5 Little Known Facts About Vegetarian Cuisine
Whether you are wanting to cut your grocery shopping bill to squeeze more spending money into your budget or simply want to bring some extra veggies to the dinner table, vegetarian cuisine could be the answer you have been looking for.
When they hear vegetarian, some people think of a salad or an over-processed meat replacement, but vegetarian family meals, when cooked right with great, fresh ingredients, can be both filling and delicious for the whole family to eat and enjoy.
Many vegetarian meals are high in vital nutrients, low in unhealthy fats, and they can be a great resource for trying some different cuisines that you might not otherwise experience. For an easy weeknight dinner which means you can spend more time with your family, try some vegetarian comfort food packed with cheesy goodness.
The next time you are out at the supermarket or writing your week's meal plan, why not consider putting some tasty vegetarian recipes on the table.
So, to give you some inspiration to try some vegetarian dinner recipes, here is our list of 5 facts about vegetarian cuisine that you may not know.
Meat-free Mondays, sometimes called meatless Mondays, started back in 2003 to reduce meat consumption. Ever since its launch by Sid Lerner and the Johns Hopkins Center in America, it has spread all around the world, especially to us here in Australia.
The concept is simple, forgo meat for a single day a week to reap most of the benefits of a healthy vegetarian diet, and, best of all, reduce your impact on the environment.
For every person who dedicates a day of the week to eating plant-based food, two people can be fed in a third-world country. And, if the population of Australia committed to meatless Mondays, they would reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 18 billion kilometres of driving. Incredible, right!
To see the impact you could have, take a look at this calculator.
Many cuisines are grounded in vegetarian meals
Compared to many cultures, in Australia, vegetarian meals are much more widely accepted as a normal part of life. While we have some people who are vegetarian or vegan by choice, in some other countries, vegetarian dinners are the status quo, and meat is considered a rare treat.
Vegetarianism in India
Vegetarianism actually has deep roots in ancient India that persist to this day. Studies show that 39% of the Indian population describe themselves as vegetarian. Which probably explains why Indian vegetarian dinner recipes are so delicious!
While we have no complaints about a great butter chicken from our favourite Indian restaurant, there is a much larger world of vegetarian recipes available to explore.
You would be missing out if you never tried a classic lentil dahl, full of lentils, vegetables, and traditional Indian spices.
Vegetarian dinner recipes around the world
Another country with great, easy vegetarian recipes to draw inspiration from is Ethiopia. Traditionally served on a sourdough flatbread, Ethiopian stews and finger foods are classically vegetarian or vegan, packed with veggies and delicious herbs. A great way to get some great ideas is to cook a one-pot African stew.
Israeli culture is another great source of delicious food ideas, with falafel being one of the most popular foods in the country. If you are looking to be inspired by their protein-rich methods, try a pumpkin falafel with Middle Eastern roasted vegetables and let us know what you think.
Many other cultures have plenty of amazing recipes to offer, such as;
Chinese Buddhism brought us tofu and seitan, a traditionally vegetarian and vegan staple that is high in protein.
Orthodox Christianity, with the concepts of fasting and reducing meat intake.
Jamaican Rastafarian culture, with a large variety of vegetables to give some great recipe ideas.
Japanese cuisine has a huge variety of simple recipes to make a delicious dinner to impress your friends.
Your body loves vegetarian meals
There are many studies that claim a vegetarian or vegan diet has some really impressive benefits for your body. From reducing the chances of heart disease or cancer, to increasing your metabolism, there is plenty of evidence to back up many of these claims.
There is even research suggesting that eating plant-based food can change your genetics, unlocking genes that tackle disease and improving your general wellbeing.
Benefits of a vegetarian diet
Vegetarian dinners tend to be lower in calories than other alternatives, meaning that you will feel fuller while eating less. It is a great way to keep portion sizes under control and take your belt back a notch.
Many plant-based meals take less time to cook too, which can save you time on busy weeknights to spend with your family.
You can even make your favourite comfort food with a vegetarian twist for a healthy, guilt-free option.
So, what does this mean for you?
It means more motivation to dip your toes into the world of vegetarian cuisine. Whether or not you believe that vegetarian food will help you run an extra kilometre or focus for longer at work, the great tastes that you can find in healthy vegetarian recipes should be more than enough to convince you to try them out.
One great idea is to try making fried rice as a healthy crowd pleaser. Or make your usual pasta with a plant-based sauce and pack it full of veggies like sweet potatoes and broccoli.
Trying vegetarian recipes does not mean that you have to remove meat from your diet. Many of the studies shown indicate that replacing one or two meals a week with a vegetable-based alternative can provide a large portion of the potential benefits.
It is great for the environment
When it comes to vegetable-based meals, the real winner is the environment. Going green is a large consideration moving through this decade, and eating green is a great contribution.
So, what can eating vegetarian do for the environment?
Use less water
Fresh, potable water is a growing concern, especially in Australia, and our food sources have a large impact. Droughts and bushfires can be devastating, so any small way you can help can make a large difference.
It takes over twenty thousand litres of water to make one kilogram of meat, but only around two hundred litres for a kilogram of wheat. Even as a rough measurement and wheat is not a one-for-one replacement, it's clear that eating only vegetables occasionally can have a big impact.
Reduce greenhouse gases
With animal agriculture being a large contributor to greenhouse gases, mostly as by-products from animal agriculture, trying some vegetable-only recipes can have a large impact on emissions by reducing our reliance on costly farming practices.
Feed those less fortunate
With the ratio of land usage being so unfavourable towards meat production, choosing to eat non-meat meals actually increases the amount of food available worldwide.
It can be tricky to get protein
While there are notable large benefits to swapping to plant-based recipes, it is not necessarily an easy decision. Plant-based diets have some shortcomings, especially for those who completely exclude meat and other animal products.
Plant-based diets have slightly lower protein than omnivorous diets simply because meat is so protein-rich. If you are just swapping one or two meals for an easy vegetarian recipe, then you are unlikely to have any problems. If you are making a more drastic change, however, eating a large variety of foods, including eggs and dairy, is recommended.
To get the protein that you need, try having scrambled eggs for breakfast in the morning a few times a week, and cook cheese into your dishes too. Spinach and chickpeas are also great plant-based sources of protein too.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is a common issue in those with a strict vegetarian or vegan diet.
A deficiency in this vitamin can cause a wide range of issues, with bone fragility being the most prominent.
Once again, swapping one or two meals a week will not cause any problems, but a more drastic shift may necessitate some vitamin supplements.
Other essential nutrients
Some other essential ingredients for a healthy life can be lacking in some vegetables, with a large variety required to get everything you need. Amino acids can be a problem if you do not have enough diversity in your diet.
To get a boost of all the amino acids that you need, try lupin beans, soy or even quinoa for a boost.
Gluten-free can be challenging
If you have to stick to a gluten-free diet, vegetarian meals can be a challenge as many grains are strictly off-limits. Most fruits and vegetables are great for a gluten-free dinner however, just be sure to check the ingredients first.
For a great gluten-free, vegetarian option, try a vegan tikka masala. It's packed with pumpkin, cauliflower, and delicious Indian spices.
Try some vegetarian meals
A vegetarian dinner once or twice a week will not put you at risk of any kind of deficiency in your diet, so why not spice up your dinner menu next week with a vegetarian lasanga. It's kid-friendly, and your vegetarian friends will love it.
Try these delicious vegetarian dinner recipes
If you are ready to add great recipes to your weekly rotation, here are some of our favourites to give you a bit of inspiration.
A quiche is the perfect alternative to your usual family dish. It is packed with plenty of eggs, cheese, milk, and basil to keep you feeling fresh. And for a great texture, try cooking it with some pepitas.
A Greek spinach pie is a great dish for a cold evening. It is baked with feta cheese and spinach to provide you with the protein that you need.
Paneer, a high-acid Indian cheese, is sure to be a crowd-pleaser the next time you serve it to your family or friends.
A pumpkin soup is the perfect light meal for the family. Some crusty bread on the side will turn this soup into a real favourite.
Or if you would rather have the night off, Delidoor can provide all of the delicious vegetarian meals listed above, which means that you can take the night off and let us do the hard work for you.
We can make life simpler
Thinking it might be simpler to have us take care of your meals? At Delidoor, we offer over one hundred different meals for any occasion. And our tasty dinner ideas will keep your meal plan fresh.
So, if you have recently decided that a plant-based diet is a healthy alternative for you and your family, you can be assured that we cater not only for vegetarians but for all dietary requirements.
We believe in homemade cooking, which is packed full of fresh, nutritional ingredients and delicious flavours. The kind of meals you are happy to share with your family and friends.
Even if you only have one meal per week, that means one less dinner that you need to worry about preparing and cooking. So why not give yourself a day off, and let us provide your family meal.
But best of all, our meals are delivered to you frozen, which is the best way to ensure that you get the most nutrition and the best flavour.
At Délidoor, we love frozen food
When we launched Délidoor, we spent time and money researching the frozen food market. We discovered that frozen food can be high quality, tremendously tasty and beneficial for our bodies, our lives, and the environment.
Prepared by professional chefs with love, delivered directly to your doorstep with care, and with meal options to satisfy every dietary requirement and even the fussiest of eaters, you can be assured that Délidoor's dinner ideas will have the nutrition your body needs to make the most out of each day.