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17 Healthy Vegetarian Recipes for the Meat Lovers in Your Life

17 Healthy Vegetarian Recipes for the Meat Lovers in Your Life

Imagine if you could make healthy vegetarian recipes that even the most die-hard meat and potatoes fan would go wild for; maybe it would even make them ask for seconds.

It might seem like quite a challenge, but truthfully, there are a variety of foods and seasonings we can work with to create similar flavors and textures to what meat lovers crave.

With so many vegan and vegetarian recipes on the interwebs, you definitely won’t have a shortage of ideas; however, it can be tough to weed through all the kale salads to find the recipes that will truly satisfy an omnivore’s taste buds.

In this article, you’ll find 17 of the best recipes, curated from some of the best vegan food bloggers. But first, here are a few important tips that will help you understand how to successfully cook vegan food for meat lovers.

How To Cook Vegan Food Everyone Will Love

Tips for a Mixed Household

  1. If you’re cooking for your family, they may not be ready to shift to an entirely plant-based diet. Taking it one step at a time is still progress. A meatless meal one (or more!) night a week is a great way to start and still has a huge impact.
  2. Rather than struggling to fill the void of the animal-based food they’re used to having as the central focus of their plate, it’s more fun – and more effective – to start fresh by shifting the focus on building a flavorful and fun plate full of plant foods.
  3. Invite your meat eater to cook something for him or herself that can go along with your healthy vegetarian recipes. Then they can also try the delicious dish you’ve made, and you’re not forcing them to give anything up.
  4. It can take some time for our taste buds to adjust and fully appreciate plant-based foods. Give them time and your family might find that, after a while, they actually like vegetarian night and can enjoy it more often.

Flavors to Focus On

Savory or umami is a fantastic aspect of the flavor spectrum to focus on to ensure a meat lover’s palate is satisfied.

We often cover the salty or sweet tastes, but we don’t always consider savory in the same way. Think of things like roasted garlic, roasted eggplant, nutritional yeast, sun-dried tomatoes, olives and miso.

Including ingredients with a savory flavor like these in your dishes will tickle the taste buds that aren’t necessarily fulfilled by cucumbers and kale alone.

When cooking vegan or vegetarian recipes for meat eaters, be generous with the fat or oil. It will help to make a naturally low-fat plant-based meal more of a fair comparison with meat and give an omnivore’s body the satiety cues it’s accustomed to.

Once your meat-lover gets a taste for plant foods, you can slowly cut back the oil.

Don’t be afraid of salt either; it makes a huge difference in bringing out the flavor of vegetables and in seasoning grains and beans that would otherwise be fairly bland.

Getting more vegetables (which are rich in potassium) is more important than eliminating salt intake entirely, and when we shift from processed foods to whole foods, we reduce a significant amount of daily salt consumption.

17 Healthy Vegetarian Recipes to Satisfy Meat-Lovers

1. Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Garlic Sauce

    Hearty and juicy grilled portobellos make for a super simple swap onto a meat-centric plate. They can be paired with mashed potatoes and green beans for a comforting balance that the meat lover in your life will appreciate.

    Top them with the creamy, smoky garlic sauce to satisfy that savory palate. These are so tasty, you’ll definitely want to make enough for seconds.

    ~ Check out the recipe here!

    2. Roasted Poblano Jackfruit Tacos with Adobo Cream Sauce

      These tacos are out of this world, with tons of spice and umami from the seasoning infused into the jackfruit, topped with roasted poblano peppers and drizzled with a rich adobo cream sauce. This is a feast everyone will appreciate. Get messy – in a good way.

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      Ingredient note: Jackfruit makes a great replacement for pulled pork, and you’ll find it used often in vegetarian recipes like tacos. But if you’ve never used it before, it can be daunting to know which brand to buy and how to prepare it.

      Luckily, Lauren has written a comprehensive review of various jackfruit options, and her recipe directions give all the preparation notes you’ll need.

      ~ Check out the recipe here!

      3. Sticky Sesame Cauliflower

        This will give you a fix for Chinese take out cravings, in a healthy vegan way. This sauce is bursting with flavor and ready to coat some battered and baked crispy cauliflower.

        Full of cancer-fighting, anti-inflammatory, and immune-boosting nutrients, cauliflower is a definite nutritional win.

        Add this to a bowl with some rice, and it will disappear in no time.

        ~ Check out the recipe here!

        4. Vegan Seitan Steak

          For another easy swap onto a meat-centric plate, try this full-flavored seitan steak. The seitan is paired with lentils for a balanced texture. Enjoy this however you would want to have steak: grilled with fries and coleslaw, chopped on top of a salad, on a baguette with BBQ sauce, or whatever suits.

          Ingredient note: Seitan (pronounced say-tan) has a meat-like texture, and is made of wheat gluten. So it’s not good for celiacs or anyone with a wheat or gluten allergy, but it’s an easy-to-make meat substitute. Sam gives a great seitan-newbie guide with this recipe, showing how to prepare it with a full photo tutorial.

          ~ Check out the recipe here!

          5. Seitan Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce

            Infuse some meaty seitan with smoky, savory flavors, grill it on skewers, and pair with a luxurious spicy peanut sauce. Take these to a summer BBQ and you should have all the meat lovers crowding around for more!

            ~ Check out the recipe here!

            6. Spicy Vegan Chorizo Queso

              This is a creamy, smoky, savory dip for chips, nachos, veggie quesadillas or any other dishes you want to use queso sauce with for a decadent meal. It’s so creamy and flavorful, no one will realize it’s dairy-free.

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              This is soy-free, unlike a lot of vegan queso dips, and has a few surprising ingredients to bring the right texture and flavor – particularly the nutrient-dense cauliflower as the base!

              ~ Check out the recipe here!

              7. Chickpea Tacos and Avocado Cream

                Chickpeas have such a great texture for giving a slightly meaty mouthfeel, and are ready and waiting to soak up whatever flavors you want to infuse them with.

                Spiced up to make a vegan taco meat, they pair perfectly with a smooth and tangy avocado cream.

                ~ Check out the recipe here!

                8. Hearty Vegan Chili

                  There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a hearty chili on a cold winter evening. Make this vegan version, and enjoy all the flavor without the cruelty or environmental impacts. With 10 cloves of garlic, you’ll be set for cardio-protective benefits.

                  ~ Check out the recipe here!

                  9. Beef-less Tempeh Bourguignon

                    Get all the flavor of a rich Bourguignon sauce, with tempeh instead of beef. While Julia Child would probably not approve, this beef-less bourguignon is much better for our environment, the animals, and your body.

                    Ingredient note: Tempeh is an Indonesian cultured soy cake, with a lot more texture than tofu.

                    ~ Check out the recipe here!

                    10. Eggplant Pulled Pork Burger

                      For another take on pulled pork, fill your bun with this delicious BBQ-slathered roasted eggplant, giving you a slightly soft but meaty texture. As Rhian says, “it’s not the meat that makes certain dishes taste good, but the sauce.”

                      Try out her homemade BBQ sauce, or simply use your favorite store-bought sauce. She topped her sandwich with a creamy coleslaw, and served with homemade fries for the ultimate meal. However you make it, it’s sure to be a hit.

                      ~ Check out the recipe here!

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                      11. Two-Ingredient Sweet Potato Gnocchi

                        As little packets of soft, chewy goodness, gnocchi is always satisfying in a comfort food kind of way. These are surprisingly simple to make, too, with just two ingredients.

                        Try these dressed with just a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of sea salt, toss with basil pesto, or try Julia’s spicy red chipotle sauce for a flavor explosion. Pair with roasted cherry tomatoes, red pepper and whole garlic cloves to up the savory ante.

                        ~ Check out the recipe here!

                        12. Smoky Red Pepper & Cheese Bean Burgers

                          This veggie burger is super satisfying, with so much smoky savory flavor you may not even need condiments. But then again, what is life without fun burger condiments?

                          With a base of beans and roasted peppers, and seasoned with spices and vegan smoked cheese, these delicious burgers would pair perfectly with a variety of toppings. You’ll just have to keep trying them until you find your favorite.

                          ~ Check out the recipe here!

                          13. Stuffed Jumbo Shells with Spinach

                            Stuffed pasta is so delicious and satisfying that many meat lovers will happily order a meatless dish at an Italian restaurant – so why not make one at home? This dish looks so gorgeous you would never guess how simple it is to make.

                            Simply cook the pasta, process the filling in your food processor, drizzle with tomato sauce, and bake.

                            ~ Check out the recipe here!

                            14. Mushroom and lentil vegan spaghetti bolognese

                              Spaghetti bolognese is always a hit with kids and families, and makes a great weeknight go-to meal.

                              Here, mushrooms and lentils join forces to create a meaty texture and savory flavor that will please even the pickiest tastebuds and nourish growing bodies with plenty of protein, calcium, iron and other nutrients.

                              ~ Check out the recipe here!

                              15. Moroccan Lentil Meatballs

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                                These savory meatballs include fragrant Moroccan spices to infuse flavor right through from the perfectly textured lentil-walnut base to the rich sauce. Served along with quinoa or couscous, this makes a wonderfully satisfying meal for both vegans and meat lovers to enjoy.

                                ~ Check out the recipe here!

                                16. Smoky Southern-Style Meatless Meatloaf

                                  Meatloaf is a perennial comfort food craving, reminding most of us of childhood meals.

                                  This one is made with a base of chickpeas, black beans and oats for the perfect texture, and a beautiful mix of spices and seasonings for the perfect flavor. It’s topped with a homemade BBQ sauce, though you can always use a store-bought sauce or simply ketchup if you prefer.

                                  ~ Check out the recipe here!

                                  17. Sneaky BBQ Mushroom Steamed Buns

                                    Get your fix of dumplings and sneak some vegetables in for the meat lovers in your life.

                                    With a smoky-sweet mushroom filling, these little pockets of goodness are wrapped in a fluffy dumpling dough. The dough itself is easy to make, and although it does take a bit of time, it’s well worth the effort!

                                    Try getting the family in the kitchen to help, to enjoy some quality time creating these delicious little steamed buns.

                                    ~ Check out the recipe here!

                                    What’s the bottom line?

                                    These dishes show you exactly how you can satisfy a meat lover’s tastebuds with healthy vegetarian recipes, and there are lots more out there to explore.

                                    Everyone has different tastes, so the best strategy is to think about the dishes your meat lover enjoys; then try to make a dish that hits a similar flavor, texture, and look.

                                    Remember to focus on the savory flavors, and use oil and salt to wean your meat lover over to the plant side. All that’s left to do is start cooking!

                                    Featured photo credit: Pexels via healthy vegetarian recipes

                                    More by this author

                                    Heather Nicholds

                                    A vegan, a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and a food lover.

                                    27 Healthy Pressure Cooker Meals (with Easy Recipes) 15 Easy Recipes for Kids That Don’t Require an Oven 15 Tasty Probiotic Drinks That Are Worth Trying for Better Digestive Health 17 Healthy Vegetarian Recipes for the Meat Lovers in Your Life 15 Benefits of Probiotics (And How to Find One That Actually Suits You)

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                                    Last Updated on November 19, 2019

                                    20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

                                    20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

                                    Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

                                    If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

                                    1. Create a Daily Plan

                                    Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

                                    2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

                                    Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

                                    3. Use a Calendar

                                    Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

                                    I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

                                    Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

                                    4. Use an Organizer

                                    An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

                                    These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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                                    5. Know Your Deadlines

                                    When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

                                    But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

                                    6. Learn to Say “No”

                                    Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

                                    Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

                                    7. Target to Be Early

                                    When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

                                    For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

                                    Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

                                    8. Time Box Your Activities

                                    This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

                                    You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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                                    9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

                                    Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

                                    10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

                                    Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

                                    You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

                                    11. Focus

                                    Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

                                    Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

                                    Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

                                    12. Block out Distractions

                                    What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

                                    I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

                                    When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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                                    Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

                                    13. Track Your Time Spent

                                    When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

                                    You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

                                    14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

                                    You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

                                    Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

                                    15. Prioritize

                                    Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

                                    Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

                                    16. Delegate

                                    If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

                                    When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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                                    17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

                                    For related work, batch them together.

                                    For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

                                    1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
                                    2. coaching
                                    3. workshop development
                                    4. business development
                                    5. administrative

                                    I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

                                    18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

                                    What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

                                    One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

                                    While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

                                    19. Cut off When You Need To

                                    The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

                                    Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

                                    20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

                                    Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

                                    More Time Management Techniques

                                    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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