With the New Year often comes a desire to adopt new eating habits. The good news is you don’t have to go “cold tofurkey!” Integrating meatless meals into your lifestyle is a choice that can be very simple to achieve. Stop by The Local Grocer for many vegetarian and vegan options and products!
There are several types of non-meat eaters out there – decide which works best for you and makes the most sense for your individual nutritional needs. The types of non-meat diets include:
- Lacto-ovo vegetarians eat both eggs and dairy products.
- Lacto vegetarians eat dairy products, but not eggs.
- Ovo vegetarians eat eggs, but not dairy products.
- Vegan means you don’t eat meat, poultry, fish or anything that comes from animals. Vegans have also removed all dairy products, eggs and honey from their diets.
To ease into the “veggie” lifestyle, try starting the week with “Meatless Monday” – it’s a great way to experiment with new recipes for your family without disrupting too much of the regular menu. If a whole day without eating meat doesn’t sound possible, try eliminating it from one or two of your meals for the day.
Use meatless protein in your favorite recipes. Preparing dishes your family is used to and substituting tofu or tempeh can be an easy way to ease them into meatless eating. These soy proteins have very neutral flavors – you can use the same marinades you use for making meat dishes, but it’s best to marinate meatless protein for at least four hours, 24 or more whenever possible.
Start with soups. Many soups are easily converted to vegetarian or vegan with a pre-made vegetable broth, or veggie or mushroom bouillon. Switch animal fats to vegetable fats – use coconut oil to replace butter, coconut milk or flax milk to replace cow’s milk.
Whatever your motivation to eliminate meat or other animal products from your diet, these tips will help you ease into it and still serve your family meals they enjoy. Here’s a meatless recipe that has plenty of protein, vitamins and flavor:
- 14 ounces soft tofu
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup red onion, diced
- 1 cup bell pepper, diced
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 avocado, 1/4-inch dice
- 1 teaspoon parsley, minced
- Crumble tofu into 1-inch pieces.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat.
- Add olive oil and once hot and shimmering, add garlic and onion.
- Add bell pepper and spinach, cook until spinach is wilted.
- Add tofu, salt, turmeric and black pepper, stirring to combine.
- Cook and stir until tofu is hot and evenly coated in the seasoning.
- Season with more salt and pepper as desired.
- Top with avocado and parsley.
Photography By Kayce McClure