3 Healthy Vegetarian Recipes For Appetizers or Meals

by Anusha Natarajan and Nita Kulkarni

If you don’t have any ideas what to make when you have guests  over or you’re sick of having the same dishes over again, here are some quick and easy recipes. (Beware: The pictures shown may not be 100% accurate 😉

1. Black Bean Soup– If you’re in the mood for beans, check out the black bean soup by Betty Crocker in a southwestern style.


1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)

1 large garlic clover, finely chopped

1 cup of water

1 cup of carrots chopped

1 medium celery stick chopped

1/2 cup dried black beans

2 tablespoons of chopped parsley

1 tsp. of dried oregano leaves

1/4 dried crushed pepper

4 lemon wedges


1. Cook onion and garlic in 3-quart nonstick saucepan over medium heat for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender.

2. Stir in remaining ingredients except lemon wedges. Heat to boiling; boil 2 minutes. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for about 2 hours or until beans are tender.

3. Place 1 cup of the soup in blender container. Cover and blend on high speed about 30 seconds or until of uniform consistency; stir into remaining soup mixture. Serve with lemon wedges.

Southwestern Salad with Black Beans

2. Southwestern Salad with Black Beans- The salad topped with southwestern style with vegetables such as beans and corn, with a hint of Mexican avocado lime dressing.


1/2 ripe avocado

3/4 cup packed fresh cilantro

1/2  cup of nonfat plain yogurt

2 scallions,chopped

1 clove of garlic

1 tablespoon lime juice

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups mixed greens

1/2 cup back beans, canned (rinsed) r cooked

1/2 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen (thawed)

1/2 cup grape tomatoes


  1. Place avocado, cilantro, yogurt, scallions, garlic, lime juice, sugar, and salt in a blender; blend until smooth.
  2. Place greens in an individual salad bowl; toss with 2 tablespoons of the dressing. (Refrigerate the remaining dressing.) Top the greens with black beans, corn, and tomatoes.

3.Fettuccine Alfredo:  This rich pasta and creamy alfredo sauce would make you full and will satisfy your cravings for pasta. The addition of zucchini makes this pasta even healthier, diabetes safe, and  high in fiber.


3/4 cup vegetable broth

4 large cloves garlic, peeled

4 ounces whole-wheat fettuccine

1 small zucchini, cut into matchsticks

2 teaspoons cornstarch, mixed with 1 tablespoon water

2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste

3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley


  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Combine vegetable broth and garlic cloves into a small saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the garlic cloves are soft( this will take about 15 minutes).
  2. After the garlic has simmered about 10 minutes, cook fettuccine in the boiling water, stirring often, for 8 minutes. Drop in zucchini and cook until the fettuccine is just tender, about 1 minute more.
  3. Meanwhile, transfer the garlic and broth to a blender. Process until the mixture is smooth, about 1 minute. (Use caution when blending hot liquids). Return the mixture to the pot and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add cornstarch mixture; whisk it until slightly thickened, about 15 seconds. Remove from the heat and whisk in sour cream, nutmeg, and pepper. Return the pot to very low heat to keep the sauce warm. (Do not boil.)
  4. Drain the pasta and place in a large bowl. Add the sauce and 1/2 cup Parmesan; toss to coat well. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately, passing the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan separately.

What do you think of these recipes? What would we have done differently? Let us know in the comments below  🙂  

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