This post is challenging for a die-hard carnivore like yours truly to write. There’s no way I’m ever giving up a nice juicy steak or even the perfect pair of leather shoes. But I’ll admit to embracing the #MeatlessMonday trend with a fervor. There’s something about coming home after a long start to the workweek and really kicking off your healthy eating with a flavorful meal that pays homage to all the great fresh foods your local grocer or market has to offer. It’s far to easy to bake a chicken or grill a pork chop and pair it with a starch and a salad — and of course, we mean #nodisrespect to the butcher. But #MeatlessMonday gives us a chance to do more, to expand our culinary horizons, and to ditch the salads and misconceptions of vegetarian and vegan culture that their food is anything but hearty, hale and wholly fulfilling.
And for those of you reading this and thinking “I think this sounds great, but there’s no way my picky boyfriend/husband/son/daughter/roommate would eat a meal sans meat,” we’ll tell you we were once there too. But not only has giving up meat one day a week been good for our waistline, it’s also taught us to add a wider variety of foods to our diet.
So for this week’s Seen on Pinterest, check out our favorite veggie-heavy mains, and let us know — would you #MeatlessMonday?
1) Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers from Taste of Home. Stuffed peppers are one of the easiest ways to hide a meatless meal for picky eaters. Chock these capsicums full of rice (or quinoa), beans, onions, peppers, and of course, cheese for a meal that is as filling as it is delicious.
2) Curried Cauliflower Soup from Cookie & Kate. Cauliflower soup has a wonderfully thick and creamy texture all on its own, but add in this addicting blend of coconut milk and thai spices to create a wonderful flavor that will leave you wanting more.
3) Roasted Tomato and Cipollini with White Beans from Smitten Kitchen. I die. Seriously, this is my go-to weeknight dinner when I don’t want to chop, sautee or slave over a stove. Just throw in the ingredients, toss in some bread, and eat. The white beans are creamy and filling and the garlicky bread is addicting. Just beware — if you eat this with an entire loaf of bread (which, um, I do), this dish can be calorie heavy.
4) Healthy Mexican Sweet Potato Skins from Pinch of Yum. Potato skins get a bad rap. But replace the plain-old spud with a sweet potato and chock them full of good-for you ingredients and you have a light dish that’s perfectly satisfying and sans guilt. I usually eliminate the corn in these, but they taste great with it too. Just be sure you’ve baked your potatoes long enough before attempting to scoop out the insides.
5) Grilled Tomato & Avocado Sandwich from Can You Stay Out of the Kitchen. Take your BLT up a notch with an LTA that adds ooey-gooey cheese for an extra dose of delicious. I’d serve this on super crusty bread or focaccia, making it extra warm and amazing with the addition of a panini press, but you can do it any way you desire.
6) Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites from Skinny Taste. Okay, I slipped this one in here even though it isn’t technically a “main dish” — but if you’re looking to nosh on something delicious on any day of the week, you must, must, must kick your regular wings to the curb and try these cauliflower bites. Plus, you get to dip them in blue cheese, which, for me, is a winner in any recipe.
7) Smoky Black Bean Chili from Gimme Some Oven. It’s hard for some people to imagine chili without meat, but for me, it’s hard for me to imagine it without beans! Beans make the dish, and they’re the star of the show in this sweet yet smoky version.
8) Roasted Acorn Squash with Wild Rice Stuffing from Chow.com. This dish reminds me of Thanksgiving dinner, minus the turkey coma. Acorn squash is one of the easiest foods to make, and the nutty, savory and yet almost sweet stuffing is addicting on its own or inside the squash boats. Bonus? The squash is the vessel, so cleanup is minimal!
9) Skinny Mushroom Stroganoff from Find The Burn. Beef stroganoff is one of our favorite dishes, but we often find ourselves hunting for the succulent mushrooms in the dish. This “clean eating” recipe is a lighter version of one of our winter comfort food faves.
10) Black Bean Nacho Pizza from Recipe.com. It’s so easy to make your favorite Mexican dishes vegetarian, but this dish kicks things up a notch by combining two of my favorite things – nachos AND pizza. Layer on the veggies in this hearty “pizza” for a dish the whole family will love.