These are the best 18 healthy vegetarian dinner and lunch recipes for beginners. These recipes include beans, vegetables, avocados, pasta, wraps and more!
If you’re new to vegetarian eating and cooking then join the club! There has been so much talk about vegan and vegetarian diets over the last few years that we decided to find out what the hype is all about.
At Sims Home Kitchen, we switched to a vegetarian diet for one month. Our goal is to see whether the many health benefits are true. During this one month period, we also tried and tested 18 amazing vegetarian recipes for beginners to enjoy.
As a meat lover, I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t worried about the transition to vegetarian eating. However, to my surprise, it wasn’t difficult at all! Ultimately, these best vegetarian recipes are so delicious that I want to eat them all the time. In fact, my entire meat-eating family is in love with these 18 healthy vegetarian meals.
There are many different variations of the vegetarian diet:
- Lacto Vegetarians do not eat red or white meat, fish or eggs. However, they do consume dairy products e.g cheese, milk and yogurt.
- Ovo Vegetarians do not eat red or white meat, fish or dairy products but they do consume egg products.
- Lacto-ovo vegetarians do not consume red meat, white meat or fish. However, they consume dairy products and eggs.
- Pescatarians do not consume red or white meat. However, they consume fish and seafood.
What is veganism? Is it Different from Vegetarianism?
Veganism is a way of living that opposes animal cruelty and excludes the use of animal products and animal by-products. This includes pets, clothing, and food. Vegans do not eat red or white meat, fish, eggs, or dairy products. They also do not consume honey or gelatin, which are animal-derived.
At Sims Home Kitchen, we were Lacto-ovo vegetarians. This means that we did not consume any meat or fish. However, we did consume eggs and dairy products. We noticed a few changes during the diet and have listed the pros and cons below.
Groceries For 18 Best Vegetarian Recipes For Beginners
During my first shop as a vegetarian, I had SO much fun! I bought so many new ingredients. Here’s a list of some great ingredients to add to your shopping list:
- Brussel sprouts
- Greens (chard, bok choi, collard greens, spinach and kale)
- Herbs (basil, coriander aka cilantro, dill, lemon grass, oregano, sage and thyme)
- Legumes (black beans, black eyed beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, pinto beans, peas etc)
- Onions (chives, leek, shallots and spring onions)
- Peppers (bell pepper, chilli peppers, jalapeños etc)
- Zucchini aka courgette
- Berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries)
- Melon (cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon)
Vegetarian Meat Substitutes
- Brown rice
- Bulgur wheat
- Whole wheat
Nuts & Seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Chia seeds
- Sugar and palm oil-free nut butter (peanut butter, cashew butter, almond butter, etc)
PRODUCTS USED TO MAKE 18 BEST VEGETARIAN RECIPES FOR BEGINNERS:
Results of One Month of Vegetarian Eating:
After one month of the vegetarian diet, I observed many differences. The pros to my vegetarian eating included weight loss, better digestion, better sleep, feeling less bloated, and clearer skin. At the same time, I did experience some cons as a vegetarian eater. The drawbacks included lower iron levels, tiredness, and sweet food cravings.
Ultimately, being a vegetarian made me realize that it is important to include fruit and vegetables as much as possible in EVERY diet. In addition, most of the cons listed above can be avoided by tailoring meals to meet your dietary needs and by taking supplements. Overall, I’d say vegetarianism is a very healthy diet and I would recommend it to anyone.
Check out 18 of our best vegetarian recipes for beginners below!
18 Best Vegetarian Recipes for Beginners
Buddha bowls are nutritious meals served in a bowl. They are usually vegetarian and contain whole grains, seeds, beans and other vegetables.
Shakshuka is traditionally eaten in the Middle East. It is normally served as breakfast and made in a cast iron pan or clay pot. It contains vegetarian protein from eggs.
If you are an avocado fan then this is definitely the dish for you! This is a nutritious meal option as avocados are nutrient dense and contain healthy mono-saturated fats that lower cholesterol.
Lentils are a great meat substitute and are very delicious because they soak up flavour. At the end of the day, this is a fantastic and healthy vegan dinner recipe.
Fried cauliflower has a meat-like texture and the other veggies added an extra crunch. These wraps are perfect for anyone who is trying to cut down on carbs. Finally, add any dipping sauce of your choice.
This really is a great way to add beetroots to your diet. Since beetroots are low in calories and rich in nutrients, they’re a healthy part of any diet, not just for vegetarians. They are also known to lower blood pressure.
This is one of those meals that I wish I could share with everyone. It tasted so much better than I thought it would and was super filling! This is definitely one of my favorite vegetarian recipes.
Try out this simple flavourful soup! It’s a beutiful green color, so fresh tasting and packed with nutrients.
This buddha bowl recipe has to be one of my best creations yet. And the roasted cauliflower was definitely the highlight.
Red lentils are a type of legume. They are very affordable, a great source of protein, and are often used as a meat substitute in vegetarian dishes.
This breakfast is the perfect option for anyone who wants to eat a low-carb vegetarian meal. Eggs are very high in protein, which is great for building muscle. In addition, tomatoes are high in vitamin C, spinach is rich in iron and red bell peppers are rich in vitamin A.
We can’t get enough of this DELICIOUS hummus bowl. It really does have all the Mediterranean goodies!
Collard greens are a great option for anyone who is trying to cut down on carbs. They are high in protein, iron and calcium.
The outcome of this dish was truly amazing. Not only was it simple to make but it was a hit too. The seashell pasta and broccoli soaked up all the cheesy sauce and the peas added an extra burst of flavour.
This veggie stew went down so well! It can be eaten with rice, pasta, potatoes or bulgur wheat. This spicy vegetarian stew is also very customisable. So feel free to add your favourite veggies. I added broccoli, carrots, red bell peppers and kale to this one.
Chickpeas are a great substitute for meat/poultry as they are very high in fibre and protein.
This is a lovely light salad option that was inspired by Mediterranean ingredients and flavours. It’s definitley one of the best healthy vegetarian recipes.
If you’re a pasta lover then this recipe is definitely for you. It’s unbelievably easy to make your own pesto sauce and this recipe is great for anyone with nut allergies.
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More Delicious Vegetarian Recipes
What are your favorite healthy vegetarian recipes? Be sure to leave me a comment, I’m always looking for new tasty vegetarian meals.