Back to the fall routine with meatless meal ideas
As summer comes to an end, now is the time to prepare for getting back into a fall routine! You’ve likely heard many times how important meal planning can be when it comes to healthy eating. Planning ahead and organizing meals makes grocery shopping and meal preparation much easier, especially if you’re challenged with a busy week.
Think about what works for you when it comes to your routine and then introduce more small changes gradually. For example - meal prep on days that you have more time; when you can, make extra food at suppertime to have on hand for the next day or to use in another meal later in the week. Some foods freeze well, so take advantage of this by freezing extra soup, lasagna, homemade sauces, cut-up vegetables or shredded cheese. Keep healthy foods on hand, like pre-cut vegetables, fruits, hard-boiled eggs or trail mix for quick snacks or to add to a meal.
Challenge yourself to include more meatless meals in your routine this fall! Meat alternatives have been linked to reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer and can help you maintain a healthy weight. Even if you are not following a vegetarian diet, including a couple meatless meals each week could benefit your health! Meat alternatives not only contain protein but some are high in fibre and many are low in saturated fat. They are also more economical and environmentally friendly.
Start by picking a meat alternative that you haven’t tried or would like to try in a new way. Tofu, also known as soybean curd, is a versatile choice. Soft tofu is great in smoothies, dips and dressings and firm/extra firm can be used in casseroles, stir-fry, on the grill or in soups. Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) is made from soybeans and can be used as meat substitute in almost any recipe that calls for ground beef/turkey. Try it for tacos, meatloaf or chili. You can even cook a double batch of TVP and keep it in the fridge for a couple of days or freeze for later. Tempeh, which is made of fermented soy beans, is another meat alternative. Try Tempeh steamed, marinated, grilled or even crumbled into casseroles or soups, to add a nutty flavour and source of protein. Like tofu, tempeh takes on whatever flavour it’s cooked with.
More meatless meal ideas for busy weekdays:
– Whole grain pasta salad
add veggies, beans/chickpeas and a simple vinaigrette. (Try canned No Salt Added or new PC Blue Menu frozen kidney beans or chickpeas that are ready in minutes!)
Steam frozen mixed vegetables and serve over brown rice, topped with marinated tofu.
Use alreadymarinated PC Blue Menu Bacon Maple Flavour Tempeh s strips.
Prepare with lentils and TVP instead of ground beef. Make ahead and cut into individual servings to store in the freezer.
BLT Sandwich – Lasagna – Vegetarian Chili –
Try using TVP, lentils, beans, and even crumbled tofu or tempeh along with an abundance of vegetables. Make a large batch and freeze in individual bags.
Looking for a new meatless recipe? Consider this hearty spiced curry that includes tofu and kidney beans. Try topping it with green onion, chopped fresh tomatoes and plain yogurt! Ingredients:
1-½ cups (375 mL) PC® Brown Basmati Rice, rinsed
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 tbsp (25 mL) minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tsp (5 mL) each ground coriander and ground cumin
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground turmeric
1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper 1 can (796 mL) PC® Blue Menu Whole Tomatoes, crushed by hand
1 pkg (500 g) frozen PC® Blue Menu Red Kidney Beans
1 pkg (350 g) PC® Blue Menu Extra Firm Tofu, cut into 1/4 inch (5 mm) cubes 1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped fresh cilantro 1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh lemon juice
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
1. Combine rice and 2-½ cups water in large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Stir, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until all water is absorbed, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in separate large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, jalapeño, ginger, coriander, cumin, turmeric and cayenne pepper; cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
3. Add tomatoes; bring to a simmer. Stir in frozen beans and tofu; return to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender and liquid is slightly thickened, 15 to 20 minutes.
4. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro, lemon juice and salt. Serve over rice.
Chef’s Tip – Cut back the amount of jalapeño if you prefer a milder curry.
Makes 6 servings
Per serving: 430 calories, fat 10 g (2 g of which is saturated), sodium 420 mg, carbohydrate 65 g, fibre 10 g, protein 22g