Meat? What Meat?

Today is one of those curl up on the couch and veg kind of days.  The sky is grey and gloomy.  The air is damp.  And it is c-o-l-d, cold.  Quite the contrast to last week’s 90 degree days.


I don’t mind days like these occasionally.  It feels great to put on a warm pair of fleece pants and a sweatshirt to just lounge around.  It kinda gives you a good excuse for being a little lazy 😉

I thought I’d dedicate this post to (hear me out before you ‘x’ out) meatless meals.

In past posts, I have described the benefits of going meatless for the environment,your health, and your wallet.  While I am not pushing anyone to give up meat, I want to provide a resource for those people who would like to reduce the amount of meat they consume, or for those who would like to become vegetarian.

A friend’s daughter has recently made the decision to go vegetarian.  We have had a few conversations about what she is eating, and how it’s hard to accommodate meat eaters and vegetarians under the same roof! 

For me, the first month of not eating meat was difficult.  It took a lot of research and cookbooks to find a meat free diet that was friendly for me and provided all of the necessary nutrients and vitamins.  I remember wishing there was a  go-to guide for vegetarian meal transformations.

So, here is a little table that lists meals with meat and how I make them meatless. 


Meat Meal

Go Meatless

Steak and potatoes


Marinade and grill portabella mushroom caps just as you would the steak.  The meatiness of portabellas make them wonderful replacements for most meat dishes.

Beef Tacos

Either find a veggie crumble like LightLife Original Smart Grounds and prepare filler as you would beef tacos.


Use black beans and brown rice cooked with part water, part salsa as a filler.  Sprinkle with cheese and top with sour cream.

Beef Burritos

Lightlife Original Smart Grounds work here also.


Make Sweet Potato Black Bean Burritos.


Sautee mushrooms, green and red peppers, onions, and any other veggie fillers you like.

Burgers and Fries

Burgers Made from Real Veggies


Black Bean Burgers

Chicken or Steak Stir Fry

Dry Fry Tofu and add to rice and veggie mixture.

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Again ground crumbles work well here, but you could also try Veggie Spaghetti


Angela’s ‘Neat’ Sauce

Salads with chicken, beef, fish, etc.

Add beans such as garbanzo, kidney, or black.

Halupkies or Stuffed Peppers

Use Vegetarian Halupki filler.

Deli Sandwich

Stuff bread with hummus, sprouts, and your favorite veggies


This is just a very small list of possibilities.  I always keep portabella mushrooms, beans, tofu, frozen black bean burgers, Morning Star “Chik’n” Patties, and Morning Star Sausage Links handy as meat replacements.  Quinoa, bulgur, brown rice, spinach, and other leafy greens are also pantry staples in my kitchen.  By simply adding tons of grilled, sautéed or steamed veggies  you can transform any meal to a meatless masterpiece.

If you have any recipes you would like help transforming, please send an email at JenSanders52 at comcast dot net, and I’ll see what I can do 🙂


magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!



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8 responses to “Meat? What Meat?

  1. Jamie

    Allison says she “loves you” and wants me to get some of the LightLife Original Smart Grounds and make her tacos tomorrow. Where do you find them?

    • Kroger’s and Martin’s. In the new Kroger they are in the fridge section of the natural foods aisle and at Martin’s I found them in the refrigerated section of the produce.

  2. I love this very practical post. Thanks so much for the list of “substitutions”. It’s really useful. I don’t miss meat as long as I have a good alternative and that’s what you’ve given here.

  3. AngelaOSG

    Great post!

  4. Great post! I’m not a vegetarian, but I go meatless quite often, sometimes accidentally. I love those easy substitutions! 🙂

  5. Meg

    Another idea for tacos is to use Quinoa. You can season it with regular taco seasoning just like you do beef.

    This was a very useful post. Thanks, Jen.

  6. Alicia

    I have been cutting back on meat after reading countless articles on how the production takes a toll on the environment. I’m not sure if I would take the leap to go completely meatless, however I’m certain I will be incorporating more and more of these meals into my diet. I even got Justin to like stuffed portobello caps!!! Thanks Jen!!!

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