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Eating a vegetarian diet doesn’t have to mean eating salads day after day. In fact, with so many plant-based diets growing in popularity, enjoying a varied and flavorful vegetarian lifestyle is easier than ever before. From protein-rich grains and nutrient-dense veggie recipes to delicious meat substitutes, it’s unlikely you’ll feel any sense of meat FOMO on a vegetarian diet. But if you’re unsure on what the benefits are when going meat-free, need some helpful tips for rounding out your vegetarian shopping list, or looking for a little vegetarian recipe inspiration, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s an overview on what it means to shop, eat, and enjoy a vegetarian way of life.
What Is Vegetarian?
Eating “vegetarian” simply means you don’t eat meat. But does that mean eggs are off the list, too? What about dairy? The truth is, vegetarianism isn’t a one-size-fits-all diet. In fact, there are many forms of vegetarians, including those who eat eggs but avoid dairy, those who eat dairy but avoid eggs, and those who eat both dairy and eggs (not to be confused with a vegan diet, which avoids both dairy and eggs).
Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet
Believe it or not there are quite a few benefits to eating a vegetarian diet. For starters, you’re less likely to consume as much saturated fat and cholesterol as meat eaters do, and you’re more likely to increase your intake of key vitamins and minerals found in vegetables and plant-based meals.
Tips for Eating Vegetarian
Perhaps one of the biggest areas of concern when eating a vegetarian diet is whether you’ll find enough suitable, non-meat protein sources. Thankfully, there’s a large list of plant-based sources of protein to choose from, including the following kitchen staples:
- Nuts and seeds
Top Vegetarian Brands
Add these vegetarian must-haves to your next shopping list.
This superfood-powered brand is on a mission to bring you the purest ingredients possible while remaining true to its commitment to sustainability and passion for giving back to local communities.
Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
Crafted in Southeast Asia where fresh coconuts are cold-pressed immediately after harvesting and never bleached, refined, or deodorized, this pantry must-have is a multitasking wonder. And when it comes to whipping up delicious vegetarian dishes, you’ll reach for it again and again.
This fan favorite offers a wide selection of pantry staples from oats and flour to cereal and granola. But what’s truly unique is that each product is made from whole foods, all organic and sourced directly from farmers.
This finely ground flour is made from whole almonds with the skin on and nothing else, and is ideal for both cooking and baking everything from breads to pancakes, cookies, and cakes.
Lundberg Farms offers a variety of everyday essentials (like rice, quinoa, chips, and other snacks), and boasts a legacy of family farming. This close-to-the earth, certified organic brand also ensures every product isn’t just high quality but also ethically sourced and sustainably grown.
You’ll love the wonderfully nutty flavor and pleasant texture that makes this short-grain rice the perfect match for everything from fried rice to rice pudding. No matter how you enjoy it, it’s a wonderful source of fiber.
Recipes for Eating Vegetarian
Turn up the heat with these sensational vegetarian recipes.
We probably had you when we mentioned baked brie, but our recipe takes the warm, creamy dish a step further with dried figs, walnuts, pistachios, pine nuts, minced rosemary, and a generous drizzle of honey.
Looking for a salad with layers of texture? This recipe gets the job done and then some with sprouted brown rice, savory lentils, chewy dried cranberries and apricots, bright, flavorful herbs like mint and cilantro, and a light citrus dressing.
There’s nothing boring about this tofu bowl, which pairs a sweet and spicy marinade of chili powder, cayenne pepper, orange juice, and maple syrup with comforting soba noodles and bok choy. You’re in for a treat for the senses.