Maybe you’re hosting a get-together and expecting some meat-free guests, or maybe you’re just in search of ways to shake things up on “Meatless Monday”. Whatever the reason may be, if you’re looking for ideas on how to spice up vegetarian meals, you’ve come to the right place today!
First, Let’s Establish What is Meant by Vegetarian:
Typically what people are referring to as a vegetarian diet could be classified as a “lacto-ovo” vegetarian diet. This diet would exclude seafood, fowl, or other meats, but would include eggs and dairy products.
People who adhere to a vegetarian diet when is dairy included, yet eggs and egg products are not consumed, are sometimes called “lacto-vegetarian” dieters.
Finally, those who do not consume any type of animal product in their daily diets at all are said to be “vegan” diet followers.
That said, most of the recommendations in this article will be most suitable for vegetarian diets that include eggs and dairy. However, help with tweaking vegetarian substitutes for recipes is never far away, thanks to the internet.
Punch up Your Vegetarian Protein
There are many times it’s called into question how it’s possible for vegetarians to get adequate protein into their diets. Luckily enough for veg-heads, protein is present and even abundant, in the following foods:
- Beans– Kidney, Garbanzo, Pinto, etc.
- Tofu– vegetarian substitute protein source in many dishes that traditionally contain meats
- Tempeh– another vegetarian substitute protein source in dishes
- Yogurt/Kefir– both with beneficial bacteria called “probiotics“
- Dairy milk
- Some Non-dairy milk options: Soy ranks the highest in this group with 4 to 8 grams per 8 ounces, other options include rice milk, hemp milk, and almond milk
- Eggs– High in protein and Omega-3 (the good kind of fat)
- Nuts and nut butters (especially useful in sandwiches and smoothies )
- Quinoa– loaded with fiber, protein, minerals, and it’s also gluten-free!
It can be easy to fall into the trap of junk food or more processed choices, but if you’d rather avoid that, it can be done!
Snack time is usually easy to navigate on a vegetarian diet but a little preparation and planning can go a long way:
- Have plenty of storage bags or BPA-Free containers around, buy in bulk when possible
- Cut up veggie sticks in advance and store for easy grab to-go snacking
- Bananas, and easy grab and go fruits, are essential and easy to take to-go
- Pour your favorite nuts and dried fruit into a portable container to make your own trail mix (we love dried cherries!)
- Mix up a quick smoothie. This hack is perfect for leftover fruit and veggies you’re considering throwing away. Not only will mixing a quick smoothie provide you with essential vitamins and minerals, it can also save you money by not wasting food! Try these smoothie recipes here.
- Veggie party platters don’t have to be limited to carrot sticks and deviled eggs either (not that there’s anything wrong with either of those things). A nicely-arranged platter of crackers and cheese is almost always appreciated, but for something a little bit different, check out this Broiled Tofu with Miso recipe and watch it disappear at your next party!
Meal Time Tips:
When we talk about substitutions for vegetarian meals, they don’t necessarily have to be Spartan, some of them can be very sumptuous! For instance, Fettuccine Alfredo can benefit greatly from some steamed broccoli thrown in the mix, add a leafy green salad and some wine or sparkling water, and dinner is served.
Aside from the protein rich products referenced earlier, eggplant, cauliflower, and portobello mushrooms are also great protein / vegetarian substitutes you can use for meal time. A great example of one of the many ways to use portobello mushrooms is with this stuffed portobello mushroom recipe (yum!). You can also create a tasty burger using these veggie substitutes as well.
The Christophe’s Meal Delivery Choice:
Christophe’s Meal Delivery makes it easy to plan your weekly meals so you don’t have to worry about shopping, cooking, or cleaning. With menu updates every week, there’s bound to be something yummy that you’re going to love. Our variety of vegetarian options are satisfying and always made with fresh ingredients, handpicked by Chef Christophe, and never contain artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives of any kind.
Christophe’s Gnocchi Primavera
Any questions or need advice? Comment below or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Written By: KiKi Morris
Updated By: Alison Sherman