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Makeover Your Meal – Go Meatless

Meat tends to be a staple in our diets. We often fill our plates with meat and starchy foods, leaving little room (if any) for fruits and vegetables. But more and more research is associating red meat and processed meats with common health problems. On the other hand, eating more plant-based foods (vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts) has been linked with better health and a lower risk for chronic diseases.

Want to start filling your plate in healthier manner? A good place to start is our Create Your Plate meal planning method. Using your plate as a guide, you can start increasing the amount of non-starchy vegetables you are eating. The plate also helps you keep portions of meat and starchy foods in check.

Want to start serving a meatless meal or two each week? “Going meatless” one or more times each week is another way you can cut back on your intake of red and processed meat. You can still get plenty of protein and keep your carbohydrate intake under control too! Check out some of the vegetarian meals below to get started.

In the mood for a burger?

We’ve given the traditional beef burger a meatless makeover! Try a our tasty Quinoa Black Bean Burger with 5 Cheesy Cauliflower Tots and 1 cup of whole strawberries on the side.

**Calories 300, Carbohydrate 46g, Fiber 13g, Protein 15g, Fat 8g, Saturated Fat 2.2g, Cholesterol 50mg, Sodium 365mg

Replacing the ground beef in a regular burger with quinoa and black beans means you are saving big on cholesterol and saturated fat. This meal is packed with fiber, and the beans and quinoa are both lean sources of protein. If you need to decrease the grams of carbohydrate in this meal, try skipping the burger bun or the side of strawberries.

Looking for a hearty chili?

Who says chili has to be meaty? Try our Veggie Chili, which will fill you up and leave you feeling satisfied. Top your Veggie Chili with 2 tablespoons of non-fat plain Greek yogurt and ¼ cup avocado slices. Add a small side of grapes (about 10) to complete your meal.

**Calories 325, Carbohydrate 51 g, Fiber 14 g, Protein 15 g, Total Fat 8 g, Saturated Fat 1.2 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 590 mg

How About Some Vegan Options?

Try any of the follow recipes:

Indian Vegetable Curry
Mediterranean Roll Ups
Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad
Eggplant and Chickpea Stew

Visit our Vegetarian Recipe List to find more recipe ideas, or go to our Meal Ideas for Different Vegetarian Diets page.

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