Have you ever eaten a vegetarian meal only to feel hungry an hour later? Me too. We haven't got this completely figured out yet, but here are some things we've noticed so far.
- Make sure you're getting a complete protein at your meal.
- Serve it with milk. Milk adds a modest amount of complete protein.
- Serve dessert. Vegetarian meals are often low in calories, so don't feel bad about having dessert.
- Make your grains whole. Whole grains have more fiber and vitamins, and keep you feeling full longer.
- Eat a variety of foods. If we eat just beans and rice (or just lentils and rice), I'm likely to be hungry again soon. But if I have it with applesauce and peas, I will feel full longer.
- Add fat. I've noticed that after we have avocados or oil-coated noodles or gravy or some other food high in fat, I feel very full.
- Serve something appetizing. Sometimes I have a hard time eating enough if I serve something I don't really like.
- If your main dish is low in protein, serve a side dish that is high in protein.
- Do something. This may be silly, but we've noticed that on evenings when we're busy, we're less likely to want a snack because we're too busy to notice.
- Try to change your mindset. If you're used to having meat at every meal, then meatless meals might take some getting used to. Educating yourself on protein and vegetarianism can help.
- Have something that seems like a real meal. If you're used to full-scale dinners, you might feel unsatisfied with a grain salad. Try a meat-free lasagna instead.
Here are some meatless menu ideas that always make me feel very full:
- Crustless spinach quiche, muffins, salad or veggies
- Split pea soup, bread or muffins
- Tomato, mozzarella, and avocado salad; French bread
- Garlicky white bean soup, bread or muffins
- Veggie burgers, mixed potato / sweet potato fries
- Vegetable enchiladas with Mexican brown rice
- Chili with cornbread
- Mashed potatoes with vegetarian gravy
If you have more ideas, please share!