7 Vegetarian Meals for Meat Lovers: Where’s The Beef?

What’s the easiest way to get healthier, save money, and reduce your carbon footprint? All it takes is cutting back on meat. The many benefits to eating less meat are well documented, and going vegetarian (or vegan!) even for just one meal a day can make you feel lighter and more energized. If you and your SO are carnivores who are looking to tweak your diet but don’t know how to start, here are some hearty, delicious, doable recipes just in time for spring.

Shopping tip: A rule of thumb for creating vegetarian menus is to always have whole grains and legumes in the pantry. So, stock up on quinoa, couscous, and rice, and lentils, beans, and tofu. You should also have a supply of garlic, onions, olive oil, vinegar, and spices on hand.

 

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Monday

Kitchen Sink Quesadillas

The name for this recipe says it all: easy and quick. (And who doesn’t love quesadillas?) Fresh cilantro, lime, and red onion make a zesty accompaniment to this favorite comfort food. With the salsa, go as spicy as you like and we recommend getting a block of sharp cheddar to grate on top.

Recipe via Real Simple

 

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Marinated Lentils with Crunchy Vegetables

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Legumes like lentils are key for getting the protein you need while going vegetarian. This simple vegan recipe gives the lentils a flavorful marinade, and you can easily make extra for tomorrow’s lunch. For more protein, just add some cold cubed or marinated tofu. You can mix it up with other veggies you might have in the fridge.

Recipe via Bon Appetit  
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Wednesday

Zucchini with Quinoa Stuffing

You’ve surely heard about the nutritional value of quinoa by now—it’s an ancient super grain that’s as versatile as it is healthy. This hearty meal includes cannellini beans for extra protein, and almonds for flavor. For a vegan dish, simply leave off the Parmesan cheese and add extra garlic and olive oil.

Recipe via Real Simple

 

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Barigoule of Spring Vegetables

What’s a barigoule? I had to look up that one as well. The Provencal dish is traditionally artichokes stuffed with a wild mushroom variety called barigoule and cooked in a seasoned broth. This version uses spring vegetables such as asparagus and peas to make a light and lovely meal. Fennel is also an in-season vegetable and adds an interesting flavor. For a heartier meal, pair with a side of your favorite grain.

Recipe via Saveur

 

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Friday

Corn-Stuffed Tomatoes

Doing some spring entertaining on Friday evening? These delicious morsels will serve as great vegan appetizers or sides. The avocado, peppers, and cilantro give the recipe a Mexican kick, and you should have many of the ingredients left over from Monday’s dinner. You can also sub the rice for couscous, which cooks faster.

Recipe via Country Living

 

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Saturday

Pasta Primavera

Going out for a big night on Saturday? Make sure to eat a healthy meal beforehand. This simple, classic pasta dish can include any number of veggies—add zucchini or asparagus you might have left over from previous meals. Mint and goat cheese give this recipe a fresh, creamy flavor.

Recipe via Food Network  

 

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Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Everyone loves Sunday brunch, but what to eat for dinner after all those eggs, hollandaise sauce, and Bloody Mary’s? Keep it light with a refreshing salad of beans, corn, and, yes, more quinoa. The orange dressing is delicious, but if you are out of oranges, whip up a classic vinaigrette instead. Pack the leftovers for Monday lunch.

Recipe via Damn Delicious

 

 

If you think spring veggie-filled recipes look good, just imagine what’s in store for summer.