5 ‘Meaty’ Meal Ideas Guaranteed to Win Over Meat-Free Monday Skeptics

Have you thought about becoming vegetarian and then decided giving up meat was just too hard? Or maybe youíre all for the lifestyle, but are having a hard time winning over the rest of the family. (I hear you. Convincing the naysayers isnít easy.)

A lot of people realize the health and environmental benefits of†eating a plant-based diet, but canít imagine a life without burgers or steak. For some, even the thought of Meat Free Monday is a stretch. What on earth would you eat? And please donít say salad, right?

I love my leafy greens as much as the next vegan, but sometimes I want something Ďmeatyí to sink my teeth into. When I first transitioned to this lifestyle I ate a lot of soy burgers and hotdogs, but I quickly realized they werenít all that healthy. (And if Iím honest, they tasted a lot like cardboard.)

Eventually, I decided to get into the kitchen and channel my inner chef. The results were amazing, I even won my wifeís kids over with the mushroom burgers I made. These recipes may not have people ditching their carnivorous ways right off the bat, but theyíll at least show them that a meal without meat can be just as tasty and satisfying.

Smoky Black Bean Beet Burgers

Meaty Meal Ideas for Meat-Free MondayPhoto Credit: Minimalist Baker

Minimalist Baker is hands down one of my favorite foodie blogs. Dana is a genius in the kitchen. Sheís as much about healthy as she is decadent, junk foody deliciousness, so youíre guaranteed to find something to please everyone.

Her smoky black bean beet burgers are perfect for satisfying those killer burger cravings. You know, the ones that usually arrive on Friday night. The nice thing about these guys is that theyíre not loaded with unnecessary calories.

But donít let that fool you into thinking theyíre not tasty. Theyíre hearty, smoky, flavorful, tender and moist on the inside and perfectly crisp on the outside. They even look the part, not like those veggie patty imposters you often find taking up space on the interwebs.

Veggie Black Bean Enchiladas

Meaty Meal Ideas for Meat-Free MondayPhoto Credit:†Cookie & Kate

Cookie & Kate is another one of my go-to blogs when Iím on the hunt for a little kitchen inspiration. Along with her dog Cookie (who catches all the crumbs), Kate spends her time coming up with vegetarian and vegan dishes that have been known to impress even the most ardent of meat lovers.

These veggie black bean enchiladas work well as a casual, hearty entree. (Iím imagining a Mexican evening with nachos and margaritas.) Generously filled with sautťed bell pepper, broccoli, onion, spinach, black beans and some warming spices, smothered in Kateís homemade enchilada sauce and topped off with lashings of cheese, youíll be forgiven if you decide to keep them all to yourself.

Smoky Southern-Style Meatless Meatloaf

Meaty Meal Ideas for Meat-Free MondayPhoto Credit:†Veganosity

When it comes to comfort food nothing beats meatloaf, mash and gravy. Am I right or am I right? This smoky southern-style meatless meatloaf from Veganosity duo, Alex and Linda, is bound to hit the spot on a cold winterís night, but will be just as impressive as a Sunday lunch main.

Itís a little on the complicated side and requires a food processor, but you just have to look at the picture to see itís totally worth the effort. A lot of vegan meatloaf recipes call for soy, nuts and mushrooms, but this black bean and chickpea version has none†of that. Loaded with Southern BBQ flavor, the texture will take you straight back to your childhood.

Vegetarian BLT

Meaty Meal Ideas for Meat-Free MondayPhoto Credit:†The Curvy Carrot

Pre-vegan, one of my best things was indulging in a hearty BLT with extra bacon. Sorry pigs! Fortunately, I can still enjoy my favorite meal without hurting Esther and her ilk in the process. I just replace the bacon with marinated tempeh and Bobís your aunt.

The Curvy Carrot has a vegetarian BLT recipe thatís on point when it comes to flavor, meatiness and all-round eating satisfaction.†Shannon (the kitchen magician behind the blog) reckons this recipe is by far the sexiest version of a BLT sheís ever made.

Thereís some prep-ahead-time required, but donít let that put you off. You just have to take one bite of this sandwich and youíll have forgotten all about the work it took to make. If youíre counting calories you can always skip the mayo and just keep the avo mash. Itíll still be super delicious.

VEGAN SWEET AND SPICY MEATBALLS

Meaty Meal Ideas for Meat-Free MondayPhoto Credit:†The Big Man’s World

These vegan sweet and spicy meatballs from The Big Manís World are sure to win points with omnivores and veggies alike. Made with Gardein meatless grounds and a host of other ingredients, the recipe requires almost zero kitchen skills. All you have to do is toss everything into a mixing bowl, mix, roll into balls and pan fry until golden brown. Even a bachelor would be hard-pressed to mess this one up.

WHAT ABOUT FAKE MEAT?

The vegan jury is still out when it comes to faux meat and animal products. The purists believe you should make everything from scratch just like your vegan Grandma did, while the rest of us think thereís nothing wrong with a little store-bought assistance every now and then.

I donít indulge nearly as often as I used to, but Iím not averse to buying readymade on the odd occasion. As a newly transitioned vegan I found these products to be a godsend. Finding your way in the kitchen takes time, so itís nice to have something to fall back on every now and then.

This is just a small example of the fun you can have eating a plant-based diet. Google things like†recipes that make being vegan exciting, vegan holiday dishes†or vegan sandwich recipes and you’ll be inundated with ideas. Happy cooking!

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

73 comments

Marie W
Marie Wabout a month ago

thanks for sharing

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Jack Y
Jack Y5 months ago

thanks

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Jack Y
Jack Y5 months ago

thanks

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John J
John J5 months ago

thanks for sharing

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John J
John J5 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Camilla V
Camilla Vaga6 months ago

yummy

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Danii P
Past Member 7 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Elaine W
Elaine W7 months ago

I could not even get a bite that big in my mouth but looks good enough to attack with a fork. Thanks.

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Melania P
Melania Padilla7 months ago

Yum! I make an excellent chickpea burger

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Cathy B
Cathy B7 months ago

Delicious. Thank you.

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