It's that time of year again!!! Nine days of dairy, well really, it doesn't have to be dairy, it just shouldn't be meat. During the 9 days before Tisha B' Av it is a very serious custom to refrain from eating meat and drinking wine. For more on this custom click here.
It's really not such a big deal to refrain from meat for 9 days, but with so much reliance on chicken for ease and affordability for quick and easy weeknight dinners, we thought you might need some help.
Without further ado, here are our top 7 quick and easy favorite meat-free weeknight dinners to get you through the 9 days (you can enjoy your meat on Shabbat).
Mexican food from tacos to burritos seem to be on most people's weekly rotation. The best part of making Mexican dairy is that you can use cheese and with all the options for veggie meat out there you can really live it up. These baked burritos are especially nice because you can make them ahead of time and they can be reheated easily. Serve some salsa and guacamole on the side.
Chinese is another favorite. Stir fry is easy and quick and can be personalized. This fried rice with lots of mushrooms is a great way to use up leftover rice (it is actually best with leftover rice from the fridge) and could be a veggie meal on its own. Add tofu or fried eggs for more protein and broccoli or spinach for some greens. If you want something extra try these other vegetarian Chinese specialties - Hot and Sour Soup or Egg Rolls.
In some circles meat-free means fish free, but not in this circle. We love to include fish during the 9 days, for high in protein, healthy dinners that you can quick fast. Fish can be more expensive so look for sales and use the freshest most affordable fish rather than what the recipe says. Salmon is the most popular fish because it is tasty, not fishy, and easy to cook. We love serving it with lentils.
Indian is not quite as popular as Chinese and Mexican especially for cooking at home. But it is great inspiration for vegetarian meals and now is the perfect time to try something new. Aloo Gobi is always a favorite because it is a mix of cauliflower, potatoes and peas, what can be bad? If you're up for a full Indian extravaganza serve with Daal, Rice and Spinach Pakora. This is a bit more work, but the leftovers reheat well and even can be frozen, so the extra effort will pay off.
Breakfast/Brunch recipes are another great option for this week and one favorite is Shakshuka. Go with the ultimate version because it really takes this humble dish over the top serve with some crusty bread like No Knead Bread and you're good to go.
One more fish dinner idea, simple and delicious with a side of pasta, is the best way to get your pasta in this week along with a nice healthy quick-cooking protein.
No meat-free list of dinners is complete without pizza. You could decide to order in, but should you decide to make your own we love this peach pizza for summer. But if you're not so adventurous or just don't like fruit on your pizza check out 15 Summer Pizza Night Ideas for some new ways to dress up your pizza night.
These are all healthy meals that are satisfying and delicious and won't make anyone ask where's the beef?