More and more people are trying-out having a, “Meatless Monday,” that is a day in which you eat a vegetarian meal. This doesn’t mean a person has to give-up meat completely or anything, but having even one day a week where a vegetarian recipe is made can have a variety of health benefits from reducing your risk of heart disease (especially if you normally eat a lot of red meat) to boosting your nutrition thanks to having a higher intake of veggies and fruits. With that in mind here are three easy meatless recipes to try as you, “Dip your toe,” into exploring vegetarian options.
One Pan Mexican Quinoa
At the end of a long work-day you may be tempted to simply use a delivery-service and get some take-out delivered instead of having to put forth a bunch of effort to cook a meal for your easy meatless recipes each Monday. That makes this one pan Mexican Quinoa perfect as it only requires a single pan.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, minced
1 cup quinoa
1 cup vegetable broth
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5 oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 cup corn kernels, frozen, canned or roasted
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and jalapeno, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in quinoa, vegetable broth, beans, tomatoes, corn, chili powder and cumin; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until quinoa is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Stir in avocado, lime juice and cilantro. Serve immediately.
Black Bean Burger
There might be a Meatless Monday where you are just absolutely craving a burger. Thankfully, you can still satisfy that urge while keeping things vegetarian with a tasty black bean burger that is absolutely delicious.
2 cans (14.5 Each) Seasoned Black Beans
1 cup Seasoned Breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Grated White Onion
1 whole Egg
1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder
Salt and Pepper
8 slices Swiss Cheese
Olive Oil, For Frying
Butter, For Frying and Grilling
4 whole Kaiser Rolls or Good Hamburger Buns
Lettuce or Other Greens
Drain, but do not rinse, the black beans. Place them in a bowl and use a fork to mash them. Keep mashing until they’re mostly broken up, but still have some whole beans visible. Add the breadcrumbs, onion, egg, chili powder, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Stir until everything is combined, then let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.
Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil with an equal amount of butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Form the bean mixture into patties slightly larger than the buns you’re using (the patties will not shrink when they cook.) Place the patties in the skillet and cook them about 5 minutes on the first side. Flip them to the other side, place 2 slices of cheese onto each patty, and continue cooking them for another 5 minutes, or until the burgers are heated through. (Place a lid on the skillet to help the cheese melt if needed.)
Grill the buns on a griddle with a little butter until golden. Spread the buns with mayonnaise and hot sauce, then place the patties on the buns. Top with lettuce and tomato, then pop on the lids!
Bell Pepper Breakfast Burrito
Perhaps for your Meatless Monday meal you want to make breakfast your vegetarian option of the day–or if you want to avoid meat the entire 24 hours you need a tasty start? In either case this Bell Pepper Breakfast Burrito is one of the best easy meatless recipes to kick-off your morning.
1 Tbsp non hydrogenated margarine
¾ cup bell pepper, diced
1 cup mushrooms, diced
18 oz firm tofu, drained, pressed and diced
1 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 ½ tsp turmeric
¾ tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil
2 tsp agave syrup
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup spinach, chopped
¼ cup dairy free pepper jack cheese
6 large flour tortillas
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Place the margarine in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the bell pepper, mushrooms and tofu. Season with the garlic powder, pepper, turmeric, salt, olive oil, agave syrup, liquid smoke and apple cider vinegar, stirring with a wooden spoon to ensure seasonings are evenly distributed. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until the tofu has reached desired consistency.
Run the tortillas under water and place in the oven for about 3 minutes, or until the tortillas are soft and warm.
Fold the spinach and pepper jack into the tofu mushroom bell pepper mixture. Take off the heat.
Plate the warmed tortillas and spoon 6 portions of the tofu mushroom bell pepper mixture into the tortillas. Fold like a burrito and enjoy.
A Note from GR8NESS
Even if replacing one meal a week with a, “Meatless Monday,” doesn’t seem that dramatic, you are taking an important step for your health and self-care by eating a bit more nutritionally, even if just for a single meal on Monday or perhaps the entire day. There are countless, easy meatless recipes and dishes. So don’t hesitate to seek more out as you find yourself enjoying the day more and more!