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As a meat-lover, I can say that I can’t survive a day without having meat on my plate especially when it comes to these 20 ridiculously delicious cheap healthy meals!
“How are you going to be full and have energy without eating meat???”
At least that’s what I used to think!
However, after trying a meatless diet (for over a month), I realized that it’s possible to get enough energy from non-meat food to maintain an active lifestyle.
Initially, I thought I was going to experience meat-withdrawal when I cut back on my poultry, meat, and fish. Luckily, this didn’t happen because I prepared meatless meals that had plenty of flavors and were packed with nutrients. You tend to forget about having meat when you’re full and satisfied.
Just so we’re on the same page, I still enjoy a meal with meat occasionally. I’m not vegetarian, yet.
I feel a lot healthier these days and I managed to lose a few inches off my waist!
In addition to the above, another added benefit of going meatless is that you’ll spend less money on groceries. I noticed my grocery bills were lower after skipping the meat sections. It ain’t cheap to buy chicken, beef, and salmon!
Related articles on healthy meals on a budget:
- 10 Healthiest Foods To Eat and Buy When You’re on a Budget
- 12 Healthy and Delicious Crockpot Recipes
- Healthy Chicken Crockpot Recipes For Busy People
🥑 PRO TIP ON HOW TO SAVE $50 to $100 ON YOUR HEALTHY MEATLESS MEALS: I understand that eating healthy can be expensive. So, when you’re shopping for a list of groceries and fresh ingredients, I highly recommend using this free Swagbucks app to save money on your every day purchases by earning FREE $50 to $100 Walmart gift cards right now for your groceries (or PayPal cash). All I do is get cashback from shopping online or answering a few quick and simple surveys to earn points. I’ve already earned and redeemed over $1,000 since becoming a Swagbucks user, which I use to get FREE groceries for my simple home cooked meals!
You’ll even get a FREE $5 bonus just for signing up here today. Once you’ve signed up, be sure to verify your e-mail from Swagbucks to get your $5 welcome bonus! Those are easy savings on your groceries and meals without much effort!
Another bonus is they offer “sales” and “discounts” on your earned points so you can redeem MORE gift cards WITH LESS points.
At this moment, they are offering 22% off, which means I can redeem $50 with only 3,900 SB points instead of the full 5,000 SB points (100 SB points = $1). Here is a quick screenshot of my own Swagbucks [SB] points where I can redeem a free $50 Walmart gift card right now for my healthy and meatless groceries this week:
I just wanted to share my little hack with you on how you can save big on fresh groceries on a weekly and monthly basis using my favorite free app. Anyway, here are the best meatless meals that you can enjoy today. They’re all quick, easy, and budget-friendly!
Not to mention, these all make great and healthy meal prep ideas for the week.
1. Sweet Potato Black Beans Burrito Bowls
Every time I’m at Chiptole, I always order a burrito bowl. They’re so darn good!
With burrito bowls, you can pretty much put whatever you like into the bowl. Fajitas, corn, black beans, rice (or quinoa), cheese, avocado, kale, etc. You like it creamy? No problem – add a spoonful of greek yogurt!
Whether you’re into meal prepping or not, you have to try this great-tasting vegetarian burrito bowl. They’re healthy and it doesn’t take a lot of time to prepare.
You can’t go wrong with burrito bowls.
If you’re running out of time, we recommend meal prepping these burrito bowls on the weekend, using my favorite glass containers, so you’ll have 3-5 days’ worth of delicious bowls ready to go!
2. Veggie Flatbread Pizza
This colorful and healthy veggie pizza will unite meat-lover and veggie-lovers.
The focus of this recipe is fresh ingredients. Lots of them!
In terms of toppings, you can choose whatever you please. Hint: Zucchini and spinach are amazing.
The only pizza that I was ever disappointed in was a sushi pizza. That sushi pizza had way too much rice! Rice is something you won’t find on this pizza 😉
3. Creamy Lentil Butternut Squash Soup
When the sky turns grey, make butter squash soup!
This soup is perfect for the fall and winter when the temperature starts to dip. The ingredients in this recipe are packed with vitamins to help boost your immune system when you most need it.
As it gets cold outside, all you want to do is wrap yourself with a cozy blanket and enjoy a hot soup.
Don’t worry, you won’t be hungry from this soup because the lentils and butternut squash will keep you full.
4. Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna
Can you say no to lasagna? NOT ME!
Spinach and mushroom lasagna is one of the easiest meatless recipes you can make on your own and is a great crowd-pleaser. All your vegetarian and meat-lover family and friends will fall in love with it.
The best part about this lasagna is you don’t need to put any ground beef to make it delicious! That’s because the natural flavors from the mushroom and onion, spinach and cheese will do the job.
5. Tuscan Mac and Cheese
As a student, one of my favorite go-to food is mac and cheese – it’s quick to make and you can’t screw it up.
However, this mac and cheese recipe is not your typical cheap student meal. It’s very creamy and tasty!
The trick to any mac and cheese recipe is to grate the cheese yourself and skip the pre-shredded cheese. Don’t be lazy and just do it (you’ll thank me later).
The Kraft mac and cheese you make is child play compared to this mouth-watering mac and cheese. Just try not to drool over the picture.
6. Roasted Sweet Potato & Cauliflower Tacos
Did someone say Taco Tuesday?
You can prepare this budget-friendly meal in under 40 minutes. So yes, Tuesdays are for tacos!
Chop up the main ingredients: sweet potato and cauliflower. Add a bit of spice and pop it in the oven! Top it off with some avocado and a pinch of line.
Dinner is served!
7. Broccoli Pesto Pasta with Roasted Vegetables
This list won’t be complete without a pasta dish.
The beauty of this delish pasta is that you can toss in your favorite vegetables and it’ll go very well with the pesto sauce!
I like it when my meals are loaded with protein so I tend to add some chickpeas to the recipe.
This meal has enough healthy vegetables to make your parents proud.
8. Vegetable Stir Fry
Your week-days are very hectic and you don’t have much time to cook. Don’t worry, you can whip up a savory dish of vegetable stir fry in under 30 minutes.
You can select and customize your stir fry to your liking. I can’t get enough of green peppers and zucchini, so I always add them to the ingredient list.
Once the vegetables are sauteed, pour the savory vegetables over a plate of white or brown rice (how about noodles?) and your dinner is ready!
You can double the serving and save some for tomorrow’s lunch.
9. Thai Peanut Noodles
If you love Pad Thai, then you’re going to love this Thai peanut noodles recipe.
You can make this meal from scratch in 20 minutes. That’s faster than you ordering fast food on your phone and waiting for it to be delivered!
The peanut sauce has so much flavor that will make you want to lick the plate. If you like a kick to your food, you can add a bit of Sriacha hot sauce.
The recipe calls for stir fry noodles, but I ran out of it so I used spaghetti pasta instead. Worked like a charm 😉
10. Falafel Sandwich
If you’ve had falafel before, you’ll agree that it’s an underrated food. They smell great and tastes amazing!
You may think that falafel is hard to make yourself, but it’s easier than you think! All you need are chickpeas, herbs, and spices!
And when you combine falafel with tahini sauce, you’ll be begging for seconds (and thirds).
Falafel is packed with nutrients that will fill you for hours.
11. Healthy Quinoa Chili
This protein-packed black bean, kidney bean, quinoa chili will become one of your favorite go-to meatless meals on Mondays! Not only does this taste damn delicious, but it has the perfect blend of vegetables, beans, and intense mouth-watering flavor without any trace of meat!
12. Veggie Tofu Stir Fry
Combine some extra firm tofu, chopped green beans, carrots, pepper, and any other of your favorite veggies to get this delighted meat-free meal for your family to enjoy. This recipe tastes so good to the point where you may even start adding more vegetables in this dish to meet your minimum requirement each day!
13. Delicious Roasted Cauliflower and Lentil Tacos
Cauliflower is a low calorie, yet high fiber, vegetable that contains essential vitamins like C, K, B6, and Folate. Make sure to jam pack more of this delicious veggie in this meatless taco recipe! If you want to skip the carbs, you can feel free to swap out for 100% whole wheat tortillas or pita.
14. Green Zucchini Noodle Caprese
According to Healthline, zucchini has been used in folk medicine to treat colds, aches, and various health conditions.
Go ahead and make this healthy meatless zucchini noodle dinner along with a few fresh ingredients like cherry tomatoes, basil leaves, garlic, and lemon juice. If you’re a cheese lover and can’t leave without it, feel free include it to this irresistible yummy dish.
15. Vegetarian No Meat Lettuce Wraps
These healthy and simple vegetarian lettuce wraps are filled with finely chopped bella cremini mushrooms and tofu. This recipe tastes just like lettuce wraps from P.F. Chang’s! The only difference is it’s healthier with less empty calories for less than half the price!
16. Broccoli Tater Tots
If you’re looking for a quick meatless appetizer or snack to add to your no-meat dinners on Monday, then try making these heavenly crispy baked broccoli tots! They are loaded with nutrients like fiber, vitamin C, iron, and potassium thanks to our favorite friend, Broccoli! So don’t shy away from adding tons of green broccoli to this recipe! The crispiness makes them fun and enjoyable with your family and close friends!
17. Classic Lentil Burgers
Who said burgers have to be filled with meat for them to be delicious? We are telling you that they don’t. Especially when you have this yummy classic lentil burger to satisfy your meatless Monday requirement.
Try this healthy recipe and you’ll discover yourself how flavorful this vegetarian burger is, making it the perfect go-to meal on nights when you just can’t think of what else to make that’s without meat.
18. Meatless Sloppy Joes Burger
Speaking of meatless burgers, you should definitely give this homemade Sloppy Joes vegetarian burger a try! It’s made with healthy portabella mushrooms and crushed walnuts, which are great for fighting inflammation in your body. Can’t forget about the health benefits of walnuts, right? 😉
Just trust us, you’ll be surprised at how good this completely meatless burger tastes when you indulge into your first bite!
19. Vegan Broccoli Soup
Are you looking for comfort food on Monday nights?
Yeah, it may be hard to find one that’s meatless and vegan, but there is nothing more satisfying than broccoli blended with potatoes and herbs! In our books, this vegan broccoli soup is the definition of comfort food for any day of the week, so go ahead and try it now!
20. Spinach Feta Grilled Cheese
Looking for a good source of iron?
If you just don’t want to eat beef, then spinach is an alternative. Not only that, but spinach itself is considered a very healthy green leaf, which is loaded with fiber and antioxidants. So, don’t be afraid to load it up with some fresh spinach in this tasty recipe. We guarantee this spinach feta grilled cheese sandwich will give you all the intense and deep flavors of your favorite go-to Greek spinach pie!
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