By Hilary Meyer, January 15, 2010 - 11:28am
As part of my pledge to eat healthier this year, I’ve decided to cut back a little on my meat consumption—a tall order for such a carnivore. I dug through my recipes and pulled out some vegetarian recipes that will help me make eating meatless delicious. Spinach-&-Cheese-Stuffed Portobellos is a favorite of mine because the oven-roasted mushroom caps come out juicy and tender, almost meaty, so I don’t feel like I’m missing anything. Staying healthy and eating less meat is better for the environment, too—so watch out veggies, here I come! (Want to eat meatless for a whole month? Try the recipes in our 28-day Vegetarian Meal Plan.)
Here are a few of my “go-to“ vegetarian recipes:
Bean Bolognese Fiber-rich beans stand in for the beef and pork in this surprisingly rich-tasting vegetarian take on Pasta Bolognese. Without the meat, the dish has only a third of the fat and 80 percent less saturated fat. To make the perfect meal, serve with a peppery arugula salad and warm, crusty Italian bread.
Chickpea Burgers & Tahini Sauce Rather than a heavy, fried falafel, here’s an updated version of this pocket sandwich: a light chickpea patty served in a whole-wheat pita with a flavorful but light tahini sauce.
Sweet Potato & Red Pepper Pasta Here’s a way to use the “power vegetables” sweet potato and red bell pepper in a satisfying vegetarian pasta dish full of fresh herbs and creamy goat cheese. Any fresh herbs you have on hand, such as basil, oregano, sorrel or chives, can be substituted for the tarragon. Serve with a garden salad.
Here we take the elements of a vegetarian lasagna filling—ricotta, spinach and Parmesan cheese—and nestle them into roasted portobello mushroom caps. The recipe works best with very large portobello caps; if you can only find smaller ones, buy one or two extra and divide the filling among all the caps. Serve with a tossed salad and a whole-wheat dinner roll or spaghetti tossed with marinara sauce.