20 Minute Vegetarian Meals from Michelin Star Chefs
Ditch the kitchen in 20 minutes or less
As the warm weather draws near and our lust for the outdoors ramps up, we'll be looking for ways to limit our time inside and that includes time in the kitchen.
Between running the kids to activities, working late or taking care of friends or family needs, putting a healthy meal on the table can often times be challenging.
We're here to let you know, we feel ya!
To help eliminate some of that culinary stress, we want to share with you these easy veggie meals that'll have you out of the kitchen in 20 minutes or less.
Keep in mind that these simple but flavorful quick dishes can easily be packed up and enjoyed for lunch, as a side dish or for a picnic.
Spaghettini with Lemon and Ricotta - Chef Curtis Stone
This light pasta dish is the perfect balance of just a few, simple ingredients, you can add roasted veggies but chef Curtis Stone prefers to serve it just as is.
What you'll need:
12 oz. spaghetti
3/4 c. fresh whole milk ricotta
1 1/2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1) Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat, add pasta and cook for *6 minutes or until al dente.
2) While the pasta is cooking, in a large bowl combine ricotta with oil and pepper, grate the zest of one lemon over ricotta and mix it in. Season with salt.
3) Drain pasta and save about half of the pasta water. Add spaghetti to the ricotta and stir well to coat. Add reserved pasta water as needed to moisten and season with salt.
4) To plate, finely grate the zest or your second lemon and serve immediately.
Kimchi Fried Rice - Chef Curtis Stone
This dish that Chef Stone learned to make from his Korean mother-in-law, can be made as a quick lunch or dinner with leftover kimchi and fried rice.
What you'll need:
4 c. cold (leftover) steamed rice
1 1/2 c. napa cabbage kimchi (drained and coarsely chopped)
4 lg. eggs (beaten)
3 carrots (cut into 1/4" pieces)
6 Tbs. canola oil
1/4 c. soy sauce
2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 1/2 tsp toasted black or white sesame seeds
1) Diagonally cut the green tops of the scallions into 1" pieces (reserve some for garnish), finely chop the white and pale green parts of the scallion.
2) Heat a wok or large skillet over medium high heat, add 2 Tbs. of canola oil and tilt to coat the pan. Add the eggs and quickly stir them for about 30 second until set but still wet. Remove them from the pan and set them aside.
3) Add your remaining 1/4 c. oil to the pan. Once the oil is hot, add your rice and cook it , allowing the grains to become slightly crisp on the bottom before stirring, for about 4 mins. or until it's heated through. Add your carrots and stir for one minute longer, until they begin to soften. Add the kimchi, followed by the tops and bottoms of your scallions, and stir for about two minutes or until heated through. Next add the soy sauce and sesame oil and stir for about one minute. Last, stir in the eggs and season with salt to taste.
4) Transfer your rice to a large serving bowl and sprinkle with sesame seeds and your reserved scallions on top. Serve hot with Sriracha.
Falafel with Almonds - Chef Curtis Stone
In this dish, Curtis Stone replaces the traditional soaked chickpeas with canned chickpeas to eliminate the wait time and the almonds mimic the semi-softened chickpeas for a thoroughly satisfying meal.
What you'll need:
2 c. canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 c. raw whole almonds
1/2 onion, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves
2/3 c. fresh flat leaf parsley
1/2 c. fresh cilantro
1/3 c. all purpose flour
2 Tbs. toasted sesame seeds
1 Tbs. ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1) Put onion, garlic, coriander, cumin, salt and cayenne pepper into a food processor and pulse until the onion is finely chopped. Add in the parsley and cilantro and pulse until the herbs are coarsely chopped. Do the same for the almonds, then add the chickpeas and pulse until they're roughly chopped.
Note: It's important not to over-blend. You want some of the chunky pieces of the almonds and chickpeas to remain in tact.
Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in the flour and sesame seeds.
If frying right away, mix in the baking powder, if you're frying later, cover the mixture and refrigerate for up to 12 hours. Stir in the baking powder just before you shape and fry the falafel.
2) When you're ready to fry, heat three inches of oil in a large heavy pot to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees F. and line a large baking sheet with three layers of paper towels.
3) Using about 1 1/2 Tbs. of the chickpea mixture for each falafel, form the mixture into balls that are about the size of small walnuts. Working in batches, fry each falafel for 3 - 4 minutes or until golden brown.
4) Transfer your fried falafel to the paper towels and season them with salt. Then place the falafel in a baking dish to keep them warm in the oven while you fry the remaining balls.
5) To plate, Stone recommends serving your almond falafel with warm flatbreads or pita breads, tahini sauce and veggies including romaine lettuce, green cabbage, red onions, tomatoes and cucumbers.
Charred Cauliflower Steaks - Chef Matt Kirk
This dish from Chef Matt Kirk, was inspired by his grandmother's chicken-fried steak. Kirk said he wishes he could eat his grandmother's dish everyday, but for obvious reasons that's just not possible so he devised this dish as an alternative.
What you'll need:
1 head cauliflower
1 c. raw unsalted cashews
green peppercorns in brine (optional)
Sichuan peppercorns (optional)
1 bunch scallions
1 Tbs. chopped fresh ginger
1 tsp. sherry vinegar
1 tsp. soy sauce
2 Tbs. neutral oil (like grapeseed)
store bought bread crumbs
1) Cashew Gravy: Add the cup of cashews to a small saucepan, covering them with water. Boil the cashews until they're tender, then strain out the liquid and add them to a blender. Add enough fresh water to cover the cashews and blend until smooth. Add the mixture back to the saucepan and season with salt and pepper. If using, you will add the green and Sichuan peppercorns to the mix now.
2) Scallion Relish: Take your bunch of scallions and finely chop them. Then add the ginger, sherry vinegar, soy sauce, neutral oil and salt to taste. Mix together and set aside.
3) Cut a head of cauliflower into 1" to 1.5" steaks. Season each steak with salt and pepper. Lightly coat the bottom of a griddle or skillet with cooking oil and cook each side of the steak for about eight minutes or until it's deeply caramelized.
4) To serve, smother each steak with gravy, relish and breadcrumbs and enjoy!
Soba Noodle Salad - Chef Andrew Zimmerman
Andrew Zimmerman, the executive chef of Sepia in Chicago, says he's a big fan of whipping up a soba noodle salad for lunch.
What you'll need:
1 pkg. soba noodles
Mixture of veggies such as julienned carrots, chopped scallions, thinly sliced red cabbage, blanched or raw broccoli cut to bite size.
Gochuhang (a Korean pepper paste)
rice wine vinegar
toasted sesame seeds
1) Cook your soba noodles, then rinse and chill them for a few minutes.
2) Toss noodles with mixture of veggies
Dressing: Mix Gochuhang with a some sugar ,a little rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds.
3) Toss everything together and eat
Zimmerman says you can add more veggies as you like, it's a really flexible format and it doesn't take long to make.
Penne Pasta with Mushrooms - Chef Andrew Zimmerman
This dish from Andrew Zimmerman takes less than 15 minutes and it's perfect for date night.
What you'll need:
1 pkg. penne pasta
6 oz. assorted mushrooms, sliced
2-4 oz. dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 5-7 minutes, drain and reserve liquid, chop mushrooms.
1 -2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. cream
1 tsp. fresh thyme
1) Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add penne.
2) Heat olive oil in a large skillet, add assorted mushrooms and porcinis and cook over high heat for 5 - 6 minutes. Make sure the mushrooms start to brown, if they brown, they'll have a lot more flavor, says Zimmerman. Add garlic, cook for 1 minute. Add cream and thyme and let cream simmer and reduce until pasta is almost cooked (10 - 12 minutes for penne).
3) Drain pasta and add to cream sauce, toss and let pasta finish cooking in cream sauce.
Note: To elevate this dish even more, throw in 1/2 tsp of black truffle paste or a few drops of truffle oil at the very end.
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