We all know that too much meat in our diets isn’t the healthiest life choice. In addition to the environmental issues that go along with raising animals for food and less-than-ethical factory farming practices in place in a lot of countries, meat contains fat, cholesterol, and hormones fitness freaks generally want to avoid. Meat also represents a pretty significant chunk of anyone’s grocer bill compared with more affordable fruits and vegetables. Fortunately, taking a day or two each week off from meat doesn’t mean you need to eat flavorless mush. Mix these three veggie meals into your weekly dinner schedule to boost your health and curb your grocery budget.

Super Hearty Option: Vegan Chili and Garlic Toast

What you’ll need:

  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can red kidney beans
  • 1 can chick peas
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • French baguette
  • Garlic butter

What to do:

Open and drain the cans of beans and chick peas, set them aside. Heat the cooking oil over high heat in a large pot. Finely chop the white onion and cook in the oil until caramelized. Open the can of diced tomatoes and pour into the pot along with the beans and chick peas. Chop the jalapeno and toss it in the same pot along with the chili powder and cumin. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Keep the pot covered while it cooks and remove the lid 15 minutes before it’s done to help it thicken up. Slice the baguette and spread the garlic butter over it, broil until toasty. All the beans in this meal pack a protein punch to rival even the biggest steak.

Bonus Tip: Serve the same chili over nachos with melted cheese and green onions for the perfect potluck contribution.

Super Easy Option: Spinach and Strawberry Salad

What you’ll need:

  • 1 bag of spinach (about 7 cups)
  • 2 cups strawberries
  • ½ cup walnuts (no shells)
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 1 bottle raspberry vinaigrette dressing

What to do:

Wash and dry the spinach. Cut the stems off the strawberries and slice length-wise. Crumble the goat cheese and combine it with all other ingredients in a large salad bowl, mix thoroughly and serve. If you want to be a hero, make your own dressing using 1 ½ teaspoons of raspberry vinegar, 6 tablespoons of vegetable oil, ¼ cup of honey, and ¼ teaspoon each of salt and pepper. This is the perfect meal for cooling down after a big run on a hot summer night.

Guilty Pleasure: Whole Wheat Penne Alfredo with Broccoli

What you’ll need:

  • Whole wheat penne pasta (2 cups)
  • 1 cup thickened cream
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup diced parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • A pinch of garlic powder
  • Medium-sized broccoli crown

What to do:

Boil a pot of lightly salted water. Drop in the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, drain. Steam the broccoli in a large saucepan over mid to high heat for 10 minutes (do this while the pasta cooks), drain. Heat the cream and butter in a large saucepan until the butter melts, then drop in the cheese, parsley, salt, pepper and garlic. Toss it all together and serve. The butter and cheese may not make for the healthiest meal in the world but dairy is a great source of protein on days when you want to keep building muscle while you stay away from meat.