Need some simple vegetarian meals to add to your menu this week? In this post, we’ll introduce you to three of our favorite meat-free staples that you need to try.
Once you decide exactly what vegetarian recipes from us that you’d like to try, we’ll create a perfectly optimized grocery list for you and arrange for grocery pick-up or drop-off. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
What Does Vegetarian Mean?
First things first – let’s make sure we’re on the same page about what it means for a meal to be vegetarian.
Vegetarian cooking excludes any meat from recipes. That means no poultry, fish, beef, pork, lamb, or anything other body parts from an animal. However, vegetarians are typically happy to include eggs and dairy products in their meals. The inclusion of eggs and dairy is the key distinction between vegan cooking and vegetarian cooking – vegans avoid animal products altogether, whereas vegetarians do not.
When you cook vegetarian meals, you’re going to be leaving meat off of the ingredient list. That leaves you with more room for plant-based ingredients like whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. These foods are all nourishing and full of nutrients, and there are plenty of ways to cook with them!
Now, let’s take a look at four of our favorite vegetarian staple meals.
1. Veggie Tikka Masala
This recipe is a vegetarian twist on an iconic Indian dish. Tikka masala is typically made with chicken, but we’ll be making ours with cauliflower instead. Cauliflower curry is vegan as well as vegetarian, which makes it a perfect choice for everyone.
The Veggie Tikka Masala Ingredients
Here’s everything you need to make veggie tikka masala in minutes. You’ll find the whole recipe, along with ingredient amounts and other details, on our veggie tikka masala page.
- Cauliflower. Opt for fresh cauliflower over frozen whenever possible.
- Tikka masala sauce. You can make delicious tikka masala with a pre-made sauce. While we nearly always recommend making food from scratch whenever you can, this is one rare circumstance where we’d encourage you to pick up a jar from the store rather than making your own sauce. You’ll find tikka masala sauce in the ethnic food aisle at your local grocery store.
- Rice. Indian dishes are often made with jasmine rice, which cooks quickly and has a pleasant fragrance. However, you can use any type of rice you like for your tikka masala.
2. Winter Grain and Veggie Bowl
This recipe is one of our favorite vegetarian meals, and it’s perfect for the coldest months of the year. The simple combination of soothing ingredients will warm you on chilly days, making this an ideal meal for November and December.
Plus, there are plenty of ways to personalize this dish to your liking by adding different types of whole grains or veggies to the mix.
The Grain Bowl Ingredients
Here’s everything you need to make a winter grain bowl.
- Sweet potato. This delicious fall vegetable is packed with vitamin A, and it has a distinct flavor and texture that is unmistakable. While it’s often associated with autumn recipes, it tastes great in this wintertime dish, too.
- Barley. This underrated whole grain is often overlooked by vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. While barley is slept-on, it deserves your attention! It has a light, nutty flavor that pairs perfectly with winter vegetables, and it’s an excellent source of fiber. However, you can swap out barley for another grain like couscous or quinoa if desired.
- Vegetable stock. This ingredient adds flavor to the whole grains and makes the whole dish a bit more savory.
- Fresh goat cheese. While it’s not a vegan ingredient, goat cheese is vegetarian-friendly. In addition, this cheese is often easier to digest for anyone who has a hard time with cow’s milk.
- Yellow onion and spinach. These veggies add extra flavor and nutrients to your bowl, and you don’t want to skip them!
- Fresh lemon. Squeezing a bit of lemon juice on top of your grain bowl will make the flavors of the other ingredients really pop. It’s always a good idea to include an acidic ingredient in savory dishes like this one, and lemon does the trick every time.
3. Rice Power Bowl
No matter what type of diet you prefer, it’s always a good idea to eat breakfast! Eating a hearty meal at the start of the day will fill you up and give you the energy you need to conquer your daily tasks. For vegetarians and meat-eaters alike, this rice power bowl is a perfect start to the day.
The Rice Power Bowl Ingredients
Here are the ingredients you’ll need when making your rice power bowl.
- Rice of your choice. To speed up the cooking process, we recommend using white rice. White tends to cook faster than brown, making it the perfect ingredient to use on busy mornings.
- A ripe avocado. This fruit is full of healthy fat, and it makes the perfect addition to a bowl full of goodness.
- Egg. Eggs are the unsung hero of the vegetarian diet. They’re low in calories and filled with protein, so they’ll keep you full all day long.
- Chives. This relative of the onion will give you the freshness and color that you were longing for.
- Red wine vinegar. Sometimes, a touch of acid is all you need to take a dish to the next level. It cuts through the fat of the avocado without being overpowering here.
4. White Beans With Pesto
One thing that vegetarians often get a lot of flak for is the belief that their diets don’t include enough protein. This recipe is here to prove the naysayers wrong.
This Mediterranean-inspired dish is packed with protein, thanks to the inclusion of cannellini beans, and the brightness of the tomato and pesto keep it from getting too heavy. It’s the perfect stick-to-your-ribs dish for a chilly evening.
The White Beans With Pesto Ingredients
To make this rich, protein-packed dish, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Cannellini beans. If you don’t have this type of bean on hand, you can easily swap them out for kidney beans. Just bear in mind that the dish will taste slightly different.
- Feta cheese. The bold saltiness of feta ensures that this dish is full of flavor.
- Tomato Sauce. It wouldn’t be a Mediterranean dish without the brightness and acidity that come with tomato sauce.
- Pesto. Traditionally made with a combination of basil, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese, pesto adds a ton of flavor to any dish.
- Onion. Some consider aromatics the most important part of any recipe, so you definitely can’t skip the onion.
Eating Vegetarian Doesn’t Have To Be Hard
If you’re considering taking a break from meat or giving it up altogether, it’s easy to get nervous. You might wonder if you’ll be able to feel satisfied without adding meat to your meals – but we guarantee you will! With recipes like these, you definitely won’t be missing meat.
Vegetarian eating gives you an opportunity to get creative with your cooking and find new ways to enjoy food. If you’ve been relying on meat as a main course for too long, give these recipes a try. You might find a new favorite meal – and end up eating less meat in the long run.
Looking for more recipes to try? Head over to our cooking page, where you’ll have unlimited access to our massive database of meals to make for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.