Bean. Peas. Pun intended.
While everyone has been buying milk and eggs, I have been stocking up on sweet potatoes and cauliflower. Before you roll your eyes, this isn’t me lecturing you to load up on veggies during these tough times. Confession: in the last ten days, I’ve baked brownies, cupcakes, and cookies, I have had Doritos with French onion dip for lunch (that’s it, nothing else), I’ve driven to Cookout for a milkshake after the kids have gone to bed, I have questioned whether I ate any fruit during the day (on multiple occasions), drank a beer telling myself it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, and I have realized at 1 pm that I haven’t had any water unless you count my morning coffee.
So no, this isn’t about finding a routine and healthy eating habits during this new normal, I’m still trying to sort through that. Instead, I am here to share with you my favorite vegetarian, family-friendly meals. Because let’s be honest, if you’re not in line outside the grocery store before they open these days, mama ain’t bringing home the bacon.
Vegetarian meals can be taboo in a house filled with a manly carnivore—you know who I’m talking about. But now seems like a better time than any to introduce some plant-based meals. And you can’t be blamed, the rest of the world is hoarding beef and chicken, so just tell the men in your life that you’re trying to survive.
When planning a vegetarian meal, veggies become part of the main course, but it’s imperative to include other foods like nuts, seeds, legumes, fruit, and whole grains in your day. The concern with leaving out meat is the lack of protein. However, beans, peas, eggs, dairy products, tofu, and tempeh are some foods that can fill the void.
These recipes are some of my favs and I hope that you can bring them into your home, especially during this meatless pandemic. Whether you fool everyone by saying the tacos are filled with a new cut of beef or if you own up to what’s really lacking in that chili, I guarantee everyone will be pleasantly surprised.
Honey Lime Sweet Potato Tacos
These are sooo good, you can eat the filling on a bed of brown rice and omit the shells or eat them as is. The cotija and avocado on top makes them even tastier!
Making chili without meat might seem sac religious but this one is so good. Adding toppings always ups the ante, too.
Sheet Pan Nachos
The best part about these nachos is how easy they are. To make this a full on meal, serve with a hearty corn and bean salad.
Deep Dish Skillet Pizza
Pizza is always an easy food to omit meat. This recipe calls for sausage but it’s delicious without it—use shredded mozz in its place and add some veggies like green peppers or make a luscious salad on the side.
If you can’t tell, we’re big on cauliflower over here, but it’s so versatile and takes on the flavors of whatever you cook it with. Doing an Asian spin is so fun, and this serves well with brown rice and some roasted brussels on the side.
Sweet Potato Salad
This salad is what dreams are made of. I almost feel like I’m divulging a secret by sharing it here-it’s that good. Salads are tricky with little ones, I always try to deconstruct it for mine (so sweet potatoes, avocados, nuts etc. on their plates). And to make this a main course, add in quinoa on top and it becomes so much more filling.