Due to COVID-19 and the panic buying that has occurred, many of our members are having a hard time accessing meat. For those who eat meat regularly, going without can be a scary thought – what will you have for dinner, how will you hit your protein units, what is a good substitute, etc. But fear not! We are going to show you how to adapt your daily food units with vegetarian options and provide you with 3 quick and easy veggie dinner options that your whole family will enjoy.
Fresh vegetables are still readily available at supermarkets, so stock up on all of your favourites. Vegetables are interchangeable on our program (with the exception of potato and sweet potato which both count as a breads and cereals unit), so if your local shop is out of broccoli, sub in another vegetable that is available. At the end of the day, as long as you meet your daily units, you’re on track!
In terms of non-meat protein:
- 200g of tofu will provide you with 2 units of protein
- 2 eggs will provide you 1 unit of protein
- 1 cup (or 180g) of drained, canned chickpeas will count as 1.2 protein units
- 1 cup (or 190g) of drained, canned lentils will count as 1 protein unit
- 1 cup (or 240g) of baked beans will count as 1 protein unit
Member tip: If you’re searching for a vegetarian recipe on the member site, use the Recipe Finder and type in the word vegetarian to bring up all our veggie recipes. Currently, we have over 150 vegetarian recipes in the database.
RELATED: How to use our Recipe Finder
Here are 3 delicious vegetarian recipes to try.
Pumpkin and spinach frittata
This recipe requires minimal ingredients and is a member favourite!
Prep 5 mins
Cook 55 mins
Food Units: 1 protein, 2 vegetables, 1 dairy, 1 fats & oils
• Pumpkin, any type, 400 g, peeled and cut into 3 cm cubes
• Olive oil, 1 tablespoon(s)
• Soy sauce, 1 teaspoon(s)
• Leek, 2 medium leek(s), finely sliced and washed
• Garlic, 2 clove(s), crushed
• Baby spinach, 300 g
• Black pepper, ground, 1 pinch(s)
• Eggs, raw, 8 60g egg(s)
• Natural yoghurt, low fat, 400 g
• Cheddar cheese, tasty, 50 g, grated
Preheat oven to 170°C (330°F). Grease a small baking dish with a little oil.
Place pumpkin in a bowl with 1 teaspoon oil and soy sauce and toss to coat. Tip pumpkin onto a baking tray and roast for 25 minutes.
Heat remaining oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add leek and cook for 5 minutes, or until soft. Add garlic and spinach leaves and cook until spinach has wilted. Tip mixture onto work surface and chop roughly. Season to taste with pepper.
Whisk eggs, yoghurt and cheese together lightly in a large bowl. Add pumpkin and spinach mixture and gently stir to combine. Pour mixture into prepared dish and bake in oven for 20 minutes, or until set. Serve with a salad.
TIP: Cooking times may vary depending on the depth of the baking dish used.
So quick and easy – and oh so tasty!
If you can’t find Turkish Bread, try a slice of your favourite low GI bread, or even put everything inside a wrap!
Prep 5 mins
Cook 10 mins
Food Units: 1 protein, 2.3 breads and cereals, 1.6 vegetables, 0.5 fats & oils, 0.5 indulgences
• Olive oil, ½ teaspoon(s)
• Vegetarian burger pattie, 1 pattie(s)
• Turkish bread, 1 small slice(s), cut in half
• Sour cream, light (18% fat), 1 tablespoon(s)
• Sweet chilli sauce, 1 tablespoon(s)
• Rocket, any type, 1 cup(s)
• Tomato, 1 small, sliced
Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan and cook the vegetable pattie for 2-3 minutes each side, until golden brown.
Meanwhile, toast the Turkish bread. Spread the sweet chilli and sour cream onto the bread, then add the sliced tomato and cooked vegetable pattie.
Sprinkle over the rocket and top with the remaining piece of Turkish bread.
Baked Mediterranean vegetables with ricotta
If you can't get all of the vegetables listed below (or don’t like one) feel free to sub in whatever you have available. Remember, nearly all vegetables are interchangeable!
Prep 5 mins
Cook 60 mins
Other 10 min (cooling)
Food Units: 0 protein, 2 vegetables, 1 dairy, 1 fats & oils
• Red capsicum, 1 capsicum(s), halved and seeded
• Yellow capsicum, 1 average, halved and seeded
• Zucchini, 4 medium, finely sliced length ways
• Eggplant, 1 eggplant(s), finely sliced
• Olive oil, 1 tablespoon(s)
• Garlic, 1 clove(s), crushed
• Red onion, 2 medium, finely sliced
• Roma tomato, 4 tomato(s), diced
• Basil, ½ cup(s), (1/2 cup) torn
• Ricotta cheese, reduced fat, 200 g
Heat oven to 180 °C.
Place capsicums, skin-side up, in a baking dish and drizzle with a little olive oil. Roast for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, cover with foil and allow to cool slightly. Peel off and remove skin and slice flesh into thick strips.
Preheat grill plate or barbecue grill to high. In a bowl, toss zucchini and eggplant with half the oil. Grill vegetables until soft.
Heat remaining oil in a large non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add garlic and onion and sauté until soft.
Arrange vegetables, including tomato and basil, in layers in a non-stick baking dish, lightly seasoning every few layers. Crumble ricotta over the top and bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Other handy tips
If you haven’t already, you could consider trying meat alternatives such as Quorn. Just be sure to check the label and search for those options lowest in salt.
You can also try to boost your protein through high protein dairy, but be aware these products, such as cottage cheese, will count toward your dairy unit.