7 Tips to Go Meatless
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association) reports that if planned correctly, a vegetarian diet can be a lifelong, healthy and satisfying diet. Here are seven tips from Kendall College’s School of Culinary Arts culinary experts, for adopting vegetarian practices at least some of the time as part of a fulfilling lifestyle.
1. If removing animal proteins completely from the diet seems impossible, try a semi-vegetarian diet. Known as “flexitarianism,” this diet emphasizes eating meatless up to 80% of the time, with animal proteins (primarily seafood) consumed on an infrequent basis. This is one way to keep goals for eating meals without meat achievable. “Meatless Mondays,” for example, is a global initiative for families to eat vegetarian meals at least one day a week.
2. Discover the abundant world of whole grains for eating satiety and better health. Substitute usual starch choices such as potatoes, pasta or white rice with grains such as amaranth, quinoa, farro, barley, spelt and brown and other colored rices.
3. Many people reject a vegetarian diet because they fear not consuming adequate protein. Educate yourself about your specific protein needs, and explore complete-protein plant sources.
4. Go green! Varieties of green leafy vegetables abound, many that you’ve probably never tried. Seek out a new variety every week or two and research a delicious recipe.
5. Don’t overdo it with dairy and eggs. Cheese, eggs, ice cream and the like are meatless foods from animal sources, but they can be rich in calories, saturated fat and cholesterol.
6. The same satisfying umami flavor sense provided by animal proteins can also be found in plant-based foods such as mushrooms, tomatoes and seaweed.
7. To satisfy the craving for “meaty” texture, vegetables such as eggplant, portobello mushrooms and bell peppers can make dishes heartier. Tempeh and tofu are two other great meat alternatives that are easy to prepare.
Recipes from Kendall College: