Are you trying to eat more fruits and veggies and less meat this year? Eating at least one meatless meal per week can help your body become more healthy and it is better for the planet. One report shared by Meatless Monday states that a high meat diet is associated with adverse health outcomes such as cancer, heart disease, obesity and Type 2 Diabetes. In addition, the breeding livestock accounts for 15% of the global greenhouse gas emissions.
The Meatless Monday movement was started back in 2003 and is now active in over 40 countries! One of the biggest myths we have in going meatless is that we will not be able to get enough protein. Not true! So many vegetables have adequate protein content that we do not need meat to get enough protein daily. In fact spinach is one vegetable that is really high in protein content, yielding 5.5 grams per cup. That is slightly more than 1 egg, which has protein content of 5.4 grams.
If you are thinking you have to follow recipes only designed for vegetarians in order to eat a Meatless Monday meal, then think again. I take everyday recipes and turn them into a meatless meal. All you need to know is a couple of key substitutions to make the meal so satisfying, no one will miss the meat!
Here are the substitutions:
Using the above ingredients, I will show you recipes that I use and the substitutions I make. Some recipes will be strictly the vegetarian or vegan recipe to make it easier for you to try. Before we get to the recipes, if you would like to receive health living tips and recipes for free, follow my blog on Bloglovin.
Ultimate Meat Lasagna from Dinner Then Dessert. Lasagna has to be one of the easiest recipes to substitute the meat and veg it up to maximize nutrition. Simply buy frozen cauliflower rice and chopped spinach. Instead of browning the meat, all you need is a few minutes to heat the frozen vegetables in some vegetable broth. Add chopped garlic and you have a meatless meal that everyone will love. The recipe calls for two pounds of meat - use two pounds of vegetables. Click here for the meat recipe.
Perfect Slow Cooker Pulled Pork from House of Yumm. For this recipe, I would use Jack Fruit to substitute for the pork. Jack Fruit is a tropical fruit that is very large and has a texture comparable to meat. It has a sweet flavor making it perfect to match with a Texas Dry Rub found in this recipe. The bonus is that Jack Fruit does not take long to cook! It should only take about 50 minutes depending on your slow cooker settings and temperature. Just cook it until it is soft. Click here for the pork recipe.
Vegan Roasted Cauliflower Tacos from Peas and Crayons. I don't even have to tell you how to substitute meat in tacos. Cauliflower to the rescue. You can use a prepackaged spice pouch and simmer frozen cauliflower in it. If cauliflower is in season and reasonably priced, you can follow this recipe. Cauliflower has a lot of depth so it makes a great taco meat substitute. Click here for the recipe.
Vegan Lentil Loaf from Yummy Mummy. Instead of meatloaf, make a lentil loaf. The key to this dish is to use other vegetables mixed in with the lentils. That gives the lentil loaf some "meat" to the texture. The great thing about lentils is they will be moist already so no need to use an egg for binding. Simply add in the spices you normally use in meat loaf, mix in the other veggies and bread crumbs. Form like a loaf and cook like you normally would. Click here for the recipe.
Slow Cooker Jambalaya from Spicy Southern Kitchen. Jambalaya is a great dish to make vegetarian. It already has a great base of rice and spices, just omit the sausage and fish for kidney beans. I also add in broccoli florets and spinach to increase the veggie goodness. No one misses the sausage or fish since it is so filling. Click here for the recipe.
The Best Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burger from Skinny Taste. Burgers for dinner or lunch? Why not try a Portobello Mushroom Burger? Top the burger with onions, cheese, tomato, avocado and spinach for a healthy and filling lunch. Click here for the recipe.
I hope this post inspired you to look at recipes differently. Instead of always using meat, why not substitute with a vegetable or fruit? If you try any of the above, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram as @heather_lee_donahue and use the #heathershealthhabits hashtag. I love seeing your takes on the recipes I share!