I know there must be millions of other vegetarians out there, probably thousands of other bloggers who share the same diet as me and millions of other people who want to try it out. In Britain alone, 1.2 million vegetarians, consistingly mainly of teenagers, survive without eating any meat. On planet Earth there are 375 million vegetarians, and here in Europe we host the highest rate of vegetarians, with 10% of the population cutting out meat and fish entirely. Many more people are also pescetarian, which consists of a vegetarian diet as well as fish; this is so they can still consume the fatty acids that fish contains while being ethical and also healthy.
However, when you’re eating out and the menu is made up of steaks and burgers and two completely green salads, I’m sure every vegetarian – or vegan, of course – must be thinking the same thing: why do people assume that vegetarians only eat plant matter? There seems to be serious confusion over the whole ethical eating idea, and the difference between the diet of a vegetarian and that of a vegan. It really isn’t that difficult to think up some more menu options for the relatively sizeable population of vegetarians without clogging it of ‘green’ food. Pasta, pizza, anything you like…
As a little sidenote, yesterday I visited Brighton and spent a few hours leisurely wandering The Lanes, a group of lovely backstreets clustered with coffee and cake shops and vintage clothes and vegan perfumes, and seeing such a range of places serving completely vegetarian and vegan foods was great; we stopped by for a smoothie and coffee in one and the atmosphere was so nice, and they had decorated the interior of the cafe with grey and green colour themes, as well as yellow undertones; it was really gorgeous and even the tea was aesthetically pleasing, served in a see through glass and with a matching milk jug. My brother and I ordered smoothies and they came in mason jars and tasted AMAZING, and definitely gave us enough energy to continue our busy day. Anyway, back to the post…
Stigma against those who simply cut out meat is unreal; I have seen literally hundreds of memes with people concealed in hedges, trees and oversized plants, captioned the same old thing of ‘Vegetarian birth’, or even better, a picture of a rabbit, guinea pig or other small furry animal clutching lettuce, carrots, kale and the like, with the line of text below reading ‘Breakfast date with my vegetarian friend’, or ‘What my vegetarian friend eats 24/7’, or ‘How would the vegetarians like it if the rabbits ate all their food?’ However, the joke may be on those who haven’t made the choice to go meat-free as the healthiest diet does not consist of meat, especially red meat, containing high levels of fat and salt. Vegetarians miss out on this fat and salt, leading to lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels and a decreased risk of several types of cancer and heart disease. You also miss out on any possible food poisoning, apart from that rarely caused by eggs, and have a lifespan that is on average 4.3 years longer than the average meat-eating human being. Anyone else fancy going veggie?
If you are vegetarian, I get a lot of my protein from eggs as well as supplements so I can control the level of iron I get, as red meat is a big contributor of iron. Spinach, nuts, flax seeds, milk and cereal, especially bran or wheat, are also good for you and can top up your iron and vitamin D intake. There are also a list of meals you can make or put together in a few minutes without using any fish or meat that still taste just as good (or better in my opinion) and use only a few ingredients!
Porridge with seeds and honey – Simply make your porridge (using milk promotes healthy teeth and bones so keep that in mind) and as you bring it to a boil, grab some seeds and sprinkle them over the top. To sweeten, either add a half teaspoon of cane sugar or drizzle honey on top.
Greek yogurt and honey pot – Greek yogurt and plain yogurt work well and you can sweeten it up with honey. If you’re feeling like an Instagrammable breakfast, cut up some fresh fruit, throw in some raspberries and some acai berries and you’re good to go! It also tastes amazing and leaves you feeling so healthy.
Vegetarian breakfast – Feeling hungry? If you’ve got a little extra time in the morning, slot some bread in the toaster, roast a tomato, cook some beans and add hash browns, eggs or quorn sausages! It tastes almost as good as the real thing, let’s be real.
Breakfast wrap – My mum made these for the whole family the other day and they were UNREAL. Consisting of a poached egg, spinach, tomato and rocket in a wrap with salad dressing, it was the perfect breakfast boost whilst still being careful of the calorie counts. I’d definitely recommend these! You can also adapt the recipe and try quorn chicken with salad as well as a vegan recipe of wholemeal wraps and salad with apple and sweetcorn, which also sounds good…
Italian-style panini – I chose a mozzarella, tomato and pesto panini at this adorable cafe we ate out in just before Christmas and it was the nicest thing! The ingredients go really well and the melted mozzarella makes a change from cheddar. If you ever see this on the menu, order it; I’m definitely going to try and make my own sometime soon. Of course, if pesto isn’t your favourite thing, you can substitute it for loads of other things and again, adapting the recipe is as simple as pie – or panini.
Pasta salad – This is a favourite food of mine, I really love all types of pasta and could eat it all day long if I had the opportunity. Whenever I make my own dinner (enough to have the recipe down to a fine art, little enough to still have to ask if the pasta is cooked through) I choose pasta because the outcome is always scrummy and you can basically throw in whatever’s in the fridge. If you want a change from your basic cheese sandwich, take this in a plastic container for work or school the next day. You can also make rice salad and quinoa salad with equally little effort and basic culinary skills.