I am not a vegetarian. I love bacon, burgers and pepperoni. While other people may crave meat, my cravings have always been more on the carbohydrate and dairy side: bread, cheese, and ice cream.
Since I started eating better, I just haven’t felt the need to spend some of my 1200 or so calories a day on something I don’t really even enjoy. While meat can provide good protein and nutrients, it doesn’t give me the best bang for my buck (calorie wise or budget wise). As such, I’ve almost entirely given it up.
Now, if it’s not a special occasion or a meal with others, I’m not eating meat. I get my protein mostly from dairy, whole grains and beans. I still enjoy the occasional burger, but I’m not missing meat.
Below is one of my recent recipes that I’ve concocted. I’m not sure if it is technically vegetarian since I added chicken bouillon, but I plan on making and freezing my own veggie stock soon. Just another step in making my food from scratch.
While it may seem like extra work to have to pre-cook the beans, veggies and rice, it really takes no more hands-on time than it would to brown meat.
Nutritional info per serving:
411 calories, 26 g protein, 60 g carbs, 10 g fat, 7 g fiber
1.25 cups dry black beans, cooked (I add some onion, cumin, thyme and chicken bouillon while cooking)
1 cup brown rice, cooked (I add chicken bouillon while cooking)
2 cups non-fat Greek yogurt
1 yellow squash
2 bell peppers
1 2/3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
salt to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cut and grill or saute the squash, peppers and onion. I grill mine on a George Foreman. Cut them into bite-sized or smaller pieces before or after cooking.
3. Combine cooked veggies, beans and rice in a greased 9 x 13 casserole pan. Leaving shredded cheese to the side, add in remaining ingredients and mix.
4. Top with shredded cheese.
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.
I tried to keep track of the spices I used and in what quantities, but really, use what you like. The good thing about a recipe like this is that it’s very customizable…use what you like.