Thursday, March 13, 2014

Meatless Meals

**I'm a little low on recipes to blog this week, because I'm currently in the middle of a "No Dessert Week".  Meaning that I'm trying not to make or eat dessert after dinner this week.  This was a spur of the moment thing on Sunday night, because Thomas is trying to lose just a few more pounds and I could certainly do without a few too.  But, I didn't plan a super interesting menu for this week, so I'm slacking on having a recipe to blog.  I will try and come up with something in the next few days though.  In the mean time, here is a more general food post!

Whether you're on a budget or just looking for a little more variety in your menus, trying out some meatless meals could be just what you need!  Thomas and I try to eat meatless at least once a week.  It's nice on the budget and great to change things up.  We eat a lot of chicken around here, so rather than having to splurge on steaks, we go meatless.

The thing about trying meatless meals if you haven't is that you feel like you're going to notice it missing from your plate.  But if you plan it right, you'll see that you don't really miss the meat.  You just have to make sure that you have plenty of variety on your plate to keep you interested.

Now, if you're a picky eater out there, these are definitely some meals you will like.  Thomas is pretty darn picky about some things, and there are certainly foods I won't eat also.  So there's nothing "new age" in here like quinoa or tofu or chickpeas.  We're a little more basic than that.

So, without further ado, here are some really basic meatless meals.

Pasta:  This is probably the easiest type of meal to go meatless on.  You can easily make almost any type of pasta without meat.  One of Thomas' and my go-to meals is basically spaghetti with cheese in the marinara sauce instead of meat.  It's super easy to just mix some cheese into your sauce when you would use meat.  The cheese takes the sauce to a whole new level, so you really don't even notice the meat missing.  Serve any pasta with a salad and some garlic bread, and you've got a great, balanced meal.
Try this delicious homemade lasagna without meat.  There are so many layers of flavor that it doesn't even really need meat.
These stuffed shells are also a great way to skip the meat with pasta.

Potatoes:  Potatoes are so versatile that you can easily take them from a side dish to the main course.  Here are some ideas:
Loaded Baked Potatoes.  Serve with some cooked veggies or big salad and some bread or rolls.
Potato Soup:  Just Google it, and you'll find tons of recipes for all different kinds of potato soups.  Even Loaded Baked Potato Soup!

Veggie Soup:  I've got a great, super easy recipe for Veggie Soup right here.  Just omit the meat, and you've still got a flavorful, hearty meal!

Pizza:  This is another really easy one.  You can do any pizza meatless.  Sure, it's a little more boring that way, but it's still a great meal.  One of my favorite lunch meals is French Bread pizza.  Just cut yourself a few slices of your favorite French bread and fix each piece like a mini pizza.  It's delicious and super quick.  They only need about 10-15 minutes to bake.  These are also great for families because each person can be responsible for making their pizza however they want.  Kids love getting to put on their own toppings and have their very own pizza.

And as you've probably noticed:  serve everything with a salad and some type of bread!  I just love salad and bread to complete a meal!  Enjoy!

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