As of late, my husband and I have adopted a flexitarian diet. As I mentioned before, in an attempt to get healthy, we started changing our eating and exercising habits. The approach we took was a result of our research from bloggers, friends, and some great Netflix documentaries. Some of which advised us to make some pretty dramatic changes, like cutting meat out of our diet.
Although we saw evidence of some negative effects a meat diet can have on you, there wasn’t a lot of research comparing store-bought meat vs. locally grown meat. Being that my husband grew up on a small cattle farm and we still get a majority of our meat from my in-laws, we felt as though we were already at an advantage in that sense.
But there are a lot of benefits to the protein you get vegetables and legumes in comparison to meat products, which which played a big part in our decision to drastically reduce the amount of meat we consume each week. When we first began making these changes, we described it to people as a mostly vegetarian diet, while just eating meat on occasion. Through our continued research, I found there was actually a term for that – flexitarian!
It takes some creative thinking to get the protein you need at first, but after a couple weeks of flexitarian meal planning, it became second nature to us. And it took even less time for us to realize how little we actually missed meat.
Most importantly, we are feeling great. We have had several conversations about how it takes less to fill us up, we are satisfied longer, and craving sweets less – all fitting into our goal to getting healthy!
I wanted to share with you some of our favorite recipes that we have now incorporated to our monthly meal plan:
This Lentil and Sausage Soup with Kale was incredibly flavorful. We substituted the chicken sausage for our apple/sage vegetarian sausage (we found it at Costco) and we omitted the bacon fat.
These Spicy Black Bean Burgers we tend to make in bulk and freeze the leftovers. They are jam packed with flavor and are extremely filling.
The BBQ Cauliflower Salad was amazing! The combination of flavors with the BBQ sauce and the ranch dressing made my mouth water. Even my two year old was begging for some!
This Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad was my lifeline all summer long, but has still found its way onto my fall menu as well. It’s jam-packed with healthy goodness AND flavor!
The Chickpea Pot Pie is probably the most requested dish from my husband. All this coming from a man who previously hated sweet potatoes. And for my lactose-intolerant husband, we use unsweetened vanilla almond milk in the place of regular milk….let me just say that the recipe got that much better. Simplify it by using Trader Joe’s cornbread mix on top though! Just a suggestion…
Another favorite is the Quinoa Black Bean Burrito Bowl. It’s a very easy go-to meal that even my kids will eat so that’s a WIN in my book!
Well I hope that gave you some inspiration for some meat-free meals! You can find plenty more on my ”Happy Tastebuds” Pinterest Board where I always try to comment my thoughts on the recipes I try. And yes, there are plenty of meat recipes on there too!
And please, friends! I love trying new things (I think I get bored easily) so please share your favorite vegetarian recipes with me too!!!