This meat-free filling will go great with just about any recipe you create where you would normally use ground turkey or beef. I’m sharing with you my family’s favorite, meat-free dinner recipe.
They won’t believe this recipe is meat-free. I’m proud to say that this Mom fooled her meat-eating family. This is my best Meat-free Monday | Dinner recipe. The looks on their faces were hilarious as they watched me serve myself a plate. After about 5 minutes I told them, “guys it’s completely vegan”. My son says, “ooooh! OK, that makes sense now”. Then my husband said, “I just thought you decided to stop being vegan”.
Once the shock wore off, they started to ask if it was really vegan “meat” that they were eating. It was hilarious and we all had a great laugh, and they began telling me that they didn’t care if it was vegan, they just wanted to be sure that I wrote down the recipe. They said, “you have to make this at least once a week”, ha-ha so you can imagine how proud I was at this moment.
This post is all about a delicious meat free dinner recipe.
Meat Free Monday | Dinner Recipe
I can’t tell you how I came up with the meat-free dinner recipe because in my head it made sense, and I thought, “(thought bubble) what if I put taco seasoning in the pinto beans with the quinoa?, they might hate it but they know me enough to know that I love to experiment, and I’m definitely not afraid of trial and error, sooooo OK here I go!”. Yes, this really went through my head while I walked around in the grocery store hahaha, and yes I will have a whole conversation with myself ha-ha, I swear it’s totally normal…, or maybe it’s just because I’m a Gemini hmmm.
Why I don’t “love” following recipes
I love to experiment, and yes it drives my husband nuts sometimes. Why do you ask? Our family will be hungry, ready to eat and my experiment may taste like cardboard or the greatest meal they have ever had. So it’s either take-out or worth the wait ha-ha. To be honest it’s usually a hit or miss. I mean seriously, don’t you hate when you follow a recipe exactly and buy 20 different ingredients, only to hate the outcome and end up stuck with all these random ingredients? I’ve done this more times than I would like to admit. So, are you ready for this fabulous 3 ingredient meat substitute?! Granted, you may not like it but it definitely won’t break the bank.
What to expect:
- I will be sharing exactly how much it cost me to make one batch for a family of four.
- Ideas for alternative ways you may want to experiment with and add to the recipe. (tortilla, taco shells, just v-meat and veggies, or v-meat and rice, etc.)
- I don’t like counting calories, but I will do it just for you.
Meat Free Recipe
- Can Opener
- Spatula/Wooden Sppon
- 1 bag Cooked Quina Boil-in-Bag
- 1 packet 1 packet of Taco Bell Original Taco Seasoning Follow the instructions on the packet. (I add about 1 to 1 ½ cups of water and whisk thoroughly).
- 2 cans 365 unsalted pinto beans (no salt added)
- 1 tbsp olive oil optional
- Follow the instructions on the box for the quinoa and set aside after draining.
- Drain liquid from both cans of pinto beans, and empty both cans of beans onto the pan.
- Carefully cut the bag of quinoa to empty its contents on the pan on top of the beans.
- Whisk the taco seasoning with 1 to 1 ½ cups of water or follow the directions on the packet.
- Pour seasoning mix onto the beans and quinoa on the pan.
- Mix ingredients.
- Turn stove on medium to high heat.
- Mix all ingredients until the liquid begins to dry to your liking. (I mix it until its drier, because I want it to have more of a meat texture and thicker consistency).
- Do not leave the stove unattended.
- Using different beans such as black beans, mixed beans, or your favorite beans. (I use pinto beans in this recipe).
- Use romaine lettuce leaves to make a lettuce taco, or taco shells, or corn tortillas, or flour tortillas to make soft tacos or burritos, and also you can just have this with veggies and make a “burrito bowl”, or put the recipe on top of rice, or have it on bread to make a sandwich, the possibilities are endless.
- Use your favorite taco seasoning mix or use the one I mention in the recipe.
- Cook your own batch of quinoa, or use the boil-in-a-bag like I do because there are not enough hours in the day for me and I’d probably burn it anyway.
- The burrito I put together after making it had shredded carrots and red cabbage in it. I literally crave this stuff lately.
- I don’t like counting calories, I prefer to use a calorie counter to stay balanced with protein, fat, and carbs (Cronometer). I understand that this may be important or necessary for some people so I will include it here for everyone.
- Calories can be calculated by taking the calories of the whole batch (approx. 1,110 calories) and dividing it by the number of servings (people).
- For example, at our home with four people it comes out to (approx. 277.5 calories) a person.
- The box of quinoa comes with 4 bags, but I only used 1, so the cost of using 1 bag would come out to approximately $0.60 (1 box is $2.38 purchased at Walmart).
- Each can of 365 Everyday Value Pinto Beans is $0.79, so for two cans, the total equals $1.58 (I get all my canned beans at Whole Foods grocery store).
- 1 packet of Taco Bell Original Taco Seasoning Mix costs $0.67 at Walmart.
- The grand total (drum-roll please…) is $2.85!, for one batch of Non-meat-meat. Total grocery bill? $4.63 plus tax, for a batch of Non-meat-meat…
This post was all about making a meat-free filling for any meat-free dinner recipe, and the endless possibilities.
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Sending you love, light, peace, and prayer...