I’m 100% vegetarian! No meat…only vegetables, fruit, eggs and cheese. My favorite foods are breads, cheese and salads. Can you tell me the best way to incorporate these foods into my three main meals? – Huda
I’m hoping that you are not looking for culinary expertise here, but nutritional balance. First, let me point out that nuts, seeds and beans are 100% vegetarian. You should really consider these on a daily basis for protein and micronutrient intake. Since you consume dairy products, yogurt would also be an option for calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D.
Forget the pizza and macaroni and cheese! Here are some tasty nutritious ways to incorporate your favorites into main meals:
Breakfast – whole grain toast topped with eggs, spinach, roasted red pepper and white beans; French toast with berries and pecans
Lunch – pita bread with hummus, cucumber, tomato and sprouts;
peanut butter and fruit preserves on rye
Dinner – crostini with artichoke or spinach dip;
Bruschetta with caprese and balsamic
Breakfast – cottage cheese (or Greek yogurt) with berries and granola;
feta omelet or frittata with asparagus
Lunch – Parmesan over spaghetti squash and broccoli;
goat cheese with mango salsa in whole wheat tortillas
Dinner – eggplant Parmigiana with mozzarella, basil and tomato sauce;
ricotta and spinach stuffed zucchini or Portobello mushroom
Breakfast – tropical fruit salad nested in meringue mounds;
spinach salad with pear, walnuts, celery and blue cheese
Lunch – kale superfoods salad (kale, berries, pepitas, soybeans, carrots, bell pepper); Mediterranean quinoa salad with pinenuts
Dinner – mixed greens with avocado, chickpeas, cherry tomatoes and vinaigrette;
pasta salad with black beans, parsley, corn, onion, sun-dried tomatoes
With these as a start, you should be able to come up with more combinations that suit your taste. Combine all three in a grilled flatbread salad!
– Debbie J., MS, RD
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