Choosing to be Vegetarian
People choose vegetarian recipes for many reasons: social or religious beliefs, health concerns, availability, and taste. Despite a stigma of being bland or unappetizing, vegetarian dishes are just as varied as recipes with meat. Vegetarian entrees include:
- Meat-Substitute Dishes (Mocks)
The key to choosing a vegetarian dish is to choose which level of vegetarianism works best for your family. Vegetarian recipes are defined as using no meat or meat products, while a vegan recipe would use no animal products at all, including milk, cheese, or eggs. Depending on your diet and taste preferences, either vegetarian or vegan dishes may work best.
There are many benefits to vegetarian recipes. Not only do they incorporate additional servings of fruits and vegetables, but they are lower in fat than meat dishes. At the same time, vegetables and fruits are substantially higher in necessary vitamins and minerals than recipes that rely principally on meat. Non-meat dishes help lower cholesterol, promote weight control, and, in general, lead to a healthier lifestyle when incorporated into a balanced diet.
Vegetarian Recipe Tips
Quality is crucial for vegetarian recipes. Ideally, fresh, in-season vegetables should be used and they should be carefully examined for the best texture, color, and flavor. To be sure you are getting different types of nutrients, choose a rainbow of ingredients: orange carrots, leafy greens, red tomatoes, golden squash, etc. Don't be afraid to experiment with using your favorite fruits and vegetables as substitutes in different dishes.
To keep the healthy attributes of vegetarian recipes, be careful with added dressings, sauces, and oils. These condiments should be used sparingly, not only because of their negative health effects but also to avoid overpowering the flavor of the dish.
It is important to remember that a vegetarian recipe is not only an appetizing meal, but it may also be a personal and deeply spiritual decision for those who believe in a vegetarian diet. Do not try to trick them by adding meat or meat products to the food, and keep an open mind when trying new foods. While a true vegetarian or vegan lifestyle may not be for everyone, a few non-meat recipes are a tasty and healthy addition to any menu.