stephmodo: Vegetarian Meal Ideas

Vegetarian Meal Ideas

• 21 September 2010

After watching Food, Inc. a couple of times (a must-see!), we decided to change a few things about the way we shop for/cook/prepare food for my family. First, we started purchasing grass-fed and organic meat; and to curb the cost we simply cut our intake in half. For example, if a recipe called for 1.5 pounds of meat, I added just 3/4 pound. As a result, our grocery bill stayed the same, and our meals tasted better. Second, I added a couple of vegetarian meals to our weekly menu. It took me awhile to find recipes that were delicious and hearty, even without meat, but I finally have a little collection of vegetarian recipes that I really enjoy.

Today I am sharing my recommendations over at the Zupas blog. Feel free to pass along your own vegetarian meal ideas. I'd love to hear them!

image 1 by Annabelle Breakey for Sunset Magazine; image 2 via House Beautiful


  1. I can't say enough good things about being vegetarian/vegan; after I read The China Study and In Defense of Food, we switched over completely about a year ago. (On the other hand, we'd been gradually trending that way for about three years, so I think that helped the transition.) We all have so much more energy now, and I am free from the horrible migraines that used to plague me.

    My favorite cookbook for excellent vegetarian meals is Anna Thomas' The New Vegetarian Epicure. One worry I had initially was simply finding quality recipes that were really outstanding; this cookbook completely fits the bill. It's all dinner party-worthy, and beautifully presented (but still completely accessible for weekday meals). It seems like it would be right up your alley.

  2. Hi Stephanie!

    We have a recommendation for an AMAZING vegetarian cookbook: Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison.

    The dishes stand alone as perfect vegetarian entrees and side dishes, or as she says right on the front of the book, you can add meat to them if you like and that works, too. of her recipes has turned out beautifully. EVERY ONE. That never happens. And what is great about her book is the way it's organized and many use about 5 ingredients or stuff that we always seem to have on hand.

    Brown Sugar and Yogurt Tart? Um, weirdly light and delicious.

    Pain au Chou? (Cabbage Gratin) Sounds gross, but I had just harvested 3 heads of cabbage from my garden and thought I'd give it a try. Madison is a genius -- the dish was absolutely yummy and healthful. (cabbage, eggs, milk, creme fraische, dill, tomato paste, + a little parmesan).

    Thanks for continuing to get the word out about Food, Inc. Love that film.

  3. Our family has made really similar changes, and it has made a big difference! Some of our favorites are gnocci & what we loving refer to as "peanut butter pasta"

  4. I can't wait to try the wild mushroom quiche. yum.

    our fav. veg recipe came from an HBS cookbook Lauren gave us - Festive Black Bean Chile. So delicious & filling. We eat this constantly:

    2 c. chopped onions, 2 chopped garlic cloves, 1/2 c. water, 1 T. cumin, 1 T. coriander, 1 c. salsa, 2 green peppers chopped, 3 c. black beans, 3 c. diced tomatoes, 2 c. frozen corn, salt to taste, 1/4 c. fresh chopped cilantro.

    In soup pot, cook onions and garlic in water on high heat for 5 min. Add cumin & coriander, stir on high for 1 minute. Stir in salsa and peppers, lower heat, simmer for 5 min. Add black beans & tomatoes, simmer for 10 minutes. Add corn and cook for another 10 minutes, Stir in salt & cilantro. Top with grated monterey jack.


  5. For budget and health sake, I've tried incorporating some more meatless dishes into our meal plan. Very difficult in a family of meat lovers! I've had success with vegetable frittatas, Martha Stewart's Macaroni and Cheese recipe and Black bean and corn quesadillas with avocado ( Limited success with spinach lasagna and homemade pizza topped with sundried tomatoes in oil, spinach and dollops of goat or cream cheese (everyone still prefers pepperoni). And no success with various bean soups as well as a lentil rice casserole. Can't wait to try some fresh recipes from your list, thank you.

  6. My bil/sil are vegan. I feel so good about my meals when they visit but I revert to bad habits when they leave.

    here is a very good one:

    I have tried a few things from the eat me delicious blog also.

    I buy the veggie crumbles and substitute them for meat in chilis and shepards pie.

  7. We are cutting down on meat as well. All vegetarian dinners. Hubs and I occasionally have turkey sandwiches for lunch, but all dinners focus on vegetables, grains, legumes, dairy.

    I have a few recipes on my blog if you want to check them out. :)

  8. Yes! I love this post! My husband and I are veg and love hearing about others either making the switch or reducing their meat intake. Of all the things one can do to improve our earth (and our overall health and welfare), this single decision has the greatest impact by far.

    I have a number of tried and true recipes... black bean & zucchini lasagna, chickpea curry, corn cakes & black eyed pea salad, green thai broccoli curry, quinoa, maple-roasted orange seitan, corn & black bean burritos...

    ps, I love your blog. Thanks so much for sharing your creativity and your family with us all! And congrats on Gray :)

  9. I prefer vegetarian food. My absolute favorite vegetarian dish of all time is this orzo pasta dish:

    You have to try it. My brother is a vegetarian and has started making this twice a week because he loves it so much.

    I love that you're making these changes and the way that you keep your bill the same by cutting the amount of meat in half is great!

  10. strict veganism isn't for us, but we do limit our intake of meat. when we want a hearty/no-meat (or no chicken) entree, I opt for a great homemade mac-n-cheese or a lasagne with zucchini, roast red peppers, mushrooms, artichoke hearts in lieu of red meat. also love to layer brown rice (cooked in chicken stock) with the same veggies plus leeks and sprinkled with salt , pepper and parm/regg cheese. baked until melted and warm through.

  11. Having been a vegetarian for 15 years (and my significant other has been his whole life!), I can say that it's a very healthy life style and easy to do. The thing that non-vegetarians worry most about the diet is getting enough protein, but really it's not that hard to do. I personally love any dish that has tofu in it, but protein can be gotten in so many other ways, too, such as garbanzo beans, almonds, cheese, soy-based fake meats ((Tofurky Italian sausages are delicious, I think!)), among other things. I did a post on protein a few months ago based on Mark Bittman's book, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, which I loooooove.

  12. hello sweet friend.. I hope you and your family are well.. I don't comment much, but thoroughly enjoy your blog.. Here is my favorite

    Make it Fast, Cook it Slow is the title and it's made for Crockpots... (All recipes are Gluten Free)

    Quinoa Casserole

    1 1/2 c uncooked quinoa
    1 T olive oil
    3 c vegetable broth
    1/2 t kosher salt
    1/2 t ground cinnamon
    1/4 c sliced or chopped almonds
    1/3c dried cranberries

    Rinse quinoa then add the rest of the ingredients to pot
    Cover and cook low 4-6 hours or Hight for 2-4 hours

    Fluff with fork then add tomatoes with feta cheese

    Add baby spinach on top of crock to wilt for 20 min

    Then stir and enjoy

    I had this for breakfast. I loved tossing the ingredients in before I went to bed and woke up to this yummy meal ... I confess going to bed after 3a feeding my baby

  13. That is what we have been doing as well!


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