12 Ideas for Meat-free Mondays
Reducing meat consumption is good for your health, helps to take care of the environment, and has benefits for your budget too! If you’re challenging yourself to cook veggie-friendly every Monday, or even more often than that, we’ve got plenty of slimming-friendly, vegetarian recipes to help keep you on track.
The key is to fill your calendar with crowd-pleasing, meat-free ideas – from savoury snacks and lunches, to hearty, family-friendly dinners.
To give you some food for thought, we’ve gathered together 12 of our favourite, lower-calorie veggie dishes. Preparing meat-free meals doesn’t have to be time-consuming, so every dish on this list is simple to prepare, and ready in under an hour.
Cheese and Apple Toastie
From grill to plate in 5 minutes, our Cheese and Apple Toastie is a gooey-in-the-middle lunch that’ll perk your day right up. We’ve partnered mature Cheddar cheese with crispy, fresh apple slices for 284 calories per toasted sarnie.
The tartness of Granny Smith apples pairs best with tangy mature Cheddar, but even with alternative eating apples, it’ll still be a match made in heaven!
You can serve this cheesy snack all on its own, or turn it into a more filling lunch with a side of mixed salad (or homemade soup!).
Broccoli and Sweetcorn Fritters
Great for breakfast, lunch or as an after-dinner snack, you’ll be glad these Broccoli and Sweetcorn Fritters are super simple to batch cook. Our recipe makes around 10 fridge-friendly fritters you can snack on for up to 3 days, or tuck away in the freezer until you’re ready for them.
Bind your nutritious filling of chopped spring onion, grated sweet potato, broccoli and sweetcorn together with egg, before crisping to perfection in the frying pan.
You can freshen up the flavours even more with a tangy, chilli and lime dip. Just be sure to take note of additional calories, if you’re counting.
Vegan Sausage Rolls
Just as crispy and moreish as bakery-bought versions, our Vegan Sausage Rolls are a savoury snack for any day of the week. Made without any hidden nasties, we’ve used plant-based sausages for our tasty, vegan filling.
You can’t have sausage rolls without a crunch, so we’ve swapped out calorie-laden pastry for low-calorie tortilla wraps. Once they’re baked in the oven and dunked in sauce, you’ll never taste the difference!
Curried Creamy Carrot Soup
Our Curried Creamy Carrot Soup is so thick and warming, it’s hard to believe it comes in at 122 calories per bowlful. We’ve used reduced-fat cream cheese to give our blended carrots, potatoes and onions an irresistible silkiness, without a pot of cream in sight.
The mild, curry-inspired spices give this dish an extra touch of comfort. While you can enjoy this wholesome one-pot all on its own, you can’t go wrong with a crusty, wholemeal bread roll on standby – it’d be a shame not to wipe the bowl clean!
Halloumi Fries Salad
If you’re not expecting halloumi fries to be on the slimming menu, our Halloumi Fries Salad is sure to take you by surprise. By baking the breadcrumb-coated fingers, instead of frying them, we’ve lowered the calories without compromising on squeaky, scrummy goodness.
To complement the cheese, they’re served on a vibrant bed of leafy greens, fresh veg and sweet, juicy fruits.
So the flavours really pop, we’ve added a sprinkling of tangy pomegranate seeds. Don’t forget to bring it all together with a drizzle of our homemade, chilli-infused salad dressing…
Caramelised Onion Quiche
A meat-free option you can serve hot or cold, we’d say our slimming-friendly Caramelised Onion Quiche is especially delicious on sunny, picnic basket days. Thanks to the moreish combination of tangy, reduced-fat mature Cheddar with sweetened, caramelised onion, you’ll be far too satisfied to notice we’ve made ours without a crust.
There’s nothing to stop you getting creative with different veggies in your tart filling – just be sure to count the calories, if you’re keeping track.
Mexican Style Tostadas
Say hello to your new favourite, indulgent lunch with a crunch! Our Mexican Style Tostadas come loaded with a layer of homemade, refried beans, zingy avocado salsa and a runny poached egg.
Tostada comes from the Spanish word for ‘toasted’, so we’ve oven-baked ours on a crispy, low-calorie tortilla wrap base. You’ll want to keep an eye on your wraps while they’re in the oven – they can catch and burn easily!
Serve with a sprinkling of roughly-chopped coriander leaves for a full-on fiesta of flavour.
Cheesy Leek Risotto
While risottos can be notoriously high maintenance, we’ve kept the stirring to a minimum in our Cheesy Leek Risotto. Simple yet effective comfort food, the dreamy combination of sautéed leek, onion and cheese never fails to hit the spot.
You’ll want to wait until your rice has a creamy consistency before stirring in the reduced-fat Cheddar and cheese spread – it’ll make sure every serving is as gloriously cheesy as possible!
The flavours here are gorgeously simple. Add a touch of zest by serving with a squeeze of lemon, if you’d like.
It’s never a dull day with Mushroom Chilli on the menu. To make our chilli rich and satisfying, we’ve used home-blitzed mushrooms as our minced meat alternative. If you don’t have a food processor, you can finely chop your mushrooms instead.
Our homemade sauce is mildly spiced and family friendly. Feel free to experiment with more chilli powder, if you’re feeling brave!
A true batch-cook dream, give this meat-free meal a new lease of life every time you serve it – it’ll be just as yummy with rice, sweet potato fries or mash.
Cheese, Onion and Potato Pie
On chillier meat-free Mondays, there’s no better dish for warming up than our Cheese, Onion and Potato Pie. A hearty, gooey bake that’ll slice six ways, you can’t beat it with a side of freshly-steamed greens.
We’ve said goodbye to shortcrust pastry calories by using thin sheets of filo to line our pie dish instead. It holds the filling well, and scrunches around the edges to create an impressive-looking, golden brown crust.
There’s no better feeling than cutting into that cheesy top!
Rigatoni Pizza Pie
When you can’t decide between pasta and pizza, our Rigatoni Pizza Pie ticks all the boxes. While we’ve used rigatoni pasta for our recipe – its chunky, hollow shape is perfect for capturing the homemade tomato sauce in our ‘pasta pie’ base – any leftover pasta shapes from your store cupboard can work.
The most important part is working in your favourite, vegetarian, pizza-inspired flavours. We’ve gone for Margherita-style tomatoes and melty, reduced-fat mozzarella.
Bang Bang Noodles
Sometimes, you just need a fakeaway in a flash! Our Bang Bang Noodles are ready in 15 minutes, and you can wrap them around your chopsticks for 449 calories per serving.
To give our noodles their ‘bang’, we’ve added fresh chilli and chilli flakes to our homemade, takeaway-style sauce.
With halloumi chunks, wok-fried noodles and a medley of oh-so-crunchy veggies, this one’s sure to convince even the fussiest eaters to try meat-free Mondays with you.
Which meat-free wonder will you cook up first?
We’re hoping you’re feeling excited to start trying out a meat-free day per week! Share how it goes with us over in our Facebook group – we absolutely love seeing your photos and posts.
For more inspiration, take a look through the Pinch of Nom Gallery to see what everyone else has been cooking up lately! It’s so easy to share your photos – just sign up for a free website account and upload your pics.
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