Filling Meatless Family Meals
If you're like most people, you're probably always on the lookout for delicious new ways to sneak more nutrition into your family's meals — without breaking the bank. Did you know that planning out a few meatless meals a week can help you stretch your grocery budget? With Lent right around the corner, this is the perfect time of year to test out some quick, affordable, and totally meatless menu options. You'll have these vegetarian recipes on the table in 30 minutes or less, and they might even become lunch and dinner staples your family asks for long after Easter has passed.
Sweet Potato Burritos
These burritos are really the whole enchilada — they're filling, affordable and versatile. If you're looking to spice up your Lent dinner ideas, try this healthful Mexican-inspired dish.
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 1 can of black beans (seasoned or unseasoned) rinsed and drained
- 2 red bell peppers
- 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
- 1 envelope of your favorite taco seasoning
- Whole wheat tortillas
- Optional toppings: pico de gallo, sliced jalapeños, your favorite salsa, sour cream, lime wedges
- Scrub the sweet potatoes and use a fork to pierce the skins five or six times apiece. Microwave them on high for eight minutes, flipping them over halfway through.
- While the sweet potatoes cook, preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and cut the red bell peppers into strips.
- Scoop the sweet potato flesh out of the skins and blend it with the taco seasoning.
- Arrange the tortillas on a baking sheet. Top each with four slices of bell pepper, about 1/3 cup of black beans, 1/3 cup of the smashed potatoes, and a sprinkling of cheese.
- Roll the burritos up and bake them on the middle rack for five to ten minutes or until the cheese is melted.
- Add your favorite toppings and dig in. This recipe also works well served as enchiladas topped with red or green chili sauce and melted cheese.
Hot and Sour Soup
Lent starts in early March this year, and there might still be a chill in the air. Warm everyone up with some tried-and-true Chinese flavors. A steaming bowl of hot and sour soup works perfectly on its own for lunch or as a dinner side with our Easy Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry — just replace the chicken with cubed tofu.
Ingredients for soup base:
- 8 cups vegetable stock
- 2–3 tablespoons vinegar (use more for a zipper flavor)
- 1 teaspoon white pepper powder
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch and ½ cup water to thicken the soup
- Toasted sesame oil
Ingredients for flavor and texture — choose what your family prefers:
- Baby corns
- Bamboo shoots
- Water chestnuts
- Sliced cabbage
- Chopped carrots
- Bean sprouts
- Snow peas
- Spinach leaves
- Sliced green onion
- Eggs, beaten
- Stir the vinegar and black pepper together until the powder dissolves. Leave this in a small bowl.
- Add the vegetable broth to a large stockpot and bring to a boil.
- Add your desired vegetables and the cornstarch slurry and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the beaten eggs and swirl them in the pot until they're cooked through.
- Turn off the stove and move the pot to a cool burner.
- Stir in the vinegar-pepper mixture and serve the soup drizzled with toasted sesame oil. This recipe also pairs well with our Vegetable Fried Rice.
Brighten up brunch or lighten up lunch with a tasty quiche that's brimming with protein and nutritious vegetables. To get this vegetarian meal on the table quicker, divide the recipe into six portions and serve as mini quiches cooked in a large muffin pan.
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
- 5 cups fresh spinach leaves
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- Half a diced white onion
- Premade ready-bake pie crust or dough
- Salt and pepper
- Other optional filling ingredients: fresh peas, sliced mushrooms, steamed asparagus cut into half-inch lengths
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Drizzle olive oil in a large skillet. Add your chosen veggies (except the tomatoes) and sauté until soft.
- While the veggies are cooking, beat the eggs, half and half, cheeses, salt, and pepper together until combined.
- Lay the pie crust into a baking dish and add the egg mixture. Swirl spoonsful of the veggie mixture through the eggs and pop the tomato halves into the mix.
- Bake until a knife inserted into the center of the quiche comes out clean.
- For a hearty dinner, serve slices of this quiche alongside our Herb Smashed Potatoes and steamed green beans.
Veggie Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Need quick vegetarian lunch recipes for Fridays during Lent? It's time for a classic with a twist: grilled cheese! You can customize these family favorites with more flavor and nutrition by adding just about any vegetable you have in the fridge.
Layer on sliced red bell peppers, spinach, and onions. Have some leftover fried eggplant or grilled zucchini? Add it to a sandwich with mozzarella and a spoonful of tomato sauce. You can even make a jalapeño popper grilled cheese by layering a slice of cheddar with a spread of cream cheese and sliced jalapeños. Want a meal that's a little more substantial? Serve your sandwiches with bowls of our easy Five Ingredient Broccoli Cheddar Soup.
It's easy to figure out what to eat during Lent when you have these great menu options at the ready. Want even more tasty meatless dinner recipes? Check out Food Lion's Fresh Ideas Blog for easy ideas that are nutritious, budget-friendly, and quick.