Save Money with Meatless Monday Dinners

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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 monday
image courtesy of thefoodyenta.com

Meatless Chicken and Dumpling Soup
Ingredients:
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 carrots
3 celery sticks
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
Water
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.
Meatless Burgers
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.

17 thoughts on “Save Money with Meatless Monday Dinners”

  1. I’m a pescetarian so everyday is meatless day! 🙂
    More than two years ago, I made the decision, switched to all organic and haven’t look back. It’s so much healthier, and I feel lighter. I have to admit though, that it takes time and careful planning is imperative.

  2. meat is the source of protein, but eating food without meat would also be a great benefit for us, esp those who have high cholesterol. the ingredients you have here is very simple and healthy.

  3. You know I am really having a hard time cooking some ingredients are not familiar with but with your recipe I think it would be easy to get, search and follow. How I wish I would be successful.

  4. i love soup too, and usually, i make my soup from left over as well. i do not like eating out, i always find time to cook and I don’t make any excuses like being too busy to cook 🙂

  5. very nice recipes! i tried being a vegetarian but i am having a hard becauaw everyone in my family is carnivores and need to eat meat whenever though i managed to eat and clean healthy and no rice.

  6. I did my very best to totally eradicate meat in my diet when I was diagnosed of HBP 5 years ago. But when I moved to permanently live here in OZ, it’s just so tempting especially so that my bedmate is carnivorous. LOL! I wish I could have Te J’s determination. I must if I want to live long enough. I will try this recipe one day. I need to take time to cook. LOL!

  7. There was a point in my life when I became a strict vegetarian too…after I gave birth to my second child. These days I do away with fatty meat and eat mostly chicken and as much as I can, I eat huge portions of veggies and fruits. I will try the recipes you shared, they sound great to keep healthy and maintain the family’s budget 🙂

  8. There are many meatless burgers and sausages and other vegan meals readily available, but still it is best to prepare home-cooked meals, meatless or with meat. It’s quite a challenge though to find vegan stuff.

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