We love food, whether it’s a recipe that’s been passed down in the family, or updates on classics from our favorite stars. But we also want that food to be pretty healthy (we’re trying to be good, okay?), and when we heard the news that fifteen schools in Brooklyn, NY, are going to be having vegetarian meals every Monday (#meatlessmondays), we thought this would be a perfect opportunity to share some of the best vegetarian meals we’ve found with you. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the new meal plan today, and will also be having vegetarian meals on Mondays, alongside Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, and all of Gracie Mansion (the residence of the Mayor of New York City and family).
Vegetarian meals aren’t just good for you, they’re also good for the environment, and give us new alternative ways to get protein into our food. So, if you want to take a leaf out of the NYC Mayor’s book, here are our top five vegetarian choices from some of the best food blogs around:
This recipe is a welcome departure from the classic mayonnaise-based potato salad. Not only is it a great choice for vegetarians—it’s vegan friendly, too! It’s a nice carb-rich side dish loaded with fresh basil, scallions, and a mustard and walnut oil vinaigrette.
2. Harissa Green Beans with Spiced Chickpeas and Feta (Floating Kitchen)
People tend to forget that vegetables soak up spices really well. Don’t skimp on flavors for your vegetarian side dishes – in fact, try something out of the box like this for your next green bean dish. The chickpeas also provide a great source of protein and a crunchy kick. If you’re catering to a curry-loving crowd, why not try out this exotic spice with a cold green bean salad or even a curried potato salad?
Sometimes barbecuing gets a bad rap because it’s associated with fatty meats and high calorie sauces, but the truth is, smoking and grilling doesn’t add fat to a dish – just flavor! These grilled fruit skewers have some spicy flair and will pack a sweet punch to your side dishes. It can also be used as a versatile dessert.
4. Cabbage and Asian Pear Slaw (Bon Appetit)
Every great summer cookout needs a classic staple. This ‘slaw fully delivers on the creamy, tangy, crunchy front. You also get some sweetness with the onion and pear and a great texture from chives and poppy seeds.
5. Fully Loaded Corn on the Cob Recipes (Southern Living)
These recipes are absolutely drool-worthy – I’m not sure what’s more exciting – the fresh, steaming corn or all the amazing types of butters and sauces that you can drizzle over it. Mind you, there is one bacon wrapped corn on the cob recipe here but the majority is slathered with meatless delights like parmesan cheese, chili powder, smoked paprika and jalapenos. (Other ideas Grilled Corn with Pesto or my favorite, Herbed Goat Cheese Butter) — both courtesy of Saveur.
The High-Protein Vegetarian Cookbook: Hearty Dishes That Even Carnivores Will Love (Countryman Press, 2015)
Here’s a vegetarian cookbook that I swear by – it doesn’t skimp on what you really need as a vegetarian – the protein. It also packs a wallop of flavor that will satisfy vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.