Here Is The Facts About Vegetarian Food

If you feel tired eating meat based recipes and wanted to try something new, then you might want to try out simple vegetarian recipes. Studies show that going meatless for a few days will not cause any harm to your body. In fact, many health studies today shows that an estimate of 75% of diseases are related to a person’s diet. The standard American diet, which is high in saturated fats, can caused people to become overweight and fat from animal products can lead to health problems such as clogged arteries causing heart disease and other health related ailments.

Benefits of Vegetarian Recipes

One of the best benefit that you can get from trying out a vegetarian meal is that you cut the risk of coronary heart problems. As vegetables have lower saturated fats and are high in antioxidants, you can cut your risk from 50% to 15%. Japanese people, especially those who live in Okinawa have the longest life expectancy. What is their secret? A diet that is low in meat, high in rich complex carbohydrates, vegetables, fiber rich fruits and soy.

Vegetarian recipes are high in good cholesterol, which helps lower the LDL cholesterol level while increasing the HDL level. Soya, which is a staple with most simple vegetarian recipes, is rich in flavones, which lowers cholesterol.

Aside from lowering your chance of becoming high risk, you also keep your weight down reducing the chance of becoming overweight. According to the CDC – National Center for Health Statistics, sixty-four percent of adults are overweight. People who followed a low-fat vegetarian diet were estimated to have lost on average 20 lbs in a year and have maintained that weight reduction for over five years. When one lowers down their intake of saturated fat, they can also increase their life span, it is estimated that vegetarians live seven years longer than their meat-eating counterparts do.

Many diseases that humans contract come from food borne illnesses which are usually associated with foods that are rich in protein such as meat, fish and poultry. By reducing your intake of meat, you will reduce the risk of contracting food related illness.

How to Start Your Vegetarian Lifestyle

Opting to change your diet to a vegetarian lifestyle is hard especially for meat lovers and as such, it is important that you do not change your diet overnight. Trying to go meatless once a week or two can help your body to adjust. You can also try out simple vegetarian recipes to start. A staple of vegetarian diets include consuming vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, seed or nuts. Some vegetarians may also consume dairy and eggs or white meat. That said, if you have food problems or allergies, it is important that you talk with your health care provider to ensure that you have a well-balanced diet.

Fun Facts About Vegetarians

It’s always nice to throw out an interesting fact when you are with friends. Here are some vegetarian-related snippets for you to use, whether you are vegetarian or not.

1. There are a lot of vegetarians out there

If you are a vegetarian you may sometimes feel a little lonely. You scour menus searching for the veggie option (hoping it isn’t mushroom risotto – or worse: vegetable stack) and most of your friends and family eat meat. Yet in actual fact, there are many, many vegetarians in the world. Millions! In India it is estimated that over 350 million people are vegetarian. In Taiwan, around 13% of people are vegetarian.

If you live in the UK you may be interested to know that as many as four million of you are vegetarian. In Brazil 8% of the population (that’s 15.2 million people) are said to be vegetarian. In the United States, 13% of the population regard themselves as either vegetarian or vegan.

So you are not alone. Someone just needs to tell the restaurants.

2. Vegetarians do not eat fish (or chicken)

Vegetarians hate being asked if they eat fish. By definition, a vegetarian does not eat animals – whether they are from the land or the sea. Where the problem lies is you may have met a fish-eating vegetarian. Or rather, someone who eats fish and no other animals and then labels themselves vegetarian. They are not vegetarian. Such people are actually called pescetarians.

The fish-eating issue can cause problems for vegetarians as all too often they may be served fish by their host at a dinner party or ‘fish’ ends up being the vegetarian option on a menu.

So the next time you meet a person who eats fish but calls themselves vegetarian, feel free to correct them.

3. Vegetarians do get enough protein

There’s another question vegetarians get asked all too often: where do you get your protein from? People who ordinarily don’t care about nutrition feel compelled to worry about a vegetarian’s intake of protein. It’s the sort of question that feels like the one trick meat eaters have up their sleeve and it’s not a very good one. Mainly because they are showing their ignorance of nutrition. Protein is plentiful in a vegetarian’s diet. Here’s a list to get you started: nuts, beans, textured vegetable protein, tofu, cheese, lentils, peas, yogurt, broccoli, spinach, avocado, soy and quinoa. Furthermore, many people actually eat too much protein (this is the case in Australia at least). So it makes little sense to be worrying about a person’s protein intake, especially when so many people are unable to meet their daily fruit and veg requirements.

4. Vegetarians have a lower risk of developing heart disease

People may be vegetarian for ethical or religious reasons. However, there is a positive consequence to your health if you are vegetarian. Vegetarians are less likely to develop heart disease. This is not the only benefit however. Vegetarianism can also reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes and some cancers (including breast, colorectal and ovarian). Vegetarians are less likely to become obese. When you consider how prevalent these diseases are on society, this is good news indeed.

5. Anthony Hopkins is a vegetarian

In my first point I stated that there are many vegetarians in the world. It is not surprising then to learn that there are a whole bunch of celebrities out there who are vegetarian and vegan. Here’s a quick list, but there are many, many more. We have: Kate Winslet, Corey Feldman, Sarah Silverman, Carrie Underwood, Casey Affleck, Diane Keaton, Pamela Anderson, Ian McKellan and Natalie Portman. From the music world we have: Kelly Clarkson, Billy Idol, Bryan May, Johnny Marr, Moby, Michael Bolton, Ricky Martin and Nelly.

How To Make Vegetarian Lunch Box

Lunchtime. Is it the one meal of the day that you give the least thought to? Do you find yourself simply ‘grabbing a bite’, or making up the same old sandwich each and every day? Well fortunately it doesn’t have to be this way. Below I have given you some great ideas that are suitable for your lunch box. Don’t be afraid to try new things as well as incorporating your favourite vegetables, beans, grains etc. All of these ideas are vegetarian. However, you don’t have to be a vegetarian to eat a vegetarian lunch. Experts suggest people try to go meat free at least some of the time for both health and environmental reasons. Cutting meat from your lunch is a simple way of doing this.

Sandwiches and rolls

Sandwiches are such an easy choice. However it doesn’t have to be cheese and tomato sandwiched between two slices of white bread. There are many, many ways you can make this simple option more interesting. Begin by varying the bread you use. There are an abundance of different breads out there these days. Think wholegrain, rye, spelt, pumpernickel, sourdough – to name just a few. Furthermore, it doesn’t just have to be sliced bread. You can have rolls, baguettes, pitas, wraps and all the different variations that come from these options.

Now to choose your filling. Mix and match to make some tasty combinations. There’s cheese and all its varieties – including cream cheese and spreadable cheese. Don’t forget cheeses such as halloumi and feta, which work so well in wraps and pitas. Then there’s egg – mash or slice, add some curry powder or mustard, or just salt and pepper. Beans and chickpeas go really well – you can mash them up for a roll or sandwich or keep whole for pitas and wraps. Cannellini or butter beans are great as you can mash them up and then add herbs or spices to transform them. You can pad out your sandwich with your favourite vegetables – salad leaves, grated carrot, sliced tomato, corn kernels. Things like broccoli and cauliflower go well in wraps – raw or roasted. If you like, you can finish off your sandwich with some relish or mayonnaise.

Salads

A salad is not just some lettuce, cucumber and tomato. Really it is a combination of ingredients, mixed together to make something delicious and perfect for your lunch box. To make your lunches more filling you could add a base to your salad. Things like couscous, bulghar wheat, pasta, brown rice and quinoa are good options. Couscous is a great option as it is so quick to prepare. Whilst your base is cooking you can prepare the rest of your salad.

Add whatever vegetables you fancy. Onion (whether, spring, brown, red or even pickled), baby kale, spinach, cherry tomatoes, carrot, broccoli, avocado, rocket are some options. You can add them raw or roast or fry them if you like. Your vegetables can also come from a tin or jar. Things like artichoke hearts, olives, capers and sundried tomatoes work really well and their flavour goes a long way. You can even add some nuts – I love toasted pine nuts, but cashews and almonds are good or just whatever takes your fancy. Don’t forget beans – just rinse and drain and stir them in.

To enhance your salad further, make a simple dressing. Simply combine extra virgin olive oil with your choice of vinegar or lemon juice (or lime). For a salad for two, 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil mixed with 1 tablespoon of vinegar is the quantities you need. You can add spices and herbs, even mustard if you choose. Then stir the dressing into the salad.

Spreads and dips

This is a fun way of eating lunch. Add some crispbread or similar to your lunch box, pop some spread in a container, remember a knife and you’re good to go. Instead of crispbread, you could always make up some polenta. Cook the polenta, pop into a pan and leave it to firm up. Slice it up and serve with your choice of spread or topping. Alternatively you can cut the polenta into fingers and serve them with a dip. Try cutting up some raw vegetables such as carrot and bell pepper. These are perfect with dips along with button mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and radishes.

What works as a dip generally also works well as a spread. Cream cheese is a good choice and can be enhanced with herbs, spices, mustard. I like to blitz up chargrilled peppers and mix them into the cream cheese. You can also blitz up beetroot, artichoke hearts, any type of canned bean or chickpeas. Try adding horseradish sauce and some blue cheese to beetroot – it’s lovely. Raid your pantry and don’t be afraid to experiment.

To add even more variety to your lunch you could add a hard boiled egg, some cubes of cheese, raw nuts, olives, sundried tomatoes or pickles. Grapes also go well, as does dried fruit.

Slices

I’ve got a perfect recipe for a vegetable slice. You make it ahead, slice it up and what you don’t use can be popped into the freezer than thawed as needed. You can vary what vegetables you add to it, but the basic recipe remains the same.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Grease and line a 30 x 20cm baking tin. In a large bowl, whisk together 4 eggs and ½ cup (125ml) of milk. Beat in ½ cup (75g) of wholemeal self-raising flour and ½ cup (75g) of regular self-raising flour to make a batter.

Finely chop a head of broccoli and ½ cup (25g) of baby spinach. Cube 100g of feta cheese and grate 1 carrot. Stir the vegetables and cheese into the batter. You can vary what you add at this stage. Try diced pepper, onion, corn kernels, spring onions, cauliflower florets, courgette.

Season. Pour into the baking tin and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and firm.

Leave to cool and remove from the tin. Slice into quarters, then halve each quarter. Place 2 slices into each lunch box, then into the fridge. The rest can be frozen by wrapping each slice in plastic wrap then placing into a container or freezer bag, then popping into the freezer.

Healthy Kale Salad Recipes

Considered to be one of the most nutrient dense foods in the world, kale has a low calorie contents but is brimming with vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients. It is an excellent source of Vitamins A, B6, C, K and minerals such as calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese and potassium. It is also an excellent source of antioxidants, beta-carotene and protein. Oh kale yeah!

Cranberry Kale Fusion

What you need:

Salad:

  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a skillet then cook kale and garlic over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. Add water to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes more or until kale wilts. Remove from heat, drain and set aside. To make the dressing, mix together orange juice, red wine vinegar, 1/2 cup olive oil, soy sauce, onion, ginger, salt and black pepper in a salad bowl. Add cooked kale to the bowl and toss to coat. Top with cranberries, almonds and pumpkin seeds. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Kale de la Creme

What you need:

  • 4 cups chopped kale
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1/2 cup Greek-style plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 3 tablespoons raisins
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

In a large bowl, combine kale, onion and raisins.In a separate bowl, whisk together lemon zest, lemon juice, yogurt, mayonnaise and sugar. Pour dressing into the bowl of kale and toss to coat. Refrigerate for 2 hours. When ready, sprinkle with sunflower seeds, toss and serve.

Upskale Salad

What you need:

  • 2 bunches kale, stems removed and torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cups cooked corn kernels
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons salsa
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Cook kale with 1 teaspoon salt in a large pot of boiling water until bright green, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and allow to cool for a few minutes. Place corn kernels in a large salad bowl then add cooked kale to the bowl. Add bell pepper, pineapple juice, olive oil, salsa, Cajun seasoning, garlic powder and onion powder to the bowl. Season with salt. Toss to coat before serving.