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Giving Meatless Monday a Try!

Three Vegetarian Main Dishes for the Family

Easy Vegetarian Chili

1 tablespoon olive oil
½ medium yellow onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 carrots, peeled and grated
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Sea salt and ground black pepper
1 28-ounce can fire-roasted canned tomatoes
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen sweet corn
1½ to 2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
1 chili pepper, halved, seeded, and chopped
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
½ tablespoon cocoa powder
2 tablespoons creamy natural peanut butter
Juice of one fresh lime

Toppings: Greek yogurt or sour cream, avocado slices or chunks, shredded cheese, fresh cilantro

In a Dutch oven or large pot, warm oil over medium heat. Add onion, pepper, garlic and grated carrot, and sauté until onion becomes soft and translucent. Stir in chili powder, red pepper flakes, sea salt, and black pepper. Cover and cook over low heat for ten minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add all remaining ingredients except lime juice. Blend well. Cover and let simmer for twenty minutes. Remove from heat, squeeze lime juice into the pot, and stir. Serve immediately.

For a hardier option, the chili can
be served over brown rice or quinoa. Serves 6.

Cauliflower Tacos

1  medium head cauliflower, chopped into 1-inch florets, 4 to 6 cups
3 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
8 corn taco shells (soft or crunchy)


1 tablespoon chili powder
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Avocado crema

1 large avocado
¼ cup Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons of water

Toppings: shredded red cabbage, pico de gallo, chopped cilantro, hot sauce, jalapeños, black olives

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Wash and chop cauliflower into 1-inch florets. Note: Try to make all the florets about the same size so they cook evenly.

Make taco seasoning by combining spices in a small bowl.

Add cauliflower to a bowl and toss with oil and taco seasoning.

Add cauliflower to the prepared baking sheet and bake for twenty-five minutes, flipping around the 12-minute mark.

While cauliflower is baking, make avocado crema by combining avocado, yogurt, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and water in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Once cauliflower is done, make tacos by adding a portion of cauliflower into each taco shell. Top with avocado crema, shredded red cabbage, pico de gallo, cilantro, and other toppings you prefer. Serves 4.

Sheet Pan Dinner

1 pound extra-firm tofu, pressed, drained, and cubed into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons liquid aminos, coconut aminos, or low-sodium tamari
1 tablespoon maple syrup
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 medium butternut squash, about 6 cups peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 medium/large red onion, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper
tahini sauce
¼ cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish

Tahini sauce:

¼ cup well-stirred tahini sauce
4 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons water
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon sea salt

Add cubed tofu, aminos, maple syrup, and garlic powder in a large bowl. Toss and let tofu marinate for at least thirty minutes. 

Prep tahini sauce while tofu is marinating. Combine all ingredients (tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, water, garlic, sea salt) in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Makes 3/4 cup.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Add chopped butternut squash, chickpeas, and onion to a large sheet pan. Drizzle on the oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Add tofu to the pan and toss again.

Place sheet pan in the oven and roast for thirty minutes, toss ingredients, and place back in the oven for forty minutes or until chickpeas are crisp, tofu is golden, and butternut squash is fork-tender.

Portion butternut squash, chickpea, tofu mixture onto plates, garnish with cilantro, and drizzle with tahini sauce. Serve with extra tahini sauce. Serves 4.

Photography: Brittany Mullins

Brittany Mullins is a Richmond native, wife, mother, and founder of Eating Bird Food, an online platform focused on real food recipes and lifestyle content. When she’s not in the kitchen cooking you can find Brittany going on long walks around Northside with her husband, daughter and Yorkshire Terrier. Get inspired to live a healthy, balanced life by connecting with Brittany on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, on her blog at
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