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These 30 Vegetarian Recipes Are So Good, You Might Rethink Meat

These 30 Vegetarian Recipes Are So Good, You Might Rethink Meat

Vegetarians just like everyone else, can have problems coming up with a variety of meals to eat. Whether you’re meat-free or just looking to eat less meat, these vegetarian recipes are healthy, quick, and easy to fit into your rotation. They’re so good you’ll definitely want to make them again. And if you’re considering the switch to full-on meatless living, these vegetarian recipes just might put you over the edge!

1. Omelets
alton brown omelet food network

    If you eat eggs, omelets are a great way to get a meal on the table any time of day. Start with this basic recipe from Alton Brown, but add in cheese, pre-cooked vegetables, greens, yesterday’s leftover beans and rice, whatever you like.

    2. A really good pot of beans
    cooked beans the kitchn

      Sure, canned beans are fine most of the time, but there’s something entirely different about cooking beans from scratch. It takes time but almost no effort on your part, and you can change the flavor based on what vegetables and spices you use (just remember, no salt until the end, because salt slows the cooking process). Try this tutorial from The Kitchn, which is full of great tips for how to cook and use beans.

      3. Chili
      bean chili serious eats

        Now that you know how to cook great beans, it’s time to use them in some awesome veggie chili. The aptly named Best Vegetarian Bean Chili from Serious Eats is a great place to start (and even though it calls for canned beans, you can do better). This one is full of chile flavor and there’s no fake meat in sight.

        4. Grilled Cheese

        birchwood grilled cheese academy

          The grilled cheese sandwich is a staple of many people’s diets, but they’re great for vegetarians because they’re quick, easy, warm and you can add just about anything to them you like. One of my favorites is pesto, mozzarella and tomatoes. The Grilled Cheese Academy has a ton of great recipe ideas (filter for vegetarian options) but I’d start with the Birchwood, which includes cheddar, mushrooms and an egg.

          5. Quinoa Salad

          quinoa salad with style and grace

            Quinoa is a beloved food item (considered a grain but technically a seed) among vegetarians and other health-conscious people, and with good reason. It’s rich in nutrients, high in protein and full of healthy fats. It’s also easy to cook. Try this Greek Quinoa Salad from With Style and Grace, and you’re sure to come up with your own vegetable and flavor variations.

            6. Hummus

            hummus mark bittman

              Hummus and other bean dips aren’t just for snacking. They’re great as spreads added to sandwiches and quesadillas or just spread on a tortilla or pita with some vegetables for a quick lunch. Mark Bittman’s version is quick, easy and delicious, and ripe for the addition of other flavors like roasted garlic, roasted red peppers or olives.

              7. Vegetable Soup

              pasta fagioli little ferraro kitchen

                My favorite go-to all-winter-long vegetable soup is pasta fagioli, an Italian soup full of veggies, beans and pasta. (Like the stuff they serve at Olive Garden, only way tastier.) This version from Little Ferraro Kitchen is pretty close to what I do (though I don’t usually have Parmesan rind to put in mine) and it’s a great base for a lot of different kinds of soups. Or don’t make it so thin and just eat it like pasta. Either way.

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                8. Bean Salad

                black bean salad once upon a chef

                  Here come the beans again. There’s a reason they’re such a staple of vegetarian diets, because you can do so many things with them and they’re super healthy. While the term “bean salad” might make you think of picnic potluck productions made with tons of canned beans, why not go beyond the basics with something like the Black Bean Salad from Once Upon a Chef, which includes fresh corn, bell peppers, cilantro and avocado. Add brown rice for an even heartier salad that can double as a burrito filling.

                  9. Baked Tofu

                  asian baked tofu fresh takes

                    Baked tofu is a simple addition to a lot of meals, and you can flavor it up a million different ways depending on the style of food you feel like. I’m partial to Asian-style marinades like this one from Fresh Takes, because adding a lot of flavor can make tofu into something even meat lovers will eat.

                    10. Tofu Stir Fry

                    tofu stir fry minimalist baker

                      And once you have baked tofu you can use it in other recipes, like a stir fry. You don’t really need a recipe for stir fry; just cook together vegetables you like with some tofu and serve on rice or noodles. But the Veggie Tofu Stir Fry recipe from the Minimalist Baker will give you some idea of how to get started if you need more to go on.

                      11. Curry

                      curry sauce delicious magazine

                        There are so many variations on curry that it’s hard to pick just one to start with. But Delicious magazine has a great overview of 10 curries you might want to try. Or find one that you like at a restaurant and learn how to make it at home. Curries are impressive and even non-vegetarians will enjoy a spicy curry filled with vegetables. Start with a basic curry sauce and you’ll be on your way quickly.

                        12. Ramen

                        rame a side of sweet

                          Ramen is another great dish for vegetarians because these soupy noodles are perfect for introducing lots of flavor in a little package. The Vegetarian Homemade Ramen from A Side of Sweet is a great recipe that’s pretty involved but gives a delicious result. And though there are a lot of ingredients and steps, none of it should take too long, especially if you do all your chopping in advance.

                          13. Soba Noodle Salad

                          soba noodle vegetarian times

                            And while we’re on the subject of Asian noodle dishes, a cold soba noodle salad is a great simple meal for summer. Just cook the noodles, chop some veggies and mix up a quick dressing full of peanut butter and soy, and you’ll have a great dinner or cook-ahead lunch in half an hour or less. This recipe from Vegetarian Times is a must-make.

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                            14. Stuffed Peppers or Tomatoes

                            stuffed peppers taste of home

                              Using a pepper or tomato as a cooking vessel and serving dish is kind of retro, but you can stuff all sorts of tasty stuff into these beauties and then eat the bowl. Taste of Home has a nice basic vegetarian stuffed pepper recipe, or you could easily use some leftover bean and rice salad or quinoa salad for a really quick leftover dish.

                              15. Roasted Vegetables

                              roasted vegetables pioneer woman

                                Knowing how to roast vegetables well is an essential skill of being a vegetarian. Roasted veg is great as a side dish but can also be the basis for a great pasta sauce or even a soup or vegetable stock. Pioneer Woman has a wonderful primer on how to roast vegetables and includes some vegetables you might not have thought of. This picture makes me want to jump through the screen.

                                16. Macaroni and Cheese

                                macaroni and cheese southern living

                                  It might seem silly to have good old mac and cheese on this list, but a lot of times people lose their favorite comfort foods when they become vegetarian. The good news is this is one guilty pleasure you can keep even if you don’t eat meat. The Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese from Southern Living is a great go-to, and way better than the stuff out of the box.

                                  17. Fried Rice

                                  vegetable fried rice real simple

                                    My family is not vegetarian, but we do try to eat less meat than a lot of families do, and one of our go-to meals is vegetable fried rice. This is a super easy meal to put together if you happen to have leftover rice and/or vegetables on hand, and it doesn’t take that much longer even if you have to cook the rice for it. Start with this super fresh and simple recipe from Real Simple, then branch out and use whatever vegetables you have on hand. (You certainly don’t have to use as many eggs as this recipe calls for, either, if you don’t eat a lot of eggs.)

                                    18. Falafel

                                    falafel tori avery

                                      I am a huge fan of chickpeas and would probably eat falafel once a week if the rest of my family would put up with it. But even if you only eat it occasionally, these little fried bean fritters are a great protein-packed meal with the spices of the Mediterranean. They’re super simple to jazz up with tomatoes, lettuce, olives and feta. Or take a little longer and make a simple yogurt sauce to go with them. Delicious! This recipe from Tori Avery is both classic and delicious.

                                      19. Veggie Burgers

                                      black bean burger cooking light

                                        The vegetarian burger is kind of a cliche of vegetarian cooking. But there are times when you’re just going to want to eat a burger, so you might as well have a good one. This roundup of best veggie burger recipes from Cooking Light includes burgers made out of lentils, beans, hominy, even a falafel burger. Pictured is the Homemade Quick Black Bean Burger, which interestingly uses hamburger bun as part of the recipe.

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                                        20. Tomato Sauce

                                        tomato sauce mario batali

                                          There’s no reason to use jarred tomato sauce when beautiful tomatoes are available, and this basic sauce can be fortified with vegetables, used alone on pasta, or even as pizza sauce. Why not go straight to an Italian when learning how to make good tomato sauce and consult Mario Batali’s recipe, which only has seven ingredients and takes less than an hour from start to finish?

                                          21. Vegetable Stock

                                          vegetable stock mark bittman

                                            Once you start cooking with a lot of vegetables, you will soon amass some vegetable bits you don’t necessarily want to use in your regular cooking, like the inside of the celery stalk or veg that’s a little past its prime. This is the perfect time to make vegetable stock, which is perfect to use in soups or when making risotto or polenta (we’re getting to those). I have made Mark Bittman’s One Hour Vegetable Stock before, as well as some slightly more involved versions and they’re all good and require little in-front-of-thes-tove time for a great reward.

                                            22. Risotto

                                            risotto new york times

                                              Risotto is a great recipe to have in your back pocket because it looks really impressive even though it’s not really all that hard, it just requires regular attention. And it is certainly worth the effort. Put some of your good homemade vegetable broth into this Tomato and Basil Risotto from the New York Times and it will be even better.

                                              23. Polenta

                                              polenta food network

                                                Polenta is really a fancy word for grits, but no matter what you call it, savory (usually cheesy if you ask me) polenta is a great comfort food, perfect by itself for breakfast or with some of that yummy tomato sauce or roasted vegetables (or both!) on top for dinner. This recipe from Giada de Laurentiis shows you just how easy it is: four ingredients and 30 minutes to a kitchen staple you’ll use a ton of different ways.

                                                24. A Really Good Salad

                                                greens prevention magazine

                                                  Even vegetarians don’t always get the amounts of fruit and vegetables in their diets that they ought to each day, and one easy way to boost your intake of the good stuff is to serve a salad with dinner or have one for lunch. Making your own is much healthier and probably cheaper than buying one out somewhere, and you can fancy it up with special ingredients you love. You don’t really need a recipe for a great salad, but this slideshow on how to build the healthiest salad from Prevention magazine hits a lot of good points (dark, leafy greens, shredded carrots, tomatoes and beans, for example, though we’ll skip the fish).

                                                  25. Lasagna
                                                  vegetable lasagnz inspired table

                                                    I am one of those semi-vegetarians who uses my limited meat eating as an excuse for eating more cheese. This is not an every-day indulgence, but lasagna is another great comfort food, and when you pile it high with both vegetables and cheese, it has to balance out a little, right? This Fresh Vegetable Lasagna from Inspired Taste is perfection, with roasted red peppers in the sauce and zucchini and yellow squash taking the place of meat.

                                                    26. Lentils

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                                                    lentils epicurious

                                                      Another staple of vegetarian cooking is the lentil. These little legumes are full of fiber and don’t pack a lot of calories. They also don’t have a lot of flavor on their own, so they’re perfect for using in flavorful soups (and stand up in broth better than noodles). They can be eaten in a rice salad-like side dish, as part of a soup, made into a burger or “meat” loaf, and on and on. Try the Canal House Lentils recipe from Epicurious to get you started.

                                                      27. Burrito Bowl

                                                      burrito bowl damn delicious

                                                        There’s nothing better than a healthy meal you can dump in a bowl and eat in front of the TV on a lazy night. The Burrito Bowl from Damn Delicious is one of those things, combining rice, lettuce, beans, tomatoes, avocados, salsa and cilantro in a throw-it-all-together meal that doesn’t taste all that healthy but really is.

                                                        28. Pizza

                                                        pizza london bakes

                                                          Pizza is not one of those things that vegetarians have to make at home in order to get something that suits their needs, but it’s a really wonderful thing to make great pizza at home. Even if you do something as simple as use a tortilla for a base, your homemade tomato sauce from above and some of your favorite toppings baked in your own oven, you’ll get the appeal of DIY pizza. When you’re ready to explore a little more, check out the roundup of 50 Vegetarian Pizza Recipes at Oh My Veggies; the Leek, Potato and Rosemary Pizza from London Bakes is pictured.

                                                          29. Pot Pie

                                                          pot pie vegetarian times

                                                            I love a good pot pie. Brimming with vegetables and warm dough, it’s the perfect thing for a cold winter day and definitely one of those dishes that ensures you get all your vegetables for one day. You can use store-bought dough, a simple cheese sauce and whatever vegetables you have on hand for a basic pie, or try this vegan version from Vegetarian Times for a super healthy but still totally satisfying option.

                                                            30. Granola

                                                            granola CHOW

                                                              Most of these recipes have focused on lunch and dinner, but what about breakfast or snack time? Homemade granola is a great thing to have around to mix into yogurt at breakfast or to snack on through the day. Making granola is a pretty personal thing, depending on the ingredients you like (confession: I hate raisins) so I love this Basic Granola Recipe from CHOW, to which you can add whatever dried fruits and nuts you like.

                                                              Featured photo credit: Damn Delicious, Minimalis Baker, Pioneer Woman, Mario Batali via damndelicious.net

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                                                              Sarah White

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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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