By cutting out meat you cut out a lot of the cholesterol, fat, as well as hormones and chemicals that animals get pumped with. The numbers don’t lie, and vegetarians have a lower risk of all forms of heart disease and stroke, as well as a longer longevity, all else being equal. That’s reason enough to start eating more healthy vegetarian meals like the ones we’re presenting here.
A vegetarian lunch does a great job of holding you over until dinner, without weighing you down and giving you the afternoon sluggishness. Here are a group of lunch recipes that you can make somewhat quickly for a midday respite.
Photo: Feasting at Home
Collard Green Wraps with Roasted Yam – They walk you through this recipe step by step so that you can get the same picture-perfect wraps they ended up with. The collard greens will supply plenty of phytonutrients and minerals, and the yams are one of the most recommended carbs on diet plans across the country. The use of avocado gives you nice healthy fats, and keeps you fuller longer.
Beetroot Leaf and Yogurt Flatbreads – These flatbread sandwiches look interesting if nothing else, and they’re using a superfood that often gets overlooked, but should really be in the spotlight more: beets. They’re not using the pickled beets you find in a jar, but raw beetroot. Combining it with yogurt is a unique idea, and they look great once they’re all assembled and ready to eat.
Whole-wheat Wraps with Grilled Veggies, Feta & Hummus – Whole wheat wraps are a good start, and the grilling of the vegetables makes them taste far better than just about any other cooking method. The feta cheese adds a bit of tartness, but also has its own healthy benefits. The hummus is made from chickpeas, which help you feel full and satisfied all afternoon.They even manage to squeeze in zucchini and eggplant for good measure.
Spicy Lentil Wrap with Tahini Sauce – Both the lentils and bulgur form the bulk of this wrap, and are a perfect substitute for a meaty center. The tahini dipping sauce steals the show on this one. Wraps are just more fun when you dip them, and this sauce has flavor to spare. The red pepper flakes give it a bit of a kick to wake up your taste buds and keep you coming back for another bite.
Smashed Chickpea Greek Salad Sandwich – Whoever came up with the idea to put a Greek salad onto a sandwich was a genius. They’ve done well by adding chickpeas to it to give it some texture and adding bright and colorful tomatoes so it also looks great. The combination of olives, cucumber and spices means you’ll probably find yourself opting for this sandwich weekly.
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When most meat eaters consider going vegetarian, they picture themselves eating salads and think it will be miserable. Here are a handful of salads that would make even the biggest carnivores reconsider, at least for one meal.
Photo: Eating Bird Food
Detox Salad – The key to detoxing is not to retox. Here’s a salad that will help your body purge itself of unwanted substances, but also one you can just eat if you’re trying to be healthier. The duo of roasted beets and roasted Brussels sprouts means that your body is getting foods it really craves, and you’ve got a concoction of several different superfoods, including avocadoes. Sunflower seeds and cabbage are in here as well, just a smorgasbord of healthiness!
Dried Cranberry Couscous Salad – This couscous salad looks so good you just want to drop a spoon in it and get to work. The cranberries give it a tartness and a sweetness at the same time, so your palate won’t get bored. It also has cucumbers to help hydrate the body, and just enough feta cheese to add a nice amount of flavor and to go with the berries, but not add too much fat.
Kale, Edamame, and Quinoa Salad – Kale and quinoa combine to make this a healthy salad from the word go, but then they put edamame in it and now you’re really cooking. The lemon vinaigrette the include the recipe for makes sure you’re not just chewing this up, but actually enjoying each bite. They also put an avocado in it so you’re helping your heart, lowering your cholesterol, and lessening the chance of getting a stroke. Excellent!
Vegetarian Buffalo Salad – Have you gone vegetarian and are missing your buffalo wings? This salad promises to give you all of the taste you thought you couldn’t have anymore, without the chicken. The way they accomplish this is by using chickpeas and cauliflower in place of the meat. The cauliflower does a great job of soaking up the hot sauce and won’t leave you feeling like you single handedly took down a family of chickens.
Strawberry and Arugula Salad with Grilled Halloumi – The halloumi cheese used in this doesn’t add so much fat to make this an unhealthy salad. Plus it gives you protein, and gives your taste buds something to enjoy. You’re getting antioxidants from the strawberries, phytonutrients from the arugula, and the cheese is grilled, not fried. The pistachios provide a nice crunch and also the benefit of a healthy nut.
Here are some great meatless breakfast options for you to try. A few of these use eggs, which some vegetarians might not be OK with, but the others don’t, and would appeal to a larger base. What they all have in common is that they’ll be a healthy start to your day.
Photo: What Should I Eat for Breakfast Today?
Pita with Avocado and Fried Egg – The tomato and spices really give this an amazing presentation, and all of the ingredients used are good for you. The avocado is going to give your body some healthy monounsaturated fat, and the recipe is flexible, allowing you to scramble the egg if fried just isn’t your thing. Putting it all in a pita makes this great for a busy morning when you need to eat on your way to work.
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