Enjoy our favorite MyPlate-inspired vegetarian recipes, which provide tasty meatless options with the necessary protein and nutrients for a healthy diet.
Cooking Light is working with the Partnership for a Healthier America and USDA’s MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier
options access to thousands of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating
a healthy plate, visit www.choosemyplate.gov. Find recipes at http://pinterest.com/MyPlateRecipes/.
Protein has many important functions in the body and is essential for growth and maintenance. MyPlate recommends that vegetarians build meals around protein sources that are naturally low in fat, such as beans, lentils, and rice, instead of overloading meals with high-fat cheeses to replace the meat.
First up are Supercrunch Tofu Tacos. Pickled daikon radishes and carrots plus a spicy Sriracha sauce set these Asian-inspired tacos apart. Pan-sautéed cashews lend meaty crunch to this vegetarian dish.
View Recipe: Supercrunch Tofu Tacos
Ready in just over 20 minutes, these pita sandwiches are a delicious option for Meatless Monday or an everyday lunch option
for a vegetarian diet.
View Recipe: Fried Chickpea and Arugula Pita Sandwiches with Lime Tzatziki
Quick-cooking red lentils don't need to be pureed since they break down as they cook. Lentils are a great source of protein,
as well as fiber. This recipe gives 20 percent of your daily fiber goal. Serve over brown rice with a side of broccoli for
a vegetarian meal.
View Recipe: Red Lentil Dal with Charred Onions
Toss the pasta and vegetables immediately after cooking. The heat from the pasta will cook the egg, thickening it into a light,
View Recipe: Tomato and Asparagus "Carbonara"
This quick vegetarian entrée is full of flavor and rich vegetables. Piercing the tofu with a fork allows the sesame oil and
soy sauce to absorb into the tofu, making it more flavorful.
View Recipe: Tofu Steaks with Shiitakes and Veggies
Don't skimp on the oil: There's a good bit here, but it creates a gorgeous tomato sauce that coats the noodles nicely. Burrata
is rich, delicious fresh mozzarella cheese filled with cream. Although it was originally a hard-to-find imported Italian ingredient,
now Bel Gioioso (an American cheese producer) makes and sells it in the gourmet cheese section at many major supermarkets.
View Recipe: Fettuccine with Seared Tomatoes, Spinach, and Burrata
Traditional falafel is made from seasoned, mashed chickpeas that are shaped into patties and deep-fried. Here we use the same
components to make a tasty filling for eggplants, baked and topped with a deliciously nutty sauce.
View Recipe: Falafel-Stuffed Eggplant with Tahini Sauce and Tomato Relish
Soba noodles lose about 80% of their sodium when cooked in unsalted water. Rinse and drain the soba thoroughly after cooking
to remove any lingering salt.
View Recipe: Soba Noodles with Miso-Glazed Tofu and Vegetables
Here's the key to a speedy dinner: While the eggplant broils, toast your bread slices in a toaster oven.
View Recipe: Open-Faced Eggplant Sandwiches
Quick, healthy, and delightful, flavorful lentils mix well with poached eggs for a quick and easy meatless meal option.
View Recipe: Spiced Lentils and Poached Eggs
Serve these individual vegetarian pizzas with sliced fresh strawberries, plain 2% Greek yogurt, and a drizzle of honey for
a complete meal.
View Recipe: Individual Mushroom, Onion, and Arugula Pizzas
This is more of a knife-and-fork taco. The soft egg yolk oozes and coats the filling for a delicious flavor and texture.
View Recipe: Huevos Rancheros Tacos
Here is a lovely twist on beloved pesto for spring. Baby spinach takes the place of most of the basil to give the sauce an
earthy flavor. The thick, emerald sauce beautifully coats the flat noodles and serves up big flavor in every forkful.
View Recipe: Linguine with Spinach-Herb Pesto
Cut the sprouts lengthwise to keep their shape, about four slices per sprout. They'll be thin enough to get a deep caramelized
sear quickly but still keep a good crunch.
View Recipe: Cavatappi with Browned Brussels Sprouts and Buttery Breadcrumbs
What's quicker than pasta? This simple dinner come together in a flash by using packaged, trimmed snap peas from the produce
View Recipe: Chinese Noodle Salad with Sesame Dressing
Sometimes the best "steak" comes in the form of ripe, juicy beefsteak tomato slices, as in this easy gratin. Serve with a
salad of fresh summer greens.
View Recipe: Tomato, Squash, and Red Pepper Gratin
Full of fresh ingredients and produce, this light salad pairs well with roasted new potatoes.
View Recipe: Roasted Asparagus and Arugula Salad with Poached Egg
These wraps are full of delicious fresh flavor. Summertime, or anytime, this will be your new go-to. Serve with pita chips.
View Recipe: Tempeh Greek Salad Wraps
With earthy beans, bitter greens, and sharp Parmesan cheese, this light pasta doesn't sacrifice flavor. Serve with fresh fruit
for dessert for a well-balanced meal.
View Recipe: Rotini with White Beans and Escarole
Truffle oil adds rich indulgence to homey comfort food. Less is more–you don't have to spend a lot on truffle oil; look for
small 2- or 3-ounce bottles, which are less likely to go bad before you use up the oil.
View Recipe: Truffled Wild Mushroom Lasagna
Ready in just over 30 minutes, this dish is overflowing with fresh produce and flavorful protein.
View Recipe: Asparagus Salad with Poached Eggs and Tapenade Toasts
The salty-sweet glaze complements the nutty, slightly tangy flavor of the tempeh. If you've never experimented with this soybean
cake before, this is a good recipe to start with.
View Recipe: Grilled Tempeh Skewers
We lighten up these traditionally deep-fried Spanish tortilla cakes with a quick pan-sear to ensure a good, crispy edge, then
finish them off in the oven for even cooking. They're fresh, simple, filling, and fast.
View Recipe: Poblano Sopes with Avocado Salad
This crust, made tender and flaky with heart-healthy olive oil, makes the perfect base for farm-fresh tomatoes and earthy-sweet
basil. For a less expensive alternative to pine nuts, substitute toasted sunflower seeds.
View Recipe: Tomato Ricotta Tart
Crispy on the outside with a creamy, hummus-packed center. When using flour as a binder for things that are not baked, such
as these pan-seared fritters, the finer grade of cake flour yields a creamier texture in the cooked product. If you don't
have it, don't sweat it: You can just use all-purpose.
View Recipe: Hummus-and-Rice Fritters with Mediterranean Salad
Make sure to zest the lemon before you squeeze the juice. Serve with a quick tomato salad: Combine 3 ounces mini mozzarella
cheese balls with 1 pint halved cherry tomatoes, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar; toss to coat.
View Recipe: Summer Pea Pasta
To quickly warm tortillas, stack and wrap them in damp paper towels; microwave at HIGH for 25 seconds. Serve immediately.
View Recipe: White Bean and Spinach Tacos
Bright grape tomatoes and fresh pecorino Romano cheese shine beautifully in this lovely weeknight dish. If allergies are an
issue, simply omit the pine nuts.
View Recipe: Pasta with Eggplant, Pine Nuts, and Romano
Onion and spicy jalapeño serve as a flavorful contrast to the sweet potato in these easy cakes.
View Recipe: Sweet Potato and Chickpea Cakes with Avocado Salsa
Sriracha aioli? Oh yes! The flavors in this burger just can't be beat.
View Photo: Black Bean Burgers with Sriracha Aioli
Serve with steamed broccoli florets. If you don't have a biscuit cutter, the rim of a drinking glass will work.
View Photo: Cheddar and Potato Pierogies
We love the versatility of this 25-minute entrée. It's a hearty choice for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
View Photo: Goat Cheese Polenta with Sautéed Kale
The mushroom mix here is a winning combo, but you can use any fresh variety that's readily available in your market.
View Recipe: Barley Risotto with Wild Mushrooms
Lacinato kale, also called Tuscan or dinosaur kale, is the easiest variety to stuff because of its long, pliable, flat leaves.
View Recipe: Quinoa-Stuffed Kale Rolls
Nutty whole grains make a perfect bed for a bowl of saucy winter veggies. If you have trouble finding kabocha squash, an acorn
or butternut variety is an easy, just-as-delicious substitute.
View Recipe: Winter Squash and Tofu Panang Curry
This spin on the bistro staple steak frites offers plenty of umami satisfaction in the form of juicy, meaty portobello mushrooms
and a savory wine sauce. Finishing the sauce with a touch of vegan butter gives it luxurious and velvety consistency.
View Recipe: Portobello Frites
Toss in any combination of root vegetables, dark leafy greens, and fresh herbs to create different versions of this versatile
and simple entrée.
View Recipe: Vegetable and Greens Hash with Poached Egg
Drizzled on top of whole carrots and black lentils is a green harissa, a Tunisian hot sauce, to bring a balancing tang to
this vegan entrée.
View Recipe: Whole Roasted Carrots with Black Lentils and Green Harissa
A sparkling risotto that truly satisfies. Stirring in a little broth at the end results in a creamier finish.
View Recipe: Champagne Risotto
Make a double batch of these whole-grain zucchini cakes, so you can have delicious leftovers for lunch or dinner. For a more
time-friendly topper, use fresh grape tomatoes, halved and sprinkled with salt and pepper.
View Recipe: Zucchini-Farro Cakes with Herbed Goat Cheese and Slow-Roasted Tomatoes
The black bean mixture is delicate. Turn cakes gently, as they may fall apart. If they do, don't worry—you can press them
back together. Serve with a simple salad of lettuce, sliced cucumbers and radishes, and carrot ribbons.
View Recipe: Black Bean Cakes with Ginger-Cilantro Cream
Removing intermittent strips of eggplant skin not only makes this dish easier to cut and eat but also retains some of the
great flavor that's in the peel.
View Recipe: Eggplant Parmesan with Parsley Orzo
Portabella mushroom caps bring meaty flavors and textures to this quick-cooking veggie dish. The addition of fresh mozzarella
makes this a great vegetarian starter for kids.
View Recipe: Roasted Mushrooms on White Bean Puree
Look for quinoa flakes on the hot cereals aisle. If you can't find them, use all panko for the topping.
View Recipe: Shiitake-Stuffed Butternut with Quinoa Streusel