Healthy Meatless Meal Recipes, Not Just for Vegetarians

You don’t have to be vegetarian to eat meatless meals. The average American is only consuming about 2-3 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, when the goal is at least 5 servings per day. We know that with adequate amounts of daily produce, we can better control our weight, lose weight, reduce blood pressure, avoid type 2 diabetes, avoid heart disease and more.

I put together a few recipes for you to try. It will give you a full day of vegetarian meal options. These are healthy, easy to make, meat-free options that you will want to add into your regular rotation of recipes for the whole family to enjoy.

The Menu:

Breakfast – Spinach and mushroom frittata

Lunch – Portabella, bell pepper and goat cheese sandwich

Dinner – Vegetarian slow cooker ratatouille

Snack – Crunchy roasted chickpeas

Do you have a favorite vegetarian recipe?

Main photo credit: Naotake Murayama via Flickr

Photo credit: Jules via Flickr

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2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 10 ounce bag presliced (for your convenience) mushrooms

 Salt and freshly ground pepper

garlic cloves, minced

1 6-ounce bag baby spinach, rinsed

8 eggs or equivalent with egg substitute

¼ cup grated Parmesan 

2 tablespoons low-fat milk

Spinach and Mushroom Frittata

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a heavy 10 or 12 inch skillet. Add mushrooms until they begin to sweat and soften, 3-5 minutes. Add salt, pepper and garlic. Stir about 30 seconds until garlic is fragrant. Add spinach a handful at a time until wilted. Heat until excess liquid evaporates, then remove from heat. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.

Beat eggs in a large bowl, can be done while cooking mushrooms. Stir in salt, pepper, milk, mushroom and spinach mixture. Add parmesan cheese.

Heat remaining oil back in nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Pour in egg mixture. Swirl mixture so it fills in evenly. Tilt slightly and lift one edge of frittata with spatula to let the eggs run underneath during the first few minutes of cooking. Do this a few times and then turn down heat to low. Cover skillet with lid or pizza pan. Let cook for 10-15 minutes. Check regularly to make sure bottom does not burn or stick to pan. Let cool for at least 5 minutes. Slide onto platter. This dish may be served hot, warm, room temperature or cold.

Will keep for 3 days in the refrigerator. Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional analysis per serving (6 servings)
155 calories; 11 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 5 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 3 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram dietary fiber; 1 gram sugars; 10 grams protein; 248 milligrams cholesterol; 509 milligrams sodium

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1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

1 red bell pepper, cut in half and seeded

1 yellow bell pepper, cut in half and seeded

4 (4-inch) portobello mushroom caps

Cooking spray

1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 (2-ounce) Kaiser rolls or whole wheat English muffins

1/2 cup (4 ounces) soft goat cheese

Portabella, Bell Pepper and Goat Cheese Sandwich

Prepare grill to medium-high heat. Combine balsamic vinegar, olive oil and garlic in large bowl. Add peppers and mushrooms; toss gently to coat. Remove vegetables from vinegar mixture and discard mixture. Coat grill with cooking spray and place vegetables on grill for 4 minutes on each side. Remove vegetables and cool slightly. Cut peppers into thin strips and combine bell peppers, basil, salt and black pepper in a small bowl. Cut rolls in half and spread goat cheese on open-side of each side of the roll. Arrange mushroom cap on bottom of each roll, top with 1/3 cup of pepper mixture and other half of roll. Place made sandwich on grill coated with spray. Place a heavy skillet on top of sandwiches to flatten them. Grill 3 minutes on each side, until bread is toasted. Serve and enjoy. Makes 4 sandwiches.

Nutritional analysis per serving = 1 sandwich:
317 calories, 10.5 g total fat, 4.8 g saturated fat, 3.2 g monounsaturated fat, 1.4 g polyunsaturated fat, 14 g protein, 41.7 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 13 mg cholesterol, 3.2 mg iron, 571 mg sodium, 118 mg calcium.

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1 ½ cups cubed, peeled (if desired) eggplant
½ cup coarsely chopped yellow summer squash or zucchini
1/2 cup coarsely chopped tomato
½ of an 8 ounce can of no-salt-added tomato sauce
1/3 cup coarsely chopped red or green sweet pepper
¼ cup finely chopped onion
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced

Vegetarian Slow Cooker Ratatouille

1. In a smaller slow cooker, combine eggplant, squash, chopped tomato, tomato sauce, sweet pepper, onion, salt, black pepper, and garlic.
2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 4-1/2 to 5 hours or on high-heat setting for 2 to 2-1/2 hours. If no heat setting is available, cook for 4 to 4-1/2 hours.
3. Serve with brown rice or quinoa.

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5728413945_95f7e7a8cd_zcooking spray

2 15-ounce cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1-2 teaspoons sea salt

1-2 teaspoons garlic powder (optional)

1-2 teaspoons cayenne (optional)

Crispy Roasted Chickpeas

Position oven rack in the center and preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray. Dry chickpeas thoroughly with a clean kitchen towel or with paper towels. In a medium bowl toss chickpeas with olive oil. Sprinkle with seasonings to taste. Spread an even layer on baking sheet. Bake for 30-50 minutes until browned without burning. Cool for 30 minutes to one hour and chickpeas will continue to become crunchier as they cool. Enjoy!

Nutritional analysis per serving: 1 serving = 1/4 cup of chickpeas
157 total calories, 3.1 g total fat, 0.4 g saturated fat, 0.9 g polyunsaturated fat, 1.6 g monounsaturated fat, 0 cholesterol, 358 mg sodium, 206.4 mg potassium, 27.1 g total carbohydrate 5.3 g dietary fiber, 0 sugars 5.9 g protein

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