Vegetarian versions of your favorite meals


If you've decided to cut back on the amount of meat you consume for health reasons, you may wonder if you will have to give up your favorite meals. Don't worry — it's easy to substitute vegetarian staples in place of meats. And the vegetarian versions are sometimes better tasting than the original recipes.

Mushroom cheeseburgers

Take a few big slices of portobello mushrooms and place them on a greased indoor grill. Season the mushrooms with salt and olive oil, then grill for ten minutes on both sides. Place the mushroom slices on one toasted piece of bread and top with avocados, blue cheese, tomatoes and red onions along with herbed mayonnaise. Top with the second piece of toast.

Spaghetti and quinoa balls

While you boil a pound of spaghetti in water, prepare the quinoa balls. In a bowl combine three cups of cooked quinoa, a cup of egg substitute, two cups of diced green onions, three crushed garlic cloves and three cups of breadcrumbs. Add a few teaspoons of vegetable broth and spices. Shape into balls and place in a pan. Then pour two cups of tomato sauce over the balls in the pan. Bake the balls for thirty minutes then serve on top of the spaghetti.

Sweet potato and red bean chili

In a large pot saute three cups of red onions, a half cup of diced celery and four garlic cloves crushed in a few teaspoons of olive oil. Then add four cups of vegetable broth, two pounds of red beans, spices and herbs, a cup of green peas and a cup of diced carrots. Then add two cups of tomato sauce and four big peeled and diced sweet potatoes. Cook over medium low heat for three hours.

Macaroni salad with tofu

In a medium bowl combine a pound of cooked elbow macaroni, two cups of tofu, a teaspoon of olive oil, three teaspoons of salt, a teaspoon of black pepper, a half cup of shredded carrots, a half cup of diced celery, a teaspoon of sugar and a half cup of chopped black olives. Mix well and serve.

Vegetable loaf

Take five to six veggie burgers and crumble them in a medium bowl. Add two cups of tofu, fresh herbs and spices, a few teaspoons of soy milk, a cup of diced green onions, one-third cup of bread crumbs and a half cup of tomatoes. Shape into a loaf and place it in a greased loaf pan. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 40 minutes.

Vegetable fried rice

In a large skillet, saute three cups of onions, two cups of diced carrots, a cup of snap peas and a half cup of shredded zucchini in a few teaspoons of olive oil. Then add three cups of cooked rice and two cups of vegetable broth. Add garlic powder, onion powder, soy sauce and black pepper. Cook for thirty minutes.

These vegetarian versions take the boredom out of meatless eating. And with the right substitutes, you will enjoy meatless meals often.


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