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Hearty meat-free meals for men

Mention meat-free meals and most men think unsatisfying salads and “health-food” dishes based on tofu. You can, however, change a man’s meat-free perspective by feeding him hearty vegetarian meals that satisfy his hunger and don’t leave him pining for pork, beef or chicken. Here are few man-friendly meat-free meals.

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Meat Substitutes

Having a meat-free meal doesn’t necessarily mean salads only. There are plenty of filling vegetarian meals that can satisfy even the biggest eaters. In addition to actual meat substitutes, such as vegetarian meats, you can also replace meats with vegetables.

Here are a few ways to replace meat with vegetables:

  • Marinated Portobello mushrooms make terrific substitutes for hamburgers.
  • Butternut squash works well in place of beef in lasagna.
  • Avocado, cucumbers, and radishes are a tasty combination in a sandwich with goat cheese.
  • Zucchini, summer squash, and cauliflower are good additions for a light summer stew.
  • A variety of beans added to pasta make for a healthy, hearty meal.
  • Any hearty vegetable, such as eggplant, winter squash, root vegetables and the crucifers can add satisfying texture and bulk to any meal.

You can also use tofu as a substitute for meat. Try a stir-fry with tofu, peanuts, rice and vegetables or put tofu in a sandwich in place of lunch meat. Simply be creative and you will be able to make meat-free meals that are satisfying for men.

Hearty Meat-free Recipes for men

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Makes 8 servings

1 large butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeded, cut into chunks
1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound lasagna noodles
1/4 cup plus unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups low-fat milk, warmed
2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Combine squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and black pepper and spread out on an aluminum foil covered baking sheet. Roast squash for 40 to 45 minutes or until fork tender.

2. Meanwhile, cook lasagna noodles in boiling water until tender. Drain noodles and reserve.

3. Combine butter with flour in a skillet and heat, whisking for 2 minutes. Whisk in milk, bring mixture to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes or until thickened.

4. When squash is finished cooking combine squash with 1 cup ricotta cheese, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a blender or food processor. Blend until squash is smooth.

5. When ready to cook, spoon about 1/4 of the sauce onto the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish then top with 1/4 of the lasagna noodles, 1/4 of the squash, 1/4 of the ricotta cheese, 1/4 of the Parmesan cheese, and 1/4 of the mozzarella cheese. Continue layering ending with mozzarella cheese until all ingredients are finished.

6. Cover lasagna with aluminum foil and bake for 55 to 65 minutes or until heated through. Remove lasagna from oven and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes.

Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burgers

Makes 4 servings

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
4 Portobello mushrooms, stems cut off
4 slices Swiss cheese
4 hamburger buns

1. Whisk vinegar with olive oil, thyme, rosemary, garlic, and salt and pepper. Pour marinade in a large plastic zip-top bag and add mushrooms. Let marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

2. When ready to cook, preheat grill to medium heat. Place marinated mushrooms on grill and cook 5 to 6 minutes per side. When second side is cooking, place cheese on top of mushrooms and shut lid, letting cheese melt.

3. When cheese is melted and mushrooms are cooking through, place them on buns which choice of garnishes.

Three Bean and Quinoa Salad

Makes 4 servings

1-1/2 cups red or black quinoa
1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed
1/2 cup canned kidney beans, rinsed
1/2 cup garbanzo beans, rinsed
1-1/2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1-1/2 cups canned corn, rinsed
3/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint
5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1. Cook quinoa according to package directions. Spoon quinoa into a bowl and let cool.

2. In a small bowl, combine beans, vinegar, corn, pepper, and mint. In a separate bowl, whisk lemon juice with salt, cumin, and olive oil until well combined.

3. Mix quinoa with bean mixture then drizzle dressing over top and gently toss. Chill until ready to serve.

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