Preparing home-made dishes that do not contain meat, poultry and seafood can initially be challenging especially if one is used to this food group. Animal protein has a distinct texture, flavor and aroma that are challenging to imitate but not impossible!
With the rapid increase of chefs recipes people who refrain from or totally avoid consuming meat, easy cooking videos more and more restaurants are offering vegetarian options in their menu. Same goes for airlines and cruise ships. These are usually priced more expensively that other meal options and/or sometimes have to be requested ahead of time. Though vegetarians are rarely spoilt for choice in most restaurants, coffee shops and fast food joints, there are some that have a variety of vegetarian options or are flexible in converting some of their dishes.
Breakfast favorites like pancakes are naturally vegetarian unless served with bacon rashers of sausage links. Most soups, salads, sauces, dips and dressings can be made without the addition of meat. Quick easy-to-prepare snack items can be made by just combining fruits, grains.
Beans and mushrooms provide excellent amounts of quality protein and when cooked in certain ways mimic the texture of meat. If one even prefers the look and mouthfeel or real meat, textured soy proteins or vegemeat are widely available in the market as well.
Grilling imparts a depth and smoky flavor to dishes. Salad greens like lettuce and vegetables like onions and peppers take on a totally different character when tossed on the grill with olive oil or a simple marinade. Miso is a type of fermented food made from soybeans, barley or rice that originated in Japan is a staple in vegetarian cooking.
Make the most of what’s in season from your local market and compose a bouquet of green leafy vegetables and root crops drizzled with creamy dressings and zesty vinaigrettes or create an assortment of fruits creatively sliced and presented with a splash of lemon juice. Fruits and vegetables can also be combined into a virtual garden on a plate.
The recipes presented here include some amounts of dairy products while completely vegan–devoid of any animal products like eggs, cheese, milk and cream. By all means, convert these items into a vegan by replacing ingredients with nut milks, “cheeses” and vegetable shortenings. Care has to be taken in embarking on a vegetarian diet as it is easy to encounter certain nutritive deficiencies.