“Animals are my friends… and I don’t eat my friends.” If these words by George Bernard Shaw inspired you to become a vegetarian, we have three tasty foods for you that will make it easy to forget about steaks and burgers.
Quinoa, which is pronounced as KEEN-wah, is like a grain and a seed at the same time and it is known as a pseudocereal. The seeds that grow on the quinoa plant are actually quite high in starch. These seeds need to be highly processed and manipulated to become a grain substitute.
Most whole grains, when unprocessed, are good for some carbohydrates and a smattering of B vitamins. This is not the case with quinoa. The reason why quinoa is considered as a vegetarian food:
- high in amino acids, particularly lysine – you can get from this food the same stuff you get from steak.
- it doesn’t have the high fat content and it can actually help lower your cholesterol.
- Quinoa also tastes great.
Tons of quinoa recipes can be found on the internet, and you can even get it in flour form. You can bake your own quinoa concoctions and reap the benefits of the amino acids without the fat. Even if you don’t keep to a strict vegetarian diet you should think about incorporating quinoa in your diet to improve your health.
Seaweed is actually considered quite a delicacy in regions where it is difficult to grow vegetables. For instance, Japan is big into seaweed because they don’t have much arable land, and they are surrounded by the ocean where seaweed is abundant.
Soups, salads, and mixed greens are all great places to add seaweed into your diet. Yes, you do need to eat your vegetables – but mix in seaweed to get some different nutrients and break the cycle of broccoli and string beans.
Seaweed has a great number of advantages over lettuce and other Western greens. Seaweeds are high in
- dietary iron, and they can help fight anemia, especially in women.
- it provides you with Magnesium, B vitamins, calcium, iodine and vitamin C.
There are many different types of seaweeds out there and if you are looking to break out from your boring vegetable routine, try some seaweed in your next salad. You may be pleasantly surprised.
Tofu is actually an awesome food. It’s like a blank canvas that inspired vegetarian chefs to create a multitude of dishes from. The best thing about tofu is its protein. Your steak and this sticky white stuff have the same amount of body building amino acids. The difference is that tofu has cholesterol lowering agents such as omega-3 fatty acids. It is also extremely high in calcium which can help older adults avoid the process of osteoporosis.
How does it taste? Well, for some it is an acquired taste. For some people, this stuff can taste like a juicy hamburger. For others, it can taste like that paste you ate in first grade. As with most vegetarian foods, it’s all about how you prepare it. Fortunately, there are many products in the market that use tofu as a meat substitute. Try tofu burgers or tofu hot dogs. They are out there, they taste great, and they are healthier for you.
Vegetarian foods are among some of the healthiest foods out there. Exchange one vegetable dish for a seaweed concoction, eat tofu instead of steak at one meal per week, and work in some quinoa into your lifestyle. Your body will thank you and you may find that these “substitutes” are pretty appetizing in their own right.