Are you up for the challenge? World Vegetarian Day is October 1st, and it is the perfect time to give vegetarianism a try.
Whether you’re thinking about being a total veg head or you just want to see if you can do it. This is your opportunity to give it a whirl. And we’ve got tips that’ll get you there.
From the minute you roll out of bed until you dive back under the covers at night, the following vegetarian meal ideas and pointers will help you see how the non-meat eaters live.
World Vegetarian Day
Before slipping into a world of salad and tofu, let’s look at why.
World Vegetarian Day was established in 1977 to help promote this lifestyle choice. Many people dislike the idea of eating animals and using animal products because they want to be more conscientious and support animals while ending cruelty.
This is a legitimate and a noble reason for avoiding meat in your diet, but it was discovered that there are some significant health and environmental benefits, too.
♦ Low-fat vegetarian diets steer clear of cardiovascular issues.
♦ More fiber and antioxidants are consumed, which fight cancer.
♦ A study found that vegetarians live longer, years longer!
♦ Vegetarians tend to have fewer cases of type 2 diabetes.
♦ Non-meat eaters are less likely to be obese.
♦ Save the environment: 2.5 times fewer carbon emissions than a meat diet.
Types of Vegetarians
A note about vegetarian diets here. There are many different types of vegetarians, and the definition has spread a bit.
A true vegetarian doesn’t eat meat, this means chicken and fish as well as red meat. And sometimes, vegetarians will decide to eat meat again for different reasons.
Some of the variations on vegetarianism include:
♦ Vegans live a true plant-based lifestyle. They don’t eat meat and products produced by animals such as eggs or dairy. There can be a little controversy on whether they eat honey or not.
♦ Lacto-ovo-vegetarians eat eggs and dairy.
♦ Lacto-vegetarians eat dairy but not eggs.
♦ Ovo-vegetarians eat eggs but no dairy.
♦ Pollotarians eat poultry but not other meat.
♦ Pescatarians eat fish but no other meat.
♦ Semivegetarians don’t eat red meat but do eat chicken and fish.
♦ Flexitarians are usually vegetarian but eat meat once in a while.
While it’s true that candy and french fries can be vegetarian, they’re not considered a healthy vegetarian option.
When talking about the health benefits of being a vegetarian, it’s obvious that a well-rounded and healthy diet with lower calories and high nutrition is what’s important.
It’s important to keep in mind that whichever route you take, that you make sure you’re meeting your nutritional needs either by eating a balanced diet or by taking a high- quality supplement. Don’t worry, there are vegan vitamin B12 supplements available.
Vegetarian Meal Ideas
The following ideas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner will help you get inspired to live a grazing lifestyle full of tasty nutrient-rich foods that help you live longer, healthier, and save the environment.
Oatmeal with nuts and fruit (you can replace the milk with almond or coconut milk), tofu scramble with your fave veggies, fruit smoothies, blueberry pancakes, breakfast tacos, avocado toast, or other delicious toast toppings.
Tofu Breakfast Scramble Recipe
Light and fluffy tofu is packed with protein and tastes amazing in this recipe. It’s also a great starting point because you can alter it to suit your tastes.
1 package firm tofu
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup hummus
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
salt and pepper to taste
Squeeze extra moisture out of tofu by pressing between paper towels. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium/high. Crumble in the tofu, then add other ingredients, and cook until tofu water has evaporated, which should be about 7 minutes.
This stores in the fridge for 5-7 days, so it’s perfect for a week of breakfasts on the go.
Salads, grilled portobello burger, quesadillas with black beans and veggies, bean and veggie soup, cauliflower crust pizza loaded with veggies, spring rolls, fried rice, and bean and potato tacos.
Crispy Baked Black Bean & Sweet Potato Taco Recipe
This is an amazing recipe that makes you forget all about meat. Give it a try!
1 cup refried black beans
1 cup sweet potato puree
1 cup grated cheese
8 corn tortillas
(can adjust to suit tastes)
1 avocado, diced
1 tomato, diced
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro
juice from one lime
salt to taste
Preheat oven to 450° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush olive oil on tortillas, you don’t need much.
Spread 1 tablespoon refried beans on each tortilla and top with 1 tablespoon sweet potato and a sprinkle of cheese, fold and repeat with all.
Brush tops of tortillas with olive oil and bake for roughly 10 minutes, flipping about halfway through.
Mix salsa ingredients together and top tacos right before serving.
Zucchini noodles with marinara sauce, quinoa bowl with roasted veggies and kimchi, veggie stir fry with tofu, meatless enchiladas, black bean chili, mushroom stroganoff, curried satay veggie bowls, and Cajun corn chowder.
Because there are so many times when mushrooms can be substituted for meat, we thought this was a fab recipe to start with. It’ll inspire you to replace meat with mushrooms on a regular basis.
1 pound wide egg noodles
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 small onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound mushrooms, use your favorites
1/2 cup dry white wine
1.5 cups vegetable stock
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce (Make sure to find a vegetarian one)
3.5 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or light sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
In a large saute pan over medium-high heat melt 1 tablespoon butter and add onion, cook 5 minutes.
In a large pot, begin boiling water over high heat for noodles. Once that water starts boiling, cook noodles until al dente. Then rinse and set aside.
Back to your saute pan. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, garlic, and mushrooms. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the white wine and scrape off any bits that are stuck to the pan. Let the sauce simmer for 3 minutes.
In a separate bowl, whisk veggie stock, Worcestershire, and flour. Then pour this mixture into the pan and stir. Simmer for 5 minutes longer. (Typically at this point you’re water pot is boiling so you’re also adding your noodles to that pot – both cook at the same time).
Return to your saute pan and add the Greek yogurt and salt and pepper. Stir to distribute. Reduce heat or turn off.
When noodles are done, divide them and pour your stroganoff over the top.
Waking Up To Welness
Celebrating World Vegetarian Day, or even regularly participating in Meatless Mondays, does a lot for your body and the environment. This is a win/win way to make the world a better place and to boost your health.
You don’t have to totally commit to making a difference. Give it a try and see how it goes. You might find that you love some vegetarian meals and want to eat them more often.