Veg-Head 101

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If you haven’t heard, October is Vegetarian Awareness Month. By a weird coincidence, guess which little chickie is a vegetarian! (Need a hint…cheep cheep). Now, while I know that everyone wants to know why I’m a vegetarian and my stance on not vegetarians and blah blah blah, because I’m changing some of the habits in my life this month, I’m only going to harp on the health benefits of being a vegetarian as far as I am aware of (and by that I mean talk about my favourite meals and foods in general). Deal?

First off, I want to preface all of this by saying that I am actually a pescitarian, or a lacto-ovo vegetarian. This means that while I don’t eat meat, I eat fish and animal bi-products. The reason that I refer to myself as a vegetarian is that for one, I just learned the technical term for what I am, and for two, it’s just a lot easier to say vegetarian. The second preface I have is this, I do believe in everything in moderation. I am a generally healthy person, but if I find that I am craving something particularly unhealthy, I will have a little bit (or a lot) of it, because I believe that denying yourself of something that you do want, particularly when dieting) is a good way to fall off the wagon, fast. With that being said, here are some of the greatest vegetarian meals known to kimanity.

Seven Layer Dip

I use the number “seven” loosely because depending on the day (and my budget) there could be a lot of layers in the dip. I also use the word “dip” loosely, because even without the tortilla chips, it’s wonderful. Okay, when I find that I want seven layer dip, this is what I normally think of: spinach (not lettuce) chopped up, tomatoes diced, both green and black olives, pinto and black beans mixed, sharp cheddar cheese (white or yellow, doesn’t matter ), veggie crumbles (Quorn is the greatest), and A BUNCH of sour cream. Granted, not in that order, unless you want it in that order, but layered in a Pyrex container and left in the fridge for a little bit, this is a great quick easy healthy meal that leaves you full, but not feeling like you cheated if you’re dieting (unless you heap sour cream on top, but that’s just me)

Macaroni and Cheese

This dish is perfect for lazy, broke, teenage college kids. I’m not talking about those awful things that come in a box with powdered “cheese” that tastes like flavoured dirt (we all know what I’m talking about here). No. I’m talking about honest to God, homemade family secret recipe macaroni and cheese that’s gooey and rich and can have anything paired with or incorporated into it. “The New Best Recipe” book has the greatest baked macaroni and cheese recipe that I’ve ever tasted (minus my grandmothers). Although I don’t add the breadcrumbs that are suggested in the directions, I will sometimes add green beans, or mushrooms or shrimp (already cooked) or a combination of those three, to the casserole before it goes into the oven.  It is the greatest thing known to mankind.

Lasagne

Now, I’ve only made lasagne by myself a few times (and by myself I mean with my Nana) but when we make it, it’s always good enough to make us wish we had made more. Using between three and five types of cheese (can you tell yet that I love cheese), cooked kale, homemade tomato sauce, veggie crumbles and of course, pre-cooked lasagne. Once the ingredients are layered and baked together, aahhhhhh, perfection.

Fruits and Veggies

Being a vegetarian, I am (subsequently) a fruitarian as well. That’s totally okay with me. I love all different kinds of fruits and vegetables, and I will try anything once. My mom has taught me that choosing produce that is in season ultimately tastes better and is better for you, and you know what? She was right!

http://www.nourishinteractive.com/healthy-living/free-nutrition-articles/98-vegetables-by-season

http://www.nourishinteractive.com/healthy-living/free-nutrition-articles/104-fruits-by-season if you get the chance, click the links, they’re cheat sheets to most of the fruits and vegetables thought of, that are grown by season. Fresh is also better than frozen, unless you’ve frozen it yourself. Speaking of frozen, frozen grapes are the best snack (in my opinion). Try them yourself to find out why.

So, that’s it. Those are my two cents on vegetarianism (unless I am requested to add more), that wasn’t so painful, right? My challenge to all of you, for the month (or even just a week) try giving up meat. I don’t have a real reason for you; I just like being a vegetarian. The worst that that can happen is what? If you don’t like it, or don’t feel like you can do it, don’t. If you do, good luck.

* Please talk to a nutritionist before making any major diet changes. They might request that you take multivitamins, or protein powder (both of which were requested of me and I keep forgetting to do). Those requests are meant to help you make sure your body has everything it needs (specifically protein) to continue functioning properly. Failure to listen to your doctor could cause in you ending up like me…and that’s mildly terrifying.

 

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