Cooking Meat Free

Cooking Meat Free

Meat is expensive and veggies are cheaper. I’m going to share some tips on how to cook without meat in ways that will still fill you up. 

A MEDITERRANEAN Dish

First, if you’re looking to cook something light and fresh that’s a little Mediterranean, I would try cooking with chickpeas and Israeli couscous. If you’re a picky eater, couscous might be the way to go. Personally, I dislike the texture of regular couscous. It’s too fine for my taste, so I use Israeli couscous. It’s just pasta in the shape of small balls that are a bit smaller than peas. If you’re less picky, try out chickpeas! Chickpeas are an excellent source of protein and get crunchy and delicious when you bake them. I personally like to make both chickpeas and couscous together with veggies. Some veggies that might go well with this could be baked zucchini and tomatoes, or cucumbers and tomatoes together in a salad. No matter what, I think using feta cheese and lemon juice (even just as a topping) is essential to keeping this type of dish light and tasty. Also - red onion goes fantastic with this and can go cooked or uncooked, whichever you prefer. 

Quesadillas

If you’re wanting something quick and easy, my go-to meal is quesadillas. If you just do tortillas with cheese though, that’s not all that healthy. Lots of people do put meat in their quesadillas, but I actually prefer them vegetarian. Whenever I make these, I slice up some bell pepper and red onion, season it with garlic powder, chili powder, and cumin, fry it in oil for 5-6 minutes until it’s soft (and if you like extra flavor, you can char the mixture a little), and then add it to the inside of a quesadilla made with whatever tortillas and cheese you like best. My go-to hot sauce is always Cholula, but if you want something less spicy you can mix sour cream, lime juice, salt, and pepper, and it’ll taste great without setting your mouth on fire. 

Stir-fry

The last easy meal I’d suggest making vegetarian is stir-fry. You just need to cook some rice and pull out whatever veggies you have. Really, you can’t go wrong here. Some people like broccoli in their stir-fry. If you have green beans, use those. Bell peppers and onions always go great too. You can even use carrots, radishes, peas… Anything goes because the veggies take on the flavors of whatever sauce you make. For the sauce, my first choice is usually soy sauce, sriracha, honey, and a bit of sesame oil. Only use a tiny bit of sesame oil, and balance the sriracha and honey based on whether you like your stir-fry sweeter or spicier. If you really need some extra protein, add some eggs into the mix. 

Good luck and happy cooking!

Sydnee Kay
Outreach Housing Ambassador