Yes, steak dinners are satisfying and chicken dinners are convenient. But over the past few years, there has been a bigger push for people to swap these dishes for meatless meals. In January 2019, U.S. News reported that scientists want people all over the world to cut back on red meat to save the planet. As a result, people are looking for more vegetarian recipes to try, whether that’s just for #MeatFreeMondays or on a more permanent basis.
But cutting back on on red meat doesn’t just save the planet. According to Healthline, there are plenty of benefits to adopting a vegetarian lifestyle. To start, substituting red meat for high-fiber legumes and grains can improve your heart health. It can also lower your risk of developing diseases like cancer and type 2 diabetes, while improving your bone health. When you think of all the perks, it's easy to consider swapping meaty meals or something that's meat-free. And again, you don't have to make it a permanent change. Even eating meat-free one day a week can have an impact.
So if you're interested in saving the planet and improving your health, why not try eating more vegetarian meals? From soups, to bowls, to salads (yes, salads — but they're more than a few pieces of lettuce and some chopped up veggies), there are a number of meat-free meal options that even the biggest carnivore would eat. There are even vegetarian breakfast options for your next brunch.
Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Stew
Butternut squash edges into new territory with this Moroccan-inspired dish, which is filled with aromatic cumin, ginger and cinnamon.
Warm Roasted Cauliflower and Spinach Salad
Unexpected pumpkin pie spice adds a tasty component to this dish, with fresh pomegranate seeds bringing a sweet component.
Lentil Broccoli Falafel Bowls With Jalapeño-Herb Tahini
A twist on a classic Mediterranean dish, this protein-rich bowl features a flavorful sauce that you can use on pretty much anything.
Roasted Broccoli Soup
What sets this broccoli soup apart from others is the roasting, which brings out the veggie's full flavor. Serve with some crusty bread, and you have the perfect meatless meal.
Watercress Salad with Honey-Lime Vinaigrette
For a light meal that packs a lot of flavor, you can't go wrong with this fruit- and veggie-packed salad.
Roasted Cauliflower and Red Chile Pizza
The red chile gives a spicy kick to this pizza pie, while the roasted cauliflower is chock full of vitamin C and fiber, so you won't be rummaging through leftovers hours later.
Cheesy Stuffed Peppers with White Beans
Stuffed peppers always look impressive, but they're actually super easy to make. Plus, your kids will love the fun colors and getting to take their meal apart.
Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup
This sweet and hearty vegetarian soup is supremely satisfying on a chilly fall day. To make it more filling, consider adding chickpeas or white beans.
Tomato & Watermelon Salad
Crisp, light, and packed with nutrients. Both tomato and watermelon are rich in vitamin C and lycopene, the later of which can help curb your risk of cancer and diabetes.
Mushroom and Herb Stromboli
This mushroom stromboli takes quite a bit of time to prepare, but the end result is so worth it. Serve it at your next dinner party and you'll be hearing rave reviews for weeks.
Butternut Squash and White Bean Soup
No need to worry about your protein intake thanks to the beans and chickpeas. Combine those with hearty butternut squash, and you have a filling meal.
Hot Pepper and Onion Pizza
Perfect for those who like a lot of spice, this hot pepper pizza is sure to satisfy. If your diners can't take the heat, consider putting jalapeños on half of the pie.
Loaded Vegetable Soup
You won't be short on vitamins and other essential nutrients with this loaded vegetable soup. But what sets this apart from other veggie soups: the spicy Italian seasoning.
Soba with Miso-Glazed Eggplant
If you love Japanese food but have never tried to make it at home, this easy-to-make dish is perfect for beginners.
Mediterranean Zucchini Boats with Kefir-Mint Topping
These zucchini boats are just about as fun to look at as they are to eat. Topped off with a cucumber-mint sauce, they'll soon become part of your weekly rotation.
Chickpea, Spinach, and Quinoa Patties
These chickpea and quinoa patties have as much flavor, if not more, than a traditional burger patty, but will also give you more nutrients and keep you fuller for longer.
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