I am not a vegetarian, but I do make meatless meals a few times a week for health reasons whenever I am not cooking grass fed beef, organic poultry or seafood. However, finding ways to substitute meat choices can be tricky initally when trying to figure out if you’re getting enough protein and the right nutrients for a balanced meal. For that reason, let me share some plant based meal ideas that can help inspire you and set you on the path to a healthier future.
The easiest way to begin is changing how you usually create your main dish. In the past, you probably focused on the meat that you’ll be serving followed by your salad and vegetable to make up the sides of that plate. Instead, what helps is concentrating on what type of entree that you have a taste for first to get a better idea of what type of plant based dish to focus on. For instance, you may be craving something Italian like spaghetti with a red tomato sauce. What you can do is direct your attention to the sauce and working around adding the plant protein source through nuts, beans, seeds, legumes along with wholesome grains such as bulgar, quinoa, brown rice for the ingredients that you’ll use in that dish.
Rice and beans form a complete protein and include valuable vitamins, minerals, fiber, and amino acids. There may be times when you don’t feel like pairing that combination together so mixing several incomplete protein sources such as seeds, nuts and legumes can be enough because you don’t need to eat a complete protein at every meal.
Something else that I found helpful when trying to build a vegetarian meal is experimenting with a lot of different spice and herb combinations that you may never have thought of before. Try turmeric and caraway seeds together in a homemade vegetable bean soup is incredibly delicious is just one suggestion. Your spice cabinet is full of unique possibilities for what you can create to compliment the dish or develop a fantastic flavored sauce to dress it up.
To shake that thought that without meat that you’ll still be hungry just eating your plant based meal, here is another plan. Though you’ll get enough nutrition and feel satisfied afterwards from eating a normal plant based meal, your mind may not be convinced. Therefore, you may find it simpler to make several sides as well and reduce that main plant based entree portion. If you have large plates, you may also want to switch to smaller plates, which is another strategy that can trick your mind about portion size.
These are just a few plant based meal ideas to get you started. Hopefully, the information I provided here will be what it takes to better benefit your health while enjoying delicious new meatless recipes to vary your menu.