Meatless Monday: Recipes and Tips
Juice cleanses, the Paleo diet, and kale-everything are all trends that have had their rise and fall in our modern food scene, but there’s one movement that’s surpassed them all: vegetarianism.
It’s easier than ever to find delicious, plant-based foods in grocery stores and restaurants. Even if you’re not up for completely cutting meat out of your life, skipping it for even one day of the week can be a great way to cook and eat something new! Here are some of my favorite recipes, spices, and tips for your next Meatless Monday. (Pictured above: Sweet & Sour Stir-Fry with Sesame Tofu)
It can be difficult to find a breakfast that ticks all the boxes: carbohydrates for an energy boost, protein to keep you full, and a little fat to sustain you (even after that first cup of coffee starts to wear off). Our Banana Cacao Almond Smoothie passes this test while tasting great too!
• Tofu adds some “secret” protein to each sip while also providing a super creamy texture.
• A pinch Cayenne Pepper adds a subtle, warm chile note to the sweeter flavors of cocoa and cinnamon.
Pro Tip: If you’re more of a savory breakfast lover, skillet potatoes like these are awesome topped with a fried egg for an ovo-lacto start to your day. Want to keep it plant-based? Use oil instead of butter and top with scrambled tofu. Try them with Herbes de Provence Seasoning Salt, Capitol Hill Seasoning, or any of your favorite all-purpose blends.
Many people are often concerned about getting enough protein on a vegetarian diet, but it isn’t actually as hard as you might think. Often, grains need to be paired with legumes in order to have all nine essential amino acids (read: building blocks of protein) to make them “complete.”
• Quinoa is one of the few varieties of grains that has all nine amino acids on its own. Get a protein boost at lunch with Quinoa Sausage Bites and pasta, Smoky Quinoa Burgers with Garlic Mayo, or Black Bean & Clementine Quinoa Salad – these can all be prepared ahead of time and enjoyed the next day as workday lunches!
Pro Tip: Need a super quick lunch? Top leafy greens with a drizzle of olive oil and white wine vinegar, and sprinkle on Bucktown Brown Mustard & Honey Rub for a honey mustard-dressed salad. Add any of your favorite salad toppings like sliced red pepper, cherry tomatoes, sunflower seeds, or a hardboiled egg.
Homemade vegetarian snacks are super easy and most can be prepped and portioned for the whole week.
• Chickpeas are good sources of fiber and protein, so pick up a can (or two) next time you’re at the store. Use them to mix up a batch of Crispy Tan-Tan Chickpeas or Calabrian Hot Pepper Hummus.
• Nuts are perfect for snacking because they’re packed with nutrients like Vitamin E, protein, and heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Cinnamon Sugar Almonds are great to keep within arm’s reach, but if you like a bit of heat, you should definitely try sweet and spicy Moongphali Chatpata peanuts.
Pro Tip: If you’re pressed for time, skip making your own hummus! Upgrade the store-bought stuff with simple stir-ins like:
• Portuguese Fermented Chile Flakes
• Mt. Hood Toasted Onion All-Purpose Rub
• Pyramid Peak Lemon Pepper
Here’s where you can get really creative – there are plenty of ways to make flavorful, meat-free dinners.
• Raid the produce section of the grocery store and start experimenting with all the fresh, seasonal vegetables you can find. Pile whatever you’ve got in the fridge onto this Grilled Veggie BBQ Pizza. If you want to skip the cheese, you can still enjoy barbecue flavor with Midwestern Sweet Portobello Burgers or use Hot Pepper Vinegar Barbecue Sauce to make a spicy Sweet & Sour Stir-Fry with Sesame Tofu. For days when you need something comforting, Vegan Sausage, Kale & Potato Soup is made with South Fork Italian Sausage Spice and Summit County Seasoning to infuse the dish with fennel and herbs.
Pro Tip: Park Hill Maple & Spice Pepper is an excellent choice for roasted vegetables! Sprinkle liberally on quartered Brussels sprouts and cubed sweet potato and roast in a 400-degree oven until tender. Serve the veggies with your favorite cooked legume (like Great Northern beans or chickpeas) on top of brown rice with a jarred or homemade pesto.
A few other great vegetable pairings:
• Colorado Plateau Citrus Pepper + cauliflower
• Great Plains Bison & Beef Rub + mushrooms
• Cantanzaro Herbs Seasoning Salt + roasted tomatoes
Do you participate in Meatless Monday? Leave a comment with your vegetarian cooking “wins” or favorite Savory Spice + veggie pairing. If you want ideas, check out our vegetarian recipes! As always, if you make a dish that you’re proud of, remember to share it on Instagram or Facebook and tag it with #savoryspiceshop for us to see!