NORTHWOODS COOKS: Tasty meatless meals

Readers are invited to submit their favorite recipes to enjoy, along with a note about what makes them special. Send recipes to

Baked pasta with spinach
Meatless meals can still be satisfying and delicious, like this spinach artichoke pasta topped with cheese.
Adobe Stock

Going meatless for one or two meals a week can save on groceries.

These dinner recipes from the “Best Vegetarian Recipes” slideshow featuring 56 vegetarian recipes at include fiber-rich vegetables.

They also incorporate vegetarian proteins like tofu, beans and eggs along with whole grains and flavor-packed sauces.

Spinach and Artichoke Pasta

8 oz. whole-wheat rotini


5-oz. package baby spinach, roughly chopped

4 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese, cut into chunks

3/4 cup reduced-fat milk

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish, if desired

2 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. ground pepper

14-oz. can artichoke hearts, rinsed, squeezed dry and chopped

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.


Combine spinach and 1 tablespoon water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl.

Add cream cheese and milk to the pan; whisk until the cream cheese is melted. Add Parmesan, garlic powder and pepper; cook, whisking until thickened and bubbling. Drain as much liquid as possible from the spinach. Stir the drained spinach into the sauce, along with artichokes and the pasta. Cook until warmed through.

All-American Portabella Burger

4 portabella mushroom caps, gills removed if desired

Cooking spray

1/4 tsp. ground pepper

2 Tbsp. mayonnaise

1 Tbsp. ketchup


1 Tbsp. sweet pickle relish

4 tsp. steak sauce

4 slices American cheese

4 whole-wheat buns, toasted if desired

1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce

4 large tomato slices

Thinly sliced red onion & pickles

Preheat the grill to medium-high. Coat mushrooms with cooking spray and sprinkle with pepper. Grill, turning occasionally, until tender, 10 to 12 minutes total.


Meanwhile, mix mayonnaise, ketchup and relish in a small bowl. Transfer the mushrooms to a plate and pat dry with paper towels. Brush with steak sauce and top the gill side of each mushroom with a slice of cheese. Return the mushrooms to the grill and cook until the cheese is just melted, about 1 minute more. Serve on buns with the sauce, lettuce, tomatoes and onion and pickles if desired.

Crispy Baked Ravioli

Cooking spray

1 cup panko breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat

1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

1 large egg

1 Tbsp. water


1 lb. fresh cheese ravioli

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 large red bell pepper, diced

2 cups chopped mushrooms

1/3 cup walnuts, finely chopped

2 cups low-sodium marinara sauce

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet and coat with cooking spray.

Combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan and Italian seasoning in a shallow dish. Whisk egg and water in a separate shallow dish. Dip ravioli in the egg, letting excess drip off, then coat in the breadcrumb mixture, pressing to adhere. Place on the wire rack. Lightly coat the ravioli with cooking spray.


Bake the ravioli until golden brown and crispy, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper and mushrooms. Cook, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add walnuts and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add marinara and cook until hot, about 2 minutes. Serve the ravioli with the sauce and more Parmesan, if desired.

Readers are invited to submit their favorite recipes to enjoy, along with a note about what makes them special. Send recipes to

Lorie Skarpness has lived in the Park Rapids area since 1997 and has been writing for the Park Rapids Enterprise since 2017. She enjoys writing features about the people and wildlife who call the north woods home.
What To Read Next
Get Local