New Leaf: What to eat that is not meat

By Lindy Almony |

I am here to answer the first question every carnivore asks when talking to a vegetarian. “No meat? Well then what do you eat?”

As a vegetarian, it is my responsibility to take proper care of my body and still provide it with all the nutrients needed. It took me years before I learned how to properly supplement my diet. Now that I have learned to do so, the answer to that question comes quite easy. I eat everything!

The following six recipes are some of my favorite meals! Any combination of these breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes will provide, at the very least, 37 grams of protein and up to 72 grams of protein. These delicious recipes are full of vegetables, grains, herbs, cheeses, seasonings, and great meat supplements, such as tofu and seitan.

Whether you are a vegetarian or not, check out these recipes if you’re interested in a wholesome and delicious meal! Each of these recipes came from different editions of Vegetarian Times Magazine. You can buy the magazine at any bookstore, online or visit their website at for a complete archive of recipes.


Egg-Free Scrambled Tofu Florentine

Serves 4

1 Tbs. minced fresh parsley

1 Tbs. safflower oil

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 lb. firm tofu, pressed, drained and crumbled

1/8 tsp. turmeric

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 cup cooked fresh spinach leaves, squeezed dry

1/4 cup shredded soy mozzarella

  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add tofu, sprinkle with turmeric, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tofu is heated through and liquid is absorbed, 3 to 5 minutes. Add spinach and stir to mix.
  2. To serve, divide mixture among 4 serving plates and pat into an omelet-shaped crescent with spatula. Sprinkle top of each serving with soy mozzarella and parsley. Serve hot.

13 grams of protein per serving

Tofu Scramble Brunch Ring

Serves 8

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1 16-oz. pkg. extra-firm tofu, drained and crumbled

1 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. prepared mustard

1/2 tsp. ground turmeric

1/2 cup chopped onion

4 cloves garlic, minced (4 tsp.)

2 cups frozen chopped broccoli, thawed

1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, optional

2 8-oz. cans refrigerated crescent dinner rolls, such as Pillsbury

  1. Stir together tofu, nutritional yeast, mustard, and turmeric in bowl. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Set aside.
  2. Coat skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Add onion, cover, and cook 3 minutes, or until softened. Add garlic, and cook 1 minute more. Stir onion-garlic mixture into tofu; fold in broccoli and cheese, if using. Cool.
  3. Coat large baking sheet with cooking spray. Unroll both cans of dough, and separate into triangles. Arrange triangles on prepared baking sheet with short sides of triangles toward center and points facing out, making sun shape of overlapping triangles with 4-inch round opening in center. Lightly press dough to flatten slightly.
  4. Spoon tofu mixture around crescent roll ring, leaving center clear. Pull points of triangles over filling and tuck under to form ring. (Filling will be visible.) Cover, and chill overnight, if desired.
  5. Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake Brunch Ring 25 to 30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Serve warm.

13 grams of protein per slice

Eating a hearty and nutritious breakfast is surely beneficial to your day. However, some mornings, it is hard to even find the time to eat a bowl of cereal. That’s why I love the Egg-Free Scrambled Tofu Florentine recipe, because it is quick to prepare and full of vitamins and protein. The Tofu Scramble Brunch Ring requires more time and effort, but is very delicious! Definitely save this recipe for a mid-morning brunch with friends!

In addition to the 13 grams of protein offered in each meal from the tofu, the spinach and broccoli is rich in vitamin Bc, or folic acid. According to, “folic acid works together with vitamin B12 and vitamin C to metabolize protein in the body.”


Warm Potato and Edamame Salad

Serves 4

1 12-oz. pkg. frozen shelled edamame

1/4 head green cabbage, finely shredded (about 1 cup)

16 small red, purple, fingerling, or new potatoes, halved (about 1 lb.)

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1/4 cup olive oil

3 Tbs. red wine vinegar

4 cups baby greens

  1. Bring pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Blanch edamame 3 minutes in boiling water, then transfer to medium bowl with strainer or slotted spoon. Blanch cabbage in same pot of boiling water 1 minute, and place in same bowl.
  2. Drop potatoes in boiling water, reduce heat to medium, and cook 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain, and add to edamame mixture. Cool 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, and toss with oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place greens in serving bowls, and mound potato salad on top.

13 grams of protein per serving

According to, edamame, commonly known as a soybean, is a green vegetable. For over two thousand years, edamame has been used as a major source of protein in East Asia.

I first started eating edamame at Asian-style restaurants as an appetizer. I’ve come to learn all the great ways you can incorporate soybeans into salads, soups and vegetable dishes for an extra boost of protein.

The cabbage in this meal also provides protein, and according to, is a great source of vitamins C and A.

Carolina-style Barbecue Sandwiches

Serves 4

1 cup apple cider vinegar

2/3 cup no-salt-added ketchup, such as Heinz

1/4 cup yellow mustard

3 Tbs. dark brown sugar

1 Tbs. molasses

2 tsp. Louisiana-style hot sauce

2 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. salt

12 oz. seitan, cut into thin strips

4 hamburger-style buns

  1. Bring vinegar, ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, molasses, hot sauce, black pepper, and salt to a simmer in saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Cook 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer 1 cup sauce to bowl, and set aside.
  4. Add seitan to saucepan, and cook 10 minutes.
  5. Divide among buns.

29 grams of protein per sandwich

The first time I saw seitan, I flipped! No way was I going to eat this meaty looking substance nicknamed, “wheat meat.” Way too close for comfort. Although the texture is still sometimes discomforting, it is a truly excellent source of protein.

The Vegetarian Resource Group defines seitan as a product derived from the protein portion of wheat. Seitan is higher in protein and lower in fat than tofu.

I recommend this meal to the vegetarian who wants to feel like they’re eating meat. Between the barbeque style sandwich and meaty texture of seitan, you’ll fit right in with the carnivores! Plus, it is super easy to prepare, and other than the seitan, most of the ingredients are probably already in your kitchen.


Moroccan Lentil Stew with Raisins

Serves 6

1 Tbs. olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)

1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes

2 18.2-oz. cartons prepared lentil soup

1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup raisins or dried currants

2 tsp. ground cinnamon, or more to taste

1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes, or to taste

6 Tbs. plain nonfat Greek yogurt or soy yogurt, optional

  1. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 3 minutes, or until softened and translucent. Add garlic, and cook 1 minute, or until garlic is softened, but not browned, stirring constantly.
  2. Stir in tomatoes, soup, chickpeas, raisins, cinnamon, cumin, and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Bring stew to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes, or until mixture is reduced and sauce has thickened, stirring often from bottom to prevent sticking. Garnish each serving with 1 Tbs. yogurt, if using.

11 grams protein per 1-cup serving

Since this recipe incorporates prepared lentil soup, it is quite easy to prepare. Lentils, members of the legume family, contain high levels of protein. The extra vegetables and seasonings add a lot of flavor and nutrients to the stew. This recipe always reminds me of so many delicious Moroccan chowders and stews at local restaurants. It is great and easy to store and re-heat for lunch or dinner on another day.

Rigatoni Puttanesca with Veggie Meatballs

Serves 2

4 oz. dried rigatoni pasta

7 oz. (half of 14-oz. pkg.) soy sausage substitute, such as Gimme Lean (1 cup packed)

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

2 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish, optional

1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley

2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil, divided

2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.), divided

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

1 cup tomato sauce, no salt added

2 Tbs. chopped black olives, optional

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, combine soy sausage, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, 1 Tbs. basil, 1 tsp. garlic, and pepper with fingers.
  2. Coat large skillet with olive oil cooking spray, and heat over medium-high heat. Roll soy sausage mixture into 12 balls, about 2 Tbs. each. Cook meatballs 5 to 6 minutes, or until evenly browned. Add tomato sauce, olives, remaining 1 Tbs. basil, and remaining 1 tsp. garlic. Cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 3 to 5 minutes to let flavors meld.
  3. Drain pasta, and stir into tomato sauce mixture. Divide between two plates. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if using.

30 grams of protein per serving

Even before I was a vegetarian, I was never much a fan of sausage. There is something about the sausage substitute in this recipe though that I love! It must be the combination of soy sausage with breadcrumbs, cheese, basil, parsley, garlic and pepper. Those are ingredients that I love no matter what!

This pasta dish is very tasty and the soy sausage provides more protein than any ol’ meatballs or meat spaghetti sauce!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Be the first to comment on "New Leaf: What to eat that is not meat"

Leave a comment