It’s is National Vegetarian Month: Veg Out!

English: Picture of fries made from sweet pota...

Try some delicious Sweet Potato Fries in honor of National Vegetarian Month! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This month is National Vegetarian Month and we can’t think of a better time to try out some delicious vegetable recipes featuring fabulous, locally grown Arizona produce.  You don’t need to swear off meat for the month to participate (in fact we suggest you don’t because of all the healthy vitamins and minerals found in beef, chicken and pork); just choose a couple meals over the course of the month where fruits and vegetables get to be the star or simply pile on more vegetables. We believe Fill Your Plate contains the most comprehensive grouping of vegetable dishes provided by our very own Arizona farmers and ranchers!

To get you started and help keep you inspired, here are some of our favorite vegetarian dishes.  Check the farmer’s market and your local grocery store for locally grown, in season options to stretch your food dollar further and help support local farms.

Beets with Olive Oil, Garlic, and Parsley and Beets with Onion and Cumin–  Filled with fall flavors, these heart healthy vegetarian dishes shine the spotlight on beets, a vegetable that generally gets a bad rap.  It’s not clear why beets seem to be less favored than other veggies, but we think they are great.  Give beets a try this month and you might be surprised at how delicious this robust root vegetable can be.

Garlic Roasted Summer Squash, Mexican Summer Squash, and Grilled Summer Squash– What better way to give summer a proper send off than with this tasty dish featuring summer squash.  If you are looking for some new kid-friendly vegetables to try, summer squash may be just what you are looking for.   With its pretty yellow color, mild flavor, and soft but not squishy texture, summer squash may pass the kid test.

Lemon Spinach – Spinach tends to be one of those vegetables that people either love or hate.  If it isn’t at the top of your family’s list, it might be a good time to try a different recipe and give it another try.  Our taste buds change over time and it isn’t uncommon to suddenly find things appealing that you generally avoid.  Besides, it may be that you don’t like the spinach you have had in the past, and all you really need to become a fan of this great leafy green is to find the right recipe.

Sweet Potato Fries – Technically, regular French fries are vegetarian too, but this month offers a great opportunity to think outside the box and when it comes to fries, this tasty treat can’t be beat.  Sweet potatoes have so much more flavor than their peers that many people love these fries sans ketchup or other sauces.

Ratatouille – If you are looking for a vegetarian dish that will satisfy even the biggest appetite, this is the dish for you.  Packed with a wide variety of veggies, this dish is capable of replacing dinner any day of the week.    This variety also means there is likely something in it that everyone likes including onions, bell peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, and zucchini.


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