Delicious Ways to Go Meatless

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Meatless meals have a lot going for them. They can be often be healthier, more environmentally friendly, and often less expensive than their beefier counterparts. 

Last week I suggested that going meatless was a great way to save money. While it may take a little getting used to, there are a number of delicious options to help you eat well and still stay under budget. Proteins like beans, eggs, and quinoa can make it filling while cheeses, avocados, and olives can add richness.

Here are some delicious meatless main dishes to satisfy you:

Cheese Enchiladas

Tortellini Pasta Salad

Easy Cheese Pizza

Cheddar and Leek Potato Bake

Poblano Chile Enchiladas

Got a favorite meatless meal?

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  1. We try to eat meatless at least once or twice a week, and have several favorites that we’ve found over the years. Sometimes, its just a simple “side dish” that we eat with a big salad, like homemade macaroni and cheese. Our faves are broccoli cheese soup, spanakopita + greek salad, quiche, veggie lasagna, pasta primavera, asian peanut noodles, and tacos with a black bean/brown rice filling.

    • @Lisa, Would LOVE to hear more about how you make your black bean & brown rice filling! This was such a great post for me since my 9 year old daughter recently convinced hubs & I to let her become a vegetarian. It’s challenging but she had great and thoughtful reasons!

      • @Peggy, The filling is simple, but I don’t have a real recipe per se. I saute 1 onion, 1 big red bell pepper, a few cloves of garlic with some salt and pepper. In the summer, I sometimes add chopped squash to the veggie mix. Once those are soft, I add a can of drained black beans, 1-2 cups of brown rice, and about 1/2-1 cup of our favorite salsa. I then add 1 tbsp of lime juice and 1-2 tsps of fajita seasoning (we use Penzeys) but a mixture of garlic, cumin and chili powder would also do the trick. I serve it in flour tortillas with cheese and lettuce. We love it!

  2. The chile enchiladas look fantastic as well as the cheese enchiladas. Are they like chile rellenos? I also implemented one meatless meal a week about a year ago. It’s helped my pocket book and we don’t miss it. I’m going to check out those recipes, now.

  3. Oh I wish we didn’t have wheat and dairy allergies at our house. I’ve been searching for hearty vegetarian meals for our family. Sad day.

    • Jessica says:

      @Megan, my cookbook has several wheat-, dairy-, and meat-free recipes. Wait for it?

    • @Megan,Megan,
      We too, have wheat and dairy allergies at our house and we are still meatless. Just google vegan recipes and you will find all sorts of adaptations. My kids and husband are sometimes skeptical about what gets made but are always surprised by great flavors. beans, buckwheat, quinoa, brown rice and all sorts of different veggies can combine for veggie burgers, casseroles, etc. TRY IT!!

  4. We are at about 70% meatless at our house. Some of our favorites are nachos (with no meat, just beans, cheese and salsa), pizza (pesto, tomato and fresh mozzarella is a favorite), and quiche. But we also like to eat salads like black bean and corn salad and baked potatoes with broccoli and cheese. We don’t do it for budget reasons, but when I look at the meat aisle! I am so glad that I am not planning on eating a quarter pound of meat per person even once a day.

  5. OMG! Jessica,
    This is so fantastic. Just yesterday I was thinking deeply about all the “meat trouble” in the news and on the Doctors T.V. show. I was unaware that some beef has “pink slime” fillers added or something known as “meat glue” to hold lower quality cuts of beef together. OR that chicken is often bathed in bleach water to reduce bacteria and chill it to the proper temperature before being packaged/ processed. All of this is new to me and while I can’t believe EVERYTHING I hear or read, I had to wonder if there is some truth to it all. This got me to wondering if we as a family could/should give up meat. So, thanks for your recipes, they are a big help as I decide to give up / reduce our meat consumption.

    • Jessica says:

      @Nia, isn’t that funny. I’ve stayed away from the news, but just yesterday was scanning the internet for a local source of grass-fed beef.

      I don’t think my family will go for “no meat,” but I’m going to be looking at ways to reduce it and take the “savings” to buy better quality meat, instead.

      It’s almost like Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle all over again.

  6. Does fish count in your meatless meals? I’m going to really make an effort to start a meal plan – and would like to plan one meal a week with a fish/egg/bean/cheese main dish (or combination!). I know here in Michigan, my faithful fisherman husband can catch plenty of fish on the cheap – so I think I’ll count it. I love a good tuna noodle casserole, or recently northern pike patties – great by themselves, or on a bun with some cheese and thousand island dressing!

  7. Deborah Jennings says:

    When we go meatless, we usually have vegetables with some kind of cheese dish. In the Summer, we like to have fresh vegetables with cornbread. I grew up with meatless meals. We had meat just 3 – 4 days a week. Our main meal was in the middle of the day. There was always some breakfast meat at breakfast, but none most of the time at the main meal. I love fresh or frozen vegetables any time of the year. Home canned is real good to, if you can.

  8. Karen Bailey says:

    If I was living in the US, I would only be buying organic or eating vegetarian. It really bothers me reading about all these added hormones etc that are added to our meat and I couldn’t believe it when I read about buying butter and dairy products with no added hormones. The thought that there are hormones at all in these products is unbelievable.

    I live in a country where beef is prodominately grass fed and there are no hormones given to dairy cattle at all. I am soon moving back to the UK, they are part of the EU that has had a ban on these hormones since 1999. Therefore I will be able to purchase with confidence and not have to pay extra to buy organic.

    If I lived in the US, it would really concern me that half of the world has banned imports of food from my country because of the stuff that is added to it. No wonder the US has so many problems with food allergies etc.

    • @Karen Bailey, Agreed. I find it disturbing that all food used to be organic, and now we have to pay a premium price just to get real, natural, food. Fortunately, I do believe that more Americans are becoming aware and more health concious. I expect changes/bans to be made in the near(ish) future.

  9. One of my all-time favorites is Mujaddara–lentils and rice with caramelized onions. I eat hot or cold. It usually wants salt.

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