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GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
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Meat Shortage, So What? Try These Tasty Meatless Recipes

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COVID-19 outbreaks are forcing some of the country’s largest meatpacking plants to close down, leaving the U.S. on the brink of widespread meat shortages. Almost a third of U.S. pork processing capacity is down, and beef processing will soon follow. Even though hundreds of meat processing plants are still running, the possibility of disruption on the meat supply chain is out there.

Meat supplies have already been stretched thin as people prepare for staying home and cooking more meals. This new disruption could see the price for meat products rise as they disappear from grocery store shelves. While outbreaks in plants don’t affect the physical health of consumers, since COVID-19 is not foodborne, it may affect the health of their wallets.

This may be a good time to dust off your Meatless Monday recipes and give them a try. Or, check out some vegan air-fryer recipes that are sure to please the entire family. And, in a pinch, you can always make a pot of pasta and throw some sauce on top.

However, if you need some quick and easy meatless recipes that you can make with pantry staples, here are five recipes you can make that will satisfy even the most dedicated meat-eaters.

Mostly Meatless Cobb Salad

This quick and easy recipe requires no fancy equipment or weird ingredients. I like to use chickpeas, but you can use any type of bean you like or have on hand. I don’t even get fancy with the dressing, although you can if you want. If you happen to have meat on hand, such as chicken or bacon, you can add it.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Romaine lettuce, rough chopped
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Diced avocado
  • Corn
  • Beans
  • Cheese, or vegan cheese
  • Nuts – walnuts, almonds, cashews, or a mix

Here’s what you do:

Chop, dice, and get ready to assemble. If you want to be fancy, you can line everything up in rows as you see in a restaurant. Or, you can just toss it all together. Use the dressing of your choice.

Meatless Soft Tacos

This recipe feeds four, so add or subtract the amounts to fit the number of people you are feeding. And, there’s nothing wrong with making a little extra so you can have it for lunch or dinner the next day. Everyone loves tacos, I’m pretty sure, and this filling is so easy to throw together. You will need tofu, so put that on your list. You can make the taco filling ahead and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 16 oz of extra firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil, or vegetable oil
  • Guacamole
  • Salsa
  • Shredded lettuce
  • 8 flour or corn tortillas

Here’s what you do:

Drain, press, and crumble tofu. Combine with tamari, chili seasoning, onion, and garlic powders in a medium-sized bowl. Heat the oil in a large skillet on medium-high. Add the tofu mixture, cook stirring occasionally to avoid sticking, for about 8-10 minutes.

Server with tortillas, lettuce, guacamole, and salsa.

Easy Vegan Bean Burger

These bean burgers are easy to throw together and require just six ingredients. I like to use black beans, but you can use whatever you have on hand, including kidney beans, white beans, and even chickpeas. You’ll probably have most, if not all, of the ingredients in your pantry already.

What you’ll need:

  • 15 ounce can of beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons of ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon of yellow mustard, spicy brown mustard would probably okay
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup of instant oats

Here’s what you do:

Preheat your oven to 400F. Grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, mash the beans using the back of a big spoon or a fork until they are pretty much pureed. Leave some half-mashed for better texture. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, except the oats. When well-combined, add the oats. Divide into 4 patties and bake for 7 minutes. Flip and bake for another 7 minutes, or until a crust forms on the outside. Serve with buns and other condiments.

Meatless Black Bean Pasta

Pasta and beans make a filling meal that will keep the largest appetites satisfied. And it comes together pretty quickly. If you can boil water to make pasta, you got this dish. Add some greens, and you have an all-around nutritious meal. Use whatever beans you have on hand if you don’t have black beans. Use arugula if you don’t have spinach. It all comes together pretty quickly.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 9 ounces of spaghetti or fettuccine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms, baby bellas or button
  • 1 clove of crushed garlic, more if you wish
  • 1 14.5 ounce can of diced or crushed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 15 ounce can of black beans, drained
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach or arugula

Here’s what you do:

Cook the pasta. While that’s going, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until tender, stirring occasionally. This should take about 4-6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook about a minute more.

Stir in the tomatoes, beans, and oregano and heat. Stir in the greens and heat until wilted. Toss with your cooked pasta.

If you’ve ever had chard and white bean soup, you know this is a winning combination.

Meatless Pasta Bolognese

Sure, you can make a big pot of pasta and throw some sauce on top, or you can up the ante and make vegan pasta Bolognese. It’s so simple and gives you pasta dish a little something extra. Lentils are great in any pasta sauce or chili that I want to taste meaty, for lack of a better word. There’s something about these little legumes that make them perfect for sauces and chilis. You can, if you wish, make your own sauce, but to make this a weeknight-friendly recipe, I’m using a jarred sauce. Sometimes I add sliced mushrooms, just because I like them.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1-pound pasta shape of your choice
  • 2 1 lb 9-ounce jars of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup eggplant or zucchini
  • 1 15-ounce can cooked lentils

Here’s what you do:

Cook the pasta. If you are making your own sauce, you can do this while the pasta is cooking. Once the pasta is done, drain and set aside. Sauté your eggplant or zucchini in olive oil. Add the sauce and the lentils and let it heat through. Add the pasta and serve. Salt and pepper to taste, I like to sprinkle some red pepper flakes on top of mine. Sprinkle a little cheese on top, if you wish. And, it freezes well, so you’ll can keep some on hand for an even quicker meal.

 

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Stephany
GR8NESS Writer
Stephany is a GR8NESS Contributing Editor who writes about pet care, CBD, stress, self care, meditation, time management, brain training, and natural remedies with a focus on the science behind it all. She has three dogs, three cats, walks half marathons, and practices yoga and powerlifting. You can often find her training her dogs or experimenting with new flavors in the kitchen.
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