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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

Web Presence Sherpa

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Last Updated on June 2, 2020

8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

The importance of effective goal setting cannot be overstated on our personal journeys towards success. This is why there are countless articles out there on how to set your own SMART goals and even why it’s a skill commonly taught to a small degree in classrooms.

Learning the importance of goal setting and the benefits of sticking to those goals can be the defining factor determining whether we truly embrace the importance of goal setting. The more willing we are to embrace this method, the more likely we become to reach our personal definitions of personal and professional success.

Thus, today’s article is going to walk you through some of the benefits you’ll see from learning to set goals for yourself and answer the question, “why is goal setting important”.

1. Goals Guide and Align Our Focus

It’s hard to get to where you want to be in life if you don’t know what you’re aiming for. Some people believe avoiding goals means living a more care-free life. How many times have you heard the phrase “If I have no expectations, then I can’t be disappointed”?

But is that really what our lives have come to? Living just to avoid disappointment? It doesn’t seem like an overly optimistic view in my opinion. And since you’re reading this article, I’m willing to bet that you agree with me.

Without goals, we lack a degree of direction and focus. Sure you may be able to avoid disappointment, but just avoiding disappointment doesn’t mean you are necessarily happy.

Without goals, we will pointlessly waste our time, energy, and efforts. Listen to anybody who is the top of their field and they’ll tell you something like this,

“Yes talent is important, but often your success depends much more on what you decide to do with that talent.”

And what you will do with your talent largely depends on your focus.

Your goals give you direction. Your goals give you something to shoot for. This direction and target you create in your mind will help you to progress towards your main life goals rather than simply wander around aimlessly. These goals will help you align your actions and behaviors as you continue moving forward.

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So, why is goal setting important? Because it gives you direction, alignment, and purpose!

2. Goals Help You Avoid ‘Shiny Object Syndrome’

Basically, shiny object syndrome is always being in pursuit of the next big thing, constantly switching your goals based on what you feel is most fun and interesting at the given moment, but never actually giving yourself time to accomplish any of those goals.

You don’t get anywhere because you continually change the direction you are heading in. This is one of the consequences that may result if you decide to live a life without goals.

Your goals can sometimes help you to create mental barriers, or blinders, that help you to remain focused on what you think is important and avoid the things that are second priority. When you outline goals for yourself, you are better able to avoid things that distract you from achieving and accomplishing those goals.

Setting goals helps you to step around the other shiny objects because you’ve taken the time to make some mental notes that remind you what it is that you want from your life. Your goals act as subconscious deterrents to anything less than your main priorities. This is what helps you to reach your personal definition of success.

So, why is goal setting important? Because not only do goals tell you what you want from life, but they also help you realize what you need to give up and avoid to achieve that.

3. Goals Turn Our Largest Goals into Manageable Steps

A lot of us have big hopes and dreams. It’s one of the things that make our lives exciting!

But a lot of us never take the time to figure out how we can effectively get from point A to point B. So, sadly, we never fully achieve those goals. We look at our dreams and convince ourselves that only a select few people ever achieve them, so we write ourselves off as people not meant to reach that level of success. Looking at the end product of a goal can be intimidating, daunting, and discourage us from even pursuing them.

Thankfully, goal setting helps us break large intimidating goals into smaller ones. These small steps and more achievable goals will help us to build momentum and will encourage us to keep working towards the next phase of our goal. The form the foundation from which we can begin building the life that we truly hope to have for ourselves, our families, and may even for our communities depending on how big your goals are!

Whenever I get talking about this aspect of goal setting, I can’t help but think about the mountain climbing analogy, and that the easiest way to climb a mountain is simply step by step.

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So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting gives you a list of manageable steps that you can take in order to take your life from where it is now to where you want it to go both effectively and efficiently.

4. Goals Encourage You to Take Action

This builds on the last benefit of goal setting. Not only does effective goal setting help you break down your larger goals into smaller, more manageable ones, but it also encourages you to actually begin taking action on those goals. After all, a plan is completely worthless if you aren’t willing to invest the effort required to execute it.

Setting your goals and putting your plan in place motivates you to begin taking action towards achieving them. These goals give you something to plan and work towards. Essentially, they help propel you forward.

What I like to do is write out and place my goals somewhere that I’ll regularly see them. This constantly serves as a reminder of my top priorities. It allows me to focus on taking small progressive actions towards achieving these goals daily.

This ensures that I don’t fall into the trap of setting a goal, beginning to work towards it for a while, but then having my motivation fade resulting in me falling off track. This is exactly what many people see happen when it comes to their “New Year’s Resolutions.”

If you want to learn about some of the golden rules for goal setting that will help you set and achieve your goals successfully check out this article: How to Use SMART Goal to Become Highly Successful in Life

So, why is goal setting important? Because goal setting actually motivates you to stop thinking about your goals and actually get out there and achieve them!

5. Goal Setting Helps You Continually Improve

This is something that a lot of personal development and self-improvement writers talk about, continual improvement. For those of you who are not aware of the term, continual improvement is exactly what it sounds like — taking small steps towards improvement as frequently as you can to develop into the person you want to become.

What’s the point in improving a little bit each day if you’re not improving in the areas that you want to improve in after all?

The goals that you define for yourself will inevitably shape you into the person who you want to become. They’ll shape your character. Your goals can help you measure your progress as you strive for this type of development.

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Essentially, having goals helps you determine where you started, where you are now, and how much further you need to go. In this manner, your goal setting can serve as milestones and benchmarks that help you determine how well you’re progressing towards your most important goals!

So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting helps you make improvements each day that will slowly transition you into the person you want to become.

6. Goal Setting Keeps You Accountable

Not only does setting goals help you measure your progress, but it also is a means through which you can keep yourself accountable. Too many goals fail because they lack this crucial aspect of outlining accountability.

For example, if I have the goal to do 50 push-ups, that’s great. Most people would support that goal. However, this goal lacks accountability. When do I want to accomplish this goal by and what steps do I take to get there? These are important questions that the original goal leaves unanswered.

A much more descriptive and specific goal could be to do 50 push-ups within the next 3 months by starting at 5 push-ups, and then adding 5 each week. This goal outlines the deadline as well as the steps I’m going to take to achieve it. This plan will keep me accountable because if I fail to retain my progression schedule, I will know that I’m not going to achieve the goal on time.

Additionally, it can serve as a marker helping to signify when something is impeding my progress that I may not have initially accounted for. This tells me that I need to re-evaluate what I’m doing and figure out what adjustments I can make to facilitate my success.

So, why is goal setting important? Setting goals is key to keeping ourselves accountable and on-track towards accomplishing our goals according to the schedules and deadlines we set for ourselves.

7. Goals Make You Feel Good

Trust me, the progress you feel as you set and achieve goals can become super motivating and super addicting (in a good way)! The dopamine release you get from achieving your goals is like a little reward for our brains that continually motivates us to try and hit that next goal!

Having some clearly defined goals will help you to feel better about yourself and your life in general, especially when you stick to those goals, actively work towards achieving them, and end up accomplishing and surpassing your initial expectations. I’m not the oldest book on the shelf myself, but I can attest that there are not many feelings quite like the one you experience when you truly get on a roll!

Additionally, our goals give us an endpoint to shoot for. Rather than progress for progress’s sake, you can actually see where you’re heading! That’s so much more rewarding. Think about a long car trip as a kid. You ask “if you’re there yet?” ever 20 minutes. It seems like the drive drags on forever.

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If you don’t know where you’re going, you risk the journey becoming tedious. It doesn’t tend to be much fun wandering around aimlessly. Goals make us feel good about where we’re directing ourselves.

So, why is goal setting important? Because setting goals and accomplishing them plain and simply make us feel better about ourselves and our lives!

8. Goals Help You Live Your Best Life

I’ve talked a lot in this article about how goal setting helps us progress towards our top priorities and live the way we truly want to live. So I think it’s fit to end the article with this goal because, in the end, I feel it’s the most important one.

Setting your goals and clearly defining what they mean to you will help you live a life that is tailored to your beliefs and values. Your life will become directed towards the things that you most want to achieve.

Life is a tricky game and only in very rare circumstances are things handed to us on a silver platter. Often it takes a great degree of work, planning, and effortful execution of both.

There is no point clinging on to things in your life if they don’t bring you happiness or help you accomplish something that, in some way, aligns with your goals.

Simply put, setting goals helps us live a life that allows us to pursue the challenges and rewards that we truly want to achieve.

So, why is goal setting important? Because our time is always limited, and setting clearly defined goals can help ensure that you make the most of your life and live to the fullest!

Final Thoughts

These are just a few of the benefits of goal setting that outline why it truly is so important. If you take a moment or two, I bet that you can even think of a few more benefits yourself that you could add to this list.

If I could leave you with something, it would be this:

Goal setting has the potential to take us to some amazing places in life because we all have talent and ambitions. To achieve your biggest dreams, you need to be willing to sit down and create a life design uniquely tailored to you that will help you achieve them!

More Tips About Goals Setting

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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