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What Dietitians Eat for Meatless Monday
Judy Barbe, RD
Update a Classic
Judy Barbe, registered dietitian and author of Your 6-Week Guide to LiveBest: Simple Solutions for Fresh Food & Well-Being, uses nutrient-rich nuts in dishes like these lasagna rolls. "This recipe is a satisfying solution for a meatless meal, plus it features foods that deliver healthy dividends, such as walnuts, which are rich in healthy fats, protein, and fiber; mushrooms that add a rich, savory flavor; ricotta cheese, a protein-packed, creamy calcium-rich cheese; and tomato sauce, which helps fight cancer and keeps arteries strong."
Get the recipe: Walnut Mushroom Lasagna Rolls
Bucket List Tummy
Use Nutrient-Rich Ingredients
Sarah Schlichter, M.P.H., R.D.N., L.D.N., at Bucket List Tummy, says meatless meals can be just as flavorful as meat-based ones—or even more so. "Pulses, legumes, and plant-based foods offer adequate protein as well as an array of nutritional benefits," so regularly including them can help protect against deficiencies. She's also a fan of nutritional yeast. "[It] offers protein, fiber, and provides the RDA for most of the B vitamins!" This lemon tahini lentil dip is one of her favorites—it's packed with fiber and protein and offers lots of iron and potassium to boot.
Get the recipe: Lemon Tahini Lentil Dip
Street Smart Nutrition
Customize Your Go-To
Registered dietitian Cara Harbstreet of Street Smart Nutrition follows a mostly plant-based diet with some dairy, eggs, and occasionally fish. She also enjoys many vegan recipes. "My absolute favorite any time of year is a stuffed sweet potato. There are endless options—for a savory route, I top with a black bean or white bean chili, plus additional raw onions for some crunch. Another great savory version is to use seasonings like cumin, garlic, and lime for a southwest twist. I mix in black beans, avocado, and diced tomatoes for a pop of color." For a sweeter version, she'll top it with almond butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sliced or slivered almonds or pecans for a quick and easy post-workout meal. This stuffed sweet potato pairs bold mustard greens with the mellowness of sweet potato and tahini.
Get the recipe: Stuffed Sweet Potato with Mustard Greens and Creamy Tahini Sauce
Amy Gorin Nutrition
Mix Up Flavors and Textures
Amy Gorin, M.S., R.D.N., owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition, combines sweet and savory flavors in these vegetarian breakfast tacos. "They're my new favorite breakfast and fill me up for the morning! They provide protein from the eggs, as well as satiating healthy fat and fiber from the pistachios and avocado, and additional fiber from the peaches, beets, and whole-grain tortilla."
Get the recipe: Fruit-Filled Breakfast Tacos with Pistachios
Triad to Wellness
Amp Up the Umami
Dietitian Tracee Yablon of Triad to Wellness makes meatless meals satisfying by using foods with an "umami" taste, such as tomatoes, mushrooms, carrots, Parmesan, potatoes, and soy. "Incorporating foods that have umami into my meatless cooking adds savory flavors and textures that appeal to meat eaters. Mushrooms' texture and flavor make for a great meat substitute. When eating meatless I am always aware of adding foods to boost the protein and nutrition quality of my dishes, such as beans, nuts, seeds, soy, [or] dairy." This inside-out-quesadilla is a hit even among her daughter's meat-eating friends. "[They] request this corn tortilla filled with black beans, vegetables, enchilada sauce, and cheese."
Get the recipe: Inside-Out Quesadilla
Nutrition Starring YOU
Try New Things
Tofu-based shirataki noodles have become a popular low-calorie, low-carb, gluten-free alternative to pasta. Their mild flavor complements a variety of dishes. The scent of uncooked shirataki noodles is best described as "distinct," but a thorough rinse and quick boil or a zap in the microwave should take care of it. Lauren Harris-Pincus, M.S., R.D.N., owner of Nutrition Starring YOU, loves this tofu pesto shirataki. "It's a really easy, filling, plant-based, protein-packed meal that's full of flavor," she says.
Get the recipe: Tofu Pesto Shirataki
Don't Make Two Dinners
Dietitian Mandy Enright, creator of the couples nutrition blog Nutrition Nuptials, encourages couples to eat the same things at meals when possible. "It creates a strong foundation for building a healthy relationship together, which in turn creates positive habits within the home." You want that healthy life together to be a long one," she explains. "Understanding the health benefits of increasing fruits, veggies, and whole grains can help eliminate [a partner's] resistance." She recommends introducing a meatless main with a favorite side, or prepared in a familiar way (and avoid trying to pass it off as its meatless counterpart). "When it comes to plant-based cooking, it's all about making foods appealing and tasty, without putting emphasis on the 'meatless' aspect." These black bean burgers are great whether you've been doing meatless meals for years or are just starting to branch out.
Get the recipe: Bitchin' Black Bean Burger
Nourish. Breathe. Thrive.
Clean out the fridge and enjoy a healthy meal with a grain-and-veggie bowl. Katie Cavuto, M.S., R.D., chef of Nourish. Breathe. Thrive., has a no-fail formula: "Start with whole-food carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, winter squash, quinoa, [or] brown rice. Aim to keep your vegetables colorful, as each color represents an antioxidant that will do your body good." Nuts and seeds pack a hefty nutritional punch and texture. "Add flavor with fresh herbs like scallions, dressings, and sauces. Toss in some tofu or beans and avocado to make sure you're nourishing and satisfying your body with protein and healthy fats." This Buddha Bowl features a vibrant carrot ginger tahini dressing.
Get the recipe: DIY "Buddha Bowl" with Carrot Ginger Tahihi Dressing
The Spicy RD
Don't Overthink It
EA Stewart of The Spicy RD, who integrates healthy cooking classes into her work with clients, adds flavorful, nutrient-rich touches to the meatless dishes her family loves. "This simple pasta salad with tomatoes, basil, and fresh ricotta cheese is a family favorite at our house! It's quick and easy to make, and equally delicious with high-fiber, high-protein lentil or chickpea pasta for a nutritious boost!"
Get the recipe: Simple Pasta Salad