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500-Calorie Vegetarian Menus

From the WebMD Archives

Going meatless, even once a week, can have real health benefits, including weight loss and reduced risk for heart disease. Why? Plant-based foods, such as vegetables, beans and lentils, are low in saturated fat and full of fiber, which helps you feel satisfied on fewer calories. Plus, vegetarian dinners save on grocery bills and reduce your carbon footprint. Browse through these recipes to choose your main course, then pick from the suggested side dishes, desserts or drinks to round out your 500-calorie meal. With meals like these, who needs meat?

Smoky Corn & Black Bean Pizza

smoky corn and black bean pizza The secret to a grilled pizza is having all your ingredients ready to go before you head out to the grill.

Served with either:

Finishing with one of these:

  • Low-fat plain yogurt (1/2 cup) with 1/2 cup blueberries (118 calories)
  • Papaya-Lime Sorbet (110 calories)

Penne in Spicy Tomato Sauce

penne allarrabbiata This easy pasta favorite comes together in 30 minutes. The heat level of the spicy tomato sauce can be adjusted to your taste.

Accompanied by either:

Finishing with one of these:

  • Baby Tiramisu (107 calories)
  • Red wine (5-ounce glass) (120 calories)

Skillet Gnocchi with Chard & White Beans

skillet gnocchi with chard and beans In this one-skillet supper, we toss dark leafy greens, diced tomatoes and white beans with gnocchi and top it all with gooey mozzarella. Look for shelf-stable gnocchi near other pasta in the Italian section of most supermarkets.

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Topped off with one of these:

Continued

Risotto with Broccoli Rabe & Red Pepper

risotto with broccoli rabe and red pepper Sweet red bell pepper balances the bitterness of broccoli rabe in this earthy risotto. If you can't find broccoli rabe, use chard instead and shorten the cooking time slightly. We like the rich, hearty flavor of vegetarian chicken-flavored broth instead of vegetable broth in this risotto.

With a choice of either:

Topped off with either:

Broccoli & Goat Cheese Soufflé

broccoli and goat cheese souffle These elegant broccoli and goat cheese mini soufflés will wow your family and friends, and they're surprisingly easy. The only trick is getting them on the table before they deflate, so be ready.

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With a choice of either:

Finishing with one of these:

Barbecue Portobello Quesadillas

Barbecue Portobello Quesadillas The smoky mushroom filling in this quesadilla is reminiscent of pulled pork, but with a fraction of the calories.

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Southwestern Tofu Scramble

southwestern tofu scramble Cooking crumbled firm tofu in a skillet approximates the fluffy texture of scrambled eggs in this vegetable-studded, vegetarian main dish. It's also great for breakfast or lunch.

Served with either:

Accompanied by one of these:

  • Black beans (1/2 cup) with 1 tablespoon reduced-fat sour cream (134 calories)
  • Mixed greens (1 1/2 cups) with 2 tablespoons Spicy Mediterranean Vinaigrette (124 calories)

Topped off with one of these:

  • Chewy Chocolate Cookies (68 calories)
  • Low-fat plain yogurt (1/4 cup) with 1/2 cup sliced strawberries (66 calories)

Continued

Southwestern Rice & Pinto Bean Salad

southwestern rice and pinto bean salad Brown rice doesn't have to be boring. The slightly chewy texture of ruddy-red Wehani rice makes it perfect for salads; seek it out in larger supermarkets and natural-foods stores.

With a choice of either:

  • Sliced avocado (one-fourth), lime wedge, shredded romaine lettuce (1 cup) with 2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream (128 calories)
  • Golden Summer Squash & Corn Soup (111 calories)

Topped off with one of these:

Chinese Braised Mushrooms & Tofu

chinese braised mushrooms and tofu Ma Po Tofu, a classic dish from the Szechuan province of China, inspired this recipe. The original is made with fatty ground pork or beef -- but portobello mushrooms are a tasty, much leaner stand-in.

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Served with one of these:

  • Quinoa (1/2 cup) (111 calories)
  • Brown rice (1/2 cup) (109 calories)

Finishing with one of these:

Moo Shu Vegetables

moo shu vegetables This vegetarian version of the classic Chinese stir-fry, Moo Shu, uses already-shredded vegetables to cut down on the prep time.

Accompanied by one of these:

  • Glazed Mini Carrots (74 calories)
  • Steamed snap peas with a drizzle (1 teaspoon) of olive oil (1/2 cup) (77 calories)

Served with either:

  • Warm whole-wheat tortilla (8-inch) (140 calories)
  • Brown rice (1/2 cup) (109 calories)

Followed by one of these:

  • Low-fat vanilla ice cream (1/2 cup) (104 calories)
  • White wine (5-ounce glass) (116 calories)

Continued

Ginger, Split Pea & Vegetable Curry

ginger split pea and vegetable curry This hearty, stewlike curry works well with nearly any vegetable; sweet potatoes, winter squash and spinach create a sweeter offering. Don't be alarmed by the number of chiles -- the vegetables and split peas bring the heat level down.

With a choice of either:

Served with one of these:

  • Toasted whole-grain baguette (2 inches) (132 calories)
  • Quinoa (1/2 cup) (111 calories)

Topped off with one of these:

Provençal-Style Edamame Sauté

provencal style edamame saute Provence, in southeast France, is justly famous for dishes prepared with plenty of garlic, olive oil and olives. We've kept the "a la Provençal" spirit and flavor while easing up on the calorie-rich olives and oil in this quick and hearty one-skillet supper.

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  • Quinoa (1/2 cup) (111 calories)
  • Polenta (1/2 cup) (74 calories)

Finishing with one of these:

WebMD Menu from EatingWell
© Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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