Many persons are convinced of the benefits of being a vegetarian. There are so many studies that show the positive effects but people still hold back from making the decision to adopt a plant based diet. Why? Because they do not know what they can eat.
There is no need to fear. There are in fact quite a lot of meat substitutes for vegetarians and I will list some of them.
So you have made the choice to become a vegetarian. That’s great, but I am sure all sorts of questions and doubts are flooding your mind.
You doubt whether you will be able to maintain this vegetarian lifestyle…
Many people have started the journey and have fallen by the way, reverting to their meat diet. You wonder if this will be you. “Does it even make sense to start”, you ask yourself. Hey friend, don’t worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will take care of itself. Just take it one day at a time.
It’s not a race; it’s a lifestyle change. If you slip, just regain your balance and continue.
You wonder if this new diet will provide adequate nutrition….
Again, no need to worry. Research has shown that a well balanced plant-based diet is sufficient to meet all your nutritional needs.
A vegetarian diet includes grains, legumes, vegetables and fruit. Some vegetarians also include dairy products and eggs. Studies suggest that a plant-based diet is a healthier way to eat and reduces the risk of coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer. A typical varied vegetarian diet contains less saturated fat and more folate, fibre and antioxidants.
Isn’t that a great reason to adopt this diet?
As a vegetarian, you will also find that you are eating much more fruits and vegetables than before.
You fear that you will no longer enjoy eating as the meals will become boring……
Boring! Oh no. There is such a tremendous variety when it comes to vegetarian meals, you will definitely not get bored. Your taste-buds will instead be treated to a variety of delicious vegetarian concoctions.
Some people still believe that not eating meat or fish means that all you eat every day is vegetables.
I remember some years ago, I was on a flight. This was during the days when they served meals on the flights (in Economy Class) so you know this was a long time ago. I requested a vegetarian meal when I booked the flight and I was rather horrified when they brought my meal to me. If I remember correctly, it was a head of cauliflower (or something similar)………..raw……. It was well packaged though.
Times have changed, thank God. People are more knowledgeable about the vegetarian diet and what can be substituted in place of meat.
Here is a list of delicious tasting Meat substitutes for Vegetarians.
You know that white block of “stuff” submerged in water that you see in the supermarket and wonder what it is?
Well the mystery is solved. It is tofu.
Tofu is a soy product. Soy milk is curdled and the curds are pressed into the soft white blocks which we see in the supermamrket. It is a good source of protein and contains all eight essential amino acids. It is also an excellent source of iron and calcium and the minerals manganese, selenium and phosphorous. In addition, tofu is a good source of magnesium, copper, zinc and vitamin B1.
Tofu can be prepared in numerous ways; fried, scrambled, grilled, barbecued, baked………….
The unprepared tofu is rather bland in taste but this food is well known for its ability to absorb all the flavors of the sauces and seasonings added to it. Do you like curry……sweet and sour sauce…..honey ginger sauce…….. cheese sauce…..any of your favorite sauces. The tofu is just waiting to absorb the lovely flavors to delight you and your dinner guests.
Check out this easy tofu vegetable stir-fry.
Peas and Beans
These are nutritional powerhouses packed with protein, fiber, B vitamins, iron and potassium. There are so many varieties to choose from—pinto beans, black beans, navy beans, kidney beans, chick peas, black eye peas, cow peas, to name a few.
Numerous meal can be prepared from these wonderful yet inexpensive foods. Think chili, stews (each of these beans, when stewed has a distinctly different flavor), soups, loafs. I have to make special mention of one of my favorites….curry chick peas. Mmmmm.
Mushrooms are often grouped with vegetables but in fact they are not. They belong to the fungi family. Don’t let that turn you off however. Mushrooms provide several important nutrients, including selenium, potassium , riboflavin, niacin, vitamin D and more.
Once again, there are several different types of edible mushrooms that can be sauteed, grilled, stir fried and prepared in many other ways. There are numerous recipes that make use of this wonderful meat alternative.
Want a quick, tasty meal. Just grab your herbs and seasonings…………and your saucepan. But instead of meat, toss in some cauliflower. Go ahead. Delight your taste-buds.
Cauliflower is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables (like broccoli and cabbage). It is an excellent source of natural antioxidants due to their high levels of various phytochemicals, as well as good suppliers of essential vitamins, carotenoids, fiber, soluble sugars, minerals, and phenolic compounds.
I remember the days when I used to come home from school and my mother would be in the kitchen cooking cauliflower. The lovely smell would fill the house and amazingly it would always smell like she was cooking meat.
Consider roasted cauliflower, sweet and spicy cauliflower, cauliflower with cheese sauce, and again the good old curry………curry cauliflower to name a few.
By now you must be figuring out that I kinda like curry.
There is a wide variety of nuts available. These energy rich superfoods are packed with healthy fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
They are utilized in the diet in a number of ways…..from snacks, to salads, to entrees, to desserts.
The nut loaf is a popular vegetarian choice for the dinner menu.
Lentils is one of the staples of the vegetarian diet. It is a member of the legume family and although low in calories it is high in nutrition. The high protein, high fiber lentil is also a good source of calcium, phosphorus, iron and B vitamins.
There are several different varieties of lentils but the most common ones used are Brown, Red and Green lentils.
There is so much you can do with this tasty legume. You can make lentil stew, lentil soup, lentil loaf, lentil patties, lentil and rice and endless other recipes. (Don’t forget the lentil curry.)
We can’t leave out the vegetable casseroles
Yes…….True….The casserole is not a plant
The versatile vegetable casserole is a staple in vegetarian cooking. It is the go to dish for any occasion. The casserole can be as similar or as different as you want it. It depends of course on what vegetables are used. The one thing they all have in common………delicious.
I hope the questions and doubts are now history.
Embark on your kitchen adventures and enjoy to the max your new and rewarding Vegetarian Lifestyle.