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Just because you’re doing meatless meals doesn’t mean you have to feel deprived. These veggie-packed meals are flavorful and make it easy to put a healthy meal on the table any time.
I love doing meatless meals for several reasons. The most important one for me is that I am not overburdening animal production. I love animals. And although I eat meat, I don’t want to eat meat from mistreated animals, put any money into the mainstream animal production, or eat a ton of meat just so I can be happy with no thought for any other creature.
When I eat meat, I want it to be from well-treated animals, that were killed humanely and processed well. Not mass-produced meat. So I buy my meat from local farmers that I can talk to about their procedures. And I want free-range meat, not grain-fed meat, so I can get that this way as well.
Are meatless meals cheaper?
Free-range local meat is expensive. And meat, in general, is expensive. So I want to make sure I’m getting the most bang for my buck with my food dollars. I use my meat sparingly to help my waistline as well as my bottom line. I find that when I eat too much meat, I gain weight. I’m already overweight so I try to watch it and have reasonable portions of meat and not for every meal. You can make some cheap meatless meals like these.
We have meatless Mondays often, but we usually have a vegetable-only meal about 2-3 nights a week. Then other nights we will have vegetables with grains. And a few nights a week we have meat and vegetables.
What can you eat on a meatless diet?
You can cook up some pasta noodles or spaghetti squash and toss it with some roasted garlic, some fresh pesto sauce, or some glorious roasted tomato sauce for a quick meal in minutes. Some other great ideas for spaghetti squash are stuffed spaghetti squash lasagna and creamy spinach stuffed spaghetti squash.
You can make a wonderful vegetable lasagna that is grain-free using zucchini noodles instead of pasta. We LOVE using spaghetti squash for meatless meals. This stuffed spaghetti squash lasagna and alfredo style creamy stuffed spinach spaghetti squash are two of our favorites. And this butternut squash mac and cheese will send you singing. It’s a butternut sauce on regular pasta. Even my daycare kids couldn’t tell it had vegetables.
Making a quick salad is another great idea. Some of my favorites are balsamic chopped salad or zesty avocado chopped salad. If you like lettuce salads, you can cut up some lettuce and dress it with one of my wonderful dressing recipes. Restaurant-style ranch dressing that’s better than store-bought, or the citrus-balsamic dressing is amazing and makes anything taste better! And making them yourself, you know what’s in them. I even think elote makes a wonderful meal!
We like to roast up a big pan of broccoli for dinner once in a while. We are trying to lose weight and always find that vegetable-only meals really help. If you have an air fryer, you can roast any vegetables with this wonderful air-fried vegetables with garlic bread seasoning mix recipe. And check out all these air fryer vegetable recipes for the air fryer too!
Homemade pancakes or grandma’s old-fashioned biscuits make a wonderful meal with some fruit. You can also make a delicious homemade pizza for a meatless meal. Or if you want to make a freeze a bunch of meatless hot pockets, these pizza pockets are a real kid-pleaser too!
My daycare kid’s favorite soup is this easy and inexpensive taco soup. My daughter, who is grown now, begs for it all the time still too. When I see teenagers around town that I kept as kids, they always mention my taco soup. The cauliflower butternut squash soup is one of my very favorites.
For more inspiration, check out these easy dinner ideas for meatless meals. And don’t forget meatless breakfast ideas. And don’t forget meatless meals for picky eaters here. I’m an expert on picky eaters after doing daycare for 26 years and serving meals to more than 100 different kids. I hope you have a ton of new inspiration for your meatless meals! And I hope it challenges you to enjoy more meatless meals at your house. Happy eating!