Fresh Recipes for a Vegetarian Diet Plan
The summer is the perfect time to jumpstart weight loss on a vegetarian diet plan. Now is the time to take full advantage of farmers’ markets or personal gardens to pack your menu with fresh, seasonal produce. Fruits and vegetables are a low calorie way to get the nutrients you need. Opt for organic local produce to keep your body free of toxins, support local farmers, and enjoy the best taste. Unsure of how to kick-off your seasonal eating extravaganza? Here are some delicious farmers’ market-inspired recipes for a vegetarian diet plan:
Grilled Veggies Over Barley (6 Servings)
This recipe from Fitness Magazine, includes the health benefits of barley, red peppers, mushrooms, chili powder, and more. Barley, a Middle Eastern grain, contains a substantial amount of fiber. It will fill you up faster and curb your appetite. The insoluble fiber found in the tasty grain also has detoxifying powers. It speeds up the movement of intestinal contents through the body, which prevents toxins from adhering to the wall of the intestines. Plus, it helps to lower cholesterol.
Chili powder contains capsaicin, the substance that makes it hot. It can temporarily boost the metabolism allowing you to burn more calories. Red bell peppers provide you with vitamins A and C, folate, and B6. These are essential vitamins and the antioxidants are helpful in warding off disease and offering anti-aging properties. Mushrooms are low in calories, contain a variety of nutrients, and further add to the fiber content of the meal.
1 cup pearl barley
Juice of 3 limes
1 ½ tbsps organic, local honey
4 garlic cloves, minced
¾ tsp kosher salt
¾ tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/8 tsp chili powder
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
8 ears organic corn, husked and broken in half
2 red organic bell peppers, cut into quarters
12 whole button mushrooms
3 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1/3 cup crumbled feta
- Fill a large pot with water, sprinkle with salt, and bring to a boil. Add the barley and boil about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until tender, but slightly chewy. Drain.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the lime juice, honey, garlic, salt, black pepper, and chili powder. Add olive oil and continue to whisk. Set aside 1/3 of the dressing for the barley.
- Brush dressing on ears of corn. Toss the mushroom and bell peppers with the rest of the dressing.
- Preheat a grill to medium-high heat. Season vegetables lightly with salt. Grill, turning occasionally, until tender and lightly charred, about 5 to 7 minutes per side.
- Toss barley with 1 tbsp of the basil and the dressing you set aside. Divide onto plates and place vegetables on top. Sprinkle with the rest of the basil and the crumbled feta.
Yogurty Fruit Salad (6 Servings)
Fat-free Greek yogurt is filling and prevents food cravings later on in the day. In addition, it’s an excellent source of vegetarian protein and calcium. It also contains potassium, zinc, and the hard to get vitamins B6 and B12. When losing weight, it’s common for lean muscle mass to disappear as well. Eating high-protein foods, like Greek yogurt, will help you preserve your muscle mass and increase your calorie burn. Apples have been shown to prevent metabolic syndrome, which is marked by excess abdominal fat. Blueberries, strawberries, and oranges are packed with vitamin C and a host of antioxidants. Bananas are another filling option that provides potassium and increases satiety. The natural sugars found in the fruit will satisfy sugar cravings without the extra fat and calories.
2 organic oranges, peeled and sliced
2 organic bananas, peeled and sliced
1 organic nectarine, pit removed and cut into chunks
2 organic apples, cores removed and cut into chunks
1 cup organic strawberries, sliced thinly
1 cup organic blueberries
1 single serving container of organic, fat-free strawberry Greek yogurt
1 single serving container of organic, fat-free vanilla Greek yogurt
- In a small bowl, mix the two flavors of Greek yogurt.
- In a large bowl, mix the fruit.
- Add the yogurt to the fruit and mix thoroughly until fruit is completely coated.
Asparagus Pasta (4 Servings)
Asparagus has tons of flavor and very few calories. It contains folic acid, the antioxidants beta-carotene and vitamin C to fight free radicals, heart disease, cancer, and other diseases, potassium, fiber to satisfy hunger, and vitamin B6. It is also packed with asparagine, an amino acid that works with other nutrients in the vegetable to act as a natural diuretic. This can be extremely helpful for weight loss and detoxification when on a vegetarian diet plan. Asparagus combats harmful bacteria from taking up residence in the digestive system.
1 ½ lbs organic asparagus
1 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
Fresh squeeze lemon juice to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
- Cut the ends off of the asparagus.
- Slice the tips off of the asparagus and set aside.
- Use a vegetable peeler to peel off the outside layer of asparagus spears. Discard. Peel lengthwise along the spears to form noodles.
- In a large non-stick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the garlic cloves and heat, stirring frequently, for about 1 minute.
- Add the noodles and coat with garlic and olive oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the noodles are soft.
- Halfway through cooking noodles, add asparagus tips.
- When tender, remove noodles and tips and add fresh squeezed lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
Fresh Recipes for a Vegetarian Diet Plan,