Cheers to Meatless Meals

I must confess, eating meals without meat used to make me feel as if something was missing on my plate, like I was being cheated somehow.  Growing up with my father as the main meal preparer, our plates ALWAYS had three things on them – a meat, a potato, and a vegetable.  Since embracing a more plant-based diet, my eyes have been opened to the fabulous benefits and intriguing flavors of eating without meat.

Ash Wednesday is upon us, friends, and Easter is many, many weeks away, and I wanted to share with you some ideas for all the Fridays of eating without meat ahead.  Here are some of my favorites:

Potato Leek Soup (recipe link here) is my new favorite soup with its herbal aroma and hearty potato fullness.

At the Simply Recipes website, Elise Bauer has hit a home run with this recipe that does not use cream to thicken the soup, but rather instructs you to puree some of it as a thickener. Though there’s a little bit of effort involved with cutting and cleaning the leeks and potatoes, it is so worth the effort.

Tailgate Chili (recipe link here)  from the Dr. Fuhrman Nutritarian website is a recipe I use quite often.  It is a very satisfying chili that keeps you full for a few hours after eating it.

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I frequently make a big batch on Sundays for dinner and freeze the remaining chili into single serve containers for meals on the go.  There are many other meatless recipes available on the website though to gain access to all of them requires a membership.

“No Tuna” Salad Sandwich is a recipe I recently came across as a follower of Forks Over Knives on Facebook.  The original recipe is by Dana Shultz from her website the Minimalist Baker (recipe link here), but I prefer the simple recipe variation at the Forks Over Knives site.  Friends, you will think you are actually eating tuna salad with this spread, and I for one have become a huge fan of this recipe.  I love all the textures from the sunflower seeds, pickles, onions, and chickpeas.  This recipe has become my new favorite lunch.

Tortellini Soup (recipe link here) is a new recipe that I’ve made a few times now, and it really warms me up on these cold and never-ending winter nights in Western New York.  I double the recipe when bringing it to parties or when serving a crowd.  It’s best served after being made, as the tortellini does absorb the broth as it sits.  Rarely are there leftovers though.

Baked Salmon with Newman’s Own Honey Mustard Salad dressing is a quick dish to prepare.  I bake the salmon filets at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes and serve with a side of veggies or rice.

Baked Fish with Mushrooms (recipe link here) is a dish my daughter frequently requests and my husband truly enjoys, too.

A Baked Potato Bar is a fun way to serve up a meatless menu using cheese, veggies, beans, salsa or guacamole.  My all-time favorite Guacamole recipe comes from the Barefoot Contessa (recipe link here).

What about breakfast for dinner?  This Easy Spinach Frittata (recipe link here) is a winner.

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The websites mentioned above (Forks Over Knives and Dr. Fuhman’s Nutritarian Recipes) have been a great help to me in coming up with meatless meals, but I’m sure Pinterest and the Wegman’s website have recipes with a huge selection of meatless options as well.

What is your favorite meatless meal to make?

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