Vegetarian cooking is for everyone in the family, from baby to the centurian and is not as difficult as you might imagine. Everyone in the family can benefit from a diet high in vegetables, fruit, nuts, and seeds with little to no animal protein and fats.
Some people chose a vegetarian lifestyle because of political reasons, others because of religious reasons and still others are animal activists. Social, economic and health reasons round out the motivations that are common for choosing a vegetarian lifestyle.
Most vegetarians eat no animal flesh at all; no red meat, no fish, no fowl and no game. Some vegetarians will eat eggs and dairy products while others will eat neither. How you make your meals will depend upon a variety of vegetables that range in color and texture. You want to include high quality oils, sea salts and organic foods.
When you are cooking do not substitute textured vegetable protein, such as tofu or tempeh, for meat in your meals. There are recipes that use those proteins in the meal and the meal is designed for them.
Cooking is chemistry in the kitchen. In other words, mixing foods together is really the same as mixing chemicals in the lab together – there is a specific mixture that will produce excellent results. Using high quality contents makes for delicious meals. Substituting textured vegetable proteins for meat in recipes that require meat only leads to poor tasting meals using a high cost product.
Most families also enjoy pastas. Your cooking can include whole grain pastas and spaghettis. Using whole grain pasta, and not whole wheat pasta, will make an improvement in the food you eat and your health. Add plenty of vegetables to increase the fiber content of the meal and reduce the calorie intake. One recipe with pasta can include lots of vegetables tossed with a good flavored olive oil that was sautéed with garlic.
Pizzas are a wonderful addition to your recipe arsenal. Diced tomatoes, olive oil or red sauce and quick sautéed vegetables will tempt your taste buds. Cheese is actually optional on pizza!
But your vegetarian meals do not stop there. Chinese foods can be very healthy when you steer clear of the fried foods and the dishes that feature noodles. Stick with the sautéed vegetables. Do you have a favorite sauce? You can request that sauce over your favorite vegetables – hold the meat please!
When you are cooking your meals you also have children to consider. As vegetarian diets are becoming more popular several good vegetarian cookbooks have been written specifically to meet the caloric and nutritional needs of children. Salads and cooked vegetables will not meet the needs of your children. But a properly balanced vegetarian diet will.
When you are a vegetarian, cooking for everyone in your family, you may have a bit more planning to do but the end results are definitely worth the effort. You and your family are healthier and more energetic. You can face the world with more energy than you’ve ever had!