10 Plant-Based Options for Meatless Meals MondayArticle posted in: Diet & Nutrition
Chili without beef? Absolutely! Tofu Tacos? Give it a shot. These meatless meals, inspired by some of your favorite dishes, are loaded with lean and hearty ingredients to keep your belly full and body energized. They are the perfect meals for Meatless Mondays, and they taste so good you may want them on Tuesday, too.
Here are 10 mouthwatering meatless meals perfect for Monday (or every!) night:
Quite possibly the most classic of our meatless meals: Veggie Chili. Step aside, ground meat! This veggie chili is packed with hunks of zucchini, diced tomatoes, corn, black beans, a kick of jalapeno peppers and lots of Mexican spices to create a zesty and satisfying, warm-your-bones meal. Top your bowl with shredded cheese, crushed tortilla chips and fresh cilantro for even more flavor and texture in every spoonful. If you’re following the Nutrisystem program, count each serving as one SmartCarb, one PowerFuel and one Vegetable.
When you’re craving Asian, this is the dish to make. It’s got cubes of tofu, marinated in fresh ginger and soy sauce, and baked to a golden crisp. It’s got filling brown rice and bright florets of broccoli. And it’s all coated in a thick sauce made with more ginger and soy, garlic and hoison, tomato paste, sesame oil and rice wine vinegar. All that takeout flavor, for only 236 calories per serving.
Wide pasta noodles—check. Oodles of melted mozzarella cheese—double check. But by using spinach, mashed butternut squash and slices of tomato between the layers, and keeping the cheeses lean, you can savor every gooey bite of this healthier lasagna—without an ounce of guilt (or morsel of meat).
Pumpkin soup is already awesome, all on its own. But if you want to take this fall favorite up a notch, toss some black beans, quinoa and kale into the pot. The added ingredients pump in 12 more grams of protein, and chili powder, cumin and cayenne turn up the heat. Serve with a sprinkle of shredded cheese.
Fill your red bell peppers with some southwestern flavors for a tasty spin on a vegetarian standard. With onions and garlic, chopped green peppers, black beans and rice, these stuffed beauties are deliciously satisfying and super simple to make. On Nutrisystem, count them as one SmartCarb, one PowerFuel and two Vegetables.
You see “taco” and think beef or chicken—but not today. Tofu provides the perfect protein-loaded stand-in for meat: It gets coated in lime, rolled with minced jalapeno, and seasoned in south-of-the-border spices before being tossed in a skillet until gold and crispy. When the bowl is assembled—rice on the bottom, colorful peppers, shredded purple cabbage, avocado, tofu and pico de gallo on top—you have a vibrant, vitamin-packed meal for fewer than 300 calories.
With a few extra veggies, you can turn the Nutrisystem Mushroom Risotto entrée > into a satisfying soup. Zucchini, baby bell mushrooms, kale and diced tomatoes pair nicely with the savory vegetarian sausage, shiitake mushrooms and red bell peppers in the rice dish. This is a tasty, healthy meal for when you’re short on time.
Quinoa may not be a typical ingredient in Italian meals, but when you mix it with mozzarella, oregano, fresh basil and tomato sauce made thick and hearty with cauliflower and zucchini, this healthy grain is transformed into a delizioso dish that’s hard to resist.
Put this one on the list of prettiest dishes: Strands of spaghetti squash twisted around black beans, chopped bell peppers, diced tomatoes, corn and olives, all dotted with chopped cilantro leaves and served in a scooped-out squash “bowl.” Skip the shredded chicken on Meatless Mondays, but feel free to top the nutritious meal with shredded cheddar cheese.
Another one of our favorite meatless meals is this cheesy, flavorful casserole. All you need is a Nutrisystem Vegetarian Chili entrée >, a little cornmeal and cheese to create this delicious comfort food. The chili—complete with four beans, zest tomato sauce and spices—serves as the base. Then spoon creamy polenta—made from cornmeal and water—on top, sprinkle with cheddar cheese and bake to a golden bubbly brown.