4 Moms share vegetarian recipes {linky}

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:

bacon seed

And this is hilarious:periodic table of meat


I make bacon roses for my husband, and we both think this site is awesome.

bacon roses

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.

Taco salad is another meal that works well without meat: just use ranch beans or season your own pinto/black beans with Homemade Taco Seasoning.  Top with Homemade Catalina salad dressing.

homemade-enchilada-sauceBean & 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?

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  1. Sheila Mom to Seven says:

    Bacon Ice Cream – made it, love it, will make again… Come on over for some (it has chocolate sauce…)

  2. That is amazing!

    I love the bacon roses. How do you make them, it would be excellent for Valentine’s day, being married to a complete bacon addict 😀

  3. I’ve noticed that cheese is almost as expensive as meat these days, do you buy a certain type or limit how much you’ll put in a recipe? I make rice dishes to fill in and stretch our meat, but have had to limit our cheese the same way I have to limit our meat at each meal.

    • You’re right about the price of cheese, but it seems to go much further. One pound of cheese in a main dish is fairly generous, but a pound of meat would hardly be tasted or appreciated. It also helps that I get all my cheese at Costco for about $2.50/lb, so it’s still much cheaper than most meats. They also have feta cheese in a big container. It costs more, but a little goes a long way!

  4. The periodic table of meats is really funny. Less noble meats: Pigs feet, spam, and roadkill, totally true. I think also chicken’s feet, anything’s tongue, anything fatty hip bone thrown into hotpot as meat, and fish heads, but well they eat a lot of things here in China that are not even remotely considered meat in America, but many people here actually really enjoy these and purposefully seek them out, so they must view them as more noble than I do. I’d rather eat beans.

  5. MMMM!!!!

    I’m pregnant, and I crave refried beans!!

    These are all very good ideas. We like to have a few meals during the two weeks between pay days that are meatless……pancakes and eggs is a good one too. And quesadillas. Grilled cheese and tomato soup. Nachos.

    And bacon? YES!!!!

  6. We spent 3 years in Alaska and saw the bumper sticker “PETA: People for the Eating of Tasty Animals” several times.

  7. Heather says:

    That bacon seed photo is so funny!

    And if you love bacon and chocolate covered bacon may I humbly suggest what is now my husband’s favorite ice cream sundae? It is vanilla ice cream (we do homemade, but really, whatever would work) then crumbled warm bacon and maple syrup on top. It is DELICIOUS! If you warm the bacon and maple syrup it will melt quicker, but really it is awesome in so many ways!

    I’ve also seen bacon chocolate chip cookies, but I’ve yet to make them. I figure they’ll make a great Father’s Day treat this year!

    • Heather, we’ve had bacon chocolate chip cookies and they are just as good as they sound. I’m a firm believer that almost anything is better with either bacon or chocolate, and if it has both you just can’t lose!

  8. this is my favorite bacon related photo http://iseeahappyface.com/upload/bacon-not-done-yet573.jpg … like the ‘bacon seed’ too, how cute!

    • Oh, Lucy! That image is horrible and hilarious! I’ve seen it before without the caption, but it’s so much funnier this way! Thanks for sharing.

  9. I always enjoy reading the 4 Moms posts!

  10. Melanie E says:

    It comes up as “Penny” because that is the author of the blog where that recipe is.

  11. Melanie E says:

    The Lentil Meatball recipe I just linked to tastes SOOOO good!

  12. rebekah says:

    I LOVE the bacon seed! Thank you for taking the time to post, you are my favorite part of the week, and I know ( I KNOW) it isn’t very easy to carve time for this stuff!

    • Thank you, Rebekah – how sweet of you! You must have noticed that I *am* having trouble making time to blog lately, but I wish you could see all the posts I write in my head. 🙂 I’m still a blogger at heart, and I hope to find a way to work it back into my day soon.

  13. Well, hello! May I say you make lovely bacon roses! It’s bed-time here so I’ll add my meatless wonders tomorrow. But, I have been checking your site all day to see what pearls of wisdom you have for us and it’s good to see you here! Good night.

    • Our favorite recipes without meat would definately include pasta, sauce of some sort, and cheese of some sort. Greek food and Italian food are some of our favorite flavors that do well without meat. I have also learned through cooking especially the greek dishes that cottage cheese does not need to be relegated to a lettuce leaf with a peach and served cold. It is marvelous used in recipes where you might put ground beef, for example.

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