Given our post-Aspen focus on meatless dining, we thought we'd shake things up and provide you with five dinner ideas that are plant-based and full of flavor. If you want to give meatless eating a try, here's the proof that it's a delicious endeavor. Click through to plan your vegetarian meals for the week.
On days when I'm craving some comfort food, you can find me in my kitchen making nachos or this mouth-watering snack — vegetarian chili cheese fries. Even if you love the real deal — fries piled high with beef-based chili — my recipe below won't disappoint. I might add that it's much lower in calories than traditional chili cheese fry dishes because it's made without meat and is substituted with much healthier ingredients.
I first wrote about this recipe a few weeks ago when I described our trip to San Francisco. My friend Maud's brother Arthur made a delicious kale salad for us, and I couldn't wait to make it at home and post it for you. In the process of raving about it on Facebook, I found out that the recipe originally came from Maud and Arthur's sister Abigail! She claims she didn't make it up herself, but I'm happy to give her credit for introducing it to me via Arthur. She said that Arthur added the nuts (a good addition).
The kale in the salad is raw, yet tender, because it sits tossed with some lemon juice for a bit (the acid tenderizes the greens). In fact, I kept leftovers in the fridge overnight and enjoyed it completely the next day. Abigail notes that it is always popular on buffets - as we all know, it's not easy to find a green salad that can sit nicely (and even improve) on a buffet! I'm thinking . . . Thanksgiving. Yes.
I had given up meat for a week and a half. At home, my husband and I cooked up a variety of meals full of veggies! Absolutely no meat for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Sure I had started to miss meat but when there is no meat in the fridge, it is an easy temptation to resist.
My husband never signed up for the challenge, so the minute we ended up at a restaurant for dinner, he ordered a juicy bacon cheese burger complete with French fries. As I still have another two days of no meat, I ordered a grilled cheese and tomato soup. Hoping the melted cheese would be close to substitute for a juicy burger. Once our meals arrived I couldn't resist eyeballing his burger, it smelled just delicious. Unfortunately, my grilled cheese and tomato soup couldn't stop me from having just one bite of that juicy burger. I savored every moment of it and then went back my vegetarian plate. I did feel a little guilty for falling off the vegetarian wagon for just a moment but I quickly got back on. Do you miss your vice?
Having troubles giving up your bad habit or vice? Share the deets in the Get Fit For 2010 community group. The challenge is almost over, but the last days can be really tough.
See how her earthy dinner comes together and read more.
- Learn how to make a homemade Choco Taco.— Serious Eats
- Twenty tools and technologies that have changed the way we cook. — Gourmet
- Would you eat the McGangBang burger — a grotesque creation that involves a McChicken Sandwich inside a double cheeseburger? — Eat Me Daily
- Here are 10 quick and easy meatless mains to help you get through Lent. — The Epi-Log
- This St. Patrick's Day, try your hand at making corned beef. — Chow
- Do you keep a food journal? — The Kitchn
Vegetarians pay particular attention to ensuring they're consuming enough protein because there's no meat centerpiece to take care of that important nutritional component. There are often choices like tempeh and seitan for building a veggie-friendly salad that goes beyond tofu, and quinoa is a go-to grain because it contains high levels of protein. When you're choosing a meatless meal out, don't skim over these selections because you're not sure how to pronounce them. Expand your vegetarian vocab by learning how to say these three words.
- Tempeh: Pronounced tem-pay, 4 ounces of this soy-based meatless alternative contains 22 grams of protein.
- Seitan: Made from wheat gluten, this veggie option is pronounced say-tan or see-tan. Just 3 ounces of it contains 19 grams of protein.
- Quinoa: Often referred to as the mother grain, the options with this protein-rich grain are endless. Ask for keen-wa, and you'll get 6 grams of protein in just 1/4 cup.
Just because you're a vegetarian doesn't mean you have to miss out on having some turkey-like protein at your meal. Plus going meatless means you can eat a cholesterol-free Tofurky instead. It's made from a revolutionary tofu-wheat protein blend, and is known for its incredible, turkey-like texture and flavor. Tofurky is hands down the best alternative to turkey.
You can cook up a Tofurky feast, complete with one Tofurky Roast, eight cranberry-apple potato dumplings, Tofurky Giblet and Mushroom Gravy, Tofurky Wild Rice Stuffing, and a Tofurky Jurky Wishbone (I love that little detail). This feast is 100 percent vegan and cooks in about one hour.
If you don't want the entire Tofurky feast, you can just pick up a Tofurky Roast to have as your main dish or as a meatless option for your vegetarian friends.
Want to see how turkey and Tofurky compare nutritionally? Then read more