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Rethink meat-free meals with these delicious recipes
New Ways to Go Meatless on Monday
If you're stuck in a rut when it comes to vegetarian meals, try these delicious and filling recipes.
Baked Egg Bell Pepper Tarts
These quick and easy baked egg tarts are the perfect way to start your day (and your week). They’re loaded with vegetables and ready in just a few minutes. As an added bonus, they’re cooked just until the whites are set so you’ll have lots of runny egg yolk to accompany the crunchy tart shell. Click here for the recipe.
Baked Quinoa Falafel Pita with Tzatziki
Adding quinoa to falafel is a great way to add more protein to your diet; quinoa is a complete protein, which means it has all the same amino acids as an animal-based protein. Add some homemade tzatziki sauce to these crunchy oven-baked patties for a perfectly delicious meat-free meal. Click here for the recipe.
Bean and Barley Soup
Beef barley soup goes meat-free in this black bean-packed version. Even though the soup omits the beef, it still has tons of flavor because it starts with a mix of sautéed onion, celery, and carrot. Click here for the recipe.
Mexican Fajita Pie
This towering tortilla and bean pie is spiced with garlic, cumin, and chili powder for the perfect meatless Tex-Mex meal. Click here for the recipe.
Roasted Eggplant Sandwich
This super-flavorful sandwich is worth the work you’ll put into making its individual parts. If you have leftover vegetables, pesto, or bean spread, use them in salads or pastas, or spread them on toast for breakfast. Click here for the recipe.
Three-Bean Salad with Quinoa
Forget packing cold pasta salad for lunch; this quinoa-based version is delicious, filling, and easy to make. As an added bonus, it’s easy to customize; use whatever beans or vegetables you have on hand. Click here for the recipe.
Wild Rice and Navy Bean Burger
This mushroom and wild rice-studded bean burger tastes just as good as it looks. Top it with melted cheese and juicy tomato for a hearty, meat-free “burger” that even carnivores will crave. Click here for the recipe.
Meatless Monday Recipes That Will Satisfy Even The Biggest Meat Lovers
We all know how important it is to make sure we're getting enough veggies in our diets, so whether you are vegetarian, vegan, or a meat lover, we can all benefit from adding more healthy meat-free meals into our dinner rotation. There's even a whole "Meatless Monday" movement, and it's not uncommon to see friends and family sharing their newest Meatless Monday creation with everyone on social media.
I have been mostly vegetarian for the last 15 years. For a long time, it felt like the general population thought a vegetarian meal was nothing more than a base of pasta with sauce and cheese or a small side salad with no meat. Even when I was looking at colleges many years ago, I remember my mom asking our tour guide what kind of vegetarian options were offered in the cafeteria, to which she got the response, "I mean, there's salad." We giggled and the tour carried on.
All this to say, meat-free meals have come a long way. I'm excited to share with you some amazing ways to go meat-free that are sure to please (and surprise) even the biggest meat eaters in your life!
23 Vegetarian Dinners to Make Meatless Monday Even Easier
Whether you’re a vegetarian or you’ve just been trying to incorporate more meatless meals into your dinner routine, we can all use some quick vegetarian recipes to make on busy weeknights. (Even better if they are more exciting than a bowl of pasta with pesto and veggies.)
Luckily, we have plenty of ideas for easy vegetarian-friendly meals that won’t keep you in the kitchen for hours.
1. Crunchy Black Bean Tacos
If you have leftover black beans, you can whip these tacos up in no time. Or if you just open up a can of black beans to mash together with some onion and spices, you can get a delicious dinner on the table quickly.
2. Baked Potato Shakshuka
This simple potato dinner is incredibly easy to make. You can bake the potatoes in the microwave to save time, then assemble the marinara, parsley, and eggs and pop everything under broiler for five minutes and dinner is done. This is the perfect time to break out your favorite jarred marinara.
3. Wild Rice Bowl with Red Lentil Curry and Spinach
The most time-consuming part of this meal is the wild rice, which takes some time to cook. But you can always swap it out for a quicker cooking grain like quinoa or couscous, or simply make a big batch of it on the weekend for dishes like this. The curry comes together in one pot and just takes some stirring.
4. How To Stir-Fry Noodles
To make this meal even faster, opt for cellophane noodles that don’t even need to be cooked before being tossed in the wok they can just be soaked while you stir-fry the rest of the ingredients since noodles go into the mix last.
5. Tempeh Parmesan Sandwich
Thanks to the broiler, this hot sandwich cooks up pretty quickly. All you need to do is brush the tempeh with tomato paste and herbs, broil quickly on each side. and then layer with cheese and give it another trip under the heat.
6. The Avodilla
While this makes a great snack recipe, it also can stand in for a light dinner when you add some extra black beans or leftover rice to the side. But really, you just can’t go wrong with avocado.
7. Creamy Polenta Bowl with Oven-Roasted Tomatoes and Zucchini
Polenta is one of the best ingredients in your quick, weeknight meal arsenal. It can be made in minutes and topped with just about anything. If you have leftover veggies from another meal, drape them over a bowl of polenta and dinner is done.
8. Lemony Ricotta Pasta with Basil
The no-cook sauce for this pasta dish comes together in less time than it takes to cook the noodles. When you add the steaming penne, fusilli, or gemelli, it melts the ricotta a bit and results in a light-yet-creamy pasta dinner.
9. Homemade Thin-Crust Pizza
We know what you’re thinking — pizza is complicated to make. But this version is surprisingly simple. Yes, there’s a bit of waiting time while the dough rises, but in terms of hands-on time, it’s pretty minimal. If you really want to make it quick, of course, you can opt for store-bought pizza dough.
10. Chickpea of the Sea “Vegetarian Tuna Fish” Sandwiches
There’s nothing quite like a tuna sandwich for an easy dinner — except of course this vegetarian version made with chickpeas instead. It gets a slight tang from the vinegar. Just be sure not to skimp on the celery and scallions — they give the sandwich texture and heft.
11. Spicy Panzanella Salad
Not only is this a great budget-friendly, fridge-clearing recipe, but it also takes just a few moments to prepare. You just need to toast the bread chop up a few tomatoes, herbs, and other produce and then toss everything together with a healthy pour of olive oil and lime juice.
12. Zucchini Noodles with Parsley-Pistachio Pesto
Making zucchini noodles is one of the fastest ways to get dinner on the table. You can make your own pesto for this dish if you want, or you can add chopped pistachios and extra Parmesan to your favorite jarred version instead.
13. Quick and Easy Fried Rice
The key to making this meal even faster to prepare is to use leftover rice. Plus, it will hold up better in your stir-fry anyway. You can also rely on frozen stir-fry veggies to save a little extra time.
14. Heidi Swanson’s Summer Squash Soup with Coconut Milk
The most time-consuming part of this recipe is chopping up a few zucchini or summer squash and frying the tofu into croutons. Otherwise, this spicy soup comes together in a few minutes and will finish cooking while you call everyone to the table.
15. Quick Balsamic Quinoa Salad
This hearty quinoa salad gets tossed together in just minutes and is guaranteed to fill you up. Plus, it gets better the second day, so if you have any leftover, it is the ideal weekday lunch.
16. Pesto and Egg Baguette Sandwich
It’s always worth it to keep a few hard-boiled eggs in the fridge. Not only do they make a great healthy snack or breakfast, but they can also help you make dinner quickly. This pesto-smeared baguette sandwich is a perfect example. And even if you have to make a couple of hard-boiled eggs in order to make the sandwich, it won’t take much time at all.
17. Ricotta Gnocchi with Peas and Herbed Lemon Butter
If making gnocchi from scratch takes more time than you have (it’s easy — we promise), you can always opt to use your favorite store-bought version in this recipe instead. Then all you have to do is toss it with the peas, butter, and some extra cheese.
18. Sautéed Zucchini and Squash with Thyme and Feta
Sautéed summer squash is one of our go-to meals during the warmer months. It adds a new level of flavor to the zucchini and creates a warm, filling meal. If you want, can serve it over a bed of quinoa or another quick-cooking grain.
19. Kale and Black Bean Tacos with Chimichurri
While chimichurri wasn’t originally designed to top vegan tacos (it’s often served with grilled steak), the condiment makes a great, garlicky addition to these quick weeknight tacos. It’s a refreshing change of pace from salsa.
20. Chickpea, Barley, and Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Mint and Feta
Adding a can of chickpeas to a simple grain salad immediately takes it from side dish to full meal. This simple summer salad is perfect for harried weeknights. You can also make it in advance to let the flavors marinate — just toss in the mint and feta before serving.
Why Student Debt Is a Racial Justice Issue
Student loan debt burdens more than 44 million Americans, and prevents millions from buying homes, starting businesses, saving for retirement, or even starting families. This debt is disproportionately affecting Black families, and Black women in particular.
Higher education has long been held as a critical gateway to getting a job and achieving economic stability and mobility. But because of long-standing systemic racial discrimination, Black families have far less wealth to draw on to pay for college, creating barriers for Black communities to access higher education and build wealth. Black families are more likely to borrow, to borrow more, and to have trouble in repayment. Two decades after taking out their student loans, the median Black borrower still owes 95 percent of their debt, whereas the median white borrower has paid off 94 percent of their debt.
Students of color pursue higher education in a social and economic system built on racist ideologies that is set up to work against them and perpetuate racial wealth and income and achievement gaps. To redress this systemic inequality, the ACLU, Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), and more than 300 other organizations are calling on the Biden-Harris administration and Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona to use their authority under the Higher Education Act to cancel $50,000 of student debt per borrower, and Congress must act as well.
To understand the systemic issues rooted in the student debt crisis, we must start with its history. Though we have normalized the idea that students must take on debt for college, historically students benefited from broad public investment in higher education. However, not all students benefited equally: Black students had little access to GI Bill benefits and, even a decade after Brown v. Board of Education (1954), predominately white institutions (PWIs) in many states resisted integration and equal treatment. Further, state and federal governments continued to inadequately and inequitably fund historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) despite the high-quality opportunities they provided and the critical function they performed for Black students and communities. This created and cemented the racial wealth and resource gap in institutions of higher education.
It was in this context that Congress and President Lyndon B. Johnson passed the Higher Education Act of 1965. Recognizing the value of broad higher education access, Johnson hoped the legislation would open the doors of opportunity to everyone, especially Black students and other students of color, through Pell Grants and other subsidies.
To join our Systemic Equality agenda to take action on racial justice, click here.
Yet by the end of the 20th century, just as Black and Brown students and women gained entry after decades-long legal battles and social struggles, reactionary policymakers shifted the significant costs of higher education from the public to individual families. What had been considered a public good when it was predominantly for white men, became a public burden to be shifted to families.
This shift away from public financing, which accelerated after the Great Recession, led to predictable and damaging results: Today the cost of higher education is beyond imagination. It is out of reach for most families, especially Black and Brown students, unless they agree to unsustainable debt. In effect, we are perpetuating the ugly legacy of redlining and housing discrimination by requiring the same Black families that were historically denied wealth to take on a greater debt burden than their white peers.
The student debt crisis is just one of the latest iterations in the long and shameful history of too many unkept promises to Black and Brown communities. This country didn't keep its promise to give formerly enslaved people the land that they worked on to build wealth following the Civil War. Then from redlining, inaccessible GI benefits, and now the decreased value of college degrees, Black people have continuously had the roads to economic success blocked outright.
Canceling $50,000 in student debt can help secure financial stability and economic mobility for Black and Brown borrowers who are disproportionately burdened by this student debt crisis and the impacts of the racial wealth gap in this country. But even after graduation, Black and Latinx people face substantial job discrimination and earn far less than their white counterparts. This income gap makes building financial stability and managing student loan repayment even harder. A college education actually deepens the wealth gap due to the high costs and structural issues in our system. Yet, higher education is a necessity, not a luxury, for today's workforce.
Due to these persisting inequalities, even with $50,000 cancelation per borrower, there will still be millions of borrowers with debt. That number will only grow unless we overhaul loan repayment altogether and create a debt-free college system. The Center for Responsible Learning argues that the federal government should improve repayment by: (1) clearing the books of bad debts, such as debts that have been in repayment for longer than 15 years (2) restoring limitations on collections and making student debt dischargeable in bankruptcy and (3) making repayment truly affordable and budget-conscious through a new income-driven repayment plan open to all borrowers. For new students, a new social contract could also double the Pell Grant and increase funding and support for HBCUs.
We have an opportunity to help millions of families realize their American Dreams, secure financial stability and economic mobility for Black and Brown families, and take a critical step toward closing the racial wealth gap. The charge is clear, the moment is here, and the time for action is now: The Biden administration must cancel $50,000 in student debt per borrower.
How Meatless Mondays Can Save You Money And Help The Planet
Devoting a day to go meat-free didn't use to be the norm. But over the past couple years, the trend has skyrocketed in popularity. The #MeatlessMonday hashtag is now more than 600,000-strong on Instagram, and all it takes is some scrolling to see why. The plant-based dishes people are creating—which range from hearty enchiladas and pastas to protein-packed grain bowls—look straight-up delicious.
Using Meatless Mondays as an excuse to experiment with vegetables and create healthier versions of your family's favorites is only one of the perks. (Especially when you discover a new favorite meal out of it!) You can also experience impressive health improvements from eating less meat, build up your bank account, and help better the planet.
What are Meatless Mondays?
The history behind Meatless Monday is an interesting one. Unbeknownst to many, the original idea came from way back in 1917 during World War I when President Woodrow Wilson helped the country reduce its meat consumption by 15 percent. Then years later in 2003, The Monday Campaigns, along with the Center for a Livable Future (CLF) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, brought the idea back to the forefront by launching an international campaign.
The campaign's goal is to encourage people to eat less meat just as Wilson did, even if that's just one day of the week. By doing so, the hope is to help improve people's health, as well as save the planet. Right after the weekend, it's a day everyone automatically gets a fresh start, and the thought is that making healthy choices first-thing can fuel a week of healthy behaviors. So, how exactly do you go about being part of the Meatless Monday crew yourself?
There's really only one rule to Meatless Monday: Cut out meat. Instead, fill your plate with all the delicious plant-based sources of protein available, whether that's beans, lentils, and quinoa, or tempeh, tofu, and seitan. Maybe all of the above. Doing so can seriously benefit your health, helping decrease your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, as well as help you meet your weight-loss goals. There's not much more filling and nutritious than a veggie-loaded plate.
How Meatless Mondays can save you money.
There's a serious misconception about the cost of eating a more plant-based diet. It might seem like stocking up on veggies would be super expensive, but that's not the case at all—especially when compared to meat. According to data from the United States Department of Labor, the average price of meat per pound in March 2019 was $4.25 while the same amount of veggies came in at $1.80 due to the major differences in getting them to your plate, including processing and transportation.
Another reason you'll likely save money is because of how much longer those veggies will last you. Just imagine the amount of beans or broccoli you could get for a pound. Now, think back to how little of those foods you need to eat before you feel stuffed. Due to the protein and fiber they contain, research has found eating a plant-rich diet makes you less likely to eat later on than meals based around meat. (Which is why eating more veggies is one of the ways you can feel fuller while eating less.) And when your groceries can spread out more throughout the week, your wallet will be much happier.
How Meatless Mondays help the planet.
Aside from bettering your health and bank account, Meatless Monday also plays an important role in helping the planet. The meat industry, as well as the dairy and egg industries, are some of the biggest producers of global greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change. On the other hand, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) says high-protein plant foods, including lentils, tofu, and beans, produce the least amount of greenhouse gases.
Aside from the greenhouse gas emissions that come from producing meat, other practices involved in the process—including the use of pesticides and fertilizer—have a negative impact on the environment as well. Due to the large amounts of toxic manure that enters rivers, streams, and the ocean, water sources become polluted. Meat production also uses a large amount of water. Data shows a hamburger requires 660 gallons of water to produce while a salad uses just 21 gallons.
Luckily, being part of Meatless Mondays couldn't be easier these days. Not only do you have all the fruit and veggies in the world at your fingertips, but there are also plenty of plant-based protein options that will completely satisfy, like the Beyond Burger or Impossible Burger. Who knows—after how great you feel, you might just extend the challenge to the end of the week.
KitchenAid Mixer Giveaway – Win One For You and One For a Friend!
Who wants a KitchenAid Mixer? No wait, who needs a KitchenAid Mixer? I mean with the holidays here, we all need one, right?
Well, look no further. I am so excited to be have teamed up with a great group of bloggers to be giving away a brand-spanking-new KitchenAid Mixer. Except with this giveaway, you get to win one and we’ll also give one to your friends! And you can even choose your color. Amazing, right?
Just be sure to enter through the rafflecopter below. Good luck!
And don’t forget to check out the amazing bloggers also participating in this giveaway!
New Plant-Based Meatless Monday Cookbook Will Get the Whole Family to Eat Their Veggies
Looking for some culinary inspiration for your next round of Meatless Monday meals? Well, we have some EXCITING news: The first Meatless Monday cookbook is finally here, and with over 100 delicious, better-for-you plant-based recipes you’ll be able to whip up a meat-free meal for any type of eater — from experimental flexitarians to new vegans to the staunchest of carnivores.
The Meatless Monday Family Cookbook , by Jenn Sebestyen, emphasizes the limitless potential of plant-based cooking. The recipes are nutritious, easy-to-prepare, and mimic the look, taste, and texture of comfort-food favorites (you’ve got to check out the lentil Bolognese, butternut-squash mac and cheese, and “meaty” mushroom stew). The book, whose foreword is written by Sid Lerner, founder of the global Meatless Monday initiative and The Monday Campaigns, is based on the Meatless Monday philosophy of cutting out meat one day a week for your health and the health of the planet.
And as its title suggest, The Meatless Monday Family Cookbook is designed for the whole family, because when kids are involved in the prepping and cooking process, they develop a greater appreciation, understanding, and respect for the food in front of them. We’ve included a few recipe highlights so you can get a taste of what a day of Meatless Monday meals can mean for your family.
Garlicky White Bean Avocado Toast with BBQ Drizzle
This recipe marries the best traits of avocado toast with the enticing aroma and flavor of cannellini beans slowly sautéed with fresh garlic and olive oil. The mixture is spooned on to the avocado-smeared toast and drizzled with a sweet and tangy homemade barbecue sauce.
Pumpkin Maple-Glazed Penne with Roasted Fall Vegetables
With butternut squash, carrots, parsnips, and Brussels sprouts, you’re getting all the best that autumn has to offer. The subtle maple glaze adds a surprisingly subtle sweetness that pairs nicely with the fall vegetables.
Meaty Mushroom Stew over Garlic Mashed Potatoes
There’s nothing cozier than a hearty stew and some mashed potatoes. This recipe, which uses cremini and shitake mushrooms and a healthy dose of tamari, is an homage to umami. Ladle it over a scoop of mashed potatoes for some pure plant-based bliss.
Creamy Vegetable Noodle Soup
It’s like a chicken potpie — minus the chicken and the pie. No animal products are necessary for this smooth and sultry creamy vegetable noodle soup. Vegetable broth, almond milk, nutritional yeast, and a whole lot of seasonings and aromatics make this soup satisfying and delicious.
Very Berry Quinoa Salad with Cinnamon Toasted Pecans
This salad is light and fresh yet has plenty of protein from the quinoa and pecans. Fresh summer berries are little powerhouses of vitamins and are super kid-friendly. The toasted pecans take this dish to the next level.
Rice and Bean Pan Grilled Burritos
A burrito is engineered to include an entire meal’s worth of goodies wrapped in one, warm, fluffy package. Chocked full of smoky pinto beans, cilantro rice, lettuce, and an avocado green chile sauce, be prepared for requests for seconds.
BBQ Chickpea Veggie Bowls
Channeling the hot smoke of the barbecue pit, this BBQ chickpea veggie bowl is charred, sweet, and tangy with a satisfying crunch. The recipe calls for roasted broccoli, red peppers, onions, and chickpeas, but you can top your brown rice bowl with any variety of vegetables. Just don’t forget to drizzle over some homemade sweet-and-spicy barbecue sauce.
Sweet-and-Spicy BBQ Sauce
The proper blend of sweet and heat, this BBQ sauce uses smoky chipotles, tart apple-cider vinegar, maple syrup, and a blend of spices. Squeeze a little bit any meatless Monday meal to take it to the next level.
About the author: Jenn Sebestyen is the creator of VeggieInspired.com. She was inspired to write The Meatless Monday Family Cookbook to help moms and dads get both picky kids and die-hard carnivores to eat more veggies. She offers tips and tricks that have worked for getting her kids on board with a veggie-heavy Meatless Monday plan.
Interested in learning more about Meatless Monday? Click here for more recipes, cooking tips, and ways that you can spread the Meatless Monday message to your community. For a chance to be featured in our next recipe roundup, make sure to tag @MeatlessMonday or use the hashtag #meatlessmonday the next time you post a meatless or plant-based recipe.
30 Easy Meatless Meals
1. The Best Black Bean Burger via Tastes Better from Scratch
Your entire family will love these simple, tasty burgers! And you’ll enjoy the fact that they cost you just a fraction of what regular beef burgers would.
2. Crustless Spinach Quiche via Butter with a Side of Bread
You pretty much can’t go wrong with breakfast for dinner! And this quick and easy, protein packed quiche is a great option.
If you’re a breakfast food fan, you might also enjoy these Quick Breakfast Tacos and this Easy Broccoli Quiche.
3. The Best Baked Potatoes via Gimme Some Oven
Not all baked potatoes are created equal! This recipe will help you make a baked potato that is perfectly crispy and flavorful on the outside but soft and fluffy on the inside.
Top it with butter and sour cream or take it up a notch and try making this from scratch Broccoli Cheese Sauce.
4. Country Potato Soup via Thrifty Frugal Mom
This simple, creamy potato soup is super easy to make and is one of my go-to meatless meals!
5. Easy French Onion Soup via The Comfort of Cooking
French Onion Soup is one of my favorites! So super simple but absolutely delicious. And to keep the cost down, I typically sub mozzarella cheese for the Gruyere.
6. Cream of Tomato Soup via Real Mom Kitchen
This recipe is almost identical to my Grandmother’s old-fashioned tomato soup recipe that we love. (Her’s doesn’t have the baking soda and calls for a bit of minced onion or onion powder for extra flavor.)
I usually pair it with grilled cheese sandwiches or a salad for an easy meal that the whole family loves!
7. Margherita Pizza via Life in the Lofthouse
Yum! This recipe proves that pizza doesn’t have to be topped with meat to be amazing! This 5 Ingredient Pesto Pizza and this Garden Veggie Pizza are also delicious options.
8. Cinnamon Pancakes with Cinnamon Roll Glaze via Inspired Taste
You all, these pancakes are absolutely amazing! My kids beg me to make them because they like them better than regular pancakes anymore!
If you want to try traditional pancakes though, give these Easy Fluffy Pancakes from Scratch a try.
9. White Pizza Grilled Cheese via Thrifty Frugal Mom
Seriously the best grilled cheese recipe ever! Loaded with three different cheeses, garlic and herbs, it’s the perfect comfort food and a favorite at our table.
More Meatless Meals on a Budget
10. Slow Cooker Three Bean Chili via Aberdeen’s Kitchen
This hearty, flavorful chili takes just 10 minutes to throw together and makes enough that you’ll have leftovers to freeze or to enjoy throughout the week.
11. Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup via Thrifty Frugal Mom
This flavor filled soup is loaded with veggies and can be prepared on the stove top or crockpot. Easy, healthy and delicious!
12. Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili Mac via Kristine’s Kitchen
This comfort food recipe couldn’t be easier! Just cook everything together in the crockpot for an easy one-pot meal. Makes a great freezer meal too!
13. Shakshuka via The Healthy Maven
This Middle Eastern dish is one of our favorite frugal meatless meals! It’s one of those recipes that is super basic, but so good.
I often add a few extra eggs to make it even more hearty and serve it with my Classic French Bread.
14. Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells via Fork Knife Swoon
Short on time? This easy meatless recipe takes just 15 minutes to put together and creates a meal that is filling and delicious.
15. Black Bean, Rice and Vegetable Tacos via Together as Family
These tacos are so hearty and filling that you won’t even miss the meat!
Pair with tortillas, fresh diced tomato, shredded cheese, and sour cream for a healthy dinner that you will want to make again!
16. Bean and Cheese Smothered Enchiladas via Oh Sweet Basil
Love a good bean and cheese burrito? Then you’ll love these enchiladas. They’re basically bean and cheese burritos, but better. And so super easy to make too!
To make them even healthier, I love using homemade refried beans when I make these.
17. Crustless Zucchini Quiche via Thrifty Frugal Mom
This simple, tasty quiche is loaded with zucchini, making it a nutritious meal!
18. Black Bean and Rice Casserole via Plain Chicken
This Mexican dish takes about 10 minutes to throw together and is so good! It also can easily be made ahead if that works better for your schedule.
19. Cheesy Lentil Quesadillas via Girl Heart Food
Take cheese quesadillas to a whole new level with this hearty recipe!
More Meatless Meal Ideas
20. Hungarian Red Lentil Soup via Vegan Huggs
This flavorful recipe comes together fast, thanks to red lentils and easy ingredients.
21. Poor Man’s Burrito Bowls via Budget Bytes
Who doesn’t love a burrito bowl? And this version is ridiculously easy, super filling and crazy inexpensive too!
22. Crockpot White Bean French Onion Soup via The Busy Baker
This twist on classic French onion soup is both easy and delicious!
23. Creamy Garlic Parmesan Pasta via Together as Family
Have a busy day? This easy recipe will help you get dinner on the table in just 20 minutes, plus it’s delicious and kid approved too!
24. Mexican Tortilla Casserole via Savory Simple
Love Mexican? This casserole is just the meatless meal for you! And guess what? It works great as a make ahead meal and freezes well too!
25. Cheesy Spinach Lasagna Rolls via Lil’ Luna
This recipe is so hearty and filling that you won’t even miss the meat! And with three kinds of cheese…what’s not to love?!
26. Easy Vegetable Lasagna with Alfredo Sauce via Mighty Mrs.
Layers of veggies, cheese and noodles combine to make this yummy meatless dish.
Make it healthier and more delicious (wink, wink) by using my Easy Homemade Alfredo Sauce.
27. Egg Drop Soup via Turnadough Alli
Who knew that egg drop soup was so easy to make? Satisfy your Chinese cravings with this comforting recipe!
28. Mexican Zucchini Burrito Boats via Making Thyme for Health
This simple meatless meal is packed with Mexican flavor and is healthy taboot!
29. Easy Cream Taco Pasta via A Mindfull Mom
All the flavors of a taco in a simple pasta dish? Why not? You pretty much can’t beat this for an inexpensive meatless meal!
30. Enchilda Stuffed Sweet Potatoes via Sweet Peas and Saffron
This twist on twice baked potatoes is not only healthy, it’s also super quick and easy to make! Plus, they are a great freezer meal too.
8 Ways to Add Savory Flavor to Vegetarian Recipes
Here's how to amp up the umami flavor in your meatless meals.
Whether you are a longtime vegetarian or a newbie, going all-in on plant-based cooking, or just trying to adopt a Meatless Monday tradition, having some secret weapons for amping up flavor in your vegetarian cooking is always a great idea.
One of the issues with vegetable cooking is that often, even when the dish is balanced with the basic flavors of salt, sweet, sour and bitter, it is missing umami, that savory flavor so associated with meat, which is often the thing that is the difference between an okay dish and a great one. That little something extra that makes dishes soul satisfying. Luckily, there are a lot of things you can add to bring that umami back into your dishes, and still be on the program! Here are some of our favorite ways to bring the umami to your plant cooking.
How to Add Umami to Meatless Dishes
This flaky pantry product brings a parmesan cheese-like flavor to dishes and is a wonderful way of adding some complexity to your cooking, especially in pastas and bean dishes.
There is a reason that the vegetable dishes at Asian restaurants often taste so much better than when we make them at home, and MSG is the reason. The negative press around this naturally occurring salt has long been scientifically debunked, so don’t hesitate to pick some up and add a small pinch when cooking things like stir fries, stews or vegetable chilis or soups.
Dried Mushrooms and Mushroom Powder
Whether you are soaking dried mushrooms to add whole to a dish, or using dehydrated mushroom powder as a seasoning, mushrooms are one of the meatiest most umami packed things you can add to your vegetables.
Smoked Sun Dried Tomatoes
While regular sun-dried tomatoes are great for adding sweetness, the smoked version is my secret weapon for replacing bacon or ham in a vegetable dish. For example, braised collard greens, traditionally slow simmered with a smoked ham hock, still get that wonderful smoky flavor by simmering a handful of these flavorful nuggets in the braising liquid.
Soy sauce or liquid aminos
These dark brown liquids bring both saline punch and some welcome caramelized flavor to dishes, along with a good boost of umami. Don’t just think of them for Asian cooking, think of using them instead of some of your salt in all sorts of dishes, including soups and stews, salad dressings, and as a last-minute drizzle on cooked vegetables.
Whether you grind them fine to add texture and flavor to things like vegetable chilis, use them as a crunchy topping or garnish, toss whole halves into a sauté or stir fry, or even braise them with beans, walnuts bring a wonderful combination of meatiness and a subtle bitterness to your dishes.
The rich, fermented flavor with some slight sweetness of miso paste is a wonderful way to bring some umami to your dishes. Whether you use the mild flavor of white miso to the intense punch of darker versions, keeping a tub of this in your fridge means that you can add terrific complexity to your cooking. Especially useful in making vegetable stocks and gravies.
This Swiss liquid flavoring agent is the vegetable version of those liquid gravy boosters and is an easy way to add just a fast dash of flavor to any of your cooking. Use sparingly, a little goes a long way, and there is a reason it comes in a bottle with a very small dispenser tip. Start with just a dash and taste as you go.
2. Forgot Milk? Go Nuts.
How many times have vegans of the world heard the initial gasp of I just couldn’t live without cheese? Usually, this is the deal-stopper for lactose lovers. It still doesn’t change the fact that milk and all those milky products just aren’t quite living up to the hype they once carried. They taste great, but that’s not to say that a nice cashew pepper jack can’t get the job done just as well, maybe even better. A vegan variation means cheese isn’t necessarily off the table.
15 Easy & Healthy Plant-Based Recipes to Try for Meatless Monday
Have you ever tried to go “meatless”? Whether it’s a meal a week or a meal a day, switching up your normal foods for something that’s plant-powered has many benefits. Plant-based foods have been shown to improve health, can introduce you to new ways of enjoying your favorite flavors, and can help save money at the grocery store.
You might be thinking that all sounds great, but wondering how it’s possible to create a meal out of plants that is delicious and satisfying.
PSA: Plant-based meals are more than just a bowl of lettuce.
If you’re new to plant-powered cooking, here are some tips to keep in mind:
Shift your expectations. When it comes to meatless alternatives, sometimes it’s better to leave the original untouched. Why? Because coconut bacon doesn’t taste like real bacon, and if you think it might, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. Instead of looking for meatless replicas of your favorite meat-based foods, try shifting your expectations. Find a meal that sounds delicious for what’s in it, not what you think you might miss out on.
Focus on flavor. This is the very thing that’s going to leave you feeling satisfied. Flavor can be added many different ways through a variety of ingredients, spices, herbs, citrus fruit and condiments. Don’t be afraid to play around with different combinations. Pro tip: when it makes sense to add a sauce, add it. Creamy, decadent sauces help lock in ultimate flavor and satisfy your taste buds in a way that you would’ve never expected.
Keep it whole. Unfortunately, a lot of meatless alternatives are highly processed and will do your body more harm than good. Just because something is vegan, doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Look at ingredient labels and make sure you recognized the foods listed. When cooking at home, use minimal, simple flavors and ingredients to create a delicious meal.
15 Recipes to Try for Meatless Monday
Trying something new at home can be fun and adventurous. I challenge you to pick one of these recipes above and add it to your menu plan next week! Happy cooking.
Carly Paige, health coach and cooking instructor, believes that healthy doesn’t have to be hard. Her mission is to show you simple swaps in and out of the kitchen to elevate your everyday that will transform your health. Carly is the author of Simply Swapped Everyday, a healthy guide and cookbook with over 75 plant-powered recipes and founder of FitLiving Eats – a place where she shares nutritious recipes and how-to guides.