When you’re planning a picnic or cookout, creating a perfect menu can be challenging when you have vegetarians coming to dinner.
Though most vegetarians eat a varied, balanced diet, carnivores might have a difficult time coming up with inventive main dish options for guests with dietary restrictions.
Rainbow Sandwich: If cold cuts are on the menu for your next picnic, don’t relegate the vegetarians to cheese sandwiches or peanut butter and jelly. Tomatoes, avocado and pesto make for such a delicious sandwich that even your meat eaters in the group will want one.
Veggie Kabobs from Green Lite Bites: Grilled food doesn’t need to be high-calorie, as proven by these kid-friendly, brightly colored vegetable kabobs. Easy to eat, fresh and simple, these are perfect as a main dish for herbivores or a side dish alongside your favorite steak or grilled chicken.
Black Bean & Mushroom Quesadillas: Gooey, melted cheese stuffed between flour tortillas might not sound like a nutritious meal, but if you opt for low-fat cheese and whole-wheat tortillas, you can reap the benefits of calcium and whole grains while still indulging in a delicious meal.
Broccoli Stuffed Portobella Mushrooms from Eat Well with Janel: Portobella mushrooms are a hearty, satisfying meat substitute. Mushrooms are high in vitamin D and stuffed with broccoli, you’re sure to pack in an extra serving of veggies.
Orzo with Fresh Vegetables: Sometimes when the weather is hot, a hearty salad is all you need to keep satisfied from one meal to the next. Some specialty grocery stores carry whole wheat orzo, which lets you up the health ante in your dish.
Quinoa Veggie Burgers from Wicked Good Dinner: If you’re tired of processed meatless burgers, whip up a protein-packed patty with quinoa, which is a nice change from the boring black bean burger that restaurants often tout on their menus as a sole vegetarian option.
Grilled Tofu with Blueberry Peach Salsa from Fat-Free Vegan Kitchen: When you’re grilling tofu, make sure to select the firm or extra-firm version, otherwise you run the risk of your tofu falling apart once it hits the heat. Top it off with a grown-up salsa recipe that will still appeal to your fruit-loving kids. Use more or less jalapeño to adjust the salsa to your tastes.
July 28th, 2011