In recent years, there’s been a huge movement towards incorporating more vegetarian and vegan dishes into everyday meals. Meatless Mondays are totally a thing! But switching it up once and a while with a meatless dish doesn’t have to be difficult, time-consuming, or expensive. Here’s a few ideas for your next Meatless Monday to get you started!
Change Existing Favorites
Instead of scouring Pinterest for how to make vegan seitan from wheat gluten, or testing out recipes that seem to call for 247 ingredients a teaspoon at a time, try making an easy swap or two to your favorite dishes.
In my house, we eat chili on baked potatoes a lot, and all you have to do is use vegetarian chili. You can make your own by just using extra beans and leaving out the meat, or picking up an inexpensive can of vegetarian chili from the store (just make sure it’s labeled vegetarian!).
In Indian dishes and Asian stir-fry, throw some chickpeas in with your veggies instead of chicken. Chickpeas are a great source of fiber, vitamins and nutrients, and are high in protein. They’re relatively mild in flavor and won’t overpower any of your favorite sauces. I like them most in a good curry, but try them out with sweet and sour sauces, a Thai peanut sauce, or a Szechuan sauce with a good kick to it.
Vegetarian tacos are super easy! Instead of using taco seasoning in ground beef, you can throw your taco seasoning in with black beans to make them extra tasty. You could also try out some of the protein crumbles on the market, like Morningstar Farms Veggie Grillers Crumbles, or Gardein Beefless Ground, which are both found in the frozen section.
Recognizing How Many Dishes Are Already Meatless
There are a lot of basic dishes that are already meatless, that you’re already eating on a regular basis.
Mac and cheese – It’s really a no-brainer! Macaroni pasta covered in cheesy goodness will please even the pickiest of kids, and there’s no meat in sight
Spaghetti, Eggplant Parmesan, and other Italian favorites – As long as it’s in a marinara sauce instead of a meat sauce, chances are it’s vegetarian.
Breakfast foods – You might not even think about it, but a lot of breakfast favorites are almost always vegetarian, like waffles and pancakes, omlettes, hashbrowns, eggs, and biscuits.
Did you know that good ol’ regular Bacon Bits are actually made out of soy protein instead of bacon? Throw them on top of anything for an extra touch of tasty. They go great inside a grilled cheese, on top of potatoes, in a salad, and on scrambled eggs.
See? Swapping out some of your dinners for something meatless doesn’t have to be hard, or any less flavorful! Whether you are doing it because you want to improve your health, you are concerned with animals rights, or because you’d like to make a smaller impact on the environment, creating a meatless dish doesn’t have to be any more difficult or time-consuming than what you’re already used to cooking.