What are some healthy vegetarian meals?

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A healthy vegetarian meal should consist of grains, fruits/veggies and some legumes and/or low fat dairy. Here are some examples:

  • Vegetarian chili (tomatoes, beans) with cornbread (grain)
  • Pasta (grains) tossed with veggies, beans, and topped with shredded parmesan cheese
  • Cheese pizza (dairy, grains, tomato sauce) topped with veggies
  • Mac & cheese (grains, dairy) with a tossed salad (veggies)
Doreen Rodo
Nutrition & Dietetics
Here are a couple ideas:

Make homemade lentil soup: Rinse 1 pack of lentils and add 3 quarts of water-soak overnight. Add 3-4 bouillon vegetarian packets or cubes, 1 cup carrots, chopped celery and onion, 1/2 of a small can of tomato paste with Italian seasonings. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook until lentils are tender and soup is thick (add water if lentils aren't done and cook longer). Add 1/2c of thin whole grain spaghetti (broken small). Serve when thick and lentils are soft. Sprinkle with some soy or regular parmesan cheese, if desired. Add some whole grain bread to make the meal a complete protein.

Another option is to sauté your favorite vegetables, and when soft add a veggie burger that is sliced into pieces. Cook until hot. Sprinkle with soy or low-fat cheese and serve with a wheat tortilla or pita.
A vegetarian diet can include just as many tasty varieties as one including meat. Don't hesitate to get creative in the kitchen. Try the healthful, vegetarian meal ideas below.

Breakfast:
  • Cereal with milk (soymilk if vegan)
  • Whole-wheat toast with margarine or jelly and a piece of fresh fruit
  • Instant oatmeal with nuts, raisins and (soy) milk
Lunch:
  • Vegetable sandwich (tomatoes, peppers, onions, avocado) with or without (soy) cheese on whole-grain bread
  • Vegetable soup with a piece of whole-grain toast
  • Vegetable burger or falafel with (soy) cheese, mushrooms and tomato on whole-grain bread
  • Pita bread filled with vegetables or peanut butter
  • Chili with beans, textured vegetable protein and (soy) cheese
Dinner:
  • Tofu stir-fry with brown rice
  • Whole-grain pasta with tomato sauce plus vegetables (mushrooms, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers and onions)
  • Tacos or burritos filled with beans, textured vegetable protein, tofu or tempeh
  • Pizza with or without cheese and topped with vegetables, tofu or meat substitute
Vandana  R. Sheth
Nutrition & Dietetics
A healthy vegetarian meal is one that includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables and a good quality vegetarian protein such as lentils, beans, tofu, nut butters, etc.

Sample Breakfast Meal Ideas:
  • Whole grain cereal + soymilk + fresh fruit + nuts
  • Whole grain toast + nut butter + fruit
  • Smoothie - dairy alternative milk + fruit + nuts + flaxseeds
Sample Lunch/Dinner Meal Ideas:
  • Sandwich made with wholegrain bread, lettuce, avocado, tomato, hummus + fruit on the side
  • Bowl of veg chili + salad + wholegrain crackers
  • Brown rice + stir fry veggies + tofu

Continue Learning about Vegetarian Diets

Vegetarian Diets

When you look at vegetarian diets, it's hard to do so without understanding that many of the practitioners believe that it is not only healthful, but more to practice vegetarianism. This is true even if the diet may include occasi...

onal meats or fish as in the Macrobiotic diet with it's Zen beliefs, or the Indian Ayurvedic diet, which finds milk and dairy central to good health along with plants. Anyone considering a vegetarian diet should learn about the food values of different vegetables, and consider getting advice on whether or not to supplement the diet with vitamins and minerals, particularly if you have special nutritional needs like growing children or pregnant or lactating women.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.