Simple Meatless Meals… for people who love meat!posted by Andrea | 06/17/2014
I’ve seen lots of chatter about implementing “Meatless Mondays” (a.k.a. not eating any meat for one day a week) as a simple way to cut grocery expenses.
While Dave and I are both big meat lovers, I do think there is some merit in this idea. In fact, I honestly can’t believe how simple it is to go meatless (or at least use a lot less meat) 2 or even 3 times a week.
Just last week, I realized that we had 3 meatless dinners without even specifically trying:
- Cheese-stuffed tortellini with marinara sauce, cheesy garlic bread, green beans, and salad
- Grilled cheese, fruit salad, chips, raw veggies
- Blueberry and chocolate chip pancakes with scrambled eggs, fruit, and yogurt
We also had 1 night where I mixed a small amount of shredded chicken with a bunch of beans, rice, tomatoes, and other “fillers” to make wet burritos.
Without even specifically planning to go “meatless”, we ended up eating little to no meat 4 of the 7 nights last week — and I can assure you we were not left hungry or unsatisfied at the end of any of those meals.
I’m sure that if anyone came up to Dave or to me and asked if we were vegetarians, we would chuckle a little while stating a resounding “no, definitely not”.
If you feel the same way, I’d like to encourage you to just consider how you might incorporate 1 or more meatless meals into your weekly meal plans.
You might be surprised how easy it is to do — and how little you’ll actually miss the meat.
Everyone in our family LOVES pasta… and while I love a good meaty lasagna, I find that more often than not, our Italian meals are vegetarian.
What’s not to love about a heaping pile of pasta with delicious Alfredo or marinara sauce, crusty bread, steamed veggies, and a salad. This is pretty much our go-to meal of choice any time we’re running short on time or any night we can’t decide what to eat.
Even if you do add a little meat to the sauce (ground beef, ground turkey, shredded chicken, etc. it’s still significantly less expensive than grilling a big steak or burgers.
We eat breakfast for dinner roughly once a week — and it’s pretty much a no-brainer for the vegetarian category because there are SO many delicious meatless options.
We love our bacon and sausage, but I could go on and on with all our favorite (and very satisfying) meatless breakfast recipes.
Mexican food is another area where I can easily substitute extra beans, cheese, tomatoes, rice, or other “fillers” for some or all of the meat without anyone complaining. In fact, Nora often prefers my meatless Mexican options.
Quesadillas, enchiladas, and burritos are all completely delicious without any meat (and yes, even Dave will agree with me on this one!)
4. SOUP and SALAD:
Soup and salad is another really easy way to include a very hearty meatless meal into your weekly menu plan.
I have a bunch of vegetarian soup recipes on my blog — and many of the other soups could easily be vegetarian by simply omitting the meat.
With just a simple loaf of bread or a few rolls, you have a complete (and usually quite frugal) meal!
We’ll also often have loaded baked potatoes with soup or salad to add a little more “bulk” to the meal.
Although we both prefer our pizza loaded with meat, there is something about homemade pizza piled high with cheese and veggies (and maybe some sausage too!) It’s so yummy every once in a while — and such a simple weeknight meal.
These 5 types of recipes are very simple ways we often incorporate one or more meatless meals into our weekly menu plan without feeling like we’re missing out on anything.
Along with noticing a savings on our grocery bill, I’ve also noticed a time savings when it comes to meal preparation since I don’t have that added step of cooking or prepping the meat.
Meatless meals don’t always mean a “sacrifice”… at least not in our house.