August 25, 2010

Ask the Nutritionist: Healthy Vegetarian Options

One of my awesome readers named K asked me to write a post on vegetarian options.  Enjoy!

Are you a vegetarian or someone who is trying to cut down their meat intake?

Well, I have some great, tasty options for you! You don’t have to sacrifice flavor when omitting meat from a meal. Try these different ideas below:

Photo Credit: Kath Eats
Love a nice juicy burger? Try a grilled portobella sandwich. You can have all of the same toppings such as mustard, onion, cheese, lettuce, tomato, etc.

All you have to do is marinate the “burger” in Italian dressing and then grill it or pan fry it. I swear these are amazing!

Love pasta with meat sauce? Try adding kidney beans or whatever your favorite beans are instead for added protein. You probably won’t even miss the meat. Also, to bulk up your pasta so you can get a nice big serving without too many calories is to add low calorie vegetables. My favorites are spinach, broccoli, zucchini, and mushrooms.

Like a lunchmeat sandwich with all the fixings? Try a sandwich with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and a nice layer of your favorite flavor of hummus. It is great plain or even grilled like a Panini.

Love tacos with ground beef? This one is easy! Add beans instead. They can usually be made just as tasty if you add some taco seasoning or other spices! Also, with so many other flavorful toppings, you probably won’t think twice about the missing meat.

Love a big salad with grilled chicken or beef on top? Try out a salad with nuts on top instead with a sprinkling of cheese for protein. Also, feel free to add as many veggies as you want! They are so good for you!
Also, if you like products that are similar to meat, brands like Boca and Morningstar Farms are some great options.

I really like Boca Original Burgers which only have 70 calories per serving and taste similar to a hamburger.

My other favorite is Morningstar Farms Mushroom Lover’s Burger. I was originally introduced to this burger by a food scientist for Kellogg’s. He loves this option for his family because they don’t eat meat. It has 110 calories and 7 grams of protein.

What are some of your favorite vegetarian meals?

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  1. *thank you!*

    We have already been adding beans to taco meat, stews, chili and the like....I don't think my family (read: husband) will tolerate totally meat free just yet :)

    Another thing we do to add a little punch is to add canned corn to sloppy joe mix. I realize this isn't substituting the protein out - but it is add a veggie (and a little color!)

  2. following u back - thanks for stopping by :)

  3. Love it! I was a vegetarian for 10 years but was done in by a McDOnald's Cheeseburger .It tasted so good but made me so sick. These are some great veggie options. I try not to serve my girls meat all the time. Love these ideas as alternatives:)

  4. These are really great ideas! I'm a big fan of boca burgers and veggie sandwiches!!

  5. all of those look delicious...I'll share them with a former co-worker and our neighbor-but I think I might try that mushroom burger too :) Looks YUMMY!

  6. What great ideas! Thanks! I'm going to try that marinated portobella sandwich! Sounds delicious!

    I'm following you now from FMBT. I'm a little late, but I'm catchin in! Thanks for visiting!!


  7. I'm not a vegetarian, but these look good.

  8. My dinner is cooking as we speak, and looking at these images literally had my stomach rumbling! YUMMY!! :) Hazel

  9. Yum! I like all the options you gave. Eggplant Parmesan is a nice meatless meal. One of our favorites. :o) Buzzing By...Happy Thursday! :o) Larri at Seams Inspired

  10. Sorry I’m a bit late in getting back to you. That's a MONSTER sandwich! Also, my hubby's dutch so that's where the 'clogs' come from. Thanks for the follow, right back at’cha! Hope I can share some deal and reviews you can use :)

  11. Boy that salad look great. I will have to make that. I love Greek salad types, that is what that on looks like.
    Here from Thursday Friends, glad to meet you.A little about todays post:
    I'm teaching my daughter the art of following, hope you will stop by to encourage her.
    At home with Auntie E

  12. Just turned 40 and am starting my Year 40 Pledge to get in my best shape ever! Glad I found your blog- your recipes look great! I am now following

  13. Thanks for the suggestions! This is pretty much what I've been doing for years! It's always nice to hear about new ideas I may not have thought of.

  14. Amy's burgers are my favorite! We also use lentils (with wild rice sometimes) as the meat substitute in sloppy joes and tacos!

  15. I'm not vegetarian but we do cut down on meat occasionally. My fiance is against beef so we generally do turkey burgers instead, but I'll have to try portebello mushrooms. Thanks for the idea!

  16. nice article, looks like lots of other's liked it too. I still will be busy on November 15th though. LOL

  17. Greatideas and you are so right about the portobello mushrooms, they are delicious.I saw your blog from the foodie blog roll and I like what you have here.if you won't mind I'd love to guide Foodista readers to this post.Just add the portobello widget to the end of this post and it's all set, Thanks!

  18. Hey now, that's my photo up there with the mushroom! Where's my credit!

  19. Mmm, I'm vegetarian & it all looks delicious! I love sandwiches with avocado!

    Visiting from Wednesday Windows & I'm your newest follower!

  20. These all look fantastic! I love portobella, and Morningstar's spicy black bean burger is another favorite.

    Thank you for participating in last week’s Wednesday Window @ Frugality Is Free. I would like to invite you to this week’s The Wednesday Window . It is the place to feature your favorite blog post of the past week or so, for more details check out Frugality Is Free.

  21. Those delicious pictures are making me want to get out of my warm bed, go downstairs and EAT!!! I am a vegetarian and you asked for one of my favorite meals? I love fresh Spinach or other veggies cooked but still crisp, in place of pasta, covered in homemade red sauce made with garbanzo beans, and some veggie meatless meatballs! mmmmm. I am following you now from a hop!


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