5 Great Vegetarian Meals to Cut Down on Meat

5 Great Vegetarian Meals to Cut Down on Meat

 

Vegetarian meals can be both flavorful and fulling. The trick is to include hearty vegetables and legumes then layer flavor profiles. With these five vegetarian meal ideas, you won’t even miss the meat.

 

BEAN CHILI

An easy route for introducing meatless meals is chili. Make your favorite chili and switch out the meat for kidney beans. The beans are hearty and filling enough to satisfy even the most diehard meat-eater.

 

SWEET POTATO LASAGNA

For a great vegetarian meal that’s also gluten free, take your favorite lasagna recipe and replace the noodles with thinly sliced sweet potatoes. You’ll need a mandolin to achieve the perfect slices and remember that slicing through every bit of potato isn’t worth shaving a finger so stop when you have about 1/4 inch of potato remaining.

For the sauce, replace any meat with spinach or kale. Then layer ricotta cheese mixed with a bit of mozzarella for extra creaminess, and top the whole thing with a final layer of mozzarella.

 

SOUP AND SANDWICH

Vegetarian versions of the comforting combination of warm soup with a savory sandwich are delicious. For soups try tomato, broccoli and cheese, butternut squash, or simmer some kale, navy beans and garlic in vegetable broth.

A grilled cheese sandwich is an easy accompaniment to the soup of your choosing, but step up the classic sandwich. Try mozzarella, fresh tomato, basil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar glaze for a Caprese style sandwich. Slice up a Bosc pear or apple, top with Brie, or gorgonzola cheese for savory-sweet combinations. If you’re a fan of French onion soup, sauté some onions until they’re nice and caramelized then sandwich between swiss cheese and some hearty bread. The combinations for vegetarian soup and sandwiches are endless.

 

CAULIFLOWER TACOS

Replace the meat in your tacos with cauliflower. Just cut up the vegetable into bite sized florets, coat with oil and taco seasoning, either store bought or a mix of your own: cumin, cayenne pepper, chili pepper, crushed coriander seed, onion and garlic powers, salt and pepper. Get the florets nice and coated then sauté until tender. Top as desired.

 

SUBSTITUTE CHICKEN WITH TOFU

Tofu is a blank canvas, and an excellent swap for chicken in many dishes. Purchase an extra firm block (found in the refrigerated section near the produce). You’ll need to get all the water out; to do this place the block of tofu in between paper towels or a clean kitchen towel, then place a bowl or plate on top with a weight such as a can of beans. Let it sit for about an hour, replacing the towels once or twice. To speed the process along, you can slice the block length wise.

When the excess liquid is out of the tofu, you can infuse it with your favorite marinate then bake in at 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes, flipping halfway. Try an Asian marinade then add the tofu over stir fried vegetables and serve over rice.

 

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