Three Meatless Main Dishes that Fill You Up!

Welcome back to my "Three Dishes That..." series, where the focus is on creative and fun ways to incorporate more good-for-you ingredients into your meal time. Check out the first post on main dishes that pack in whole grains and produce here

To many Americans, a dish without meat feels incomplete. They are seriously missing out! There are so many delicious and healthy options for meatless dishes. Today I am sharing with you three of my favorites, along with some wisdom on the benefits of a meatless meal from my dear friend and Registered Dietitian Erica Baty. Read on for three flavorful and filling meatless main dishes, and tips from a pro!

Hey all!
I’m thrilled to be sharing again here on Kelsey’s fantastic blog. Her “Three dishes that…” series is inspiring to say the least and I couldn’t be happier that she is talking about three MEATLESS meals today! Now, I am not a vegan or vegetarian, but I do believe anyone can benefit from replacing at least one meat and dairy-rich meal per week with a plant-based alternative. Let me try and convince you the same with a couple facts:
  1. Health Benefits
On average, Americans consume 200lb of meat per person per year and it is very clearly affecting our national health. Hundreds of clinical studies in the past several decades show that the consumption of meat and dairy, especially at the high levels seen in our country, can cause cancer, diabetes, hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol), heart disease and a host of other diseases. Did you know that the World Health Organization has classified processed meats (sausage, hot dogs, salami, ham) as a type 1 carcinogen? Americans have twice the obesity rate, twice the diabetes rate and three times the cancer rate as the rest of the world. Now keep in mind that meat isn’t the only reason people develop these diseases, but it’s a major factor.
  1. Environmental Impact
Fifty-one percent or more of global greenhouse-gas emission are caused by animal agriculture, according to a report published by the Worldwatch Institute. It takes a massive amount of water to grow crops for animals to eat and for them to drink. A single cow used for milk can drink up to 50 gallons of water per day and it takes 683 gallons of water to produce just 1 gallon of milk. It takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef, while producing 1 pound of tofu only requires 244 gallons of water. Raising and slaughtering animals also produces an enormous amount of pollution and requires a lot of land. Two acres of rainforest are cleared EACH MINUTE to raise cattle or crops to feed them. Get this: if the entire U.S. did not eat meat or cheese for just one day a week, it would be the equivalent of not driving 91 billion miles- or taking 7.6 million cars off the road!
  1. Plants are Delicious!
Not only are they higher in fiber, lower in fat and richer in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, plant-based foods are just downright delicious! I love to get creative in the kitchen, finding unique and delicious ways to prepare veggies, fruits, whole grains and legumes. Try a delicious lentil curry, three bean chili with avocado, luxurious carrot and mint soup, peanut tofu stir-fry, nut and seed granola, roasted cauliflower tacos with pico de gallo, the options are truly endless…and truly scrumptious.  

Lentil Chili

Lentils are a great source of protein and have a great nutty flavor. A blend of lentils and veggies in a flavorful sauce makes for a delicious and filling meal poured over brown rice, or by itself. The recipe photographed here is chipotle lentil chili with brown rice from the book Veg Power! 
 Pinterest also has a host of appetizing lentil chilis, including recipes that costar butternut squash, sweet potato, or eastern flavor alongside the lentils!

Loaded Guacamole Tacos 

Oh my goodness, these are delicious. Crisp lettuce, black beans, corn, peppers, and a hefty scoop of zesty guacamole. I will give you the recipe and say no more! 

Bean Burgers

Bean Burgers are surprisingly delicious and quite filling. With an array of beans and dressings to choose from, they can be diverse too! The bean burger pictured is just a really simple patty made of chick peas, kidney beans, onion, egg, spices, and oil.  

Go southwest with a patty featuring diced jalapenos and topped with pepper jack cheese, keep it classic with lettuce, tomato, and cheddar, or get classy with bleu cheese and sauteed mushrooms and onions. There are so many possibilities! If you search Pinterest you will surely be able to find a bean burger that appeals to you, especially if you browse a bean burger board!

Do you enjoy eating a meatless meal a few times a week? Let me know what your favorites are in the comments below.
For more meatless tidbits and vegetable-based recipes, check out my experience from two weeks eating vegetarian.
If you loved hearing from Erica, I guarantee you will love seeing her delicious and healthy meals on her Instagram account!

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1 comment:

  1. I love making meatless meals; if it were just me I'd prepare meatless more than with meat. I love making black bean burgers! Beef upsets my stomach so we don't eat it often at my house and the black bean burgers are a cheap, healthy alternative to beef burgers! I am visiting you today from Women Helping Women link up!


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