By Kristi Winkels, RDN, LD
Have you ever considered going vegetarian or vegan? To meat lovers, eliminating steak, hamburgers, and bacon, might seem drastic. However, aiming to cut back meat consumption by including a meatless meal once a week is a growing trend.
Why Meatless Meals?
A diet based around fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds is rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other important nutrients. People who eat less meat generally eat less saturated fat making and fewer calories overall making meatless meals appealing for those desiring weight loss. In addition, basing meals around vegetables, legumes, and nuts rather than meat can save money at the grocery store.
What About Protein?
Most people get adequate protein by including some type of protein source at every meal. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that we include a variety of protein sources in our diets. Here are a few meatless meal ideas that are rich in protein:
• A burrito made with a whole wheat tortilla, stuffed with beans and brown rice and served with lettuce, tomatoes, and guacamole.
• Soups and stews that incorporate beans, peas, and lentils.
• Salads topped with beans, nuts, and seeds.
• Chili made with beans and quinoa (try this recipe)