Whatever your reason for being vegetarian, whether you want to help towards a more conscientious tomorrow or improve your health, being sure you get all the nutrients you need is imperative. Keep in mind that not including meat and other animal products in your diet means you won’t get all the nutrients you used to.
In this post we look at five of the foods you simply cannot live without. These will ensure you get all your nutrients, protein, iron and amino acids. Let’s take a look at what they are!
But it is tasteless so you don’t want to eat it, right? There are loads of ways you can dress tofu up or buy pre-marinated tofu. The thing is, tofu is rich in mega-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc and protein. This means tofu should be your best friend.
It also contains calcium and vitamin D, which is crucial for healthy bones and the digestion of any other protein that enters your body.
Nuts is quite easy to consume for most people, and it should be included in your diet! Nuts are a great source of protein, but some are even rich in calcium, zinc and vitamin E. Recent studies have also shown that even though nuts are high in calories, they do not contribute to weight gain.
So, whether you pack some nuts for a snack in between meals or add them in a salad, sticking with nuts in your diet is the healthy way to go!
Grains found in cereal contain calcium, iron and vitamin B12. Vegetarians who do not eat eggs or dairy will have to take a supplement for vitamin B12 to be sure you get the required daily amount! If your diet includes whole-grains you should be okay.
Grains are known to decrease cholesterol levels and decreases your risk of colon cancer and other digestive diseases.
Did you know that a single cup of beans per day will provide you with half of the required amount of fiber and a third of the daily required amount of iron and protein? Beans are also rich in zinc and potassium and is great for lowering cholesterol.
You also have the option to buy dry or canned beans. Be sure to rinse canned beans as they are often soaked in salt.
Lentils are also a legume and essential if you are a vegetarian. They are (just like beans) high in protein and soluble fiber. What sets them apart is the fact that lentils contain twice as much iron as beans. Lentils are also more versatile than beans and can be served with anything.
Did you know that lentils are high in folate and vitamin B? These nutrients are especially important for pregnant women as it decreases the risk of congenital disabilities.
There you have it! Our top pick of foods you cannot live without as a vegetarian. Perhaps you have been skimping on some foods. Remember that there are a lot of delicious vegetarian recipes on the web, making any meal time something to look forward to. Here’s a list of some of Jamie Oliver’s vegetarian recipes to try out!
There are a lot of interesting facts about vegetarianism out there. Some of them are considered to be true while others we can only speculate about. In this post we take a quick look at some of these fun facts. We hope you enjoy them just as much as we do!
1. Hitler was a Vegetarian
It is said that Adolf Hitler was a vegetarian. Whether this is true or not is debatable. The story goes that he adopted the lifestyle when he was older and that he predicted that vegetarianism will become the lifestyle choice of the world. Records are showing Hitler telling stories of slaughterhouses to his dinner guests, aiming to put them off of their meal.
2. Some Religions Requires you to be Vegetarian
Perhaps a more well-known fact, but yet one worth mentioning. There are a couple of religious movements where one is required to be a vegetarian. Some of them include Rastafarianism as well as Hare Krishna.
3. Fruitarianism is a Thing
Have you ever watched Notting Hill? With Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant. Well, in one scene Grant dates a woman who shares with the dinner guests that she is a fruitarian. What you may not have known is that it exists and that it falls under vegetarianism. Fruitarians only eat fresh fruits, nuts and seeds where the plant is not harmed during harvest.
4. India is the Origin
It is said that ancient India is where vegetarianism has its roots. To this day statistics have shown that the world’s largest percentage of vegetarians can be found in India. The practice was based on the philosophy of ahimsa (non-violence towards animals).
5. Vegetarian Celebs All Over
Throughout the ages a lot of famous people opted for the vegetarian way of life. Some of who includes Leonardo da Vinci, Ozzy Osbourne, Albert Einstein and Brad Pitt. It is also said that Benjamin Franklin was a vegetarian and that he introduced tofu to the country.
6. The Environment and Interesting Health Benefits
One of the main reasons why a lot of Americans decide to become vegetarians is due to the impact the meat industry has on the environment. That is of course adjacent to the multiple health benefits the lifestyle choice holds. According to studies, avoiding red meat can increase the sex appeal of male body odor.
Now that you know some interesting facts about vegetarianism, you have the perfect ice breakers for that next dinner party!
If you are not a vegetarian but you are considering to make the lifestyle change, you probably wonder about some things you’ve heard, read or just thought about. As a vegetarian it can be very frustrating to set people straight when it comes to these misconceptions, as you will soon learn when you make the change.
In this post we try to debunk these untruths and shed some light on them. If you are a vegetarian, you can use the information here to set the record straight once and for all!
1. Vegetarians are Skinny and Healthy
A lot of people assume that just because you are vegetarian, you are instantly healthier and skinny. Being vegetarian is a lifestyle choice. It doesn’t mean you are going to lose a whole lot of weight or be healthier than everyone else. There are loads of things vegetarians can also indulge in that is considered unhealthy.
It’s all about balance and choosing your meals and portions correctly. If you want to be a vegetarian because of this misconception, don’t. You’ll have to adopt a healthy lifestyle to be healthy and lose weight.
2. It’s difficult for a Vegetarian to Dine Out
Another one is the misconception that vegetarians are limited to selecting meatless salads and cooked veggies when they dine out. If you believe this, you haven’t dined out for a long time. Nowadays vegetarians have loads of options when it comes to going out, think vegetarian sushi for example.
There are also a lot of vegetarian restaurants opening and the latest trend is gourmet vegetarian restaurants. If you think you don’t want to become a vegetarian because you won’t be able to enjoy yourself, think again!
3. Vegetarians Spend Too Much Money on Food
Vegetarians may spend a lot more money on fresh fruit and vegetables, but then again meat is very expensive. Have you ever noticed the price difference of vegetarian options at restaurants? Yes, they are not more expensive than your average steak or burger.
If price is holding you back, you’ve got it all wrong. You are probably going to spend a little less or just about the same amount on groceries and dining out than before. Being vegetarian is not an expensive lifestyle.
4. Vegetarians Don’t Get Sufficient Protein
In fact, a lot of people believe that vegetarians have vitamin and protein deficiencies. This is by far the fattest of all the lies we have come across. Vegetarians replace foods to ensure they get all the nutritional goodness they need to lead a healthy lifestyle.
For instance, a vegetarian diet will include loads of legumes and beans, vegetables and fruits and nuts. There are loads of fresh or dried foods out there that contains all the nutrients one needs to be healthy.
5. Vegetarians Judge Meat-eaters
Even though this might be true for some, but it’s not always the case. The majority of vegetarians couldn’t care less what your meal preference or lifestyle preference is. Just like we prefer others not to judge their preferences, we don’t judge theirs.
If you are going to have your steak in front of a vegetarian, they will not necessarily leave the table for that matter. There are however some vegetarians who do get nauseated when they smell or see meat. But for the rest of us, we don’t care what you eat!
And that’s a wrap! We hope you can now make your decision or explain to others what being vegetarian is all about. Read Rose Elliot’s take on the topic of being a vegetarian or vegan.
Building muscle mass while bodybuilding or training as a vegetarian can be a bit tricky. Taking protein shakes or powders is not everyone’s cup of tea, and you have to check the labels to ensure you can take that supplement.
In this post we take a look at our top five protein powders that are great for vegetarians. Now you can rest assured that you will be able to build those muscles and not waste any time by taking any of these vegetarian powders. Let’s take a closer look at them.
1. Pea Protein Powder
Made from garden peas, pea protein powder can be compared to brown rice protein powder. It does not contain all the amino acids that’s essential for building muscle mass, but it’s a perfect option for those who are vegan or are lactose intolerant.
Whether you want to add it to your smoothie, or to one of your meals, pea protein powder packs a punch and is a great way to supplement your protein intake. It’s also easily digested and doesn’t have an overwhelming taste as some powders do.
2. Casein Protein Powder
If you are a lacto-vegetarian, you might want to opt for Casein protein powders. It’s very similar to whey protein and has up to 80% of the protein in cow’s milk. This makes it perfect for building muscle mass and getting more out of your workout routine.
The best time to take your casein supplement? At night before bed. Why? Drinking your shake at night will ensure that no muscle breakdown takes place while you sleep and allows your body to recover in time for your next workout session.
3. Whey Protein Powder
Whey protein repairs and strengthens your lean muscle mass and accelerates your recovery after every workout. You’ll be able to choose between isolate, concentrate or complete whey when opting for whey protein as your protein powder.
The best option of the three? We would recommend whey isolate as it has a lower fat content and the protein content is purer.And, if you are a bit lactose-intolerant, you won’t have a problem with it as it contains less lactose.
4. Hemp Protein Powder
Hemp protein powder is a great option as you will have the benefit of getting all the amino acids that most vegetarian-friendly protein powders lack. It’s also very easy to digest and a perfect option to consume before you hit the gym.
The downside of hemp protein powder is probably its high calorie and fat content. It is however a great option if you are looking at building some muscle mass but if the fat and calories are off-putting, a better option would be whey or casein.
As you can see there are loads of options for vegetarians when it comes to protein powders. The main reason why athletes and bodybuilders take these supplements is to ensure recovery and that they build muscle mass. Which protein powder are you using, and why?
Whether you are a globetrotter or someone who dreams of traveling the world, we’ve got a treat for you! We have found the world’s very best vegetarian restaurants and compiled this list for you. If you are a bit of a foodie, you’d best bookmark these spots and make sure you get there!
Number 1: Bodhi, Sydney
This little gem in the heart of Sydney is sure to steal your heart. The emphasis of the restaurant is on fresh produce, serving delicious tapas style meals. Bodhi’s specialty? Yum-Cha and Pan Asian cuisine. This vegan/vegetarian restaurant is an absolute must if you ever find yourself in the merry old land of Oz.
Number 2: Le Grenier de Notre-Dame, Paris
The city of love has loads to offer any foodie. Whether you are a vegan, meat-eater or vegetarian, French cuisine is tops. Le Grenier’s menus are 100% plant-based and non-meat eaters can choose from their Zen or Discovery menus. The former is macrobiotic-based, whereas the Discovery menu is entirely vegetarian.
Number 3: L’Arancia Blu, Rome
When in Rome, eat at L’Arancia Blu! Even though the restaurant has a couple of not so favorable reviews, we’d highly recommend popping in. You can expect some of the most delicious all vegetarian Italian dishes. Pastas, pizzas and traditional desserts, you name it, they serve it. For a real Italian culinary experience, it’s a must.
Number 4: Cookies Cream, Berlin
For a true vegetarian gourmet experience, look no further than Cookies Cream in Berlin. The menu offers delectable entrees, mains and desserts while the atmosphere is cool and casual. You also won’t find any of the usual suspects like tofu or pasta on the menu. Everything made by the chef is fresh, herby and to die for!
Number 5: The Gate, London
Established in 1989, The Gate is listed as the best vegetarian/vegan gourmet restaurant in London. Everything on the menu promotes a healthy and conscious lifestyle and is delicious. If you find yourself in London, the trip would be incomplete without a meal at this award-winning restaurant. Signature dishes include butternut Rotolo and aubergine schnitzel.
Number 6: Pun Pun, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Thailand’s tourism has boomed in recent years. If you don’t visit the country for the exquisite beaches and natural scenery, you should go for the food alone! The restaurant only uses organic produce in their dishes and supports local markets. For affordable vegetarian meals that is out of this world, Pun Punis recommended.
Number 7: The Test Kitchen, Cape Town, South Africa
Who would have thought that one of the best vegetarian restaurants could be based in a country where meat and barbecue rules the roost? The Test Kitchen offers diners a unique dining experience and has an interesting take on vegetarian cuisine. If you ever happen to find yourself in the mother city, be sure to check it out.
Number 8: The Acorn, Vancouver
Our final stop is in Canada, home of The Acorn. If you are traveling to Vancouver, best book your seat at this award-winning restaurant. Meals are described as ‘vegetable-forward’ and creative. Your meal will be prepared with the freshest locally sourced ingredients. A perfect place for a brunch, lunch or delectable dinner.
Have you been to any of these restaurants before? Where would you travel to just for the food? We wish you happy travels and excellent dining experience wherever you may go.
Getting dinner ready in the week can become a bit of a schlep. Plus, you’ve just spent half the day working and now you have to spend more time preparing a meal. Most of us look forward to getting home and just relaxing.
With these easy recipes, you won’t compromise on taste or on your time for yourself. Are you ready to transform your mid-week dinners?
1. Vegetarian Gnocchi with Kale and Dolcelatte
Anyone for some creamy gnocchi? This recipe will only take 20 minutes of your time, very little effort and the result is one tasty dish!
- Green salad
- Half-fat crèmefraîche
First off you need to prepare the gnocchi. Simply follow the cooking instructions and scoop out with a slotted spoon once its cooked. Using the same water, cook the kale for about five minutes and drain. In the same pan, mix the kale, cheese and crème fraiche.
Mix everything with the cooked gnocchi, place it in an oven dish and grill it until it is golden brown. Serve with some salad greens and enjoy!
2. Potato and Spring Onion Soup
Perfect for a light dinner and those colder days when you need something warm and wholesome! This recipe is easy to make and won’t take longer than 30 minutes of your time.
- Double cream
- Spring onions
- Vegetable stock
Melt the butter in a pan and add most of the chopped spring onions. You’ll need some green pieces for garnishing once the soup is done. Next, add the potatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil.
Turn down the heat and let the soup simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Once everything is cooked and the potatoes are soft, use a stick blender or food processor to blend it until it is smooth. Add the cream, garnish and enjoy!
3. Spicy Black Bean and Squash Quesadillas
This delicious spicy black bean and squash quesadilla recipe is perfect for a lighter dinner and won’t take more than 30 minutes to make.
- Chipotle chili
- Jalapeno chili
- Black beans
- Butternut squash
Fry the tomato, garlic and onion in a frying pan over high heat until it is well-cooked. Place the charred veg in a food processor with the chipotle chili and blend until smooth. Cook the butternut in the microwave for ten minutes or until cooked. Once it is soft, mash it up, add the black beans and mash again.
Add the cheddar, jalapeno, lime and coriander to the butternut blend and mix well. Spoon onto tortillas and fold them over. Grill over high heat in a frying pan until the tortillas are brown and crispy and the cheese is melted. Serve with the chipotle salsa.
There are loads of quick and easy vegetarian recipes out there, waiting for you to give them a try! Let us know if you’ve enjoyed any of the ones we’ve shared with you here!
So, you have decided to become a vegetarian. Congratulations are in order! You can now look forward to a healthy lifestyle. It’s not easy though, and you have to take things one step at a time. But don’t you worry about a thing. Most of us has made that journey already, and we are here to help you on your way!
There are plenty of benefits you can look forward to as a vegetarian. In fact, you can learn more about how you will benefit in our post about the top six benefits of being vegetarian. But, you’ve probably already done your homework and want some tips on how to make the process a bit easier, right? Let’s jump right in.
#1 Identify Your Goals
This is the first step and is crucial, because without goals you don’t have anything to keep your eyes on the prize. Things to keep in mind is what you envision the transition to bring about, what you want to achieve, and what you envision to include in your diet.
Depending on your goals and needs, you’ll be able to decide whether you want to cut out meat and still eat dairy and eggs (lacto-ovo), eggs but no dairy (lacto-vegetarian) or vegan (no animal products).
#2 Take Some Time
Yes, it is a big transition and a major lifestyle change. It is going to take time to ease into this new way of life. The best advice is to systematically scale down your regular meals to ensure your body gets used to the change. You can start by eating two vegetarian dishes a week.
Slowly start incorporating more and more vegetarian meals until your body is used to the fact that it’s getting less meat. Don’t be in a rush, it’s not going to happen overnight!
#3 Replace the Right Foods
Just because your diet is changing doesn’t mean you are going to leave out certain nutrients completely. In fact, you should replace the foods you wean yourself off with something else that has the same nutritional value.
For instance, you will need to include a lot of legumes and beans, fruits and vegetables as well as grains. The nutrition you get should still be the same, otherwise you’ll end up feeling hungry.
#4 Don’t Starve Yourself
It goes without saying. You will probably lose some weight, but don’t assume you have to eat less or food that’s drab and tasteless. Your diet will most definitely not consist of salads and steamed vegetables alone!
You’ll be able to experiment and have fun with new foods and recipes. Keep at it and follow a healthy meal plan. Don’t end up starving yourself.
If you follow these simple tips you should be fine! Don’t be too hard on yourself and expect that the transition is going to take place overnight. Be proud of your decision and keep at it, you’ll soon experience the value of becoming a vegetarian.
So, it’s dinner time and you are standing with your hands in your hair. What to make? Cooking and preparing meals day after day can soon become drab if you stick to the same boring menu. We’ve got some good news though.
We’ve compiled our list of the top six food hacks you can start trying out today! In this post we discuss six ways you can easily make meal times less drab and more fab.
1. Make Veggie Noodles
Pasta, pasta, pasta! Who doesn’t love a big bowl of warm pasta? Instead of eating all those carbs, try to spiralize your vegetables and make a nutritional veggie noodle. The best veggies to do this with? Try some fresh courgettes or carrots.
Imagine all the nutritional goodness in a bowl of veggie noodles. You no longer have to worry about the carbs or calories. Did we mention that it tastes great?
2. Include a Wider Variety of Oils
Why stick to olive oil when you have a world of oils to use? That’s right, using infused oils will add even more flavor to the most boring dish you’ve ever made. Mix things up a bit and start using sesame, coconut or chili for a zippier or flavorful meal.
No matter what you are making, just adding a little bit of oil can make a huge difference to the taste. Simply add it over some roast veg. Yum!
3. Buy Marinated Tofu
Don’t limit yourself and waste time prepping tofu! Buy pre-marinated tofu. Not only will this save you a whole lot of time, but it will also add loads of flavor to any tofu dish you prepare. You have the option to choose between olive, garlic or basil.
Gone are the days when you dreaded cooking another tasteless tofu dish. Using pre-marinated tofu ensures your meal is flavorful and delicious.
4. Experiment with World Cuisines
Whether you love Italian or Indian, you can experiment with any world cuisine as a vegetarian. Be daring and play around! Think scrumptious Mediterranean salads, delicious African veg or even spicy Indian curry.
There’s a globe’s worth of cooking you can play around with. You don’t have to stick to the mundane or boring at all!
5. Make Cauliflower Rice
For a healthier option than rice, you can also make cauliflower rice. It’s simple and much healthier than the same old starch you’ve had since you were a kid. Simply put a raw cauliflower in a food processer and blend it until it consists of smaller pieces resembling rice.
Next, you simply steam it and enjoy! Simple, right? And you won’t have to worry about those awful carbs anymore!
6. Opt for More Aubergine
If you have a serious meat craving, aubergine is the way to go! Not only does it resemble the taste but also the texture. Simply poke a couple of holes in the aubergine and hold it over an open flame turning it so that it cooks evenly.
Once it is blackened, put it in a sealable bag to steam further. What you’ll have is something that resembles meat, but that is way healthier! Here’s some of our favorite aubergine recipes to get you started.
Do you have any food hacks of your own? We would love to hear them! Remember, cooking should be fun and you should still be able to enjoy your meal, no matter what! Enjoy your culinary adventures.
Whether you’ve just converted to this new exciting lifestyle or have been a vegetarian for years, there’s always a tip or two that goes a long way. Making the transition at first will however be a bit difficult and these tips and life hacks should come in very handy. On the other hand, those of you who’ve been vegetarians for a while, you may find some of these hacks helpful too!
1. Follow Influencers
Whether it’s a big influential organization or a mentor with loads of clout, follow them! This is where you’ll be able to get the latest news and trends as well as information on events. Whatever your reason for being vegetarian, these sources will guide and inspire you along the way.
On most of these sites you’ll also have access to great recipes, lifestyle news and everything related to the world of vegetarianism. Our post on the top ten vegetarian blogs is a great place to start!
2. Check Product Labels
This is a hack for the noobs out there. You need to get into the habit of checking every label of every product that you buy. This does include not only food, but also clothing and cosmetics. Learn to be aware of all the ingredients as well as dead-giveaways on labels indicating that the product is vegetarian-friendly.
If you are a vegan and are strongly against the use of animal testing, check for the leaping bunny on cosmetic products.
3. Plan Your Dining Out Experience
Nothing is more disappointing than going out for dinner and not being able to find a place where you can have a vegetarian meal. If you know you want to dine out, hit the net beforehand and find all the vegetarian-friendly spots close to you.
This will save you a lot of frustration and perhaps an argument or two. A bit of planning goes a long way and ensures you get what your lifestyle calls for.
4. Start Experimenting with Recipes
This is the fun part! Now that you have started embracing your new lifestyle, you can start experimenting and playing around with new recipes. If you want to, you can even look for vegetarian versions of old time favorite recipes.
Whether you want to try something new or try a vegetarian spin on a non-vegetarian dish, the kitchen is the best place to be!
5. Find Great Restaurants on the Net
Especially when you are traveling. If you ever find yourself abroad with your hands in your hair about where to get a great vegetarian or even vegetarian-friendly restaurant, hit the net! There’s this handy site called happycow.net.
Here you will find a comprehensive list of all the vegan and vegetarian restaurants in the world, as well as information on grocers and more.
You’re welcome! Now that you have some handy tips, we’re sure you are amped to try them out. If you are struggling with your transition, think back and remember your reasons for becoming a vegetarian. Keep up the good work, and your health will thank you for it!
Compromising when it comes to food is a pain. But don’t you worry! We’ve found some of the tastiest vegetarian and vegan dishes that will have anyone you know drooling over. These dishes are all completely safe for vegetarians and vegans, while meat lovers will find them just as tasty and satisfying.
We take a look at some top breakfast picks, light meals and finish it off with something for those with a sweet tooth.
#1 Scrambled Tofu
And you don’t have to stick to breakfast even. Whichever way you prefer eating or serving your scrambled tofu, you’ll be able to. Now, you may think that scrambled tofu is just about as boring as it comes. We’d like to disagree!
The secret is in the combination of flavors in this specific recipe. Cumin, garlic, turmeric and thyme makes for a delicious scrambled tofu that’s good to go on just about anything with just about everything!
#2 Banana Chocolate Pancakes
In this recipe the milk is replaced with soy or almond milk. It does however include baking powder which adds some fluffy goodness to these delicious breakfast wonders! What we love most about this recipe is the fact that the banana and chocolate is baked in the batter, making it extra yum!
Want to add some crunch? Go ahead! You can add some nuts to the batter for some more yummy goodness. This recipe is a hit with the kids, non-vegans and just about anyone who loves a good pancake.
#3 Spicy Bean Chili
A delicious spicy chili that only takes about 40 minutes to make? No way! Yes, that’s correct, this delicious chili will only take 40 minutes to prep and cook. This three-bean chili has quite a bite thanks to the chipotle chilies it calls for.
But, the level of spice and heat is completely up to you of course! If you love spicy food, you’ll fall in love with this wonderfully easy to make chili. It’s chockful of protein and just the right amount of zip to almost convert even those meat eaters you know.
#4 Macaroni and Cheese
Wait, a delicious mac and cheese that does not contain any dairy or flour? Yes, that’s correct. This simple mac and cheese is probably the best we have tried. And it’s safe for vegans. Meat eaters will also find it pretty hard to resist.
What makes this mac and cheese recipe remarkable is the fact that it is made with a cashew-based sauce. Thanks to the deactivated yeast, the sauce has a delectable cheesy taste and consistency. Did we mention that it’s pretty quick and easy to make?
#5 Strawberry Cheesecake
If you want to impress your meat-eating friend, you have to give this yummy strawberry cheesecake a go. It’s pink, pretty and tastes amazing. It’s also completely gluten and dairy-free. That’s right, instead of cheese it calls for coconut milk and cashews.
But where does the color and the flavor come from? Strawberries of course! The cheesecake calls for one cup of strawberries and maple syrup, adding to its sweet flavor. Whether you want to indulge a bit yourself or impress some of your friends, this cheesecake is bound to become a favorite.
You see, it is easy to cook for anyone! And those who eat meat will more than likely thank you for introducing meal alternatives. Just don’t shove it down their throats, they won’t respond well to that tactic!