Thursday, February 26, 2015

Meatless Meals Recipes

35+ Easy Meatless / Vegetarian Meals and Recipes for Lent -

Lent is here!

I don't know about you, but when it comes to making meatless meals for Fridays, I always draw a blank.  That or I make the same thing week after week.  Boring.

So we decided to come up with a master list of all of our favorite meatless recipes.  Now when Friday rolls around, we'll have easy access to a variety of options for our families for every meal of the day!

35+ Easy Meatless / Vegetarian Meals and Recipes for Lent -

There are several types of meatless recipes listed here - from the simple and obvious to the more intricate and fancy.  And for some of the recipes, we've added our notes on how we make it.  Also, a * indicates that this recipe may call for meat of some kind.  Just omit the meat, and there you go. :)

Hope you enjoy these meatless meals as much as our families do!

35+ Easy Meatless / Vegetarian Meals and Recipes for Lent - 

Pancake Muffins*  Perfect to make ahead or freeze.

Avocado Blueberry Muffins  These can be made ahead or frozen as well.

Blueberry Breakfast Cake  I like this "cake" so much, I've made it for my birthday cake the past 2 years!  (Pictured above)

French Toast Bake

Crustless Quiche with Veggies  You can make these ahead (or freeze them too).  They're great for mornings on the go!

Omelet and Hash Brown Cups*  I use shredded hash browns instead of tater tots.  These are also great to make ahead or freeze. 

Avocado Quesadillas*  Add a sprinkle of chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, and cilantro OR taco seasoning to substitute for the flavor of the BBQ sauce.  (Pictured above - with the chicken - sorry!)

Baked Macaroni and Cheese  I add 3/4 tsp. dried mustard and use crushed Triscuits for the topping instead of breadcrumbs.

BBQ Bean Sliders with Coleslaw Topping

Egg Salad Sandwich  I use paprika instead of curry.

Tuna Salad Sandwich  Sometimes I substitute 1 Tbsp.+ of my homemade salsa for the pickle relish when I want a little extra zip!

Grilled Cheese / Cheese Toasties - These are definitely the go-to easy meatless meal at our house.  Our favorites are these different combos:
1.) Colby jack cheese + Cajun seasoning
2.) Swiss cheese
3.) Pizza sauce + mozzarella cheese + veggie pizza toppings + garlic and Italian seasonings

Mac 'n Eggs:  1 serving: 1/2 cup elbow macaroni or shells - cook according to package.  Whisk 1 egg with 1 Tbsp.+ of milk and a dash of salt and pepper.  Scramble egg in greased skillet.  Place macaroni and scrambled eggs in a bowl together with butter and salt to taste.  (This may sound like a strange combo, but trust us - it's fabulous!)

35+ Easy Meatless / Vegetarian Meals and Recipes for Lent -

Creamy Carrot Soup  Serve with Swiss Grilled Cheese Sandwiches instead of  the "croutons".  This soup is wonderful!

Four Bean Vegetarian Chili  A very hearty meatless soup.  This is my husband's favorite!  (Pictured above)

Cheese and Broccoli Soup

Zesty Minestrone

Creamy Vegetable Soup

Tex Mex Salad  I use fresh red peppers instead of roasted.  And I serve the dressing on the side.  This salad is amazing!

Apple Pecan Salad with Red Wine Vinagrette 

35+ Easy Meatless / Vegetarian Meals and Recipes for Lent -

Veggie Enchiladas  I use some combination of corn, black beans, spinach, carrots, onions, red, green, and yellow peppers, green onions, and/or mushrooms for the veggies.  But the beauty of this recipe is that you can use whatever combo of veggies you want!  We use a whole package of taco seasoning too.  Add sour cream to the cream cheese mixture if there isn't enough "sauce".  This recipe is soooo good!

Crunchy Black Bean Tacos  I add 1/2 can of corn (drained), 1 green onion instead of the red onion, 1 tsp. of chili powder, and 1/2 tsp. of garlic powder.

Quinoa Fajita Burritos  This one is freezer friendly!

Eggplant Parmesan

Spasagna*  Spaghetti + Alfredo + Lasagna :)

Vegetable Lasagna  Just like the Veggie Enchiladas above, you can use any combination of vegetables you want in this recipe!

Harvest Carrot Casserole

Black Bean Veggie Burgers 

English Muffin Pizzas*  These are great to make ahead and freeze.  (Pictured above)

Tomato Basil Pizza

35+ Easy Meatless / Vegetarian Meals and Recipes for Lent -

Fish Tacos with Creamy Slaw and Mango Salsa  (Pictured above - photo by Monica of A Beautiful Mess)

Shrimp Enchiladas with Sour Cream Cheese Sauce

Skinny Creamy Shrimp Pasta  This recipe is incredible...definitely my favorite meatless meal!

Zesty Tilapia - Drizzle zesty Italian dressing in a baking dish, and then place tilapia on top.  (I use frozen tilapia.  Adjust cooking time accordingly for fresh.)  Generously brush fish with more zesty Italian dressing.  Then, sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.  Bake at 425 for 12-15 minutes of until fish flakes easily.

Homemade Crispy Fish Sticks

Tuna Noodle Casserole

* Omit the meat that is called for in the recipe.

35+ Easy Meatless / Vegetarian Meals and Recipes for Lent -

These are our favorite meatless meals to serve our families.  What are yours?  

Please add your links in the comments - we would love to add more recipes to this list!  We'll make sure to add them to our Meatless Meals Pinterest Board.  These have the meatless recipes listed above - plus more! :)

Follow Sweet Little Ones's board Meatless Meals on Pinterest.

And if all else fails, head to the nearest Fish Fry ;)

35+ Easy Meatless / Vegetarian Meals and Recipes for Lent -


Pictures of Shrimp Enchiladas and Fish Tacos are by Monica of A Beautiful Mess.  All other pictures are ours.

I'm linking up with these awesome parties today!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Four Bean Vegetarian Chili

Since I'm on a chili kick this winter, I needed to find a meatless option for us for Fridays.  We usually give up meat on Fridays year round, but Lent started this week, so now it's officially no meat on those days.

And once again Pinterest didn't let me down.  So here is my take on the original recipe:

Four Bean Vegetarian Chili
(modified from Le Creme De La Crumb's Five Bean Vegetarian Chili) 


1 red, orange, yellow, OR green pepper (or mixture), diced
1 onion, diced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1-1/2 tsp. garlic powder, divided
2 cups vegetable broth
2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz.) can cannellini or great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz.) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 Tbsp. chili powder
2-1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. smoked paprika (regular paprika will work fine too)
1 tsp. salt


1.  Saute pepper and onion in olive oil in a Dutch oven on medium heat.  Once veggies are tender, add 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

2.  Add broth, tomato sauce, and beans.  Bring to a boil.

3.  Stir in remaining spices, and reduce heat.  Simmer, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes.

4.  Serve with sour cream, green onions, cheese, corn bread, corn casserole, tortilla or corn chips, etc.  Enjoy!

Notes:  To freeze, complete #1.  Then, place the veggie mixture and remaining ingredients in a labelled freezer safe bag.  Seal and lay flat on a cookie sheet to freeze.

I have a tasty Cajun corn casserole that I make that goes perfectly with this chili.  It's our fave combo!

This chili is a perfect, hearty meal for Fridays during Lent...or on those days you forgot to thaw out some meat for dinner ;)


P.S.  Come back next week!  We're going to be posting a huge list of links to our favorite meatless recipes for every meal of the day.  It'll be a great round up of recipes to use for Fridays during Lent! 

Linking up with Thoughts for Thursday with Natalie and Annie, Jennifer, Shelly, Megin, Katie, Erin, and Marie for DIY Sunday Showcase, Capture Your Journey Wednesday with Amber, Jamie, Kerry, & Lucy for Pretty Pintastic Party, and Pin to Present with Anne


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Lent 2015: Choosing the Better Part

This Christmas at a white elephant gift exchange, I received the book Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World.  A few weeks later, my book club picked that very same book for our next read.  Then, Blessed Is She came out with their theme for this Lent:

Via Blessed Is She

I think God is trying to tell me something. ;)  

I very much lean towards being Martha - always busy doing things (the right/my way).  But I need to be more like Mary and rest in His Word.  So this Lent, two of the main things I'll be working on are:

Striving to be perfect at loving people - not doing things.  It doesn't matter if everything is scheduled just right, the playroom is perfectly put away, or the laundry is folded "correctly" (aka my way).  What really matters is how I love God, my husband, my kids, myself, and others. 

I read this perfectionism revelation in my other book club book - Momnipotent - and it was like a light bulb went off.  Being a perfectionist in doing things is so me.  I thought that being perfect in this way would make me happy and peaceful.  But it never has.  Oh, but I still chased that perfectionist dream hoping that it would.

So reading that we need to be perfect in really hit me.  Hard.  It really seems so simple and obvious.  But it's just what I needed to give me a kick in the right direction.  So this Lent will hopefully bring a lot of letting go and softening up.  Which leads right into my next one...

Finding a balance between being Mary and Martha.  Like I said above, I'm a Martha who has 10 to-do lists, plans everything, and is always thinking about the next task.  And I always put make that my top priority.

So this Lent, I am taking the time everyday to just be with Him:  Pray.  Read.  Listen.  Meditate.  Rest in His Word.  His comfort.  His peace.  

"Be still and know that I am God" is what He is calling me to right now.  And everything else, like my everyday tasks, to-do lists, and letting go of my perfectionism, will follow.  (I hope!)

I'm looking forward to using the Blessed Is She's Lenten journal to help me rest in His Word this Lent!

And in saying all of this, I'm not going to be too hard on myself if things don't go perfectly according to plan this Lent.  I love what Emily said about this in her post about Lent:

"God knows my heart better than anyone else; He knows what I need to get out of this Lenten season.  I have faith that this Lent will be exactly what He wants it to be."  

So beautiful and so true.  (Thanks, Emily!)  He will teach me and work in me if I come to Him with an open heart. 

How are you hoping to be transformed this Lent?


Check out #BISsisterhood and #onlyonething on Instagram
for beautiful inspiration and fellowship this Lent!

Linking up with #BISsisterhood, Capture Your Journey Wednesday with Amber, Women with Intention Wednesdays with Jenny, The Shine Blog Hop with Jennifer, Reviews, Chews, and How-tos for Awesome Life Friday, and
Saturday Spotlight

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Pancake Muffins

Pancake Muffin Recipe with Mix-ins -

We are a breakfast-for-dinner family. 

But pancakes have always been my nemesis for two reasons:  1) I always walk away from the griddle and burn them, and 2) I spend most of the dinner flipping pancakes while the rest of the family is eating theirs.

But then I stumbled upon this amazing pancake trick from Family Fresh Meals, which solved both my problems by baking pancakes in a muffin tin.

Maybe this is old news to you.  It was a huge discovery for me!  So I just wanted to pass this on in case anyone else out there hasn't seen it.  Because it is seriously amazing.  And once you try it, you'll never go back to flipping pancakes again!

Pancake Muffins


3 cups pancake mix (but not a mix that is "just add water")
Ingredients listed on pancake mix box (probably oil, milk, and eggs - although we will be substituting for the eggs in this recipe)
1/3 cup applesauce for every one egg required

Optional Mix-Ins:

Blueberries (Jim's favorite)
Apples + Apple Pie Spice or Cinnamon (B's favorite)
Red Raspberries + Dark Chocolate Chips (my favorite)
Milk Chocolate Chips (serve this one topped with peanut butter!)
Colored Sprinkles (J's favorite)
Ground Sausage, Diced Ham, or Crumbled Bacon + Shredded Cheddar Cheese
"Snickerdoodle" Topping: 1 Tbsp. Sugar + 1 tsp. Cinnamon + 1 Tbsp. Brown Sugar, mixed

Pancake Muffin Recipe with Mix-ins -


1.  Preheat oven to 350° F.

2.  Follow directions on pancake mix box to prepare the batter substituting 1/3 cup applesauce for every 1 egg needed.  (I use slightly less milk than required - 1/4 cup less to be precise.  This seems to help them turn out better when the batter is a little thicker.)

3.  Spray muffin or mini muffin tin generously with cooking spray.  Fill each muffin tin 1/2 full if adding mix-ins.  If not, fill 2/3 full.

4.  If adding mix-ins, do so now.  For the fruit, chocolate, and meat, take a spoon and gently press them into the batter.  Sprinkle cheese, sprinkles, or spices on top.

5.  Bake for 12-15 minutes or until toothpick, inserted, comes out clean.  Serve hot with butter, maple syrup, peanut butter, etc.

Pancake Muffin Recipe with Mix-ins -

Notes:  I like to slice them in half, just like you would a muffin.  Oh yeah, and spread peanut butter on the chocolate chip pancakes...yes, please!

Yield:  For me, this makes 2 dozen regular pancake muffins and 12+ mini muffins.

Storage:  Store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days in a storage container or bag.  Reheat in the microwave.

To Freeze:  Let pancake muffins cool completely on a cooking rack.  Label a freezer storage bag with the contents and date.  Place muffins evenly in one layer in the bag.  Place flat on a cookie sheet in the freezer.  When ready to use again, thaw muffins completely.  Then reheat in microwave as normal.

Pancake Muffin Recipe with Mix-ins -

Now, making pancakes is so easy.  Which is awesome because they are hands down the kids' favorite we make it a lot!  We hope you enjoy it too!

Pancake Muffin Recipe with Mix-ins -


P.S.  If you try these and come up with new mix-ins, let me know!  We'd love to try out your creations too!

I'm linking up here today!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Valentine's Day Craft Ideas

I always loved the holidays growing up. My mom would decorate every inch of our house with all of our craft projects from school or ones we did at home together. She still uses ones from when I was in elementary school and I love seeing them up when I go home. :) I have been stealing my mom's ideas and making a lot of the same crafts with my kids now.

I really like making hand/foot print crafts, mainly because they grow up so fast I have a hard time remembering them being so little!! One of my favorites is from Abby's first Valentine's day:

When Jess used to babysit Abby, she did some really cute crafts with the kids. This one was from last year before we knew Tim's identity ;)

Basically, have the kids scribble away and cut it up to make a cute design. :)

We have been stuck inside, so we've been making tons and tons and TONS of hearts...every door in our house looks like this right now:

And last week, I posted about how I made a lovely Valentine's Day wreath for our front door.

It might not be the most classy decor, but it's us. And it makes our house feel like home :)

Do you do any fun crafts for Valentine's Day?

Linking up for Ladies Collective with Iulia, Stephanie, and Sarah
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