Elements of a Balanced Vegetarian Meal plus reviewing Vegetarian products from Healthy Choice, Gardein and Birds Eye.
This post sponsored by Babbleboxx.com on behalf of Conagra Brands. All opinions are mine alone.
It is Friday and we are gearing up for the weekend. Fridays call for easy meals that are delicious and filling. Today I am showcasing a meal that is all this and MORE!
A perfect vegetarian meal consists of protein, vegetables, greens and a delish side that brings everything together. I got a bunch of items from Healthy Choice, Gardein and Birds Eye that completed my meal. A perfect mix of plant based protein with other items, the meal was great for busy days and beyond.
A Balanced Vegetarian Meal
For those who enjoy a meat free lifestyle, it is often a struggle to get the right amount of nutrition from a meal. In order to get everything right, it is essential to include a little bit of all kinds of food on the plate. I have been meat free all my life and was striving to get a balanced meal for myself.
With several experiments and changes in my diet, I realized there is a need to include the following elements in the platter. Today I am sharing my findings which are purely based on my experience with food over the years.
Proteins in Vegetarian Meals
A meat based diet boasts of a LOT of protein options, the vegetarian diet has quite a few options too. From legumes, nuts, seeds, milk based protein to tofu, tempeh and seitan. Having one of these plant based proteins is always a great idea.
A few protein rich recipes that are easy to make:
- Baked Tofu Bowl with Carrot Noodles
- Palak Paneer | Cottage Cheese in Spinach
- Black Pepper Tofu
- Paneer Bhurji | Paneer Akuri
- Paneer Makhani
- Instant Pot Vegan Tofu Lettuce Wraps
- Tofu Panang Curry
Nutrient dense whole foods
After the protein content in the food, next comes the nutrient dense whole foods. These include fruits, vegetables and whole grains that help bridge any nutritional gaps. Including fresh salads, fruit based recipes and a LOT of whole grains makes any meal PERFECT.
Here are some recipes that include one or more of these nutrient dense whole foods:
- Moong Sprouts Salad
- Amaranth (Rajgira) Paratha
- Brown Rice and Sprouts Pulao
- Indian style Oats Poha
- Samo Khichdi | Barnyard Millet Khichdi
Nuts and Seeds in a meal
Having a handful of nuts and seeds is always a great idea. If you do not like them as is, you can include them in recipes and have some in any meal. They are a source of natural oil and other nutrients in the diet.
To include nuts and seeds, here are a handful of recipes:
Healthy fats in the diet
A vegetarian diet can only be complete by including some healthy fats. These range from coconut oil and olive oil to oil rich ingredients like avocados. Include them to cook meals or to make salad dressings. They form an essential part of the diet for sure.
A box full of DELISH products
Having considered everything above, I recently reviewed a box of delish goodies from Healthy Choice, Gardein and Birds Eye. The box had everything to make a perfect dinner. The box had three products that complemented the others perfectly. We definitely intend to get more of these for easy to make Friday meals!
I started off with the Gardein Nashville Hot Chick'n Tenders. The Vegan side made from plant based protein is amazing. Perfectly seasoned, great taste and texture describe these nuggets in the best way. Whether served as a side or as an appetizer, these would definitely make an appetizing plant based dish. We thoroughly enjoyed these as a side for our meal!
The next side in the box was Birds Eye Oven Roasters Sheet Pan Vegetables. The pack had a mix of cauliflower and broccoli and was seasoned with sea salt, pepper and herbs. All that needed to be done was to place them in the oven and let them cook for a few minutes. The result was perfectly crisp vegetables that made a great Vegan side. The herbs were just right to not overpower the taste of the vegetables. Get a bunch of these folks; they are totally worth it!
The last part of the meal was the main dish. Power Bowls from Healthy Choice, we had the Mango Edamame bowl from the box. Edamame, mango and vegetables served on top of brown and red rice, red quinoa and black barley; the red wine vinaigrette, dried cherries and sunflower seeds made perfect toppings for the dish. We loved every element of the meal, especially the combination of mango and edamame.
Overall, the meal was amazing. Different flavors, textures and colors came together wonderfully on the platter. Everything came together quickly and easily and the portion size was just right too! If you would like your own meal from the box, get it here. You can mix and match flavors and combinations you like to complete the meal!