A week's worth of vegetarian meals to kick-start weight loss

Croquettes, with a little love, can be vegetarian and healthy.
Aaron McLean

Croquettes, with a little love, can be vegetarian and healthy.

Cut out carbs, cut out fat, rid your veins of sugar, go Paleo - there's no shortage of theories on how best to trim down.  

This week's weight-loss hero is the vegetable. According to new research, people who follow vegetarian diets are twice as effective at losing weight than those who just count calories. 

If you would like to enlist the apparent fat-busting powers of the humble vegetable, below are seven meat-free dishes to get you started: 

READ MORE:
Vegetarian diet twice as effective for weight-loss, new research shows
Vegan diet may let you lose a few kilos
Five reasons vegan diets are terrible

Vegan or vegetarian: Which diet is better for your health?

LENTIL CROQUETTES WITH BROCCOLI TABOULEH
These are a nice take on the classic cheesy, potato bombs, with lentils and kumara in their place. 

With a salad, which includes super-food broccoli, you won't even think about the fact you're cutting back on animal flesh.

Using lasagne pasta, this carbonara is filling and full of goodness.
Aaron McLean

Using lasagne pasta, this carbonara is filling and full of goodness.

MUSHROOM & SPINACH CARBONARA
Carbonara, minus the eggs and pancetta, doesn't necesarrily mean you're in for something ghastly. 

Mushrooms and spinach, with some parmesan, provides that savoury hit you need, while no one gets bored with a good plate of pasta. 

RICOTTA DUMPLINGS
These tasty vegetarian dumplings go superbly with a slaw of sprouts, cabbage and baked pita. They'll give you all the richness of meaty meatballs, but the virtue of vegetarianism. 

VIETNAMESE VEGE ROLLS
What's lunch without ham in your sandwich? The possibilities are endless, with plenty of recipes to tide you over for months. 

Wrap 'em the day before and enjoy them for lunch.

Wrap 'em the day before and enjoy them for lunch.

Vietnamese vege rolls are a great place to start, but pastas and salads are just as good. Zap a warm chickpea salad in the microwave, or make a week's worth of vegan macaroni 'cheese'.

MUSHROOM & BLACK BEAN QUESADILLAS WITH TOMATO & AVOCADO SALSA
Treat the quesadilla like a toasted sandwich by assembling them before work, if you've got a panini press hanging around, or just reheat them in the microwave. 

Seeing as it's winter, and avocados are super-expensive, just opt for a regular salsa if you like. 

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Breakfast, brunch or lunch, these quesadillas are delicious any time of day.

Breakfast, brunch or lunch, these quesadillas are delicious any time of day.

 - Stuff

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