Friday, February 24, 2006

Tips to go veggie! (Vegetarian Information)

I love being a vegetarian. Aside from the personal and environmental reasons, the thing I love most about being veggie is the food! (I think it must be in the genes, since my sister loves veggie food as much as I do!). I literally become veggie overnight, but I realize that for some it's not that easy! Here are some easy and delicious tips to incorporate more veggie foods in your life!

Tip #1:

Try eating your favorite foods.

Try looking at recipes of things you enjoyed before you became veggie, and then convert them to veggie recipes. For example, if your favorite food was pepperoni pizza before you became veggie, substitute the crust with a whole wheat dough for more nutrients (or if you are in rush, french bread or whole wheat pitas), and then top the pizza with cheese or soy cheese, tomato sauce, and then your favorite pizza toppings, like veggie 'pepperoni', olives, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, roasted garlic and red peppers, artichokes, etc, and some fresh or dried herbs. Or if it was chicken parmesan, make eggplant parmesan.

Tip #2:

Try cuisine from different cultures.

There are a lot of tasty vegetarian recipes from Asia and the Middle East, and Latin America (like hummus, curries, quesadillas, vegetarian sushi rolls, etc). Go to food network's website. Hundreds of recipes; a lot are veggie, and those that aren't can be easily converted.

Tip #3:

Try easy to make but nourishing foods.

If you are really tired after work and don't want to cook, try soup or yummy smoothies! Make a veggie/fruit/bread/cheese/dip platter. Sometimes when I can't think of something to eat, I'll just cut up my favorite breads, cheeses, veggies, and fruits, and add a couple of dips or sauces. The possibilites are endless. Examples: fruits with yogurt or chocolate sauce; breads with brie/cheddar/soy cheese, and also olives, roasted red peppers, artichokes, hummus, gaucamole. Other good things to add: peanut or almond butter, cheese fondue, an herbed cheese spread, etc. Yum!

Tip #4:

Jazz things up with herbs and spices.

Even when you are cooking with the same ingredients, a bit of rosemary or sage here, and a bit of cumin there will really make a difference.

Tip #5:

Add foods that are high in vitamins.

Things that are high in vitamins: herbal tea (especially when made with organic herbs. Herbs have a lot of trace nutrients), actually any organic food, and also all types of sea weed (which has the highest concentration of nutrients).

Tip #6:

Try looking in your freezer section.

Places like Whole Foods have a lot of organic frozen veggies and fruits (which are great for making smoothies), so that could increase the variety of your diet during the winter when fresh produce may not be available.

For veggie resources click here.

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