It’s hard to believe I’ve been a vegetarian for well over a decade now. Growing up in Indiana’s farmland, it certainly wasn’t a popular choice to stop eating meat, especially in high school, at such a young age. There are several reasons I made the decision to go vegetarian and continue on with it, which I’ll happily discuss in a future post, if you’re curious! The question I get asked more than that though, believe it or not, is usually something like, “but what DO you eat?!”
My friends, I can’t even begin to describe the hundreds upon hundreds of recipes and dishes I’ve tried over the years, and the hundreds more I’ve bookmarked to try in the future. I know I’m not alone when I say that eating as a vegetarian can be so much fun! And it’s truly an exciting time to move toward a more plant-based diet. So many restaurants are working hard to cater to this crowd – several of them right here in Fort Wayne.
Ten years ago, I usually had to ask for a dish “without the meat” or piece together a meal from the side dish options. It’s crazy (in the best way) that so many menus now have a fairly large selection of vegetarian-friendly options to choose from. It’s a strange and amazing feeling when I’m overwhelmed by options upon seeing a menu, rather than restricted, and it’s happening more and more often. The vegetarian and vegan selections at groceries have also gone wild in the last decade, with row after row of meat-free and dairy-free alternatives taking over the shelves.
All that to say, I eat a lot! I’m still discovering new fruits and vegetables frequently, as well as plant-based proteins, alternative uses for various kitchen staples (like cashews and mushrooms), and different ways to make a favorite dish or dessert without the meat or dairy. There’s a great big world of veggie-friendly food out there, and in ten years, I feel like I’ve only tried a teeny-tiny percentage of it.
With that, I thought I’d do a vegetarian-friendly recipe roundup each month here on the blog, to inspire your next meal! Even if you’re not a vegetarian, I guarantee you’ll see something you’d love to try. I’m not here to push my beliefs on anyone – you do you – but there have been some proven health benefits that come with cutting down on meat and incorporating more plant-based meals into our diets. Some of these are on regular rotation in our kitchen, and some of them are recipes we can’t wait to make.
I’d like to note that, personally, I am a lacto-ovo vegetarian, meaning I still consume dairy and eggs on occasion. Throughout the week, I eat mostly vegan, but still like to indulge in a cheesy pizza or pasta and maybe some milk chocolate on the weekends. I describe my current diet as 80/20 – 80% of what I eat is completely vegan, and 20% of the time, I’m a vegetarian. So, as you’ll see here, there’s a mix of vegetarian and vegan meals. Most, I’ve found, can be altered slightly to make them completely vegan, though! I’ve also tried to round up a selection that includes plenty of vitamins, minerals, and proteins.
Okay, enough of the lengthy introduction. Let’s get to those meals!
A Month of Vegetarian Meals: February 2018
- VEGAN SPAGHETTI CARBONARA WITH MUSHROOMS & PEAS via Cannoisseur Veg
- HIPPIE PASTA via Beard + Bloom – This is one of our favorite go-to pasta dishes, and is loaded with flavor from the sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and artichokes!
- GARLICKY SWEET POTATO NOODLE PASTA via Minimalist Baker
- HEARTY POTATO & LEEK SOUP via Beard + Bloom
- WINTER BLISS BOWL via Pinch of Yum
- QUICK DUTCH OVEN CHANA MASALA via Cookie + Kate
- SOY CHORIZO STUFFED MUSHROOMS via Flora Foodie – Note: We’ve found vegan chorizo at Meijer and Kroger, but you can make your own version, like this one! And I suggest topping with a little vegan cheese before placing them in the oven.
- WINTER VEGETABLE SALAD WITH VEGAN RANCH DRESSING via Beard + Bloom
- LOADED BAKED POTATO SOUP via The No Fuss Vegan
- MUSHROOM BOURGUIGNON via Making Thyme for Health
- VEGAN BEER CHILI via Eat Figs, Not Pigs
- TEX-MEX VEGGIE HASH BOWL via I Love Vegan
- ROASTED WINTER VEGETABLE TARTE via Beard + Bloom
- PATATAS BRAVAS WITH CRISPY ARTICHOKES via HelloFresh
- SPICY BBQ CHICKPEA PIZZA via Jessica in the Kitchen
- TORTELLINI WITH SPINACH & SUN-DRIED TOMATOES via Brown Eyed Baker – We made this for our family’s Christmas dinner this year. It comes together simply and tastes even better the next day as leftovers!
- SHAMROCK BREAKFAST SANDWICH via Healthy Happy Life
- ONE POT VEGAN MUSHROOM STROGANOFF via Plant Based Jane
- COZY BUTTERNUT, SWEET POTATO & RED LENTIL STEW via Oh She Glows
- SUPERFOOD TOFU SCRAMBLE via Six Vegan Sisters
- QUINOA & BLACK BEAN SLOW COOKER TACOS via Beard + Bloom – Jeremy claims these taste like the most authentic street tacos he’s had in years!
- VEGGIE STROMBOLI via Real Simple
- POTATO HABANERO WHITE PIZZA via This Savory Vegan
- FULLY LOADED VEGAN NACHOS via Serious Eats
- CHEESY QUINOA BURGER via Tastemade
Feeling hungry yet? Be sure to let us know which of these veggie-friendly recipes you try, and how they turn out!