A lot of people think that a vegetarian diet means boring food—but vegetarian meals can actually be amazing! We’ve gathered together some absolutely fabulous foods to try, and none of them contain any meat.
Tuscan White Bean Soup
There are a lot of wonderful soups that fit squarely into a vegetarian diet. With these wonderful dishes, you’ll never miss the meat.
One great vegetarian recipe is Mother Nature Networks’ Tuscan White Bean Soup.
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery stalk, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried ground sage
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 5 cups vegetable stock
- 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped sage (for garnish)
- 1 pinch salt and pepper, to taste
First heat your olive oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Then, add the celery, onion and garlic and cook for about three minutes. Next add the spices, tomatoes and carrots. Cook for about five more minutes, stirring every now and then. Add the vegetable stock and beans. Continue to stir occasionally. Turn up the heat and bring the mixture to a simmer for about 10 minutes.
Remove about a third of the soup and process it in a blender until it’s creamy and smooth. Mix this back into the soup. Add additional spices to taste, then serve with fresh basil or sage.
Creamy Potato, Leek and Roasted Poblano Pepper Soup
Another great soup that’s friendly to the vegetarian diet is this great creamy potato, leek and roasted poblano pepper soup. It has a unique and exciting flavor that you may just find addictive.
- 2 poblano peppers
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 leek, just the white and light green portions, sliced
- 8-10 small red potatoes, chopped
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
Roast the peppers. If you have a gas stove, you can do this over the flame. If you have an electric, you can roast them by turning the oven to 475 degrees, placing the peppers on a baking sheet and baking them for 15 minutes on each side. The skin of the peppers should look blackened and blistered when you’re done.
When your peppers are fully blackened, cover them with a clean towel or place them in a large sealable to allow the steam to loosen the skin. After about 10 minutes, strip off the skin, remove the seeds and dice the peppers.
In a pot, heat the olive oil and cook the leeks. When they are soft, add the peppers, potatoes, spices and vegetable stock. Bring it all to a boil, then turn down the stove and simmer for around 20 minutes.
Puree the soup. You can either do this with a hand blender, or you can do it in batches in a regular blender. Once it’s all blended together, you’ll want to return it to the pot and heat it up again. Low heat is fine here. Taste the soup and add spices to taste. If it tastes good, it’s ready to serve.
Ladle it into bowls. Garnish it with the fresh thyme leaves and a dash of olive oil or Tabasco sauce. Enjoy!
Vegetable Lasagna Alfredo
Although soups are great, there are other fabulous foods to try. Although lasagna may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a vegetarian diet, this delicious vegetarian meal may change your mind.
- 2 cups carrots, thinly sliced
- 2 cups zucchini, thinly sliced
- 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, pressed
- 3/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 can Italian-style diced tomatoes
- 1 container ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese
- 1 jar white Alfredo sauce
- 3/4 cup milk
- 10 uncooked lasagna noodles
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Set your oven to 350 degrees, then heat the olive oil and sauté the vegetables (except the tomatoes), spices and garlic. You want them to be tender but still a little crisp. When they’ve reached this stage, remove the skillet from the heat and add the tomatoes.
In a different bowl, combine the egg, parmesan cheese and ricotta. In a third bowl, combine the Alfredo and milk and mix until smooth.
Spread 3/4 of a cup of the Alfredo/milk mixture in the bottom of a 9 by 13 inch pan. Place half the noodles in the pan, place half of the ricotta, parmesan and egg mixture over the top, then add half of the vegetables. Top with half of your mozzarella cheese, then repeat this layering process. Finish by pouring the rest of the Alfredo/milk mixture over the top.
Cover the top with foil and bake for 50 minutes. Then, uncover and bake for another 10 minutes.