Meat-Free Dishes for Any Occasion
Reducing the amount of meat that you eat regularly may be a good way to improve many aspects of your health, which is why many people have switched to vegetarian diets or choose to eat meat-free more often. Many medical professionals have suggested that lowering the intake of meat or other animal products may help people to deal with many health problems, including heart disease, high cholesterol, weight gain, diabetes, and even cancer. With all of these benefits, it’s no wonder that adding meatless meals to your repertoire could be a healthy idea. If you struggle with coming up with healthy vegetarian recipes, here are some suggestions for dishes that will please even the most carnivorous members of your family.
Whether you are hosting a get-together or are just looking for a fun way to start a weeknight meal, appetizers are a great addition to any menu. Vegetarian appetizers can be pretty simple, since most are assembled from basic ingredients. If you are looking for a good dip to get the party started, why not try a spinach artichoke dip? You will be able to ensure that your family is getting at least one serving of vegetables with the inclusion of spinach, but with a lot of extra flavor from the artichokes and cheese. You can even use lima beans as a way to make the dip creamy without having to use other high-calorie ingredients. Here are some other ideas for delicious and easy vegetarian appetizers:
- Chips and guacamole
- Spring rolls
- Roasted kale chips
Soups and Salads
Creating vegetarian soups and salads are rather simple, but making them be full of flavor and exciting can be difficult. Instead of serving your family a plate full of lettuce and carrots, try getting a little bit creative. Combining fruits, nuts, and cheese on top of your salads can spice things up a little bit and can make any salad more filling. Consider preparing a pear, blue cheese, and pomegranate salad topped with some candied pecans for a festive dish that is sure to be a hit. The combination of sweet, salty, and fresh is sure to please even the pickiest taste buds and have everyone asking for seconds.
When it comes to soups, you don’t have to stick with the traditional tomato or vegetable soups. Branch out a little bit and try a recipe with some interesting ingredients. Butternut squash and apples go great together and can create a rich and filling soup that is perfect for any meal when paired with a loaf of crusty bread.
Some people think that a meal is not complete without meat of one kind or another, but you can prepare delicious entrées that are completely meat-free and are still filling enough for any gathering. One of the simplest ways to go about creating a meatless main dish is to stick with pastas. Cooking up some vegetables to add to your noodles with a yummy sauce can get anyone excited about dinner. Whole wheat pasta is very filling on its own, so your guests will surely be satisfied. If you would still like the taste of meat in your entrée, you could try using a meat substitute. That way your family will still be getting all of the protein that they want, but without any of the negative health risks. Try preparing a pan of sloppy Joes with some faux beef crumbles and just watch your family come back for seconds. Some other healthy vegetarian recipes that you can enjoy for dinner include:
- Vegetable tacos
- Roasted vegetable risotto
- Baked potato bar
Coming up with a meat-free dessert is definitely not difficult, but if you want to continue to offer your family some healthier options, you may find it slightly more complicated than you realize. Using fruit as a main component in a dessert recipe is a good way to include another serving of produce to your family’s daily intake. During the late summer months, peaches are plentiful and delicious to eat fresh with a scoop of Greek frozen yogurt. When you already have the grill fired up from dinner, try brushing peach halves with oil, sprinkling them with cinnamon, and grilling them for a few minutes on each side. Your family will love the caramelized goodness of a grilled peach, especially when topped with honey and whipped cream.