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4 easy vegetarian recipes for the whole family
Guest post by: Elizabeth Lotts writer for Vitacost.com

Looking for a family-friendly vegetarian dinner? Whether you subscribe only to Meatless Mondays or are a committed vegetarian every day of the week, there are dinner dishes that go beyond spaghetti sans meatballs. Best of all, they can be made in less than an hour or prepared days in advance and reheated. With these simple, healthy recipes, you can (finally) prove to your family that vegetarian means variety – and that’s a good thing!

Quick Cajun Quinoa

In lieu of beefed-up jambalaya, this vegetarian one-dish-wonder offers the same Cajun flavor while covering nearly all nutritional bases: protein, carbohydrates, vegetables and essential fatty acids.

1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 Tbsp. Creole seasoning blend
1 Tbsp. ground garlic
2 Tbsp. olive oil
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped red bell pepper
1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained
1 tsp. hot sauce
Salt and pepper

Directions:

1. In a medium sauce pan, cook quinoa according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, sauté onion, celery and bell pepper in olive oil over medium-high heat for 3 minutes or until veggies are tender.
2. Once quinoa is cooked, add diced tomatoes, black beans, Creole seasoning, hot sauce and garlic; mix thoroughly. Stir in sautéed veggies. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sweet Potato Pancakes

These are great for brunch on the weekends, but this sweet and satisfying breakfast is equally excellent for dinner.

3 medium sweet potatoes
¼ cup minced yellow onion
3 Tbsp. whole wheat flour
1 large egg
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. sea salt

Directions:

1. Peel and grate sweet potatoes. Then, add to a large bowl and mix with onion, flour, cinnamon, baking powder, egg and salt.
2. Using your hands, shape the potato mixture into a ball and flatten into a pancake.
3. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Let the oil get hot and cook pancakes until golden, about 4 minutes per side.
4. Serve with fresh fruit, a fruit spread or old-fashioned maple syrup.

Hungry-Man Vegetable Soup

On a cold winter day, get the kids cuddled up with a cup of soup and a whole grain grilled cheese sandwich.

1 bag shredded carrots
3 stalks celery
1 small white onion
4 cups fresh spinach or kale
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cups vegetable broth
3 cups water
1 package cheese ravioli
1 tsp. dried rosemary
Salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Dice celery and onion. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and drizzle in olive oil. Add carrots, celery, onion and spinach to pot and sauté for 3 minutes, or until veggies are tender.
2. Pour vegetable broth and water over veggies and increase heat. Cover and let soup come to a boil, then add ravioli. Reduce to medium heat and simmer until ravioli are tender and heated through.
3. Sprinkle with rosemary, salt and pepper to taste. Stir well and slurp it up!

Veggie Taco Casserole

When Meatless Monday meets Taco Tuesday, you get this filling and flavorful casserole. Pair it with a side salad or serve a spoonful over a bed of lettuce.

2 cups tomato sauce
1 cup medium-hot salsa
1 can chopped green chiles
1 can kidney beans
½ cup water
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 bag tortilla chips
2 cups shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350˚ F.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the first six ingredients. Once combined, pour half of sauce mixture into a large baking dish.
3. Add a layer of chips, then sprinkle 1 cup of cheese over top. Repeat layering with remaining sauce, chips and cheese.
4. Bake for 35 minutes, or until cheese is melted and dish is heated through.

 

This article has been provided by the folks at Vitacost.com. Offering more than just vitamins and supplements, Vitacost.com has a wide selection of over 35,000 organic, natural products for your healthy lifestyle such as hemp seeds, coconut oil and cinnamon. From organic foods and bath & beauty items to sports nutrition favorites and pet essentials, Vitacost.com has your needs covered – for less! Take your shopping list to Vitacost.com and take the cost out of healthy living. Vitacost.com is not affiliated with this blog and isn’t responsible for content outside of this article.
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About Dr. Anastasia

Dr. Anastasia Halldin holds a Ph.D in holistic nutrition, speaks four languages, starred on a yoga TV show, produced and appeared in thirteen yoga DVDs, and is a mother of a kindergartner, twin toddlers, and a newborn. Dr. Anastasia loves doing crafts with her children and sharing her easy healthy recipes and knowledge of health and food with mothers to help them raise healthier families.
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  • http://www.mealtimeadventurers.com Ariella

    Looks fantastic. Will have to give the vegetarian casserole a try.

  • Stacy

    Thank you for posting this! I’ve been trying to transition over to mostly vegetarian and I live in a household who loves their meat. I’ve done one vegetarian casserole before that the whole family enjoyed, so I’m looking forward to trying these.

    • http://healthymamainfo.com healthymama

      Stacy, you’d be amazed at how open people are to vegetarian food! The stigma is that it’s all celery and kale and completely tasteless, so once people start eating good quality and well-seasoned vegetarian food, they usually love it. I converted many people to vegetarianism simply by letting them eat at my house. :)