If you have been here before, you’d know that I’ve been going meatless once a week for quite some time now. There are many health benefits of a diet rich in plant-based foods, and cutting back even slightly is a positive change. The goal is to create vegetarian meals that taste so good you won’t even think to ask “where’s the meat?”
Whether you want to veg out once a week or just want to mix it up without the meat every so often, I’ve got 6 tips to get you started:
1. Incorporate veggies in your egg dishes
Instead of serving your eggs with breakfast links or bacon strips, why not incorporate veggies in your omelets and frittatas? Spinach, roasted red peppers, broccoli, and mushrooms are my favorite. You can also add some cheese like cheddar, parmesan, or goat cheese to amp up on the flavors. If you’re worried about cholesterol, then substitute with egg whites.
2. Make ‘em hot
Salads make great vegetarian lunch options or side dishes, but they can get boring pretty quickly. I turn to hot vegetarians dishes – like Black Bean and Corn Enchiladas, lentil soups, and chickpea curry — when I want something warm, comforting, and satisfying. Fill up with hot foods and I guarantee you don’t have to rely on meat alone to feel satisfied!
3. Scope out your local farmer’s market
When I was growing up, my mom was always trying new fruits and vegetables (most recently, romanesco broccoli, which is like an alien vegetable but one that we all loved!) so I try to do the same. I’ll go to the market, choose a vegetable that interests me, and then look up recipes using those ingredients. Sometimes I’ll discover vegetables that I thought I didn’t like but actually do quite enjoy. I picked up some orange cauliflower last week ans was surprised to find out they are not only much prettier, but are also much sweeter than the white varieties.
4. Be creative with pastas
Pasta is always a pleaser. It’s versatile and affordable — just be sure you include lots of vegetables to make it satisfying, so you don’t resort to cheesy or creamy pasta sauce for every meal. Try mixing pesto pasta with grilled vegetables, or a tortellini pasta salad with roasted red peppers, olives, and mushrooms.
5. Give tofu a chance
Tofu can be a daunting ingredient to the novice vegetarian chef, but once you’ve tried a few recipes, you’ll be thinking up your own dishes in no time. You can grill or pan fry tofu, just as you would any piece of meat. I like to add tofu to soups and stew, such as Korean spicy tofu stew or a miso broth.
In other news, Groupon is donating a meal to Feeding America for every meal you buy this week! I got a sushi platter from Mika Japanese Cuisine and it was delish! Post a pic of your meal, or you enjoying it, using #TasteOfGroupon for a chance to win Groupon Bucks for more meals.