Looking for some yummy vegetarian eats you can make at home this Earth Day? Look no further!
As parents, caregivers, and moms, we make a million choices a day for ourselves and our families. Choices that range from the insignificant, like what dish soap to buy, to monumental, like where to live. As tiring as it may be, there are choices that we make multiple times a day, every day that also have a big impact on our planet–what we eat!
This Earth Day, I encourage you to infuse those choices with some delicious, and meat-eater approved, vegetarian recipes. Eating less meat can be one way to reduce your carbon footprint. By cutting down on red meat such as beef and lamb, you can reduce your footprint by a quarter. Go full-on vegetarian and your footprint is about half that of a meat eater’s diet. I live in a mixed household of vegetarians and meat eaters. While I have been a vegetarian for over a decade, my husband has eaten meat his whole life and by all counts, will continue to do so. However, given our co-habitation, the work involved in cooking separate meals just wasn’t feasible. As a result, we all keep a vegetarian diet at home. Through this process, we’ve found some delicious recipes that satisfy both vegetarians and meat eaters alike. Next time you’re pondering the dreaded question of “What’s for dinner?” consider some of these options.
Easy Vegetarian Staples
These are recipes that we count on during the week to be quick, delicious, and satisfy all our taste buds. As a bonus, they all rely on pantry superheroes like chickpeas, lentils, and farro.
If you crave a Taco Tuesday moment each week, try including this spin on classic ground beef tacos. The base of quinoa and black beans seasoned with taco seasoning and ketchup of all things, creates a satisfying base for your crunchy shelled tacos.
This recipe had me at “one pan.” This is a set it and forget recipe that we easily eat once a week when tomatoes are in season. The farro is a healthier alternative to pasta and creates a rich and filling one bowl meal.
My husband who “doesn’t like beans” eats this on a regular basis. Are you a chicken or tuna salad fan? Try swapping for chickpeas next time you get the craving. Adjust this recipe to your liking to add in elements of your favorite deli salad!
I have tried a lot of vegetarian chili recipes and never loved one, until this. This recipe is actually flavorful without being a ton of work or taking forever to simmer on the stove. You can also swap in or out veggies and bean choices based on your preferences.
Another easy swap if you love traditional ground beef sloppy joes! Lentils and red pepper make a creamy and smoky base for this sloppy joe sandwich. Use your favorite buns and other toppings and I think you’ll find these are just as sloppy and delicious.
In my family, we like to reserve Sunday night dinner for what we call “project recipes.” The recipe might involve more preparation and include ingredients we don’t normally have on hand. It helps us get out of our comfort zone and spend a little more time cooking in the kitchen. If you also like a project now and again, here are some vegetarian gems.
Casserole-type dishes exhaust me so when I found this one pot pasta version of ratatouille I was intrigued. When you sign on for this be prepared to chop but you will be rewarded with a truly magnificent pasta dish that is just as good hot from the stove as it is cold the next day for lunch.
The recipe that broke the internet. This viral recipe is several years old and I still make it all the time. Simple ingredients yield a comforting and satisfying stew that you can dress up to your liking. I love anything that calls for toppings and this checks the box.
Another classic turned vegetarian that my husband now requests. Roasted eggplant and cannellini beans are mixed with spices and breadcrumbs to create moist and extremely flavorful “meatballs” that are the perfect addition to your spaghetti dinner.
If your family likes breakfast for dinner, this is a stunner. Don’t let the fact that it needs to sit overnight before it’s baked scare you. This is a great make-ahead meal that will make your whole home smell incredible once it’s baking in the oven. It is as tasty for brunch as it is for dinner.