Are you looking for healthy vegetarian recipes to delight your taste buds, and your waistline? A vegetarian diet can be packed with flavor and interesting dishes, and many of the ingredients in vegetarian food are healthy. Healthy vegetarian recipes built around fruits, grains, vegetables, nuts and healthy meat alternatives like tofu are good for you inside and out.
The key to healthy vegetarian cooking is to use whole foods and build your yummy vegetarian recipes from wholesome ingredients rather than relying on processed or pre-packaged foods. It’s also a good idea to keep sugar and dairy products to a minimum, as these aren’t healthy. A little bit in moderation is ok, but do try to use them to add a little flavor rather than as main ingredients in your healthy vegetarian meals.
Ready to try some delicious, healthy vegetarian cooking? Here are 4 easy vegetarian recipes to get you started. Each recipe makes four servings.
Spiced Moroccan Couscous With Grilled Vegetables
Couscous makes a lovely base for a vegetarian meal, and is quick to prepare too. First, prepare some vegetables on your grill. You can use any vegetables you fancy; bell peppers and zucchini are particularly lovely.
While your vegetables are grilling, measure out 4 cups of couscous and cover with 4 cups of boiling water. Stir in half a teaspoon each of cinnamon, allspice and turmeric. Add black pepper to taste, then cover and leave to sit for 8 minutes. You can also add a couple of handful of raisins if you like.
When the couscous is ready you can add a little low-fat margarine and fluff it through with a fork for a lovely light finish. Serve with the grilled veggies on top or cut up the vegetables and mix them through for a filling, healthy vegetarian recipe.
Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers
Quinoa is a delicious and protein-packed grain that makes a great addition to any healthy vegetarian dinner. Quinoa stuffed bell peppers are a healthful vegetarian meal that you’ll want to eat again and again! Set your oven to heat to 380 degrees F. While it heats up, prepare your quinoa stuffing.
Measure out 3 cups of quinoa, cover with 6 cups of boiling water, and simmer for 20 minutes. If you like, you can chop up some mushrooms and add to the quinoa while it cooks. Some frozen peas or sweet corn or some chopped fresh green beans would work well too. Add a couple of pinches of mixed herbs for flavor, or try half a teaspoon of mild curry powder for a warmer kick.
Take four bell peppers, cut them in half, and remove the seeds. Arrange the peppers on a baking tray and pile the cooked and drained quinoa mixture into them. You can add a light sprinkle of low-fat grated cheese if you like. Bake for 20 minutes for a healthy vegetarian dinner that is elegant enough for entertaining.
Baked Tofu Salad
A salad is a lovely healthy vegetarian meal, and baked tofu will elevate your salad from a light lunch to a hearty vegetarian main meal. Tofu is low fat and makes a great addition to any healthy vegetarian recipe. Do allow extra time to prepare your tofu – if you press and marinate it before baking you’ll be rewarded with rich, chewy tofu chunks that are incredibly moreish. To press, take a block of tofu (about 400g is the ideal size), wrap it in a clean kitchen towel, and press it under a heavy book for an hour. Once it’s pressed, chop into even squares and toss it in a bowl with a drizzle each of sesame oil and soy sauce, and a pinch of Chinese 5 spice. Leave covered in the fridge for another hour.
To pull your healthy veggie salad recipe together, you’ll need to bake your tofu. Spread the pressed and marinated pieces on a baking tray and bake on 380 F for 40 minutes, turning halfway through.
When your tofu is nearly cooked, it’s time to put together your salad. Wash and chop generous servings of any salad ingredients you like: Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, bell peppers, beet root, zucchini, red cabbage, spinach or broccoli. Some broken walnut pieces would make a lovely addition too. Make a simple salad dressing from a little olive oil and lemon juice. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar or mustard powder for extra flavor. Now toss your salad together with the baked tofu pieces and dressing for a healthy and tasty vegetarian meal.
Pasta and Mushroom Marinara Sauce
A list of healthy vegetarian recipes wouldn’t be complete with the humble but utterly delicious marinara sauce. Made from fresh, healthy ingredients, marinara is easy to make and tastes rich and warming. The addition of mushrooms turns this into a heartier vegetarian recipe, and who can resist mushrooms with pasta?
To make the sauce, finely chop two onions, four cloves of garlic, and 10 closed cup mushrooms, and add them to a splash of olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Cook gently until the mushrooms are turning translucent.
Now add 10 large ripe tomatoes, finely chopped, and a bay leaf. If you want your sauce to have a lovely herby taste, you can also add a teaspoon each of basil, parsley and oregano. A splash of red wine and three teaspoons of honey will deepen and round out the flavors and prevent your sauce from tasting too sharp. Add ground black pepper to taste and a pinch of salt, and simmer until reduced to your liking (about an hour works well). Serve with freshly cooked whole grain spaghetti for a hearty, healthy vegetarian recipe.
With so many healthy ingredients to choose from, whipping up healthy vegetarian recipes doesn’t have to be a chore. With a few simple ingredients, some spices and herbs to flavor, and a little patience, you can have a healthy vegetarian meal on the table in no time.
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