So I am trying reduce the amount of meat we eat just for a couple of nights a week and I have realized very quickly that I have no idea how. We are seriously getting tired of pasta! It’s not quite as difficult in the winter because there are a lot of meat free soups, but in the summertime, I can never think of anything besides pasta! While easy to prepare; pasta with pesto, marinara, alfredo, or just plain olive oil, garlic and cheese is starting to get a little boring. Please share some recipes, and/or resources for meatless dishes. (Also, while we enjoy seafood-it’s just too darn expensive and/or polluted to bother with so we’ve just plain given up on eating fish except as a special treat. So, yummy fish recipes while welcome won’t help solve the meatless dillema.) Thanks, so much.
*]Grilled cheese sandwiches
*]Egg salad sandwiches
*]homemade cheese enchiladas
*]homemade cheese pizza or veggie pizza
*]cheese stuffed pasta shells (i know, more pasta but ricotta & mozarrella make it yummy)
*]omlets - lots of different options
*]quiche or frittata- lots of different kinds to choose from
*]grilled veggie kabobs could go with some of the above dishes
*]fruit salad could go with the above also
*]stuffed tomatoes or stuffed zucchini
Here’s a couple of threads from the past with lots of suggestions for meatless dishes:
Don’t forget rice. You can make vegetarian Stir-Fry, or meatless curry.
Also, in the summer the crops are so good that you hardly need meat - Fresh tomatoes, basil, corn on the cob, new potatoes, beans, eggplant - I could go on and on!
Another chance to suggest my new favorite cookbook - More With Less
Quesadillas…take less than 10 minutes, too!
Warm up a dry skillet. Place a flour tortilla in the bottom, cover with shredded cheese (can add refried beans, jalepenos, grilled peppers/onions, mushrooms, anything you want). Top with another tortilla. When the cheese is melted enough to stick the tortillas together, flip. Cook till brown, cut like a pizza, and serve. Or you can make smaller ones by using one tortilla and just folding it over the fillings.
** Spaghetti Al Estuardo**: 1 cup ex.v. olive oil, 3-4 cloves garlic, minced/crushed, 3/4 # plum tomatoes,peeled and seeded ( I never do) 1 1/2 # spaghetti, 1/2 c chopped fresh parsley, 3/4 c fresh chopped basil. THE PROCEDURE IS VERY IMPORTANT!! In a small skillet warm the olive oil add the garlic and cook til soft. Set aside. Cut tomoatoes into bite size and set aside. Chop the parsley and basil and set aside. Cook the spaghetti and just before it is done return the garlic and olive oil to a low flame. Place the drained hot spaghetti in a large bowl and add tomatoes, parsely, and basil. TOSS. Add the warmed oil and garlic and mix from the bottom since the oil pools there. Bon apetite!
**I have had the same idea to cook less meat and expand my horizons in the kitchen. I also have a great black bean/corn burrito recipe I will post later. It includes a simple homemade salsa. **
kage_ar, post 1 or 2 of your fav’s out of this cookbook. Sounds great!
Thanks for the yummy suggestions. I totally forgot about eggs. And all of the good dishes that use cheese. I love to eat veggies, but I guess I just always think of them as a side dish, so when it comes to meatless main dishes my mind just blanks. That cook book sounds good, I’ll have to check it out. I would love to find a cook book that showcases a “Monastic Diet”. When I watched Into Great Silence, I was facinated by how they ate so simply-and I realized I would have no clue how to eat like that or prepare meals for my family that are really simple. That’s kinda what started me thinking about having a couple of meatless dishes each week-but then I got stuck on pasta! Go figure! But now with your help I think we can get past the pasta…or at least have some more variety. I knew if I just asked here I would get great suggestions. Now if I can just make myself cook instead of eating out I’d be set. Of course, any more ideas for good healthy meals are always welcome so keep ‘em comin’…
There are some in this thread
Shrimp? I season and steam with Old Bay or have the store do it for me…This of course is only when it’s on sale!!!
Alton Brown featured canned tuna on his Foodtv show Good Eats earlier this evening. High protein, low fat, and economical.
My father is a vegetarian for health reasons (he cheats on occasion, but generally doesn’t eat meat).
BBQ Tofu - Slice FIRM tofu unto slices about half to 2/3 the thickness of a normal slice of bread. Cover in BBQ sauce and place on pan. Place in oven until crispy, then reapply BBQ sauce.
Black Bean Burritos - Good stuff, but takes a few hours to make - not something that can really be done after work, so this is more common on weekends.
There are always meat substitutes in the freezer aisle of the grocery store - we do sloppy joes and the like using it.
An interesting dinner we’ve done a couple of times is sherbert and fruit. It sounds like desert, but can actually be a pretty awesome meal too. Obviously, there isn’t much protein in this meal, but you could do that by adding a bean soup as an appetizer.
Corn on the cob, baked potatoes, baked beans (believe it or not, bacon is not a necessary ingredient).
Veggie pizza. While I’m still a sucker for pepperoni and sausage, veggie pizza can be pretty good too. Mushrooms, peppers, onions, pineapple, and more can be used to make a tasty pizza too.
And Vitamin B12 supplements. Vegetarianism is no doubt a healthy way to eat overall. However, this vitamin is found nearly exclusively within meat in the human diet, so it is important to take a supplement if you don’t plan to eat much meat.
Please consider a crockpot cookbook that features many of the meatless dishes. Almost any recipe can be converted to a crockpot as well. It’s almost fool proof.
There are too many recipes to even begin to try posting. Many cookbooks & websites exist as well. allrecipes.com is one of our favorites.
Here is a forum I frequents all vegan/vegetarian recipe section. veggieboards.com/boards/forumdisplay.php?f=142
Do you like mushrooms? Grilling portabella mushrooms and then topping them with rice and cheese is yummy.
Vegetarian lasagna (I know it’s pasta, but who doesn’t love lasagna???)
Stuffed peppers - either with rice, orzo and/or cheese in the crock pot with tomato sauce.
I second the advice of vegetable kabobs from 1ke, you can grill the vegetable kabobs and top it over a bed of romaine, or whatever salad you like! It’s sooo much better than plain, ol’ salad.
We’ve been cooking a lot of bean soups lately… lentil soup, 15 bean soup, etc… inexpensive and meatless!
Once in a while I’ll add in some ham for flavor, but it’s not a lot of meat for the meal.
A few vegetarian suggestions, all of them are pretty simple as they involve sticking everything in 1 pan and cooking it! In fact, all of them are vegan, no animal products at all, don’t let that put you off though.
Bean Chilli - as if you were making Chilli con carne, but with more beans and no meat, here’s my recipe:
1 tin kidney beans
1 tin canellini beans
1 tin borlotti beans
1 tin black eye beans
1 tin black beans (the caribbean kind, not the chinese kind!)
1lb tomatoes, chopped
2 sweet onions, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
3 jalapeno chillis (or more or less for ± spicy)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tsp cumin seeds
3 tsp cinnamon powder
3 tsp oregano
1 tsp paprika
Put the oil in a big pot, fry the garlic, onion and cumin until brown, add the other spices, add the pepper, fry a little more, add the other ingredients, cover and simmer for 20 mins, serve with rice or tortillas. Simple.
Beetroot soup - a good thick soup for autumn/winter:
1/2lb beets, diced
1/2lb potatoes, diced, skins left on
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp basil
2 tsp white pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 veg stock cube
Fry the tomatoes, basil, garlic and pepper in olive oil for a few minutes (you can stop there and you’ve got a good sauce for pasta). Add the potatoes, beets and paprika and mix well, leave to shallow fry for a minute or so, then add 2 pints boiling water and the stock cube, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, then have at it with a potato masher (leaves odd chunks). Serve with crusty bread.
Mango curry -
2 unripe mangos (firm and green)
2 sweet onions
1 tsp creamed coconut/ 1/2 tin coconut milk
2 cloves garlic
2 red chillis (again, add or take away to taste)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cumin seed
2 tsp corriander seed
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
3 cardamoms, crushed
some curry leaves
In a frying pan, fry the onions and garlic in the oil until browned, add the spices, fry until the seeds begin to give off their aroma, then add the mango, fry for a few more minutes, then add the coconut milk or creamed coconut +1 cup water, continue to cook until the sauce becomes thick and sticky. Serve with naan bread or rice.
Vegetable stir-fry -
leaves of 2 pak choi or some spinach
1/2lb good mushrooms (not button mushrooms), sliced
1 bunch spring onions, sliced
2 chillis (again more or less as you like it)
1 small stem ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic
1 star anise
1 tsp Chinese five-spice (optional)
2 tbsp soy sauce
In a wok or large frying pan, on a very high heat add the garlic and star anise to the oil and heat until garlic starts to brown, add spring onions and mushrooms, fry for a minute or two, add soy sauce, other spices and pak choi, fry until the leaves just begin to wilt, take off the heat immediately and serve over noodles, takes 5 minutes tops to cook. Alternatively, when you add the pak choi, add the noodles and 1/2 pint water to the stir-fry and serve as a noodle-soup. You can also add tofu, which can be put in at the same time as the mushrooms, or baby corn, water chesnuts, bamboo shoots, really any vegetable that can be cut up fine and fried quickly. Pretty versatile.
In summary, my top tip for meatless cooking, invest in a decent spice-rack. My second top tip, go to the ethnic foods section of your supermarket, you’ll often find the same spices you’d find elsewhere in the same supermarket, but at a fraction of the cost.
One of my favorites is Special K Loaf: beabree.com/2006-03/kellogs-special-k-cottage-cheese-loaf-sda-style/
This really does taste like meatloaf…texture & all. But no meat.
Another site with meatless recipes that someone here recommnended a while ago is:
For using eggs, there is the “Incredible Edible Egg” site here:
I have actually printed out the “Basic Preparation” PDF file, as it gives so many good tips for the various ways to prepare eggs, that you can vary them to suit your tastes (and what is in the fridge this week).
Various kinds of quiche make good meatless dishes (& you can omit the crust, simply oiling the pan before pouring in the custard mixture): bigoven.com/160339-Create-A-Quiche-recipe.html
Finally, there are good non-meat possibilities in variations of my favorite casserole recipe:
There are so many good cheeses that work well with this rule, that it has almost endless variations. (And if you do have some meat or fish on hand, this recipe will stretch a very small amount into enough for a family of folks).
Butternut & Sundried Tomato Potato Bake
A potato bake with a difference! Using butternut and sundried tomatoes is a sure way to impress your guests.
Serves 4 | Preparation Time: 15 mins | Cooking Time: 40 mins
·370 g washed potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
·1 sachet Knorr Garlic & Herb Potato Bake
·100 g sundried tomatoes
·450 ml milk
·1 small butternut, peeled and thinly sliced
·250 ml grated Cheddar cheese
·1 ml ground cumin
1.Preheat oven to 180°C
2.Layer half the potato slices over the base of a greased, ovenproof dish
3.Top with butternut slices and sun-dried tomatoes and sprinkle with cumin
4.Arrange the remaining potato slices on top
5.Mix the sachet contents with a little of the cold milk to make a smooth paste before adding the rest of the milk
6.Pour over the potatoes and sprinkle with grated cheese
7.Bake in a preheated oven for 30–40 min until cooked through