MadameNoire Featured Video
1 of 15

meatless recipes

Source: GMVozd / Getty

The close-quarters nature of meat packaging plants and slaughterhouses has caused a number of infections in these facilities nationwide and, as a result, many have shut down. That’s leading to a major issue in many links in the supply chain. Both individuals and restaurants—large and small—are seeing an increase in meat prices. Ranches are struggling with a backlog of livestock, since there just aren’t as many facilities processing meat. For some, like vegetarians and vegans, this is no concern. And, really, we probably eat too much meat as it is. You could get most of the nutrients you need by eating a mostly vegetarian diet. Nonetheless, the change is shocking to many.

 

If you aren’t sure how you’ll deal with the rising price of meat right now, here’s an idea: eat less meat! Maybe you’ve been trying to for years, wanting to take baby steps to eating less meat, but didn’t have the time to learn how to make tasty vegetarian meals. Well now, as we’re all stuck at home, you have the time. It’s a good opportunity to explore some meatless ingredients and recipes that you may choose to continue to eat, even when meat prices return to normal.

 

Making things simple is a blessing right now, so you may not be looking to create your own meatless chicken nuggets from scratch. But it can be easier than that. Here are some basic and delicious meatless meals to make during the meat shortage—or any time.

meatless recipes

Source: Nirut Trissananont / EyeEm / Getty

Soy-braised tofu stir fry

Boil up some brown or white rice and sautee your favorite veggies with firm tofu in soy sauce. Bell peppers, carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, and peas are all great vegetable options for this dish. You can add sweet and sour sauce or fish sauce if you like, as well as chopped green onions and sesame seeds for a flavorful, fiber- and protein-heavy dish.

meatless dishes

Source: tovfla / Getty

Black bean or jack fruit enchiladas

It’s really the smothering red sauce and cheese that make enchiladas so good. You don’t need meat inside to enjoy the best parts of this South of the Border dish. Consider stuffing yours with either black beans or shredded jack fruit, which has the consistency of shredded beef or chicken, and is full of nutrients.

meatless recipes

Source: Westend61 / Getty

All-bean or faux meat chili

You don’t really need beef or turkey to make a great chili. You could just use your favorite recipe, and use kidney beans, pinto beans, and white beans to make something really tasty. Or, you can pick up fake meat crumbles from your local store. Almost any variety of faux meat crumbles will taste great in this because all of the spices and tomatoes will smother them.

meatless recipes

Source: tovfla / Getty

Quinoa and veggie soup

If you’re craving a hearty soup but can’t make the traditional variety right now, consider making a vegetarian quinoa and vegetable soup. Just add a couple tablespoons of olive oil with half a chopped onion to the bottom of a pot, over medium. Add your favorite chopped vegetables, and once those have softened, toss in roughly four to six cups of vegetable stock. Add half a cup of quinoa, bring to a boil, and let everything simmer for a half-hour, while adding spices like salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, and basil.

meatless recipes

Source: Westend61 / Getty

Chickpea tacos

Lightly toast your flour or corn tortillas in canola oil in a large pan. Empty a can of cooked chickpeas into another pan to let those heat and toast. Add those to your tortillas with shredded cabbage, cilantro, avocado, sour cream, queso, and hot sauce. You won’t miss the meat one bit.

meatless recipes

Source: Photo by Cathy Scola / Getty

Veggie lasagna

Thanks to the ricotta and mozzarella, lasagna already offers a decent amount of protein without the meat. If you opt for a gluten-free lasagna noddle made of quinoa, you’ll get even more protein and fiber. Then just layer your lasagna with sautéed bell peppers, eggplant, and zucchini, leaving out the meat, for a satisfying dish that creates a good amount of leftovers.

meatless dishes

Source: Александра Дымочкина / Getty

Tofu lettuce cups

Instead of making chicken lettuce cups, just use whatever recipe you typically follow in making those, and substitute in firm tofu. You can cut the tofu into tiny cubes, or crumble it, just like you would the chicken. This mild food takes up many of the same sauces that chicken does perfectly, so dip these cups in sweet and sour sauce or peanut sauce—whichever you prefer.

meatless dishes

Source: Portland Press Herald / Getty

Bean burrito bowl

Burrito bowls are fun and easy to make because you can customize them based on what you have in your kitchen. The base can be brown rice, white rice, quinoa, or lettuce. Top it off with sautéed bell peppers and onions and guacamole and cheese and corn and salsa. Then add black beans for your protein. Or, like with the enchiladas, try shredded, simmered jack fruit.

meatless dishes

Source: haoliang / Getty

Lentil risotto

Lentil risotto is a hearty, satisfying comfort dish that won’t leave you missing the meat one bit. Try adding pre-cooked lentils to your favorite mushroom risotto dish. Because they’re soft and mild in flavor, they’ll blend right in, while adding protein and fiber to your food. You can use brown or red lentils for this dish.

meatless dishes

Source: yipengge / Getty

Mushroom and feta “frittata”

Make a flavorful mushroom and feta cheese “frittata” by using extra-soft tofu instead of eggs. Of course, if you aren’t struggling to get eggs right now, then you can just go ahead and use eggs. The feta adds a great pop of flavor to this dish. It also goes well with some chopped green onions on top.

meatless dishes

Source: LauriPatterson / Getty

Jackfruit tacos

If you want the texture of shredded meat when you can’t have meat, jack fruit is really a great way to go. It tastes delicious with many of the same sauces and spices you might use in making shredded pork or shredded chicken dishes. And it’s a great addition to tortillas for street-style tacos. Just add a little Cotija cheese, hot sauce, and avocado and chopped onion.

meatless recipes

Source: Photography by Matthew Lankford / Getty

Black bean and quinoa burgers

You can either buy ready-made versions, or make your own at home if you’re willing to boil your own quinoa and crack open a can of black beans. All that’s needed is an egg and some bread crumbs to get the patties to form, and top them off with your preferred spices. Grill them in a pan, and you have a nutritious and filling burger that pairs well with most traditional burger toppings.

meatless dishes

Source: Sergio Amiti / Getty

Tortellini soup

If you’re feeling lazy but want something comforting, grab some vegetarian tortellini—like cheese and spinach or three-cheese—and cook it in a big pot of vegetable broth on medium heat until soft. There you have tortellini soup, and all the goodness of the soft pasta, cheesy filling, and nourishing broth.

meatless dishes

Source: Marco Donati / EyeEm / Getty

Tuna pasta

Hey, tuna isn’t technically meat! And you likely have quite a bit of canned tuna around right now if you stocked up on non-perishable food for your quarantine. Make a simple tuna pasta by boiling your preferred noodles, and in a pan, sauteeing cherry tomatoes and black olives. Add those, with your tuna, to your pasta with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

meatless dishes

Source: Westend61 / Getty

Tofu ramen

Dress up those cups of noodles and prepackaged ramen by adding firm tofu that you sautee in soy sauce and hot sauce in a pan. You can also toss in some jarred, read-to-eat button mushrooms. If you have eggs, add a hard-boiled egg. Throw in sliced jalapenos and bean sprouts. And you basically have restaurant-quality ramen.

TRENDING ON MADAMENOIRE
Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN