13 Recipes for Meatless Monday to Make Earth Day A Weekly Habit
Join the Meatless Monday campaign this Earth Day and help save the planet just by eating! If you're a dubious meat lover who wants to eat a little greener, we can tell you that vegetarian recipes aren't all salads. We have 13 recipes to prove it.
Most of us could stand to be a little bit greener and Earth Day is our annual reminder to save the planet. But there's already a push to make our meals environmentally friendly: "Meatless Monday" is a campaign to encourage people around the world to give up meat one day a week for personal health and the health of the planet. This year, the two coincide so we picked out 13 meatless recipes to help you make your meals greener (and we're not just talking about veggies).
Italian Ravioli with Spinach, Artichokes, Capers, Sun-Dried Tomatoes
The pasta pockets filled with cheese give this dish weight, but the color and flavor combinations are impressive. Sundried tomatoes lend a sweetness (and a little meatiness) that is balanced out by the brininess of the capers. The spinach and artichokes are the veggie elements that add both earthiness and richness, making you forget that this is a meatless dish.
Moroccan Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
If you think you need meat to make your meal flavorful, this vegetarian recipe might change your mind. These roasted sweet potatoes are stuffed with cubed eggplant that's been roasted and sautéed with Moroccan spices. Roasted chickpeas are added to the potatoes as well, which are then drizzled with tahini and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds. It's filling, healthy, and, most importantly, it's delicious.
5-Ingredient Spinach Parmesan Zucchini Noodles
We'd be remiss if we didn't include an ultra-green recipe for Earth Day ... and this super simple zoodle recipe fits the bill. The zucchini noodles are sauteed with the spinach and then tossed with parmesan cheese and sprinkled with salt and pepper. It only takes about 20 minutes to put this together, making it both an Earth saver and a time saver.
Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Panini
For all intents and purposes, this is a grilled cheese sandwich. But there's so much that goes into it, it can be a meatless meal. Of course, the centerpiece of the sandwich is the fresh mozzarella. Mozzarella's mild flavor makes it the perfect partner for pesto — sundried tomato pesto, to be precise. The fresh tomatoes break up the richness of the cheese and pesto, and the pine nuts give it a crunch. If you're not already a vegetarian, this may just be the meal that will convert you.
5 Ingredient Coconut Curry
As a flexitarian, I picked this one because I love how sturdy yet versatile tiny chickpeas are. Any time I'm in the mood for stew, I look for chickpea recipes to fill the meat gap. This recipe is not a stew, but it is substantial and requires only five ingredients. Served over rice with a sauce of curry paste and coconut milk, the broccoli and chickpeas give you the veggies and protein for a well-balanced meal.
We're not tricksters at Yummly, but I'm going venture a guess that this pasta dish could fool a carnivore into thinking this is a meat dish. There are so many colors and textures that you could get lost in every forkful. But that's how Mediterranean cooks roll — they just pile up all the good stuff in one dish in a way that makes you forget why you like the bad stuff. All the artichoke hearts, olives, and grape tomatoes make up for anything you think you're missing without the addition of meat. If you want to make it gluten-free, you can substitute the pasta with gluten-free soba noodles.
Brown Butter Mushroom Pasta
If you're struggling with getting the texture of meat into your meal, mushrooms could be the savory savior you're looking for. This sauceless pasta recipe showcases the meatiness of mushrooms while the brown butter brings out the umami of the fungi. You can credit the crunch to the toasted breadcrumbs that make a meatless dinner something to look forward to. If you want to make this a bit healthier, try using whole grain pasta instead of regular noodles.
Keto Zucchini Pizza Boats with Goat Cheese
Cheese is my favorite way to get satisfaction from my vegetarian meals and this recipe puts it to good use for the protein component. Including salt and pepper, this recipe only calls for eight ingredients and takes a little more than a half-hour to make: spinach is sauteed with garlic, piled into hollowed-out zucchini, and topped with goat cheese before being baked. Not only is it great for Earth Day and Meatless Monday, but it's also kind of the unicorn dish for vegetarians that follow a keto diet which can be pretty meaty.
Vegan Thai Red Curry with Cauliflower and Potatoes
For those who don't do cheese, the satisfaction factor is a bit harder to come by if you forgo meat, but cauliflower is a veritable vegetable robust enough to stand up to a Thai red curry sauce. Add potatoes and you have a vegetarian meal that most meat eaters could fervently feast on.
If you're craving lasagna, this recipe is kind of like lasagna without the meat ... or work. Here, zucchini slices are grilled and slathered with ricotta cheese, rolled up, topped with sauce, and baked. It's a delicious, meatless version of the Italian classic.
Vegetarian Dirty Thai Fried Quinoa
Here's our token tofu recipe. Tofu sometimes gets a bum rap as a vegetarian meat substitute, but carnivores all over the world have been cooking with it for centuries. It can take on many flavors, it has great texture, and it's very filling, making it a very versatile protein. For this recipe, fried tofu is added to quinoa (a super grain) for something similar to fried rice only a little tastier and lot healthier. Fresh green beans and peppers are the veggie components and red curry paste with soy sauce bring the dish to life. If you've never cooked with tofu before, this is a great introduction.
Eggs aren't just for breakfast, especially when you're cooking vegetarian meals. If just quiche comes to mind as an egg dish for dinner, it's actually common in a lot of cultures to eat eggs for lunch and dinner in a variety of ways. Shakshuka is a Mediterranean dish (its exact origin is unclear) that calls for poaching eggs in a tomato sauce along with a few vegetables and a lot of spices. Served with crumbled feta and pita bread, it's an excellent way to punctuate your day without meat.
Bibimbap is a Korean one-dish meal served with a base of rice topped with meat, vegetables, and an egg to be stirred together as it's being eaten. If you're looking for a light Asian meal that isn't stir-fry, this rice bowl is an excellent option — this recipe leaves off the meat and it's not missed! The egg does a good job of providing protein satisfaction while the spinach, sprouts, carrots, and mushrooms support this nutrition delivery system.
Want to make Meatless Monday a habit?
If you want to make Meatless Monday a habit, we have thousands more quick and easy vegetarian recipes to explore.