Top Tips: Going Meatless in 2014

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I recently wrote up a post (actually on Wednesday) outlining all of my favorite vegetarian meals that I’ve blogged about over the last year.  So many delicious recipes – my mouth was watering just going through my recipe page!  There are a TON that I definitely need to make again – and soon.  Like that Butternut Squash & Spinach Alfredo!  Geesh, that was so good! stuffed peppers, vegetarian stuffed peppers, vegetarian recipes, vegan recipes, healthy recipes

But as I scrolled through my Wednesday post, I realized that even though I provided a bunch of awesome vegetarian recipes, I didn’t really give any tips or tricks for slowly adopting a vegetarian lifestyle.  Or even how to get started cooking/preparing one or two meatless meals a week.   I can’t just leaving you hanging there without any good info!  That wouldn’t be good at all.  Nope.

Dried Beans, Beans, Cooking Beans So I got my top 5 best tips.  Some are new and some I’ve updated slightly from and older post (which you can check out here).  But I hope that if you are considering dropping meat, even for 1 or 2 days, these tips will make the process easy!

  1. Start Slow – try Meatless Mondays!  This is a national campaign to help encourage people to consume more plant-based meals.  But it’s also a simple way to ease into a vegetarian lifestyle.  It’ll take the pressure off to find and prepare meatless breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days a week.

  2. Stick with what you know.  Do you already have a few favorite meals that are meatless?  Incorporate those on a more regular basis while you ramp up your vegetarian recipe collection.

  3. Stick with the fundamentals.  Now days, there are a ton of vegetarian/vegan products in grocery stores.  Tofu, tempeh, seitan, soy dogs, tofurkey and more!  These products can be pricey and may require some time and previous experience to prepare (especially if you’re new to them).  So sticking to the vegetarian staples like beans, nuts, seeds, lentils, tofu and whole grains can make meal planning easier.

  4. Start with vegetarian dishes instead of vegan.  If you’re currently a full on meat-eater, it might be an easier and smoother transition if you start with a vegetarian diet first.  Not to say that following a vegan diet is hard, but there is a bit more wiggle room with vegetarianism – like being able to eat dairy products and eggs!

  5. Make it easy.  Sometimes it’s hard for people to think of vegetarian dishes they would enjoy eating.  So think of 3-5 recipes you currently prepare that can be easily adapted to a vegetarian menu.  Like chili!  It usually contains ground meat, but is just as delicious with 1-2 types of beans instead!

Hey, thanks for reading! Share your thoughts!