Most people assume I've cut out meat for nutrition reasons, but in reality, I think meat-containing diets can absolutely be healthy. And actually, vegetarian diets can be a really bad idea if you don't know what you're doing.
When Will and I both hopped on board the meat-free wagon, it was a huge challenge at first. The biggest challenge was figuring out what the heck I was going to make for dinner! All of my old recipes had meat in them! I think many people (my previous self included) have the idea that every meal has to be centered around meat. It sounds silly, but I seriously had no idea how good food could be without it. I can honestly say there's not a single old meat-containing recipe I like better than any of the food I make now. And it's a lot cheaper, actually. Meat is expensive! After experimenting with a lot of recipes, I've compiled a pretty solid set of go-to recipes. Will calls it the "All-Star List".
Since I've had several people ask for vegetarian recipe advice, and I tooootally know how hard it can be to try the meat-free route, I thought I'd post a list of some of my favorites. I post a lot of my own recipes here, or some that I've found and altered, but unless you follow me on Pinterest, a lot of them are never mentioned. And even some of the Pinterest recipes I've tried have been duds.
So without further ado, here are some go-to recipes for meat-free folks... or if you're just looking to cut back on food expenses. Enjoy!
This is a much healthier take on the standard Asian takeout. With a boost in fiber from brown rice and only a tablespoon of canola oil (packed with unsaturated fats- the "good" fats), this is a guilt-free, meat-free way to enjoy Asian fare.
2. Spring Pesto Tortellini
This recipe from Prevention RD (Nicole rocks!) is perfect served with white wine on a hot day. Pesto pretty much rules my world in the summertime, and paired with crisp asparagus, it's incredibly refreshing!
|Photo from Prevention RD|
3. BBQ Black Bean Pizza
One of my favorite summer recipes, this pizza is fantastic on the grill! Sweet corn and black beans with the smokiness from barbecue sauce is an unexpected and delicious combination.
4. Black Bean Enchiladas
I have yet to find a better Mexican recipe than these black bean avocado enchiladas. It's the perfect combo of veggies, protein and fiber-packed black beans, and enchilada sauce... My mouth is seriously watering.
- I love using whole wheat tortillas for these to get additional fiber.
- While these are unbelievably tasty, I've found they're not nearly as good as leftovers (we're talking about soggy tortillas here, my friends). In other words, these would be best served to a larger group, or use a smaller baking dish and make fewer of them if it's just for two people.
|Photo from Creme de la Crumb|
5. Coconut Curry
Feeling like Indian tonight? This is the simplest recipe ever. The curry sauce is delicious, and like many of the recipes above, it makes enough to serve all your favorite people!
|Photo from Detoxinista|
6. Grilled Eggplant Burger
Can you tell I'm in summer-mode?! This is another favorite grill-able meal. Did you ever guess you could still grill as a vegetarian? Forget the burgers guys, the thinly sliced eggplant with fresh basil, tomato, and onion is crazy good. Toast the buns on the top rack for an added delish-factor!
7. Avocado & White Bean Wraps
Adobo chiles are the secret to the yum-level here. Not only are these things tasty and filling, but you don't feel like a beached whale after eating them. Plus, they're simple enough to make when it's Monday and the motivation is nonexistent.
|Photo from Eating Well|
8. Greek Lasagna
While this Greek Lasagna is the best cold weather soul food I could imagine, I've been known to make it year-round. Even my meat-loving family back in Indiana digs this stuff! It's especially fabulous for serving a large group of people or for tasty lunch leftovers the next day (and the day after that, and the day after that!).
9. Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Cheese. Need I say more? You won't need dessert (or another meal for 24 hours) after eating these bad boys. Decadent should be in the name of this sandwich. Yummy... in... my tummy.
|Photo from Joy the Baker|
10. Portobello, Broccoli, & Red Pepper Melts
Oh Martha, you've still got it. These may look like just an appetizer, but thick sliced portobello mushrooms mixed with veggies and cheese makes this a surprisingly filling dish. Another perfect dinner to throw together after a long day of work. Pair with wine. Obviously.
|Photo from Martha Stewart.|