The grilled cheese sandwich is a staple of many people’s diets. They’re great for vegetarians because they’re quick, easy, warm and you can add just about anything to them you like. One of my favourites is pesto, mozzarella and tomatoes. The Grilled Cheese Academy has a tonne of great recipe ideas (filter for vegetarian options) but I’d start with the Birchwood , which includes cheddar, mushrooms and an egg.

Quinoa is a beloved food item (considered a grain but technically a seed) among vegetarians and other health-conscious people. With good reason. It’s rich in nutrients, high in protein and full of healthy fats. It’s also easy to cook. Try this Greek Quinoa Salad from With Style and Grace. You’re sure to come up with your own vegetable and flavour variations.

Hummus and other bean dips aren’t just for snacking. They’re great as spreads added to sandwiches and quesadillas or just spread on a tortilla or pita with some vegetables for a quick lunch. Mark Bittman’s version is quick, easy and delicious. Ripe for the addition of other flavours like roasted garlic, roasted red peppers or olives.

My favourite go-to all-winter-long vegetable soup is pasta fagioli, an Italian soup full of veggies, beans and pasta. (Like the stuff they serve at Olive Garden, only way tastier.) This version from Little Ferraro Kitchen is pretty close to what I do (though I don’t usually have Parmesan rind to put in mine) and it’s a great base for a lot of different kinds of soups. Or don’t make it so thin and just eat it like pasta. Either way.

Here come the beans again. There’s a reason they’re such a staple of vegetarian diets, because you can do so many things with them and they’re super healthy. While the term bean salad” might make you think of picnic potluck productions made with tonnes of canned beans, why not go beyond the basics with something like the Black Bean Salad from Once Upon a Chef , which includes fresh corn, bell peppers, cilantro and avocado. Add brown rice for an even heartier salad that can double as a burrito filling.

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