A couple weeks ago, I told you how advantageous a vegetarian diet could be for athletes. Today, I am going to share some recipes with you.

First, and foremost, my go-to easy vegetarian meal is rice and beans. I just make regular instant rice and heat up a can of most any type of beans. I usually go with kidney beans or black beans, but pinto beans are very good, too. It takes 5 minutes and it’s easy, delicious and very filling. But of course, you can’t eat that every day you would get sick of it.

Allrecipes has a great alternative to our yummy hamburgers, grilled portabello mushrooms. Here is an easy recipe, but I’m sure it would be very easy to modify.

Ingredients: makes 3 servings

3 portobello mushrooms
1/4 cup canola oil
3 tablespoons chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Directions
  1. Clean mushrooms and remove stems, reserve for other use. Place caps on a plate with the gills up.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the oil, onion, garlic and vinegar. Pour mixture evenly over the mushroom caps and let stand for 1 hour.
  3. Grill over hot grill for 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Another great option for vegetarians is quinoa. There are so many great recipes out there including quinoa, it’s amazing. Here’s a recipe from one of my favorite cooks, Giada De Laurentiis for herbed quinoa.

  Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa
  • Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the quinoa: In a medium saucepan, add the chicken stock, lemon juice and quinoa. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pan and cook until all the liquid is absorbed, about 12 to 15 minutes.

For the dressing: In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, basil, parsley, thyme, and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Pour the dressing over the quinoa and toss until all the ingredients are coated. Transfer the quinoa to a bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve.

SERVES 4
Calories: 391
Total Fat: 18
Saturated Fat: 3 grams
Protein: 13 grams
Total carbohydrates: 46 grams
Sugar: 1 gram
Fiber: 5 grams
Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Sodium: 176 milligrams

A favorite for almost everyone is pasta. Here’s a great pasta and beans dish from My recipes, Pasta with white beans, greens and lemon.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound uncooked orecchiette (“little ears” pasta)
  • 2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes, packed without oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups trimmed arugula or baby spinach
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped (about 1 [1-ounce] package)
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated Parmesan cheese

Preparation

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain. Place pasta in a large bowl; drizzle with oil, tossing to coat.

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add garlic to pan; sauté 1 minute or until garlic begins to brown. Add pasta mixture, tomatoes, pepper, and beans; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in arugula, basil, rind, juice, and salt; cook 1 minute or until arugula wilts. Spoon 1 1/2 cups pasta mixture into each of 6 shallow bowls; top each serving with 2 1/2 teaspoons pine nuts and 2 teaspoons cheese. Serve immediately.

 

Here’s another great quinoa recipe, a dessert from Whole Living. We all know we love dessert!

Prep Time30 minutes   Total Time2 hours 30 minutes

  • YieldServes 8

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 4 cups skim milk
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, bring quinoa and 3 cups milk to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, unti tender, 12 to 14 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, honey, eggs, cardamom, and remaining cup of milk. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stirring constantly, slowly pour egg mixture into quinoa; add raisins and apricots.
  3. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour pudding into a 2-quart dish and let cool slightly. Cover surface directly with plastic and refrigerate until cool, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.There are just so many great recipes out there, I couldn’t share them all, but here’s a few to get you going.