Trying out some of the best meat-free recipes can be a very effective way to enjoy some delicious meals and make some important changes in your lifestyle. If you are trying to work toward better heart health and disease prevention, if you’re aiming to enjoy a diet with improved ethics, if you’re attempting to reduce your carbon footprint, or if you just want something new, choosing plant based meals can be a great step.
Though you may never have considered non-meat forms of protein, they can really give you everything you need. If you haven’t focused on macronutrients – fats, proteins and carbohydrates – in your foods until now, then there may be some learning involved. That said, this doesn’t mean that this needs to be difficult. It merely means that you’ll have a better understanding of the foods you’re choosing.
You will find that you can get all of the benefits of protein for your body yet far less of the saturated fats that can weigh you down when you eat a heavy piece of beef, for instance. You don’t need to cut out all animal-based products to enjoy meat-free recipes. In fact, you can enjoy these recipes on the same days that you also have a ham sandwich for lunch, for that matter.
Meat-free recipes don’t mean that you’re making a declaration of any sort. They just mean that you’re trying meals that contain everything you need and that taste delicious, but that also happen to be meatless.
Many people are choosing to enjoy a day or two every week in which they try not to eat any meat at all. This can be a healthy challenge to keep up variety in your nutrition, among other things. This makes for a nice change of pace, helps to protect your heart health, and also gives you everything that you need in a much healthier package. Still, it isn’t a requirement of trying out these meals.
Some of the best meat-free recipes involve modifications and alternatives. So, rather than making burgers, you can use non-meat alternatives to provide the same sort of experience but with a fresh taste and texture. You end up with a new and different meal option simply by changing a handful of the ingredients they contain.
Take the example of a burger: Change up the meat for some ground veggies like zucchini, red pepper, and carrots that you chop finely and throw into a mix. You want to mix in some black beans for substance and for great fiber content. You can season as you like, but a good idea is to throw in some fresh garlic and onions. Grill or sauté them and pop them onto your favorite kind of burger bun. Alternately, use a portabello mushroom. Grill it with a small amount of teriyaki sauce brushed into its “bowl” and add some onions and peppers for more flavor, texture, and nutrients. Serve it up with your favorite burger toppings. Delicious and good for you, too!
Some of the best meat-free recipes are those that allow you to use some creativity to make something truly delicious. Take a quinoa salad, for example, which makes you feel full and satisfied without any meat at all:
Cook up 1 cup of quinoa with 2 cups of water, and allow this to boil and simmer. Once cooled, add in chopped cucumber, tomatoes, spinach, fresh mint, fresh dill, and feta cheese. You have created an excellent lunch option–or you can toss in a fresh avocado for a great dinner. So easy to make, and it goes so far!
Sometimes with meat-free recipes you just let the ingredients be the star. Take for example a pasta primavera. Use whole wheat pasta and then cook up some of your favorite veggies, like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, asparagus, and tomatoes. Blend in olive oil, tomato sauce, garlic, and fresh basil. You thereby create a main dish, but it features the vegetables and a simple whole wheat pasta.
Remember that the best meat-free recipes aren’t pretending to be meat. Yes, you can make burgers out of vegetables. That said, the point shouldn’t be to try to replicate the taste of beef. It’s not beef. Just like you wouldn’t try to use a pork chop to taste like a carrot, you shouldn’t expect your veggie alternatives to taste like what they aren’t.
You can tweak recipes or dive into all new ones. The point of meat-free recipes isn’t to try to create a mirror image of the taste and texture of what you already know. Instead, you are aiming for new delicious alternatives. Yes, you can love your beef burger. You can also love your portobello burger for completely different reasons. Keep up a mindset of loving new things, and you’ll always be on the right track.
Eat for health and enjoy some of these delicious options that never use any meat at all. You will be happy that you did!