Healthy Recipes for Vegetarians
Written by: elanger
Healthy recipes for vegetarians do not have to be boring. A variety of foods are available that are both tasty and nutritious, which makes mealtimes fun.
Vegetarian foods can be both healthy and delicious. There are many healthy recipes and one need not be a vegetarian to enjoy them. Preparing healthy recipes for vegetarians takes only a little bit of planning and creativity.
Meat substitutions, such as frozen garden burgers, should not be relied upon as a dietary staple. These foods, while they may be convenient and enjoyed on occasion, are usually highly processed and contain many preservatives. When vegetarians know how to prepare healthy recipes, they do not need to depend on meat substitutions for their meals.
Healthy recipes can be prepared for the various types of vegetarians. Meals may include both eggs and dairy for ovo-lacto vegetarians, only eggs for ovo-vegetarians or only dairy for lacto-vegetarians. Vegans consume no animal products at all and there are many healthy recipes available to them as well. Vegetarians who consume dairy should be aware that dairy is highly caloric and has been linked to many health problems such as hypertension, heart disease, allergies and other autoimmune disorders.
The foundation for meals should be based on consuming whole-foods. Healthy recipes for vegetarians are based on a diet of whole grains, vegetables, fresh fruits and nuts and legumes. Foods to limit include sugar and any substitutions, trans-fats, margarine, large amounts of butter, excess salt and oils. Olive oil and flaxseed oil may be consumed in moderation. However, olive oil should not be cooked at a high temperature and flaxseed oil should not be cooked at all.
Once a few basic recipes are mastered, formulating ideas for other healthy recipes is easy. It is helpful to center a meal around a favorite food, such as brown rice. Brown rice is versatile and can be used in many recipes, such as congee or in a stir-fry. Vegetables can be prepared in many different ways. Zucchini, for example, can be baked in a casserole, steamed, stir-fried, or even mixed in with bran-muffins and breads. The possibilities are endless.
Once the foundations are mastered, preparing healthy meals comes with greater ease. As more confidence is gained, the preparation of vegetarian foods becomes an act of creativity and fun.
Examples of healthy recipes for vegetarians are listed below.
Guacamole is a quick food that can be consumed as a snack or integrated into any meal. Because guacamole is prepared in a food processor, many vegetables can be added. Though it is higher in fat, it contains many beneficial nutrients. Guacamole can be consumed with vegetables, rice, or even unprocessed tortilla chips.
• 1 avocado
• ½ medium-sized tomato
• ½ lemon
• 1-2 cloves of garlic
• 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
• Salt, red pepper, chili powder
Combine avocado, tomato, garlic and lemon juice in a food processor. Add about a quarter teaspoon of salt, red pepper and chili powder to taste. Garlic can be raw or roasted. If a smoother texture is desired, add water.
• 1 cup of raw lentils
• 1 large carrot
• 1 large celery stalk
• 1 onion
• 2-3 cloves of garlic
• ¼ – ½ teaspoon of salt
• ¼ – ½ teaspoon of pepper
Chop the onion, carrot and celery and combine in pot. Add about a half an inch of water. Cover with a lid and cook on a medium heat. Allow vegetables to simmer until they are soft; this should take approximately twenty to thirty minutes. Add garlic and parsley and cook for 5 minutes.
Combine lentils, salt and pepper. Cook on medium heat for forty minutes, or until lentils are soft.
To give soup a creamier texture, allow it to cool and blend in a food processor.
This recipe may be consumed with brown rice, whole grain bread or by itself.