I’ve had this post about veggie meals sitting in my drafts since my Food Inc. review (yes, two years), I figured it was time to finish it and post it. Better late than never.
Why make veggie meals that meat lovers will like?
The main reason this post idea came about in the first place was because I’ve been a vegetarian most of my life, but many of my friends and most of my family have been meat eaters. That said, I think that making veggie meals appealing to meat eaters is a very important issue. Why?
- Family meals can be tricky when you have vegetarians and meat-eaters in the mix. You want to try and make everyone happy without compromising your own veggie goals. When you live with meat-eaters they sometimes complain about veggie meals. By making meals they like as much as meat you cut back on complaints (it’s win-win).
- Making vegetarian meals that meat lovers may like is the best way to encourage meat eaters to cut back on their meat consumption.
- Often I’ve found that meat lovers don’t go veggie because they think there’s no alternative that’s as pleasing as meat. Good meatless meals prove this isn’t true.
- There are major benefits to going meatless more often. From cutting your carbon footprint to better health to avoiding GMOs to saving money to animal welfare to food safety and more, there are plenty of reasons to cut down on, or totally eliminate meat.
- I’ve found that many meat eaters often assume vegetarian meals are all freaky weird. They’re not. Many are totally normal, just sans meat. When I’ve cooked for anti-vegetarian, I try to make super typical meals at first so I don’t flip them out.
Best meatless meals for meat eaters
If you’re looking to cut back on meat OR if you’re already a vegetarian living with meat lovers, following are some good meatless meal choices that will please everyone…
- Veggie pot pie – add tofu for more substance.
- Good old pasta and sauce (marinara or Alfredo) sans meatballs (add a salad and some homemade organic french bread).
- Veggie, cheese, or vegetarian Mexican taco pizza.
- Black Bean Chilaquile – one of my FAVORITE veg recipes ever AND bonus, every meat eater I’ve ever made this for loves it. This recipe, by the way is originally from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites: Flavorful Recipes for Healthful Meals.
- Basic Spanish rice and bean burritos. Add sauteed bell peppers, tomatoes and onions for more flavor. Lentil tacos are also great.
- Set up a baked potato bar. Cook a bunch of potatoes, then lay out toppings like veggies, cheese, salsa or chili – Amy’s has a good vegetarian organic chili, but even the medium is pretty spicy IMO, so I’d go with mild if you’re not down with spice.
- Vegan enchiladas – good for kids.
- A summer meal even a meat-and-potatoes individual will love – pulled “pork” BBQ sandwiches, coleslaw, sweet potato fries and a cherry pie for dessert.
- Vegan white bean burgers or black bean burgers OR my favorite mild black bean burgers (just a little kick, good for kids).
- Try an easy super low-cost organic breakfast with eggs, hearty potatoes and toast. Just make sure to go bacon-free.
- Make a huge stir fry minus the meat – pack in lots of veggies, marinated tofu if you like and have rice and fruit on the side.
Some other ideas:
- 6 Meatless Meals for Meat Lovers
- 12 Meatless Dishes for Meat-Lovers
- 8 Meatless Dishes for Meat-n-Taters Lovers
Images by Flickr User Capeside. & ba1969 via sxc.