this week.

Being that I work full-time, am down to the wire in my third semester of grad school and still have to make time for my television shows, I needed meals that would be quick, bursting with flavor and filling. I was so proud of my vegetarian meals that I shared photos of my food with my mama, and since she said the food looked good, I decided I would share the recipes for any other vegetarian hopefuls or people who just like to eat bomb ass food!

*Disclaimer* — Black people don’t really measure the amount of seasonings or oil (or anything really) when we cook, and I’m black so don’t expect to see certified chef measurements and details in the recipes below — if you see any at all. Use your discretion (and taste buds) like I use mine.

*Another Disclaimer* — I’m single with no kids so all of my meals are based off of 1 and 1/2 person eating. I say 1 & 1/2 because I usually eat enough for 1 person and then half of what a second person would eat. #SlimThick

Black Bean Tacos

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Ingredients:
1 can of Black Beans — I use Goya
Red, Green, Yellow, & Orange bell peppers, each chopped fajita style
Small flour tortillas
Pace Medium Chunky Salsa
Mexican Blended Shredded Cheese
Sour Cream
1 pack of Taco Seasoning
Salt
Pepper
Olive Oil

Cooking Instructions:
1. Heat olive oil on medium heat in a large skillet.
2. Add bell peppers to the skillet and saute until soft — add salt & pepper to taste.
3. In a small pot, add can of black beans, olive oil and salt & pepper to taste. Cook on medium heat until it comes to a boil, then lower heat.
4. Add Taco Seasoning and stir until seasoning is evenly distributed over peppers.
5. Lower temperature and allow the peppers to simmer around the edges of the skillet.
6. Place a flour tortilla in the center of the skillet and allow it to brown on both sides (I made a total of three tacos)
7. Place tortillas on plate, add black beans and other toppings for bliss to your stomach!

Veggie Pasta in Lemon-Garlic Sauce

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Ingredients:
1 lemon
Wheat Noodles — I used linguini but you can use whatever kind you like
Spinach — just a handful
Red, Green, Yellow, & Orange bell peppers, each chopped fajita style (I clearly love peppers)
White sliced Mushrooms
Garlic Salt
Salt
Pepper
Olive Oil
Minced Garlic
Roasted Bell Pepper flakes
Red Pepper Flakes

Cooking Instructions:
1. Bring Wheat Noodles, water and Olive Oil to a boil in a medium sized pot — add Salt.
2. Mix Bell Peppers, Mushrooms, Spinach and Olive Oil in a large skillet on medium heat — add Salt & Pepper and Garlic Salt to taste.
3. Once the Spinach is sautéed well, add Minced Garlic and continue to simmer at a lower temperature.
4. Add Noodles to the mix.
5. Squeeze juice from half a Lemon into the mix and add Roasted Bell Pepper and Red Pepper Flakes.
6. Stir and voila!

Vegetable Fried Multi-Grain Medley and Sweet Potato Chips

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Ingredients:
1 pack of Multi-Grain Medley w/ Quinoa, brown, red and wild rice
1 Zucchini
1 Summer Squash
1 large Sweet Potato
1 handful of White Mushrooms
Salt
Pepper
Minced Garlic
Garlic Salt
Pure Honey
Red Pepper Flakes
Roasted Bell Pepper Flakes
Olive Oil

Cooking Instructions:
1. Cook the Multi-Grain Medley per box instructions. I used the Minute® brand.
2. Heat Olive Oil in a large skillet on medium to high heat.
3. Cook chopped Squash, Zucchini and Mushrooms in the large skillet, seasoning with. Salt, Pepper, Garlic Salt and Minced Garlic to taste.
4. Heat Olive Oil in a separate large skillet on medium to high heat.
5. Add sliced Sweet Potato, drizzle with Pure Honey and add Roasted Bell Pepper Flakes and Red Pepper Flakes.6. Stir Sweet Potato slices until honey and pepper mix is even distributed. Cook until Sweet Potatoes begin to soften and brown a little for a crispy texture.
7. Throw on a plate and devour!

Black Bean Stuffed Loaded Potato with Cucumber and Tomato Salad

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Ingredients:
1 Large Potato
1 Tomato
1 Cucumber
1 Can of Black BeansGreen Onions
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Sour Cream
Butter
1 red onion
Salt
Pepper
Olive Oil
Vinaigrette Dressing

Cooking Instructions:
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Stab Potato with a fork in multiple spots, cook in microwave for 11 minutes
3. Chop Cucumber and Tomato and Red Onion and add to a mixing bowl (I only used a fourth of the onion)
4. Season Cucumber mix with Salt and Pepper. Drown in Vinaigrette Dressing, mixing until seasoned to taste.
5. Let Cucumber and Tomato Salad settle in the fridge
6. Cover the large Potato in Olive Oil and roll in Salt — be sure that Salt is even distributed on skin of Potato
7. Place Potato on a pan and stick in the oven for 20-30 minutes.
8. Cook Black Beans with a little added Olive Oil and Salt & Pepper to taste on the stove in a small pot until boiling
9. Slit Potato horizontally in the center
10. Add Butter, Cheese, Black Beans, More Cheese, Sour Cream, and Chopped Green Onions — of course add Salt & Pepper to taste
11. Pair with Cucumber and Tomato Salad for a yummy delight!