The next stop on our vegetarian culinary journey brings us to Asia. We know it’s easy to call up for some veggie stir fry or miso soup, but why stick to the basics when you can have things like vegetable dumplings and nutty noodles? So drop the take-out menu and try one of our healthy, hearty and oh-so flavorful recipes this Meatless Monday that may even replace your go-to restaurant altogether.
What other ethnic cuisines would you like to see made meatless?
We’re always looking for different ways to make our Meatless Mondays exciting and delicious. As the weather cools down, we look for comforting and hearty dishes featuring seasonal veggies, grains and nuts. You may be used to looking at rice and grains as more of a side dish, but with the right pairing they make for a nutritious and hearty meal. Here are some of our favorite nut and grain combos, but remember, you can always substitute with whatever you have on hand (we’re looking at you, quinoa).
Happy Labor Day! An end-of-summer celebration means lots of time by the grill, and what better way to include your vegetarian guests than by grilling something so savory and delicious, no one will miss the meat? Here’s your life-saver: The Big, Beefy Mushroom Cheddar Melt. Although this dish has the word “beef” in its name, the only meatiness you’ll find is from the flavor-packed Portobello mushrooms.
For more meatless main’s, including these awesome Vegetarian Chickpea Burgers, click here.
Previous Meatless Monday Posts
The best part about this recipe is that you don’t really need a recipe. Just toss together however much (or little) of each ingredient you’d like and eat. To save time on the week days, prepare the farro ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to build the salad with whatever else you’ve got—like corn, avocado, asparagus, cheese, etc.
Get the recipe: Farro and Corn Salad
This week, instead of taco Tuesday make it a meatless taco night Monday!
Roasted poblano peppers and charred corn tortillas give this grown-up 30-minute meal its crazy-delicious smokey flavor. Save this recipe for nights when no kids are around though, because you’ll use a cup of beer to deglaze the pan. Find out how to easily roast peppers under the broiler here.
Sliced caramelized onions ad pickled jalapenos give these veggie tacos a sweet and spicy flavor profile. Make an extra large batch of caramelized onions and keep them on hand in the fridge to try out one of our six tasty suggestions.
Got a couple of extra potatoes around? Then whip them up into spicy veggie potato tacos! Although you can use any type of all-purpose, we love using low-calorie and high-fiber sweet potatoes.
Sometimes I approach a classic recipe with meat and think, “How I can make this vegetarian?” While other times the transformation just happens by chance, as was the case with this Veg(etarian) Wedge Salad.
Though I’m not sure where or when the original Wedge Salad was created, the combination of crunchy lettuce, tangy cheese, creamy dressing and bacon has always been a favorite of mine. So while looking in my fridge one night, I spotted a number of Wedge Salad ingredients and started to get excited, until–oh wait, oh no!–I didn’t have any bacon. In search of a quick substitute, I found that I had falafel and thus a (meat-free) salad plan was hatched. To go along with my newly-inspired Mediterranean take on the wedge salad, I whipped up a feta-buttermilk dressing in place of the standard blue cheese dressing and substituted grilled romaine for the typical iceburg lettuce (I don’t think romaine is typically Mediterranean, but I like the chargrilled romaine flavor, so I went with it).
Get the recipe: Veg Wedge Salad
Mix up your Meatless Monday meal by adding tofu to the menu! Also known as bean curd, tofu is popular in many Asian countries and is an adaptable, versatile and protein-packed main ingredient–one 4-ounce serving is only 94 calories and has 10 grams of protein. Take a look at a few terrific tofu dishes to try this Meatless Monday!
Get the recipes:
This nutty noodle dish is delicious both hot and cold. Make an extra large batch and serve up leftovers for lunch all weeklong.
Are you an egghead? If not, then it’s time you become one! Try one of our top five favorite egg dishes for B, L or D–breakfast, lunch or dinner–and tell us what you think in the comments below.
5. 6-Minute Egg
After boiling eggs for only 6-minutes, give them a quick dunk into an ice bath before peeling off their shells. When you dig your fork in, the yoke will surprise you — it’s still soft! Serve on top of toast, polenta grits or even oatmeal.
I’ve often considered whole grains to be bor-ing and have definitely been guilty of relegating them to side dish status. Recently, however, I started noticing whole grains popping up in more and more restaurant–as stellar appetizers, salads and vegetarian main dishes–and have experienced a change of heart.
This Meatless Monday, I challenge you to get on this trending train and put these old, ancient grains in the spotlight as your main dish star. With the recipes below and numerous options including farro, millet, barley, brown rice, quinoa and more, there are multiple ways to make a satisfying meatless dish.
Since I’m a true believer in knowledge being power (nerd alert!), let’s go over a few quick “health hits” first. Did you know that whole grains…
- contain more antioxidants than fruit and vegetables including vitamins and minerals like B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium and iron?
- can slash the risk of heart disease and diabetes by more than 25 percent when consumed regularly?
- cost half the price of meat and are full of fiber which keeps you full and helps you burn more calories? (Yup, that’s right. You can save money and lose weight? Hell yes!)
Now let’s get cookin’!
“Farro is one of my favorite types of wheat,” says Rachael. “And now you can find it in pasta!” Farro pasta has a nutty and complex flavor without the heaviness of whole grain pasta. Look for it in your local stores or online. Click here for more casual 30-Minute Meals from Rachael.
When you’re looking for flexibility, quinoa is the grain to use. I love this ingredient because it can be creamy or crunchy, shaped and molded into other dishes like patties and works as the main attraction or a just a garnish. In addition, it’s gluten-free and super fast to make. Zucchini and corn are tossed with light and fluffy quinoa in this colorful main dish. However, feel free to experiment with whatever veggies you like the most or whatever is in season. Serve this salad hot or cold and save time by making it up to 2 days in advance and storing in the refrigerator.
Farro is a healthy whole-grain that Italians have been eating for years in everything from salad to soups. As a complex carbohydrate, it breaks down slowly in your system which helps to keep your energy levels stable. Make this recipe for approximately $2.50 per person and add in mushrooms for an extra buck. Click here to get this recipe and more $3 Italian soups.
Usually you’ll find barley playing second fiddle in a soup recipe, but this meatless meal from our Italian-inspired Express Lane Suppers showcases barley’s subtly buttery flavor by pairing it with butternut squash and peas. Save time by using pre-cut squash from your grocery store and our Express Lane Supper recipes and customized 10-ingredient shopping list.
Wanna learn more? Get the scoop on how to cook 6 of our favorite whole grains, 7 easy ways to incorporate them into your every day recipes and the must-know do’s and don’ts of grains with our How to Cook with Whole Grains Guide.
When you’re looking for a Meatless Monday meal with a one-two punch of flavor, look no further than one of our vegetable curry recipes. We guarantee that whether you’re a fan of spicy Thai red curries or tamarind and coriander-based Indian curries or prefer your curry dishes “wet” (made with lots of sauce or liquid) or “dry” (coated in the spice mixture), you’ll be so focused on all of the layers of robust, savory flavor that you won’t even notice that there’s no meat.
Whip up one of our three favorite vegetarian curry recipes below:
This 30-Minute Meal recipe from Rachael Ray brings together Middle Eastern and Italian flavors with a spiced tomato sauce over whole wheat noodles. Use a pre-mixed curry powder or create your own blend with tumeric, cumin, corinander, cinnamon and cardamom.
The red curry in this one-bowl meal is balanced with brown sugar and unsweetened coconut milk, which also adds a hint of luscious creaminess. To make this dinner even quicker, prep and freeze vegetables in advance or pick up steamed rice from your local takeout restaurant.
Believe it or not, you can make this meal for $2.29 per person–that’s under $10 for four people! If you have an extra buck and are interested in adding a burst of color and sweetness too, add 1/2 cup of frozen peas five minutes before serving.