Five easy vegetarian recipes for dinner time that will help you to support your weight loss journey. Click here and enjoy!

Do you want to drop some pounds before Christmas, while also doing your bit for the planet? Ditching meat – even for a few days a week – can support both aims, whilst also being delicious. A good crop of healthy vegetarian recipes are great to keep in your culinary arsenal at all times, whether you are committed to a plant-based way of life, or you simply prefer to limit your carnivorous intake – not least since more and more people are eschewing meat and thus you are likely to, at some point, be called on to create vegetarian dinners for friends and family. Plus, vegetarian recipes lend themselves well to using known weight loss foods, as well as helping to prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes and hypothyroidism.

We’ve scoured the web to bring you all the vegetarian recipes for dinner inspiration you need. But first, the need-to-know essentials.

Vegetarian Food As A Healthy Alternative For Weight Loss


As with any approach to what we eat and how we cook, it is important to equip yourself with the fundamental pillars that form the framework of your eating plan. Opting for vegetarian food will always be better for the planet, but it will only work as well on the waistline if you adopt certain guidelines. So, if you’re keen to use a vegetarian diet to support weight loss, these are the five golden rules to remember.

Watch Your Intake of Refined Carbs

Moreish foods like pizza and bread can, of course, be suitable for a veggie diet. But they’re not always compatible with weight loss. Easy to overeat, they do not fill you up as much as complex carbs (think brown rice, quinoa and legumes), meaning that you end up reaching for more of them. In addition, they trigger the release of insulin which can contribute to weight gain.

Don’t Rely on Overly Processed Foods

Whole foods are the name of the game here – in other words, those that you cook from scratch in their natural form (think the likes of jacket potatoes and roasted veg). More processed foods are often filled with additives that our bodies find hard to deal with, plus they’re more likely to contain added sodium and sugars which can cause pounds to pile on. Think twice then before reaching for the veggie burgers or the vegan cheese.



Watch Your Portions of High Calorie Foods

We’re afraid to say that this is one that applies across all diets. There is no eating plan for weight loss that will be successful if you’re taking in more calories than you need. So, while you may able to lay your hands on vegetarian ice cream or vegan wine, those credentials alone won’t pave the way to weight loss – alas. Moderation is key, in all things.

Make Sure You’re Eating Protein At Every Meal

Protein is vital for weight loss, as well as for balancing your hormones. It is, then, an excellent idea to include it at every mealtime and snack. For those who are plant-based, it is essential to consume ‘complete proteins’; these are available readily through meat, fish and eggs, but they can also be achieved by consuming correct combinations – for example, rice with legumes. Just the right amount of protein can help with satiety, hormones and blood sugar balance.

Fill Half Your Plate With Non-Starchy Vegetables

Load up your plate with greens, such as broccoli, kale, spinach and courgette, as well as mushrooms. Not only are they excellent for your health, they’ll keep you feeling fuller whilst checking your calorie intake.

Vegetarian Recipes For Dinner Which Tick All The Boxes



Sweet Potato and Quinoa Bowl

NDTV


Sweet potato, a perennial autumnal favourite, pairs to beautiful effect with quinoa in this healthy and filling recipe. Providing the perfect balance of protein and fibre, when used as part of a wider healthy programme, it is an ideal stalwart for helping to lose weight, gain muscle and keep blood sugar levels in check. It also happens to be completely delicious.

Ingredients:


  • 1 Cup Sweet potato cubes (cooked), peeled
  • 1 Cup Coconut (unsweetened), shredded
  • 1 To taste Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Cup Quinoa (cooked)
  • 1 Tbsp Raisins /Cranberries
  • 1/2 Cup Cashew nuts
  • 1 tsp Pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • Salt, as per taste

Method:


  1. Take a pan and heat oil in it.

  2. Now, add bay leaves and onion and fry till onion is translucent.

  3. Add pepper, cayenne, cooked sweet potato and coconut. Fry them till nice aroma comes out of coconut.

  4. Add raisins/cranberries, cashew nut and fry till cashews are brown in colour. Mix well and fry for another five minutes.

  5. Mix in cooked quinoa and mix well. Leave it on a medium flame for 3 minutes. Switch off and serve.


Grilled Marinated Vegetables

NDTV


A good variety of veggies should form the backdrop to all meatless diets – both for health and weight-loss purposes. Not only can they be seriously tasty when cooked the right way, their diversity helps the microbiome, as well as aiding the body to remain well hydrated and properly nourished. It also helps that this is a wonderfully effortless and quick recipe to knock up, whether for one or the whole family.

Ingredients:


  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 aubergine
  • 1 zucchini
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp chopped basil for seasoning
  • Salt to taste

Method:


  1. Start with preparing the veggies. Slice the aubergine and zucchini. Cut the peppers into four.

  2. Take a bowl and mix olive oil, salt, garlic and parsley in it.

  3. Now, coat the vegetables with the dressing. Grill in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes.

  4. Garnish with basil and serve hot.


Broccoli Quinoa Cakes

Home Cooking Adventure


Remember when George H W Bush announced that, as president, he would no longer be required to eat broccoli? We say he’d just never eaten the right broccoli dish. These stunningly good broccoli and quinoa cakes are moreish and yet wonderfully good for you. After all, the vegetable so reviled by the former statesman can help to prevent heart disease and even reduce the risk of some types of cancer. Mixed with quinoa – an all-important balancing protein – it makes for a delicious and easy option to support weight loss at dinner time.

Ingredients:


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 broccoli head
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsn olive oil
  • 1/3 cup cheese, grated
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped Salt and freshly ground black pepper Fresh parsley chopped


Method


  1. Place quinoa in a mesh strainer and rinse well under cold water. Cook the quinoa in 2 cups of boiling water for about 15 minutes, until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly.

  2. Steam the broccoli until tender, then chop finely.

  3. In a large bowl combine quinoa with the rest of ingredients, broccoli, spring onions, garlic, cheese, eggs, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and herbs.

  4. Form the quinoa mixture into patties, and place on a plate.

  5. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat. Line a plate with paper towel. Add the patties onto the frying pan and cook until well browned, about 6-8 minutes per side. Transfer to the prepared paper towel plate to remove any excess grease.


Roasted Cauliflower Pasta with Nuts

Epicurious


Cauliflower has been having a moment for a while now. Remember the hoo-ha over M&S selling ‘cauliflower steaks’? Well that as was a direct result of its growing popularity amongst gourmands, which shows no sign of abating. And with good reason. Thanks to its great amount of natural fibre, it is very beneficial for weight loss and also happens to make a perfect combo for pasta and nuts. Think easy, nutritious and convenient meals.

Ingredients


  • 2 heads garlic, papery skins removed, top quarter of heads cut off and discarded
  • 6 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 head cauliflower (1 1/2 pounds +)
  • Table salt and ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 pound pasta
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese , grated (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted


Method


  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position, place large rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees.

  2. Cut one 12-inch sheet of foil and spread flat on counter. Place garlic heads, cut-side up, in centre of foil.

  3. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon oil over each head and seal packet. Place packet on oven rack and roast until garlic is very tender, about 40 minutes. Open packet and set aside to cool.

  4. While garlic is roasting, trim outer leaves of cauliflower and cut stem flush with bottom. Cut head from pole to pole into 8 equal wedges. Place cauliflower in large bowl; toss with 2 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper to taste, and sugar.

  5. Remove baking sheet from oven. Carefully transfer cauliflower to baking sheet and spread into even layer, placing cut sides down. Return baking sheet to oven and roast until cauliflower is well browned and tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer cauliflower to cutting board. When cool enough to handle, chop into rough 1/2-inch pieces.

  6. While cauliflower roasts, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta; cook until al dente. Squeeze roasted garlic cloves from their skins into small bowl. Using fork, mash garlic to smooth paste, then stir in red pepper flakes and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Slowly whisk in remaining 1/4 cup oil.

  7. Drain pasta, reserving one cup cooking water, and return pasta to pot. Add chopped cauliflower to pasta; stir in garlic sauce, 1/4 cup cooking water, parsley, and 1/2 cup cheese. Adjust consistency with additional cooking water and season with salt, pepper, and additional lemon juice to taste. Serve immediately, sprinkling with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and toasted nuts.


Celery Soup Recipe

The Endless Meal


Soups make for ideal autumn and winter fare, both for their warming properties and the fact that you can pack a whole lot of vitamins and nutritional value into them – just at the moment we really need it. Celery has the virtue of an especially low caloric index as well as a great amount of nutrients, making it perfect to support weight loss. This recipe is quick, fuss-free and just the thing for knocking up for weekday dinners.

Ingredients:


  • 2 tablespoons butter (olive oil for vegan, ghee for Whole30)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 8 cups chopped celery, about 12 stalks
  • 1 lb. potatoes, peeled and diced 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • Optional 1/2 cup parsley (for colour)
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • To serve: dill and sour cream

Method


  1. Heat the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat.

  2. Add the onion and let it cook for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.

  3. Add the celery, potatoes, and stock to the pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes and celery are soft.

  4. Add the parsley to the pot (if using) then blend the soup either with an immersion blender or in small batches in your blender.

  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


By Nancy Alsop
November 2020

READ MORE

9 Of The Best Vegan Blogs in 2020
9 One-Tray-Wonder Suppers For Autumn And Winter
4 Comforting Soups For Autumnal Nights

Nancy Alsop

Editor

Nancy is a magpie for the best in design and culture.

FIND OUT MORE