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50 Creative Vegetarian and Vegan Recipes You Have Probably Never Thought Of

50 Creative Vegetarian and Vegan Recipes You Have Probably Never Thought Of

Do you ever find yourself scouring your cupboards thinking,”there’s nothing to eat”? Bored with whatever vegetarian dish you have been eating? Ready to shake things up a bit and tantalize your palate?

These 50 dishes are creative vegetarian recipes, and health-conscious too. But being healthy doesn’t have to be boring. Snap out of your kitchen rut with these creative alternatives to traditional dishes.

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Starters and Snacks

  1. Lasagna Stuffed Zucchini: A gluten-free and paleo way to do lasagna from Rate Your Burn.
  2. Black Bean and Corn Stuffed Sweet Potatoes: Like tacos, but healthier, and again from Rate Your Burn.
  3. Quinoa Baked Zucchini Chips with Siraracha Dipping Sauce. Less fattening and starchy than potato chips, with a spicy kick, from Cooking Quinoa.
  4. Margarita Popcorn: Need I say more? From Not Monroe.
  5. Crispy Baked Zucchini Fries with Sriracha Lime Mayo: Not fried, and with a zesty dipping sauce from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures.
  6. Vegan Pesto: Made with healthy omega oil blend from Vega Products.
  7. Vegetarian Thanksgiving Brussels Sprouts Sliders: A healthy holiday starter from Tara Parker-Pope.
  8. Pesto pasta with added protein: Pesto pasta with Edamame for a great meal to stay fit from Cookie + Kate.
  9. Avocado Corn Salsa: A tomato-free salsa alternative, with some creamy avocado added, from Rate Your Burn.
  10. Turkey Veggie Tray: Festive and fun Thanksgiving crudite appetizer from Living Locurto.
  11. Festive Cheese Rounds: In the shape of a pinecone. Beautiful and tasty from Just Putzing Around the Kitchen.
  12. Cauliflower Tots: Get the same bite-sized fun as traditional tater tots, but less carbohydrates and less starch from SkinnyTaste.com.
  13. Ombre Citrus and Thyme Roasted Carrot Skewers: An artful appetizer for any gathering with fall spices from Beard & Bonnet.
  14. Cinnamon Toast Crunch Roasted Chickpeas: Chickpeas are high in calcium, and this is a healthier alternative dish with a sweet and spicy taste from Running to the Kitchen.

Salads

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  1. Roasted Squash Salad with Lemony Tahini Sauce + Feta: A warming winter salad with a light dressing from Naked Cuisine.
  2. Lemon Dijon Beet Salad: Roasted beets complimented by lemon for a savory and healthy salad from Poppies and Papayas.
  3. Lemon Cilantro Avocado Pasta Salad: A fresh, creamy twist on pasta salad full of healthy fats, from Rate Your Burn.

Main Dishes

  1. Crockpot Sweet Potato Lentils: Sweeten up those lentils in this slow-cooked recipe for a cold day from Pinch of Yum.
  2. Vegetarian Orange Chicken Cauliflower: A veggie twist on orange chicken with the low-carb and anti-cancerous benefits of cauliflower, from Vegetarian Recipes 24/7.
  3. Pesto Tortilla Pizza: A clever way to use pesto instead of tomato sauce, combined with tortillas for a quick and easy pizza treat from Cookie + Kate.
  4. Butternut Squash Risotto with Pine Nuts & Balsamic: Butternut squash lends a healthy creaminess to this fall risotto recipe from Delallo.
  5. Cauliflower Crust Pizza: A pizza crust free of dough, gluten, egg, nuts, and yeast for a paleo or gluten-free alternative to pizza from Tickling Palates.
  6. Baked Penne with Pumpkin Cream Sauce: This vegan recipe uses pumpkin instead of tomato, for those looking for a new way to make a favorite dish from Chic Vegan.
  7. Italian Orzo Stuffed Peppers: Orzo pasta stuffed peppers that bake up and make great leftovers from Delallo.
  8. Pizza Roasted Chickpeas: This clever dish puts pizza in a bowl, minus the dough, the carbs, and with the healthy protein and calcium of chickpeas from Amuse Your Bouche.
  9. Creamy Cauliflower Alfredo: This dairy-free, nut-free twist on Pasta Alfredo is creamy, and a clever way to use cauliflower as a sauce from The Detoxinista.
  10. Spinach Basil Pesto: Take pesto one step further by adding iron-rich spinach in for a more tangy flavor from two peas & their pod.
  11. Carrot Pasta with Zesty Garlic Sauce: Who knew you could make pasta out of carrots? Nutrient rich, low on carbohydrates and full of flavor, from Daily Burn.
  12. Cauliflower Steaks with Ginger, Turmeric, and Cumin: These “steaks” are a great vegan alternative to a meat dish, with pungent Indian spices from the kitchn.
  13. Poached Egg over Polenta with Olive-Herb Pesto: Eggs for dinner? But of course, with this elegant egg over polenta dish from Ariel Knutson of BuzzFeed.
  14. Tempeh and Sweet Potato Collard Wraps: Sweet potatoes aren’t just for Thanksgiving anymore. The sweetness and the greens blend perfectly together in this wrap from Laura Newcomer on Greatist.
  15. Ricotta, Kale, and Roast Pumpkin Lasagne: Who knew you could put pumpkin in something other than pie? The pumpkin is great for those tired of boring old tomato sauce, from The Krooked Spoon.
  16. Pesto Quesadilla: This quesadilla uses cannelini beans, for an Italian twist on a quesadilla for a change from Cookie + Kate.
  17. Quinoa Sweet Potato Tacos: Tired of the same old rice and bean tacos? Quinoa and sweet potatoes add a unique and healthy twist to taco night from Cooking Channel TV.
  18. Vegan Stuffed Squash with Dates and Pine Nuts: This is not only vegan, and delicious, but makes for a beautiful presentation in a bowl you don’t have to wash, because it’s made of a squash from Katherine Ratliff at Mind Body Green.
  19. Kimchi Mac and Cheese: This spicy take on comfort food gets its kick from adding in Kimchi, for healthy probiotics from Beard & Bonnet.
  20. Smashed Chickpea Avocado Sandwich: The smashed chickpeas, combined with mashed avocado on the bread of your choice make for a sandwich that holds together nicely and is full of healthy fats and nutrients from Green Valley Kitchen.
  21. Polenta Lasagna with Portabellas and Kale: This lasagna uses polenta instead of noodles, and is also fat-free AND vegan. Yum! From Fat Free Vegan Kitchen.

Sides: 

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  1. Butternut Squash Fries: Who needs potatoes anymore when these are so delicious and much more nutritious? From Rebecca at My Natural Family.
  2. Roasted Brussel Sprout Chips: A crispy alternative to potato chips, and a clever way to cook up brussels sprouts before they go bad in your fridge with this recipe from Rebecca at My Natural Family again.
  3. Roasted (Wish They Were Grilled) Cabbage: When the weather gets cold and you head inside, rather than use your grill, you can still get that grilled, rich taste with this cabbage recipe from Green Lite Bites.
  4. Creative Sauerkraut: If you are a fan of this tasty cultured food, but get bored with eating it the same old traditional way, try these new twists from Thank Your Body.
  5. Roasted Cauliflower and Mushroom Quinoa Salad in Balsamic Vinaigrette: Roasted Cauliflower is a creative way to go meatless and blends well with mushrooms and balsamic from Closet Cooking.

Breakfast

  1. Festive Fall Oatmeal: Add some seasonal apples and some peanut butter for protein to this warming, filling, and delicious bowl to start your day from Lizzie Fuhr of Pop Sugar.
  2. Quinoa Egg Scramble: Both quinoa and eggs are great sources of protein and make a recharging post-workout breakfast to help you build muscle from Lizzie Fuhr of Pop Sugar.
  3. Quinoa Hash Browns and Turkish Eggs: For addded protein and less carbs, combine your hash browns with quinoa, and then Turkish eggs, which use yogurt for a creamy breakfast dish from Cooking Channel TV.
  4. Sweet Potato Pie Smoothie: Sweet potatoes, in smoothies? Add some great fiber, beta carotene and start your day off right with this “pie” in a cup from Laura Newcomer from Greatist.

Desserts

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  1. Hot Chocolate Sticks: These bite-sized popsicles are made in an ice cube tray and are a clever way to whip up a quick and easy dessert treat from Brit + Co.
  2. Pre-Workout Protein Balls: This pre-workout treat is more like a dessert, using protein powder to make cookie dough bites that give you energy and support your workout from Lizzie Fuhr at Pop Sugar.
  3. Egg-Free Mini Pumpkin Pies: If you want a bite size treat to bring to a holiday meal, this vegan pumpkin recipe will do the trick from Fork and Beans.

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Bridget Baker

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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