Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Meatless Meal Ideas

I was raised a vegetarian but I never really learned how to COOK vegetarian.  Except rice.  I can steam a mean pot of rice (automatic rice-cooker, what?  Oh no you di'int.).  But making a balanced meatless meal that even the picky picksters in our family will eat is still challenging for me, especially if I'd like to avoid cooking the same thing over and over AND blowing our budget on scrumptious, wallet-busting seafood.  Plus, can we talk about breakfast and lunch, too?  Why are so many recipe collections all about the din-din?
"I'll host a link-up!  A meatless meal ideas link up!  And then other people can do all the work for me benefit from a bunch of easy recipes being in the same place!"

But lo, I am slow in planning because other clever gals have already created such a glorious thing.  Thank you, other clever gals.  You do the work and I reap the rewards?  Yespleasethankyouverymuch.

So, Imma share some meal ideas here and link up over there.  Then YOU should do the same and then I can scroll through your links and be all "I am the best foodmaker in the woooooooooooooooooooooorld!"

M'kay?  Super.

Breakfast (this is the easiest one for me):
Some kind of main thing like waffles, pancakes, oatmeal etc.
For protein: eggs or peanut butter (on the waffle?  kids love it.) or yogurt
For fiber: fruit (sliced banana or strawberries are a huge hit around here)

cheese + crackers
apples + peanut butter
nuts + dried fruit

Potato chips (if I'm feeling generous)


Okay, here:

-Pan seared tilapia (season with salt and pepper, maybe a squirt of lemon. Use olive oil in your pan.  So EASY.)
-Steamed rice
-sauteed vegetables (bell peppers + onions + garlic is usually a hit.)

Option 2:

-Easy homemade mac & cheese (click for super duper easy recipe)
-Mix in some peas (defrosted) for fiber and some garlic powder for a little zing

See?  Isn't that boring?  I need ideas, people.  Go!  To the link up!

ALSO: my snazzy $20 credit giveaway to Aquinas & More in honor of their liquidation sale ends in just a few hours.  Go enter if you haven't, okey dokey?  
Two winners!  
Double your chances!

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  1. I was hoping you'd post the link to the linkup. Because there's nothing I love more than having my meal plans make themselves.

    Also, I love that PB&J is your standard lunch. PB&J has been lunch around here for going on 9 years now. Never gets old. I think peanut butter is actually made from crack, but I'm not complaining.

    1. The boys have pb&honey every. single. day. Never a complaint.
      I'll have to check out the linkup. Try making meatless dinners for a family where a certain male half of the parenthood will not eat cheese. Or "creamy things." And then some brilliant female half of the parenthood decides that the family should give up gluten during Lent. Oy.

  2. Lentil loaf. Add some mushroom gravy and it's almost meaty tasting...

  3. I loooovvvvveeee peanut butter. During lent we would have: clam chowder, cream of broccoli soup (no bacon), grilled cheese and tomato soup, tuna noodle casserole (a good rec ipe!), tilapia, seafood burritos.

  4. It's even harder to come up with ideas when the entire family (adults included) despises fish. :) Even the smell makes me feel sick. But, I would LOVE to hear you make good rice! I simply cannot get it right! I would even buy the automatic cooker, but we are at high altitude and I'm afraid it wouldn't work. For lunches, pimento cheese or hummus sandwiches are items I choose pretty often. Peanut butter is also yummy!

  5. veggie lasagna is yummy as well as cheese raviolis. Can't go wrong with grilled cheese or there is always the KofC fish fry. :)

  6. Great ideas! I feel you about creating balanced meatless meals. I'm awesome with meat ones but half of lent I walk around on Friday's with a headache #lentfail! Thanks for linking up!!

  7. Black beans and rice as filler in burritos or enchiladas is a favorite around here. Just add cheese and salsa.

  8. Broccoli or spinach quiche is what's planned this Friday's dinner.

    PB & Nutella sandwiches, hmmm!

  9. Beans! I make white beans and ham soup, 15 bean soup (the cajun mix from a bag, with extra veggies added), pinto beans and cornbread and black bean soup. YUM. :)

  10. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/spinach-tomato-tortellini/ I made this a couple weeks ago. Simple and my toddlers gobble it up. I made vegetable soup (easy peasy vegetable soup, veggie stock, mixed veggies, potatoes, onion, garlic, diced tomatoes, oregano, and basil. that's it.) and grilled cheese last week. Bonus was the leftover veggie soup i turned into an awesome beef stew the next day by adding soup bones and some chunked up rib steak. I'm making baked ravioli this week. I think i'm doing black beans and rice next week...Put garlic, onion, and dill on some tilapia and bake it in the oven...that was a favorite last Lent.

  11. Eggs, dairy & seafood are OK right? Not vegan like the Orthodox?

    bean burritos or tostadas (top it yourself), raw veggie sticks w/ranch
    bean and potato burritos or tacos
    spaghetti with marinara, salad,
    omelets, eggs, frittata, quiche, etc.
    fish - tilapia, cod, salmon, tuna as baked, plain, casseroles, patties, cakes, fish tacos, fish in parchment
    veggie lasagne
    simple vegetable curry - Indian style curry or Thai style curry
    cheese & veggie pizza or calzones
    soups and vegetable stews - with good bread and butter
    sandwiches: PB&J, cheese, tuna salad, salmon salad, sardines, egg salad, veggie & cheese (e.g. tomato, mozz, roasted peppers, basil)
    tomato soup with grilled cheese
    Chinese style stir-fry veggies with rice or noodles
    Greek salad with feta or goat cheese, hummus & pita
    Fruit smoothies with cottage cheese or yogurt

  12. Fiddlehead Brown Rice Salad! http://homeindouglas.blogspot.com/2012/07/its-time-for-cooking-post-fiddlehead.html

  13. What a cool idea. Please share your rice cooking wisdom with us :) I can never get it quite right haha.

  14. If you're keen for an ongoing cool-recipe blog, here's one I came across which is rather good - http://pannoneappetit.blogspot.co.uk

  15. http://www.annies-eats.com/2007/12/23/black-bean-enchiladas/

    We make these a lot. I try to double the filling and freeze half, then just buy tortillas when we need them. I also realized at some point that making enchilada sauce requires only things I always have on hand, although pre-made enchilada sauce is one of the few regularly-needed things I can't buy at Aldi. So when I'm up for it (not often), I make a batch and freeze 2 of the 3 cups.

  16. My family eats a lot of one pot meals. I love making a peanut sauce and adding that to a basic egg, veg and rice stir fry. Also, try making Asian lettuce wraps (rice, egg, veg rolled in lettuce) and dipping it in the sauce.http://chinesefood.about.com/od/saucesdipping/r/peanut-sauce.htm
    We also eat a lot of tacos and burritos with beans or a meat substitute. Soup is easy to make vegetarian too.

  17. Oh - thanks for the link to the link-up! I added a few of our Lenten go-to's and will be checking back!

  18. Okay- Yummy Tortilla Soup (Crockpot)
    1 large box of vegtable broth
    1 can black beans (rinsed)
    1 can pinto beans (rinsed)
    1 small can green chilles
    1 can Ro-tel tomatoes
    1 jar salsa
    1 diced yellow pepper
    1 8 oz block of cream cheese (I use light)
    2 cups shredded co-jack

    Throw everything but the cream cheese & shredded in your crock pot on low in the morning. Then about an hour before dinner add the cream cheese and the shredded cheese. Stir occasionally as the cheese melts. YUMMY!!!

  19. Um. I live in south Louisiana. You guys are making me sad. Anyway, here you go Dweej.

    Canned salmon is not much more expensive than tuna, and is much more nutritious (I found packets of it at the dollar store, but it takes about 3 or 4 to make enough for the three of us to eat). Salmon cakes, patties, croquettes, whatever you want to call them, are delicious. Try this:

    Enough salmon to have about 2 palm-sized patties per person
    Minced garlic, onion, bell pepper (enough to season... maybe 1/4 to 1/2 cup)
    1 egg (if the mixture seems dry, use 2 eggs)
    Italian bread crumbs, if you're the bread-eating kind (I'm not - and the recipe works fine without them, but they're good filler if you want to use less fish)
    Dried or fresh chopped parsley - a few tablespoons
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Drain the fish until it's fairly dry. Mix everything thoroughly in a bowl. Make palm-sized, roughly 1/2 inch thick patties. Fry in butter over medium heat until brown and crispy on both sides.

    You can also make this with tuna, though I prefer salmon. To make it more interesting (my son loves this!), serve it like chicken parm - with red sauce and melted mozzarella on top.

    1. I was just thinking about dinner when this comment came through and my husband had actually bought two cans of salmon! Salmon cakes made (no bread crumbs) and they were FANTASTIC.


    2. Awesome!! I'm glad you guys enjoyed them! That's one of my favorite go-to Friday in Lent meals. I have them on the menu for this Friday. :)

      I was coming back to this post to let you know that I left the diced tomatoes out of the 3-bean chili recipe. That's kind of important. I usually use 2 cans.

  20. Oh, and of course red beans and rice. Just skip the sausage.

    1 lb bag dried red kidney beans
    minced garlic, onion, bell pepper (plenty! this is the flavor!)
    enough water (or veggie or seafood stock, if you're feeling adventurous) to cover the beans plus about 2 inches
    salt, black pepper, red pepper to taste, and a dash of rosemary

    Dump all in crock pot in the morning. Turn on high. Eat over rice at dinner time.

    Another one I used to make in my vegetarian days is 3-bean chili. This one can be dumped in the crock pot too.

    1-2 lbs. of a mix of red kidney beans, pinto beans, and black beans
    garlic, onion, bell pepper
    2-4 handfuls of chili powder
    1 small handful of ground cumin
    2 tsp salt (give or take), black and red pepper to taste
    Enough water to cover the beans, plus one beer. (Caveat: the more of the liquid is beer, the richer the flavor will be, but just one or one-half of a beer will significantly enhance the flavor. The beer doesn't have to be good enough to drink, either.)


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