Vegetarian?! First, let me clarify a few things.
We think bacon is proof that God loves us. I have made and enjoyed chocolate covered bacon, and I would totally try bacon ice cream.
We think that PETA should stand for People Eating Tasty Animals.
I think this is funny:
I make bacon roses for my husband, and we both think this site is awesome.
We like meat.
But we don’t always eat meat. That is largely because it tends to be expensive, especially when you are feeding a lot of hearty eaters. We have found that there are many healthy, hearty meals that don’t break the bank and don’t require meat. Sometimes you can just skip the meat in a regular recipe if there are enough other ingredients to distract from its absence. We are not vegetarians, but some of our meals are.
Before we start, let me issue a warning: don’t try to force a meat-loving husband to eat meatless meals. He must be on board, or you are doomed to failure. If your husband wants you to cut the food bill, this is a good way to do it. If he looks at your like you’re crazy when you suggest eating some meatless meals, don’t even try it. If you do, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Here is a sampling of our favorites:
Bean & cheese burritos – Add-ons like tomatoes, sour cream, salsa, etc. really make the meal. To add texture and appeal, make your beans from scratch instead of using refried beans from a can, leaving some whole beans when you season & smush them. Or add lentils cooked with Homemade Taco Seasoning as a sort of meat substitute. It’s not meat and probably won’t fool anyone, but it’s another way to add more texture and appeal.
Lasagna and spaghetti are very good without meat. Just don’t skimp on the sauce and seasonings, and use plenty of cheese in your lasagna.
Bean & cheese enchiladas or “wet burritos” are another cheap meatless meal that everyone loves. I use lots of my Easy Homemade Enchilada Sauce under, over and inside each enchilada to make them moist and flavorful. If you use flour tortillas, there’s no need to soften in oil or sauce. Just put a few tablespoons of seasoned beans, cheese and sauce in the middle, and roll up. Crowd in a single layer on a pan lined with sauce (use a pan with sides at least 1″ high). Top with more sauce and a sprinkle of cheese. Bake about 25-30 minutes at 350, until heated through and lightly browned on top.
We also love quiche, and the egg/cheese combination is a less expensive source of protein than most meats. Bacon, ham or sausage is nice but not necessary. Garlic, carmelized onions and other veggies add lots of flavor, and this dinner goes well with a green salad. Just mix up 6 eggs, 2 cups of milk, 2 cups grated cheese (any kind you have on hand), and as many add-ins as you want. Pour into an unbaked pie shell and bake until the center is set. Of course we double or triple this.
Moving away from meat is a fun excuse to experiment with new recipes. We recently discovered and enjoyed Greek Fakes soup, and my husband wants me to make Indian Dahl lentils again. We tried Black Bean Burgers and decided that the recipe was promising but needed a lot of tweaking.
What meatless recipes have you tried and enjoyed?
Link up with any one of the 4 Moms and your link will appear on all 4 of our blogs!
See what meatless meals are cooking in the other Moms’ kitchens: