Vegetarian and Vegan Meal Delivery in Sydney
Vegan and vegetarian meals are enjoyed around the world for more reasons than you might expect. But what are the main differences between vegan and vegetarian diets? Why do people sometimes choose to eat meat-free meals? And what are vegetarians and vegans looking for in ready-made meals?
Vegetarian vs vegan
When talking about vegetarian and vegan diets, the important distinction is that both diets exclude meat. Typical vegetarian meals don't consume meat, be it red, white, poultry, or fish. A vegan diet excludes all types of meat, like vegetarian, but also eliminates animal products, which usually include dairy products and eggs but can also include honey and many other food items.
In the modern day, vegetarian diets are typically adopted for religious, health, or personal beliefs, but most people who take up a meat-free diet for personal beliefs usually take up a plant-based diet. However, simple vegetarian and vegan diets aren't the only two that you may encounter.
Lacto ovo vegetarian
Lacto ovo vegetarian is the most common form of the vegetarian diet. Lacto ovo, or sometimes shortened to lacto vegetarian, allows you to eat eggs and dairy products without any meat.
Lacto ovo vegetarians generally eat in this particular way for the many noted health benefits, such as a lower risk of cardiovascular disease or heart disease, lower cholesterol, weight loss, and overall health.
A plant-based diet is generally synonymous with vegan, with no meat or animal products, which mostly constricts your options to plant-based food or similar food from plant sources.
Some consider the plant-based label a more health-focused term, avoiding the vegan label, but the two diets are essentially the same.
Pescatarian meals are vegetarian, with the allowed inclusion of any fish or sea creature. The primary reason why people would take up a pescatarian diet is for the proposed significant health benefits of reducing your intake of red meat and poultry. Many people who would like to eat vegetarian or vegan diets but are concerned about the additional dietary needs, and extra nutritional requirements, will instead choose to practice pescatarianism.
Semi-vegetarians choose to eat primarily meat-free and plant-based meals, but not as a commitment, only to reduce their intake of meat and animal products. Cooking for semi-vegetarians, as such, should be no different from cooking for anyone else, but it always helps to ask first.
What do vegetarians tend to eat?
So, at the end of the day, vegetarians have many options for meals, as there are plenty of dairy and egg-based meat replacements that are great protein sources. Similar to meat-eaters, vegetarians enjoy rich, hearty meals. The only difference is they do not eat meat.
Most dinners can be easily adapted into a vegetarian version with the inclusion of tofu, paneer, extra vegetables, or one of the many meat replacements that are available today. The focus on just removing meat from your diet means that very little is lost with flavour, nutrition, and texture, so vegetarians can eat very similar-looking meals to meat-eaters.
The difference in dietary sacrifices between vegetarian and vegan diets is a lot larger than what you see between meat-inclusive and vegetarian. Removing all animal products from meals, not just meat, can mean many cuisines are off the table. Almost any meal can be prepared as vegan, but relying on only plant foods can make it far more difficult to make.
Vegan food often includes similar plant-based proteins such as tofu, hearty vegetables, other soy products, and meat substitutes. The lack of any dairy, egg, or animal foods will often mean that vegan food can be difficult to prepare, or look vastly different from a vegetarian option.
While there are numerous proven health benefits to swapping to a strictly vegetarian or vegan diet, there are also plenty of additional nutritional needs that can very easily be left by the wayside. Any exclusionary diet (removing something from what you'd usually eat) will need some investigation to ensure that you aren't missing out on the nutrients that your body is used to having in good supply.
Iron and haem iron
With the exclusion of red meat, it can be a lot harder to get enough iron into your food. While other foods do contain iron, red meat is full of easily absorbed haem iron, while plant foods only contain non-haem iron.
So vegetarian and vegan diets should include more intentional sources of iron, such as spinach, legumes, and leafy greens. Many will also consider fortified foods to bolster their diet.
Vitamin B12 is an extremely important part of any diet, though you may not have heard of it as most people will very rarely struggle to consume enough. Vegetarian or vegan diets, however, often are required to include supplements or consume fortified foods to make up for the lack of vitamin B12 in their food.
Vitamin B12 is found in abundance in animal products, as it's generally present in the ground and animal feed, which makes its way to your plate.
Vitamin D is present in most animal products, so vegetarians rarely need to consider finding any extra for their meal planning. A dairy product-exclusive vegan diet requires additional Vitamin D to thrive, which can be found in whole grains and wholegrain cereals. You can also find most of your vitamin D by getting a nice tan!
Other dietary concerns
Both vegetarians and vegans have to watch what they eat with careful planning and occasional supplements. In addition to finding enough vitamin C, D, B12, iron, and essential amino acids, these diets recommend consulting a medical professional for a check-up each year to stay on track.
All considered, eating healthy meals from various cuisines, freshly cooked and using good quality ingredients will account for most of the nutritional requirements, and lead to a healthy diet.
Replace some regular meals with meat-free replacements
A well-planned vegetarian diet has many excellent health benefits, but you don't need to quit meat to live a long and healthy life. There is plenty of research that shows a direct connection between eating a little less meat and a significant reduction in heart disease and other serious health conditions. Including a plant-based or vegetarian meal or two in your weekly menu can give you the extra kick of energy you need to feel a little better.
Many people around Australia are doing just that - taking a single day each week to avoid meat to save money, eat a little healthier, and help out the planet too. Meat Free Mondays is an organisation that provides facts and recipes to help you swap out a meal here or there.
Catering for people on vegan and vegetarian diets
Whether you're cooking yourself, booking a table at a restaurant, or ordering ready-made meals online, catering for those on an exclusive diet can feel like a challenge. A plant-based diet that only allows for plant foods can struggle to find the essential nutrients, enough protein, and variety to make for a healthy diet.
So, when you're preparing food, finding some recipes that really work well can help you find what does and doesn't work for your vegan friend or family member. Checking online for recipes or ordering vegan ready-made meals is the perfect way to find the next great idea.
Ready-made meals for a vegetarian or vegan diet
If you aren't accustomed to following a vegan diet or vegetarian diet, cooking new meals without meat or animal products can be a real challenge. A great way to try new recipes and see just how tasty a plant-based meal can be is by ordering some vegetarian or vegan meals from a meal delivery service.
At Délidoor, alongside our broad range of meat-inclusive meals, we offer options for people on a vegetarian diet, vegan diet, or those who would just like to try something different.
This stew includes sweet potatoes to enrich a delicious combination of ginger, onion, and jalapeno. With a great recipe prepared by professional chefs, you could get some nifty ideas for your own stew - and your vegan friends will love it.
Falafels are a fantastic meat alternative protein to include in a vegan or vegetarian dish. It's a blend of chickpeas, filler, and delicious spices, so it can help account for some of the deficiencies in a vegan and vegetarian diet. But they require a little bit of finesse as they can be a little dry if they aren't paired with a rich sauce or juicy vegetable.
Our falafel dish will give you some great ideas to include on your weekly menu, and it tastes great!
Couscous is a go-to option for vegans and vegetarians trying to add some extra whole grains to their diet, as it's both filling and a great source of vitamins. In a salad, couscous carries rich flavours while remaining light and fluffy.
Our Moroccan salad includes flavoursome roast vegetables and nuts for some healthy oils.