Many people are unaware that eating healthy can actually be easier and more affordable than grabbing fast food. Having healthy family dinners often requires a little bit of planning. Plus, you do not have to be a great chef to prepare tasty meatless meals. Use meatless chicken and meatless beef products to make Monday night dinner easy. The right meatless Monday recipes can help save time and money. Many people are not excited about making Monday night meals. However, you and your family might find that meatless Mondays are the best dinners of the week.
How You Can Save both Time and Money by Cooking Vegetarian Meals
The average fast food meal for a family of four is not as cheap as many people think it is. Four meals at a fast food restaurant typically cost anywhere from $20-$28. However, a homemade vegetable soup for four people can cost under $5. Add some meatless chicken for additional protein, and make simple dumplings to serve a more balanced meal. Soup is a classic winter family dinner. The leftovers can easily be frozen and reheated for weekend lunches and snacks. One of the best parts of a humble vegetable soup is that you do not have to be a stellar chef with ample time to cook. Below is one of the top meatless Monday recipes, meatless chicken and dumpling soup.
Meatless Chicken and Dumpling Soup
1 bag of meatless chicken
1 large yellow onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 bunch of parsley
1 large turnip
2 russet potatoes
3 celery sticks
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
For the dumplings:
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon baking power
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup milk (or soy milk; soy milk will result in more hearty dumplings)
First, cook the onion and garlic in the olive oil until tender. Add the meatless chicken and cook for a few more minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients for the soup. Cover with water. Let simmer until tender, about 60 minutes. Combine the ingredients for the dumplings in a separate bowl. Drop the dumplings into the soup when the liquid is boiling gently. Cover and cook for ten minutes. Uncover, cook for ten more minutes, and serve.
Hamburgers are a huge crowd pleaser for kids and friends. You can either make your own patties with meatless ground beef, or you can purchase frozen meatless burger patties. Buy some hamburger buns and ketchup, and you are done with Monday night dinner. Serve meatless burgers with kid-friendly side dishes that are easy to make, such as cutting fresh fruit for a simple fruit salad. A few other ideas for servicing meatless burgers are listed below:
- Serve with a small side of low-sodium potato chips or tortilla chips
- Introduce kids to new foods by giving the option to put avocado, sprouts, and tomato on their burgers
- Use healthy alternatives to traditional condiments. Invest in quality, low-fat mayonnaise and premium ketchup
Burgers are an American classic. Put a healthy twist on traditional beef burgers by serving meatless burger patties. Frozen burger patties can be made in the microwave. They are quick, easy, and less expensive than a meal at a fast food restaurant.
Finding Time to Make Dinner
Many people report that they purchase dinner from fast food or fast casual restaurants as they do not have the time to cook at home. The burger recipe listed above typically takes much less time to prepare than the time it takes to purchase dinner from a fast food joint during prime time. Use groceries that you already have around the house. Microwave, cut up a few vegetables, and serve a meatless burger with a bun instead of spending upwards of 20 minutes driving to a fast food restaurant and sitting in the drive thru. Making dishes such as meatless chicken and dumpling soup does not take a lot of active cooking time. You can cut up some vegetables, cook for a few minutes, and do something else while the soup is on the stovetop. Slow down a bit, and enjoy cooking.
Look Forward to Cooking Dinner
People often find cooking dinner is a good time to unplug and relax. Like working out, it often takes a while to get in the habit of cooking every day. Start with easy meatless Monday recipes to save money. Eat healthy, and learn how to cook easy and affordable meals at home.