5 Favorite Meat-Free Meals

My daughter was born in early November (2012) and since the holiday season immediately followed, I allowed my eating to get a bit out of control. I decided to begin eating healthier and more conscious this January, mainly for health reasons. I have been making a ton of yummy recipes, and for some reason a lot of the foods I have been drawn to lately are vegetarian or fully vegan.

Vegetarian and vegan foods are great because they tend to be packed full of veggies and/or fiber, which is so filling. I have found some of these meals to be way more satisfying and filling than some of their traditional meaty counterparts. I have been personally eating vegan for the last 3 weeks and have never felt better! I still cook meat since I have a carnivorous husband and if I only made vegan meals he would start sneaking off to Wendy’s and ordering 18 Jr. Bacon Cheeseburgers!

Another great thing about going meatless is you save money! If you are anything like us, meat is always the budget breaker when it comes to the groceries. I now cook meat for 3-4 meals a week, compared to 6-7 and the savings are immense. I don’t have a problem with meat (hopefully ethically sourced), just trying to be healthier and make some better choices about food, all while saving a buck!

1. Quinoa & Sweet Potato Chili – this is a winner! My whole family loves it, it is packed with healthy stuff and it is so filling (aka – Man approved)! This chili is flavorful and comes together in less than 30 minutes. You probably already have most of the ingredients for this and it is very budget friendly. Makes yummy leftovers as well.

***Vegan***

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2. Rotini with Butternut Sage Sauce – This is a yummy pasta dish, great in the fall! I make this recipe and double (or triple!) the sauce to freeze for an easy meal later.

***Vegetarian/Vegan if you omit cheese and use vegan butter***

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3. Curried Potatoes & Chickpeas – Love this meal, and it is one of my husbands favorites. This can be a great side-dish or also great on its own maybe with a salad and/or some naan bread or roti. Omit cayenne pepper & jalapenos if serving to sensitive taste buds 🙂

***Vegetarian/Vegan if you use vegan butter and omit yogurt sauce***
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4. Double Crunch Honey Garlic Tofu – Okay, this one may be cheating because it is a pork recipe, but it is AMAZING with tofu substituted! Make the recipe exactly the same, except use thick (1/2-3/4″) slices of extra firm tofu. Also, you will probably only need to make 1/2 the amount of flour breading, I always have too much and end up throwing some away. The honey garlic sauce is TO DIE FOR -amazing on veggies or rice! It takes a while to thicken, so I usually make it first and then let it sit until the rest of the meal is ready. I also don’t dip the tofu in the sauce, I just serve it on the side because I like it super crunchy. Great with rice or quinoa.

***Vegetarian/Vegan if you use agave instead of honey and egg substitute***
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5. Macaroni & Cheeze – This one is a go-to for me now. Whips up in as much time as it takes to boil pasta. Great for easy weekday lunches, great alternative to Kraft dinner! For not having cheese, this sure tastes great.

***Vegan***
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These are my favorite meals but you can easily make a lot of regular meals veggie; spaghetti, chili, curries, pizza, soup, stir fries, pasta, let your imagination go wild 🙂 Feel free to share any of your favorite meat-free recipes. Thanks again for stopping by. Why don’t you give one of these recipes a try, and try what my sister-in-law does, “Meatless Mondays” -one set day of the week without meat 🙂

-Karley

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