10 Plant-Based Meals Even Die-Hard Meat Eaters Will Crave

lifestyle mains recipes wellness Feb 22, 2020

Whether you’re a steadfast vegan or meat-lover through-and-through, there’s likely one thing that we can all agree on: introducing more vegetables into our lives is a good thing. With so many plant-based proteins and creative veggie options out there these days, it’s simpler than you might think to throw together a satisfying, hearty and nutritious meal – no meat required.

Try out these nourishing recipes below for your next #meatlessmonday or any day of the week for that matter! They might just become new favorites of even the most committed carnivores in your life.

Cauliflower Mac & Cheese

If something screams childhood more than alphabet pasta and mac and cheese, let us know. Go ahead and throw it back with this healthy, grown up and veggie-packed version of a longtime favorite. Cauliflower and a generous amount of nutritional yeast make for a creamy, “cheesy” sauce that you can enjoy with whatever pasta you have on hand. We love Banza Chickpea Alphabets to really take that nostalgia to the next level.

Fall Harvest Salad with Maple Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Cooler weather is officially upon us, but this loaded salad is one to enjoy all year long. Utilize your favorite seasonal fruits and vegetables, such as butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, beets and honeycrisp apples for a salad that’s anything but boring. Sprinkle with pecans and pumpkin seeds for some brain-boosting fats and enjoy with this vinaigrette that really drives those autumn flavors home.

“Takeout” Tempeh & Broccoli

Few things hit the spot more than some good Chinese take-out, no? Luckily, you can easily recreate these flavors in your own kitchen and avoid the added preservatives, sugars and other junk you don’t want. Swapping out traditional beef for tempeh in this dish also provides plant-based protein and gut-loving prebiotics, which are major pluses in our book.

Spicy Lentil Bolognese

Lentils are a dream come true for those avoiding meat due to their dense nutrient profile and remarkable ability to trick your brain into thinking you’re enjoying ground beef. These legumes likewise help lower cholesterol, promote heart and digestive health, increase energy and stabilize blood sugar. Enjoy this sauce over pasta or veggie noodles for a hearty dinner in minutes. We personally love Cece’s Veggie Co. for even more plant power.

Smashed Chickpea Salad

Swap out your classic chicken salad with this meatless alternative, and you’ll be blown away by how delicious and filling it is. 15 minutes are all you need to whip up this creamy meal that you can enjoy all week long. Serve in lettuce wraps, pile on a sandwich or scoop it up with your favorite crackers. For a dairy-free version, we recommend Primal Kitchen or Chosen Foods avocado oil mayo.

Seasonal Veggie & Quinoa Bowl with Herbed Tahini

Regardless of the time of year, take advantage of all of the seasonal vegetables available in this colorful and nutrient-packed bowl. With a variety of colors, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats, this recipe is sure to leave you feeling like a million bucks. Plus, the simple yet flavorful tahini dressing will likely become your new favorite addition to salads from here on out.

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

Sometimes you just need to sit down at the end of a long day with a big ‘ol bowl of pasta. Trust us, we get it. But with this healthified version, you no longer have to endure that sluggish, icky feeling afterwards. Cashews are the secret to this thick, creamy and dairy-free sauce that pairs perfectly with whatever pasta you have sitting in your pantry. Go ahead and get cozy with a bowl of this hearty goodness that won’t leave you missing meat one bit.

Asian Veggie Noodle Bowl with Ginger Tahini Sauce

Asian flavors will forever be a favorite of mine, and luckily they’re also the perfect way to make just about any vegetable incredibly tasty. Zoodles are perfect noodle swap that, when combined with this tasty sauce, will turn even the most skeptical into believers. Mixed with fresh herbs, nuts & seeds, this bowl is packed with a variety of textures & crunch. Throw an egg on it, & you’re in business!

Homemade Flower Child Mother Earth Bowl

For those familiar with the restaurant Flower Child, you’ll understand why this is one of their most popular menu items. And if your hometown doesn’t have a location of its own, you’re in luck with this DIY version! The Mother Earth Bowl is a personal favorite of mine, but my Goodness With G spin truly gives the original a run for its money. The flavors marry perfectly, plus it’s filling & satisfying in every way.

Veggie-Packed Pasta Salad

For a meal that screams sunshine, whip up this bowl that’s sure to kick those winter blues. Chickpea pasta provides a punch of protein while a variety of fresh veggies, artichoke hearts, olives and greens bring something new to every bite. Mix it all together with a simple Lemon Herb Vinaigrette for a light, refreshing and nutritious meal.


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