One thing vegetarian critics claim is that it is “expensive” to buy fresh vegetables and fruits daily. My answer is always Buy Seasonal! This means to buy vegetables and fruits that are currently in season. Seasonal produce is almost always cheaper than non-seasonal produce, since it is more readily available.
There are a lot of vegetables in-season in December, including broccoli, winter squash, and parsnips. For a guide on in-season produce, check out this Seasonality Chart. This website allows you to browse recipes by season, so no one will be able to complain about lack of available and affordable vegetables!
Also, for information on how to balance a teenager’s diet, please visit Deb Henderson’s blog Talkin’ Teen Nutrition for some great resources!
In her blog, you’ll learn about:
- An app called “Fooducate” that allows you to scan an item in the grocery store and compare it to other products to make a healthy choice
- The right amount of calories you need
- How to find a balance in regard to eating what you need to feel and stay healthy
For me, one of the most difficult aspects of eating vegetarian would have to be going out to restaurants. Choosing a restaurant that you and your friends/family can all agree on is a very difficult task, especially when you know their favorite steakhouse has few if any vegetarian options.
The HappyCow App for Androids, iPhones, Symbian Nokia, Windows 7 and WebOS Palm Pre was created to assist vegetarians in finding vegetarian restaurants within their current geographical locations.
Some of the features of HappyCow include:
- Interactive map with vegan/vegetarian filters
- Search mode and filters including price, rating, distance
- Restaurant reviews from others
- Directions to the restaurant
- Phone number and address of the restaurant
I would definitely recommend this app for travelers, who may have a difficult time findings restaurants with vegetarian options.
After much exploring on vegetarian-friendly websites, I have finally found and tried out a recipe to bring to Thanksgiving! I found the recipe for Rice Paper Rainbow Wraps (recipe below) on the Whole Foods website. I made about 6 on Friday (shown in a photo below) to test out the recipe and made some changes so I can include the veggies I like the most.
This is one tip that I can give you: when you alter a recipe, don’t be afraid to change or experiment with some of the ingredients. This way you personalize the recipe so you’ll be more likely to make it again and again.
When altering a recipe, make sure to consider incorporating these vitamins/minerals:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B12
As described in MedlinePlus, these vitamins/minerals are often lacking in vegetarian diets. Eating a variety of food groups and including many colors will help prevent nutrient, vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
For more information on how to incorporate these nutrients, listen to my Podcast!
Click Here for the recipe for these rice wraps:
The finished product!
With Thanksgiving around the corner, exploring vegetarian dishes to bring to my family gathering has become something of a priority. I’ve been jotting down some ideas and doing hefty amounts of research to find a recipe, with the best balance of flavor and texture, to make guests forget that this small hors d’oeuvre [GASP] does not contain any meat.
There are many ways to make vegetarian food satiating and taste hearty, while maintaining the nutritive value of the dish.
Some ideas on enhancing vegetarian food from my experience and from ChooseMyPlate include:
- Using Mrs. Dash spice blend to replace salt
- Use meat alternatives such as meatless beef, tempeh or tofu
- Include a carbohydrate and protein in the dish, such as quinoa and beans or salads with veggies, fruit and hard boiled eggs
- Try making meat-based dishes, such as lasagna, more vegetarian-friendly by substituting the meat with vegetables such as summer squash and zucchini
I’m currently looking through websites, including Cooking Light, for inspiration on dishes to prepare for Thanksgiving.