Oftentimes, people do not realize how easy it can be to eliminate meat and other animal products from their diet. Fortunately, with the rise of veganism and vegetarianism, it is becoming more convenient to try out such lifestyles.

This is where Meatless Monday comes in to play—a way to dedicate one day a week to a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle without having to completely disrupt your diet. I'm not saying that you should give up meat overnight, as that usually results in crashing and craving everything all at once.

Try some of these recipes out for your next #MeatlessMonday or if you feel like you want a change in your diet. Trust me, you won't regret it.

1. Cashew "Ricotta" and Spinach Stuffed Shells

I know what you're thinking; how can you make cheese out of cashews? You have to trust me on this one, you will not notice the difference. 

The creaminess and nuttiness from the cashews will take over the cheese flavor and leave you wondering why didn't try this sooner.

2. Vegan Brownie Sundae

I'm all about the concept of "treat yo-self," and what better way to do that then indulging in a brownie sundae with all the works? This is so decadent and tasty, you'll want it every night.

3. "Pulled Pork" Sliders

This seems absurd and I did not know how to feel when I first heard about this. The "pork" is actually made from jack fruit, a native South Asian fruit, and when combined with barbecue sauce and spices is absolutely incredible.

I shared this with my dad who has been eating meat his entire life, and we both were shocked at how much this tasted like actual pork. Give it a try.

4. Smoothie Bowls

There is something about smoothie bowls that are aesthetically pleasing. They look good and taste even better and can be tailored to your liking and dietary needs. 

5. Pumpkin Curry

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With fall right around the corner, why not try out a pumpkin curry? Forget pumpkin spice, the autumnal flavors are so tasty in this dish it will leave you wanting more and more.

6. Veggie Burger

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I have not eaten meat for a while now and I can honestly say I've had my fair share of disappointing veggie burgers. However, I know a good veggie burger when I taste one, and this one is off the charts delicious. 

7. Watermelon Cous Cous Salad

There is no denying that this all-star side dish makes for an incredible dish to take along to any picnic. Just watch your friends chow down on it.

8. Taco Salad

 I would like to take this time to extend a huge thank you to my friends at By Chloe for introducing me to the greatest salad to ever exist. Seriously! You do not need to be vegan to appreciate this salad, and you can easily recreate it at home if you don't live in NYC.

9. Pumpkin Bread

 Even if it's not fall and your pumpkin tendencies are tingling, you can enjoy this pumpkin bread recipe at any time of year. Autumn year round, anyone?

10. Cauliflower Buffalo Wings

This is honestly a gift from the vegan gods/goddesses. Everyone should try this at least once in their life and once you do, you may never go back. Don't forget a side of vegan ranch or bleu cheese for dipping.

11. Mini "Cheesecake" Bites

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It's another cashew recipe, but please do not let that scare you. This is so creamy and delicious, you may not notice the difference. Make it even more tasty by swirling in your favorite fruits, chocolate, or nut butter.

12. Bean & Tofu Chili

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This is another recipe that seriously tastes like its real meat counterpart. A lot of people are turned off by the thought of tofu, but I assure you, when seasoned correctly, it tastes so similar to ground beef—especially when a lot of beans and veggies added in. This is great for college students, or anyone with a crock pot. Rock out with your crock pot out, am I right?

13. 3-Ingredient Pancakes

Who would have thought to make pancakes out of oats, bananas, and dairy-free milk? This delicious and nutritious recipe is a great excuse to wake up for Sunday brunch (or really any day of the week) and veg out on some pancakes.

14. Vegan Pizza

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Vegan pizza is a sensitive subject with my friends. Some friends get really excited to try it, and others are completely disgusted by the thought of soy cheese. 

If you want to make one at home, this recipe offers the perfect opportunity to prove to your friends once and for all that vegan pizza can be insanely delicious, if done correctly.

15. Hand-Cut Sweet Potato Fries

Let's take a moment to truly appreciate the beauty of the beloved sweet potato. I don't know about you, but sweet potatoes are one of my all time favorite foods, especially in french fry form.

These homemade sweet potato fries are healthy (baked instead of fried) and have an awesome dipping sauce to go along with them (because what are fries without dip?).

16. Portabello "Steak" and Veggie Fajitas

Keep your friends close and your fajitas closer, amirite? The texture of the portabello mushrooms taste is so similar to steak, and the veggies give it an amazing flavor.

Once your fajita is assembled, you can go crazy with guac/avocado slices, vegan cheese, and vegan sour cream. 

17. Spaghetti and Meatless Meatballs

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Mangia! Spaghetti and meatballs: a classic duo that's oh so comforting and definitely not vegan. This is a vegan-friendly version can be made by anyone seeking that home style Italian dinner feel without the meat.

18. Homemade Chips and Guacamole 

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Guacamole has its own food group in my heart. There are so many different varieties of guac, but this is a classic recipe that you can use when you want to have an authentic feeling fiesta night.

And of course, guac's handy side partner, homemade chips, had to make the cut.

19. Butternut Squash Soup

Now that fall is here there is no excuse not to stock up on cans of butternut squash soup...Or make it yourself. This easy and delicious recipe uses butternut squash to make a creamy, flavorful soup that will be leaving you wanting more and more.

20. Stuffed Peppers

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Stuffed peppers are delicious, but with classic recipes using ground beef and shredded cheese, it would be difficult for vegans to enjoy them.

However, with the power of meat substitutes, you can recreate them and bring along stuffed peppers to your next vegan potluck.

#SpoonTip: Veggie beef crumbles and Daiya cheese come highly recommended.

21. Vegan Mac n' Cheese

Take veganism to a whole new level with this awesome mac-and-cheese recipe. You will not taste the difference between this and the real deal.

22. Homemade Hummus in a Pita Pocket Sandwich

Easily one of my favorite sandwiches is a pita pocket sandwich. Sure, you can buy your own store-bought hummus, but you haven't experienced real hummus until you've made it yourself.

Once you have your pita pocket ready, stuff it with fillings like falafels, Israeli salad and tabbouleh. The options are endless.  

23. Veggie Lentil Loaf

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For a hearty and filling dinner, cook up a lentil loaf that is sure to please. The lentils are extremely nutritious, and you can pair the loaf with all of your favorite side dishes. It's a real home-style meal that you are definitely going to love.

24. Deconstructed Sushi Bowl

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Sure, sushi is great, but why not mix it up a bit and create a deconstructed sushi bowl for dinner?! You can add all of your favorites ingredients like avocado, carrot and cucumbers. But don't forget to add your favorite sauce or splash some soy sauce on it.

25. Maple Glazed Stuffed Acorn Squash

acorn squash, squash, vegetable, pumpkin, sweet, rice
Kendra Valkema

There is no better meal concept than foods stuffed with other foods, so why not give this stuffed squash a try? It's the perfect fall dinner and is very appealing to people who are looking for a hearty, filling meal.