Who says vegetarian food isn't filling? Besides being good for you, eating less meat and refined foods helps the environment in a big way. And part of the adventure of adopting a vegetarian diet is finding tasty new foods to love. Try cooking these three dishes that are healthy, flavorful and delicious.
In honor of Earth Day, celebrate the fruits of Mother Earth by reducing your meat intake and going vegetarian with whole grains, greens and colorful vegetables. Have fun discovering these new veggie recipes that your friends and family will surely love!
Veggie chickpea and quinoa salad
Makes 2-4 servings
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 can chickpeas, washed and drained
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1/2 cup diced peppers in assorted colors
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup chopped kale
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
Juice of one lemon
Salt and pepper, or to taste
In a large bowl, mix together quinoa, chickpeas, carrots, celery, parsley, peppers and kale. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, mustard, honey, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Toss dressing into the salad. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Mushroom & spinach casserole with brown rice
Makes 4-6 servings
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1-2 stalks celery, chopped
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 cup brown rice
1/4 cup white wine
2 cups vegetable stock
10-12 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced
3 cups spinach
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a medium-sized pot, add one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Stir in the onion, garlic, celery and thyme. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for about eight to 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
Mix in the brown rice and stir for one to two minutes. Pour in the white wine and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Cook for about an hour, until liquid has absorbed.
In a separate pan over medium-high heat, add two tablespoons of olive oil. Add mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook for about five to six minutes. Stir in spinach, and then add the mixture into the rice.
Vegetarian shepherd's pie
Makes 8 servings
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 pound firm tofu, sliced into 1/4-inch strips
2 leeks, halved lengthwise and sliced into rings
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 pound mushrooms, quartered
4 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 bottle red wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/4 cup kale, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
For potato topping:
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into large cubes
1/2 stick butter
1 cup milk
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and saute onion for five to six minutes. Add tofu and stir to brown about five minutes. Transfer onions and tofu to a plate.
Add a tablespoon of oil and cook leeks with a pinch of salt, until soft, about six minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for about two minutes.
Mix in the mushrooms and another pinch of salt and cook down for five to six minutes. Add carrots, celery and dried herbs. Cover pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are almost tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl. Add the red wine to pot and boil for about 10 to 15 minutes, until reduced. In the meantime, in a small bowl stir softened butter and flour to form a paste.
Add the vegetable stock to wine and simmer. Whisk in paste, until slightly thickened, four to five minutes. Add onions, tofu and vegetables to the pot and simmer for 30 minutes, covered.
While the vegetables are simmering, add potatoes to a pot covered with water and simmer, for about 20 minutes, until soft. Drain potatoes and return to pot. Stir in butter, milk and a pinch of salt and pepper, and mash until well combined. Remove mashed potatoes from heat.
Remove pot of vegetables from heat and stir in chopped parsley and kale, transfer to a baking dish. Preheat broiler. Top mashed potato mixture over the vegetable stew and evenly cover. Broil for about five minutes, until top is golden brown.