Vegetarian Meals: Preparation Tips
These suggestions may give you some new ideas for making vegetarian meals.
Try substituting beans for animal protein in all of your favorite dishes. For example, make black bean burgers instead of hamburgers, and bean enchiladas instead of traditional enchiladas. Even try mixing cannellini beans into your pasta or using kidney beans in place of meat in your favorite sloppy joe recipe.
Many meat substitutes are available at most major grocery stores. It is more than just veggie burgers anymore. Try meatless ribs, sausage, chicken wings, franks, and bacon or soy crumbles to replace ground beef.
Try using heartier vegetables, such as portobello mushrooms and eggplant, to create filling, healthy meals. Use these vegetables to replace meat in your favorite dishes, such as lasagna.
Tofu picks up the flavor of any other ingredient that it is mixed with. If you mix it into a stir-fry, it will pick up the flavor of the soy sauce, and if you mix it into a fruit smoothie, it will pick up the flavor of the fruit. This versatile ingredient adds protein to any dish. You can even use soft tofu to create a vegetable dip for a fast and easy snack.
Grill vegetables and top with cheese to make a fast and easy sandwich. It is especially tasty to brush the vegetables with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar before grilling. As an alternative, make marinated shish kebabs for a quick meal.
Enjoy split pea soup, lentil soup, or meatless chili, paired with whole-grain bread for a satisfying meal.
Experiment with different ethnic food dishes. For example, many traditional Middle Eastern, Asian, South Indian, and Mexican dishes are vegetarian.
Try a variety of flavored oils, vinegars, cooking wines, fruit and vegetable juices, herbs, and spices to liven up vegetable-based dishes.
If you are trying to avoid cow’s milk, consume calcium-fortified soy milk, orange juice, breakfast cereals, bread, or other products to make up for the loss of calcium in your diet. In addition, include the following calcium-rich foods (1 cup of cooked or 2 cups of raw):
- Bok choy
- Chinese cabbage
- Mustard greens
Use peanut, almond, and cashew butters to add a touch of sweetness, “staying power,” and nutrition to oatmeal, stir-fries, smoothies, etc.
COOLER WEATHER IS COMING! TRY THIS HEARTY VEGETARIAN CHILI MADE WITH TOFU CRUMBLES! This cooks in the Crock Pot all day.
1 (16oz) bag frozen onion and pepper stir fry mix
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 jalapeno peppers, minced (add more if you prefer a hotter chili)
1 (15oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15oz) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (12oz) can tomato paste
1 (28oz) can tomato puree
1 can Campbell’s Tomato Soup
1 (12oz) bag Morning Star Tofu Crumbles (Can use other brands)
1 Tbsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
5-6 tbsp chili powder
You can add portobello mushrooms or celery and carrots or even another can of beans. Place all together in the Crock Pot and stir to combine. Cook on Low 8-10 hours.
ENJOY CUTTING DOWN ON MEAT AND ADDING GREAT, FLAVORFUL ALTERNATIVES!