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The Lifestyle Guide To Being A Vegetarian

What Is A Vegetarian?
What To Eat
Benefits
Types
How To Handle Social Situations
Maintain Your Weight 
Helpful Products

What Is A Vegetarian?
In this guide to being a vegetarian, there are many different types of vegetarians, but in general, a vegetarian is someone who doesn’t eat meat or seafood. Some vegetarians also avoid eggs and dairy products, while others will consume them. There are also different types of vegetarians, such as ovo-lacto vegetarians, lacto-vegetarians, and vegans.

Why Should You Be A Vegetarian?
A vegetarian diet is low in unhealthy fats and contains healthy plant-based proteins, fiber, and antioxidants. Vegetarians are less likely to develop cancer than meat-eaters and tend to weigh less than those with a meat-intense diet.

What To Eat As A Vegetarian?
– Eggs
– Cheese
– Nuts and
– Seeds
– Quinoa
– Pulses
– Tofu
– Tempeh
– Edamame beans

The Benefits Of Being A Vegetarian
– Reduces your risk of heart disease, obesity, hypertension, type II diabetes, and some forms of cancer
– Lowers rates of cholesterol levels and blood pressure
– Helps you maintain a healthy weight without counting calories or restricting portion sizes

Different Types Of Vegetarianism
– Vegetarians
– Lacto Ovo Vegetarians
 Ovo Vegetarian
– Pescetarian
– Vegan
– Flexitarian
– A Raw Vegan

How To Handle Social Situations As A Vegetarian?
– Bring a dish to share
– Visit restaurants that cater to vegetarians
– Ask for help

How To Stay Healthy And Maintain Your Weight As A Vegetarian
– Include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet; these will give you the nutrients you need while keeping calories low and supplying the required dietary fiber.
– Avoid high-fat foods like grilled cheese, bacon, and cream sauces
– Try to eat moderate amounts of protein, about .36 grams per pound of body weight each day should be enough
– Drink plenty of fluids each day
– Have a fruit-smoothy each day
– Add lemon juice to your water for a refreshing drink
– Rely on beans and whole grains as the basis of most meals
– Substitute meat with high-protein vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and orchard
– Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables daily [Aim for about five servings daily]

There is often a misunderstanding when it comes to the word vegetarian. Many people believe that it means a person who does not eat meat. This is not the case. A Flexitarian diet, for instance, is semi-vegetarian, who occasionally eats meat, poultry, or fish. They are also called partial vegetarians.

A vegetarian diet can be one of the healthiest diets you can follow for your lifestyle. Whether you want to improve your fitness, lose weight, or enjoy healthier meals, this blog will give you everything you need to get started with a vegetarian diet!

Vegetarianism is a personal choice

Vegetarianism, a diet excluding meat, fish, and poultry, reflects a personal choice that warrants respect. Diverse motivations lead individuals to adopt this lifestyle, emphasizing the importance of non-judgment towards their decision.

Vegetarians often utilize meat substitutes to diversify their meals, showing that this dietary choice is not just about restrictions but also about exploring alternative food options. [1][2]

o explore this further, including the motivations and lifestyle adjustments involved, read more about what it means to be healthy.

Toasted sandwiches in a post about guide to being a vegetarian

Why should you be a vegetarian?

Adopting a vegetarian diet can significantly enhance your health. This plant-based eating pattern is known to decrease the risk of major health concerns like heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.

A vegetarian diet, rich in healthy plant-based proteins, fiber, and antioxidants, offers a balanced nutritional profile. It is typically low in unhealthy fats, contributing to better heart health and weight management.

Moreover, the abundance of fiber and antioxidants in vegetarian meals supports digestive health and can aid in preventing chronic diseases. In summary, becoming a vegetarian can be a powerful step towards a healthier, more balanced lifestyle. [3][4]

What to eat as a vegetarian?

The vegetarian diet is very diverse, and no foods are off-limits. In fact, there are so many ways to eat a vegan meal plan that you may have trouble deciding what to put on your plate. Healthy eating starts today.

Here’s a quick guide to some of the most popular veggie dishes:

Protein food sources in a post about guide to being a vegetarian
Guide To Being A Vegetarian 2 1

Vegetarian protein sources

A vegetarian diet can be healthy and fulfilling if you make smart food choices. For example, eggs are an animal-based source of complete protein, but they can also contain high cholesterol levels, which means that too many will lead to health issues like heart disease.

While there is no vegetarian equivalent for meat, there are some ways that you can get the required nutrients found in meat without eating meat or dairy. A well-planned vegetarian diet needs protein.

  • Eggs and Cheese: High-quality protein sources with essential nutrients. [5]
  • Nuts and Seeds: Rich in protein and healthy fats, ideal for snacking or meal additions. [6]
  • Quinoa: A gluten-free, whole-grain carbohydrate and complete protein, containing all essential amino acids. [7]
  • Pulses (Beans, Peas, Chickpeas, Lentils): Low-fat protein sources, high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals; contribute to daily fruit and vegetable intake. [8]
  • Tofu (Bean Curd): Made from coagulated soy milk, pressed into blocks; gluten-free, low-calorie, cholesterol-free, and rich in iron and calcium; gypsum (calcium sulfate) is commonly used as a coagulant. [9]
  • Tempeh: Soy-based, used as a meat alternative; rich in vitamin B12 and complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids; fermented, making it easier to digest and beneficial for gut health.[10]
  • Edamame Beans: Whole, immature soybeans; gluten-free, low in calories, cholesterol-free, and an excellent source of protein, iron, and calcium. [11]

Did you know? Soaking beans for at least 12 hours significantly reduces their phytic acid content, a process enhanced by draining and rinsing multiple times, as the acid leaches into the water. Additionally, cooking methods like fermentation, used in processes like sourdough making, and boiling, especially after soaking, are effective in further diminishing the phytic acid in beans. [12][13][14]

How long does it take for someone to become a vegetarian?                         

Becoming a vegetarian takes time to transition into a full-time, meatless eater. Many people go through several stages before finally becoming an official vegetarian – but this doesn’t mean they’re any less committed! Some common steps include removing beef first, then chicken later. 

How to handle social situations as a vegetarian?

Handling social situations as a vegetarian can be a breeze with some practical tips.

  • Soak beans to reduce phytic acid for better digestion.[15]
  • Bring a dish to share at social events to ensure you have an option and introduce others to vegetarian food.
  • Look for vegetarian-friendly restaurants with dedicated menus or customizable dishes.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask for dietary customizations at restaurants.[16]
  • Explore diverse vegetarian diets, including vegan and lacto-ovo, for a wide range of food choices.
  • Discover numerous vegetarian recipes online and in cookbooks for an enjoyable culinary experience.[17]

The benefits of being a vegetarian

The Health benefits of being on a vegan diet are numerous and well-documented. According to the American Dietetic Association, vegetarians have lower rates of heart disease, obesity, hypertension, type II diabetes, and some forms of cancer.

  • Reduces your risk of heart disease, obesity, hypertension, type II diabetes, and some forms of cancer
  • Lowers rates of cholesterol levels and blood pressure
  • Helps you maintain a healthy weight without counting calories or restricting portion sizes
A vegetarian making food in a post about guide to being a vegetarian

How to stay healthy and maintain your weight as a vegetarian 

A vegetarian diet can be healthy and help you maintain weight, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Becoming a vegetarian need not be stressful.

  • Leverage Vegetarian Diet Benefits: Embrace the health advantages of a vegetarian diet, which can help you maintain a healthy weight while providing essential nutrients without excess calories.[18]
  • Balanced Diet Composition: Focus on a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These foods offer vital nutrients and dietary fiber, keeping you satisfied and aiding in weight management.[19]
  • Protein Moderation: Ensure an adequate but moderate protein intake, typically around 0.36 grams per pound of body weight. Excellent vegetarian sources of protein include legumes, tofu, nuts, and seeds.[20]
  • Stay Hydrated: Hydration is essential for overall health and can support weight management. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.[21]
  • Fruit and Vegetable Diversity: Incorporate a variety of fruits and vegetables into your daily meals. Aim for at least five servings per day, including citrus fruits for vitamin C, which promotes good health.[22]
  • Leafy Greens for Antioxidants: Boost your diet with leafy greens, aiming for three to four servings weekly. These greens are rich in antioxidants, which reduce inflammation and strengthen your immune system.[23]
  • Dairy Alternatives: If you opt for dairy alternatives, explore plant-based options such as rice, soy, coconut, and almond milk. These substitutes can provide essential nutrients without compromising your vegetarian lifestyle.[24]

Substitute your diet with vitamins

Vegan diets need special care as they will obtain a lower body mass index. substituting your diet with vitamins can be a good way to stay healthy. a multivitamin may be needed during and after your new healthy vegetarian diet.

Taking a vitamin D supplement & vitamin C will help your immune system.

Bone health is essential, and an excellent supplement to maintain bone health is recommended.

vitamin B 12 (particularly soy and rice beverages and breakfast cereals), or take a vitamin B 12 supplement to avoid a deficiency, which can cause neurological problems and pernicious anemia.

Iron. Studies show that in Western countries, vegetarian diets tend to get the same amount of iron as meat eaters. But the iron in meat (especially red meat) is more readily absorbed than in plant foods, known as non-heme iron. The absorption of non-heme iron is enhanced by vitamin C and other acids found in fruits and vegetables. Therefore remember to include high vitamin C foods or take a vitamin C supplement in your vegetarian diet.[25][26][27][28]

Dairy products on the table in a post about guide to being a vegetarian
Guide To Being A Vegetarian 4

Dairy foods when it comes to being a vegetarian

Dairy foods such as cheese, milk, and other dairy products are often an important part of vegetarian diets. However, vegetarianism is not one diet set in stone because vegetarian foods can vary quite a bit from vegetarian to vegetarian.

MILK

Milk does work well in many vegetarian recipes, but many vegans cannot or choose not to drink milk. To stay healthy when you are avoiding dairy, it’s vital that you make sure your diet includes enough calcium and vitamin D. Some non-dairy sources for these include almonds, broccoli, oranges, beans soybeans, fortified juice, tofu, bok choy, collards, kale  (World’s Healthiest Foods). [29][30][31]

How to transition into this new plant foods lifestyle smoothly?   

Start off small. Reduce your meat intake by one portion a week, and increase your vegetable intake by the same amount. Gradually replace different foods with plant-based alternatives until you’re 100% vegan!

You may also consider taking supplements or adding nutritional yeast to your vegan diet.  Yeast is a good source of Vitamin B12, which can be challenging for new vegans to obtain from their diets as it’s usually only found in animal products such as meat.[32][33]

How to make the switch to vegetarianism easier on your body?

To ease the transition to vegetarianism for your body, start by gradually cutting out meat. Begin with a few meatless meals each week, then increase to full meatless days. This step-by-step approach helps your body comfortably adjust to the new diet.

Everyone’s transition pace is different. Some might switch quickly, while others may need months. This is normal and depends on personal preferences and lifestyle adjustments.

It’s important to include various plant-based proteins in your vegetarian diet. This ensures you get a balanced intake of essential nutrients, making the dietary shift smoother and healthier. [34][35][36]

Different types of vegetarianism

There are many types of vegetarianism. It’s essential to find one that fits your lifestyle and needs. If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few common types:

  1. Vegetarians: Typically avoid all types of meat, including poultry and fish, but consume dairy products and eggs. This diet is chosen for various reasons, including health, ethical, and environmental concerns.
  2. Lacto Ovo Vegetarians: Exclude all meat, fish, and poultry from their diet, but include both dairy products and eggs. This diet maintains a balance of plant-based foods while allowing some animal-derived products.
  3. Lacto Vegetarians: Avoid meat, fish, poultry, and eggs, but consume dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt. This diet is often chosen for health reasons or ethical concerns about animal welfare.
  4. Vegans: Strictly avoid all animal products and byproducts, including meat, fish, poultry, dairy, eggs, and honey. Vegans often choose this diet for ethical, environmental, or health reasons.
  5. Flexitarians: Primarily consume a plant-based diet but occasionally include meat, fish, or poultry. This diet offers flexibility and is often chosen for health benefits while allowing for dietary variety.
  6. Raw Vegans: Consume only uncooked and unprocessed plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and grains. This diet focuses on the health benefits of raw foods and natural nutrients. [37]

Vegetarian meals: recipes

Use this excellent conversion calculator to convert your recipes to your preferred measurements from weight to volume.

Lentils with rice in a post about guide to being a vegetarian
Guide To Being A Vegetarian 5

Lentils with rice or bread

  • 14 ounces dry brown lentils rinsed.(1.75 cups)
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed or as to taste.
  • 1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (Optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon yellow curry powder (Optional)
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice.

This is ideal for a vegan diet.

  • Fill a large pot with lightly salted water; add lentils and bring to a rolling boil. Cook until slightly softened, about 15-20  minutes. 
  • Heat olive oil in the same pot over medium heat; add onions and garlic. Cook and stir until onions wilt and become transparent, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Add carrots and lentils and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until carrots are soft but still firm. (Add enough water to the pot to keep the lentil mixture from drying out) Pour off extra water.
  • Sprinkle cumin, cayenne, curry powder, some extra salt, and pepper over lentils; stir until heated through and fragrant.  Serve over rice. Healthy eating at its best. [38]
Vegetarian chili recipe in a post about guide to being a vegetarian
Guide To Being A Vegetarian 6

Vegetarian chili recipe

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder*
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoon smoked paprika*
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 large can (28 ounces) or 2 small cans (15 ounces each) of diced tomatoes with their juices.
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) of pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnishing
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons of sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar, or lime juice to taste
  • Garnishes: chopped cilantro, sliced avocado, tortilla chips, sour cream or crème fraîche, grated cheddar cheese, etc.

This is ideal for a vegan diet.

  • In a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil until shimmering. Add the chopped onion, bell pepper, carrot, celery, and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine and cook, occasionally stirring, until the vegetables are tender and the onion is translucent about 7 to 10 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and oregano. Cook until fragrant while constantly stirring, about 1 minute.
  • Add the diced tomatoes and their juices, the drained black beans and pinto beans, vegetable broth, and bay leaf. Stir to combine and let the mixture come to a simmer. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally and reducing heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the chili from the heat and discard the bay leaf. For the best texture and flavor, transfer 1 ½ cups of the chili to a blender. Blend until smooth (watch out for hot steam), then pour the blended mixture back into the pot. (Or, you can blend the chili briefly with an immersion blender or mash the chili with a potato masher until it reaches a thicker, more chili-like consistency.)
  • Add the chopped cilantro, stir to combine, and then mix in the vinegar to taste. Add salt to taste. Plus, minus a ¼ teaspoon more at this point. 
  • Divide the mixture into individual bowls and serve with garnishes of your choice. This chili will keep well in the refrigerator for about 4 days. (you can freeze it for longer-term storage). [39]
Quinoa salad with chickpeas, feta, and spinach in a post about guide to being a vegetarian

Quinoa salad with chickpeas, feta, and spinach

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 (15-ounce) can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 4 ounces baby spinach (about 4 cups), coarsely chopped
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, cored, seeded, and chopped
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

This is ideal for a vegan diet.

  • Rinse the quinoa in 3 changes of water in a bowl, rubbing the grains and letting them settle each time before pouring off the water (if the quinoa does not settle, drain in a large fine-mesh sieve after each rinse).
  • Cook the quinoa in a medium saucepan of boiling well-salted water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain well in a sieve and let cool.
  • In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas, spinach, tomatoes, scallions, and cooled quinoa. Add the feta, lemon juice, and olive oil and toss gently but thoroughly to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. [40]
Vegetable soup with lentils in a post about guide to being a vegetarian
Guide To Being A Vegetarian 8

Vegetable soup with lentils

  • 90g dried red lentils (½ cup) 
  • 2 carrots, quartered lengthways, then diced
  • 3 sticks celery, sliced
  • 2 small leeks, sliced
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegetable bouillon powder
  • 1 heaped tsp ground coriander

This is ideal for a vegan diet.

  • Put all the ingredients into a large pan. Pour over 6½ cups boiling water, then stir well.
  • Cover and leave to simmer for 30 mins until the vegetables and lentils are tender.
  • Ladle into bowls and eat straightaway, or if you like a thick texture, blitz a third of the soup with a hand blender or in a food processor. [41]
Grilled vegetables with quinoa in a post about guide to being a vegetarian

Grilled vegetables with quinoa

  •   1 cup quinoa
  •  1 sweet red pepper quartered
  •  1 sweet yellow pepper quartered
  •  1 zucchini cut lengthwise in 1/2-inch thick strips
  •  12 asparagus spears trimmed
  •  1/2 cup Light feta cheese crumbled
  •  1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seed
  •  3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Chipotle Vinaigrette:
  •  3 tablespoons olive oil
  •  2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  •  1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce minced
  •  2 teaspoons liquid honey
  •  1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  •  1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 avocado

Soak quinoa in cold water for 3 minutes; drain in a sieve. In a saucepan, bring 1-1/2 cups salted water to a boil; stir in quinoa and return to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until no liquid remains 12 to 15 minutes.

Remove from heat and fluff with a fork; cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Spread on a small tray and let cool for 10 minutes.

Chipotle Vinaigrette: Whisk together oil, vinegar, and chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, honey, cumin, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, toss together red and yellow peppers, zucchini, asparagus, and 3 tbsp of the vinaigrette until coated. Place on greased grill over medium heat; close lid and grill until charred and tender, 4 to 6 minutes for asparagus, 10 to 12 minutes for peppers and zucchini. Cut into large chunks and return to bowl.

Add the remaining dressing, quinoa, half of the feta cheese, pumpkin seeds, and cilantro; stir until incorporated. Sprinkle with remaining feta. Serve immediately. Add avocado on top. [42]

Roasted beets in balsamic vinegar  in a post about guide to being a vegetarian

Roasted beets in balsamic vinegar 

  • 2 pounds fresh whole beets washed and stems removed
  • 1½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a roasting pan with foil. Cover with another piece of foil, and roast until easily pierced with a fork — about 1 hour for medium beets, longer if the beets are large.
  • Let beets cool slightly; peel and cut into bite-sized chunks while still warm. Place beets in a mixing bowl and lightly toss with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, red onion, and salt. Place in a shallow serving bowl. Top with chives and parsley.[43]
Zucchini pasta with tomato sauce in a post about guide to being a vegetarian

Zucchini pasta with tomato sauce 

  • 4 zucchinis (about 4 cups, cut into thin noodles with a vegetable spiralizer)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish if desired
  • Add oil to a large saucepan. Add onion and fry for 2-3 minutes until tender. 
  • Add garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  • Add in crushed tomatoes, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a light simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Add zucchini noodles to the sauce and cook for 2-3 minutes or until tender.
  • Stir in basil and Parmesan cheese. 
  • Season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve immediately. Healthy eating at its best. [44]
Falafel burgers in a post about guide to being a vegetarian

Falafel burgers made from dried garbanzo beans or canned chickpeas

If Deep Frying

For the burgers

  • 4 burger buns (or put on lettuce wraps as an alternative)
  • lettuce
  • tomatoes
  • any other favorite burger toppings

Instructions

  • Soak dried chickpeas overnight. 
  • Drain chickpeas from water and lay them out on a towel. Thoroughly pat them dry. Get as much moisture out as possible.
  • Add chickpeas to a food processor with the remaining ingredients.
  • Pulse, scraping down the sides often until left with a thick batter.
  • Split the mixture into 4 and shape each into a patty shape.
  • *If you want thinner patties, you can shape them into more.

For deep fried falafel patties (Traditional)

  • Heat oil in a deep fryer or heavy-bottomed pot and increase the temperature to 350 degrees F.
  • Add the baking soda to the oil.
  • Drop falafel patties into the oil and cook for 2 1/2-5 minutes. Turn around to ensure golden brown on all sides.
  • Remove from the oil and lay on a towel-lined plate to remove excess oil. Repeat with remaining patties.

Skillet method

  •  Heat a little oil in a skillet and add patties.
  •  Turn them around for 5-7 minutes, ensuring that all sides are golden brown.
  • Alternatively, if you want to deep-fry but only have a skillet, you can add enough oil to a heavy bottom skillet or Dutch oven and fry for a few minutes like above. 

Air fryer method (oil free)

  • Place the falafel patties inside the air fryer at 350 degrees F and cook for 15-20 minutes, turning halfway. It should be a golden brown color on the outside. May have to do in batches.

Baked method (oil free)

  • Place the falafel patties on a baking sheet and into a preheated oven at 350 degrees F. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning halfway. It should be a golden brown color on the outside. 

Serve on burger buns or lettuce wraps with your favorite burger toppings. Also, great with fries or vegan turmeric garlic rice on the side.

Nutrition

Serving: 1falafel burger | Calories: 331kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 894 mg | Potassium: 589 mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 168 IU | Vitamin C: 7 mg | Calcium: 145 mg | Iron: 5 mg

**Nutritional facts are just estimates. Please utilize your own brand nutritional values to double-check against our estimates. Oil values not included. [45]

Vegetarian lasagna in a post about guide to being a vegetarian

Vegetarian lasagna

For the sauce:

  • 1 1/2 pounds cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 generous cup of chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling the noodles
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped (about 4 teaspoons)
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste (2 cups jarred prepared tomato sauce)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crush tomato
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

For the lasagna:

  • 2 (10-ounce) boxes of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed in a clean towel for excess moisture
  • 1 pound lasagna noodles (16 to 20 noodles)
  • 1 (15 or 16-ounce) container of ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 pound shredded Pecorino or Parmes and cheese (about 1 cup)
  • 1 pound shredded Mozzarella cheese (about 4 cups)

Sauté the mushrooms:

  • Place mushrooms in a large (6 to 8 quart) sauté pan on high or medium-high heat. Stir them with a wooden spoon or shake the pan occasionally. You may hear them squeak.
  • Sprinkle salt over the mushrooms. The mushrooms will sizzle and then start to release water. (Note that you are not adding fat at this point to the pan; this method of cooking mushrooms in their own moisture is called “dry sautéing.)
  • Once the mushrooms release water into the pan, stir in the chopped onions. Cook until the mushrooms are no longer releasing moisture and the mushroom water has boiled away, about 5 minutes more.

Make the sauce:

  • Add the olive oil to the mushrooms and stir to coat. Sauté the mushrooms and onions for about a minute. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Stir in the tomato paste, and cook for a minute longer. Reserve 1 cup of the tomato sauce (it will go in the bottom of the casserole dish) Put the remaining cup of tomato sauce into the pot with the mushrooms. Add the large can of crushed tomatoes and one cup of water.
  • Stir in the thyme, sugar, and red pepper flakes. (If you are using dried basil instead of fresh, add it now.) Bring to a simmer, lower the heat and simmer on a low simmer for 20 minutes.

Boil and drain the lasagna noodles:

  • Once the sauce is simmering, salt the boiling pasta water, and add the dry lasagna noodles to the boiling water. (The water should be at a vigorous, rolling boil.) Stir gently, ensuring the noodles are not sticking to each other. Set the timer for 8 minutes, or however long is indicated on the package of the noodles. Cook uncovered on a high boil.
  • When the noodles are ready (al dente, cooked through but still firm to the bite), drain them in a colander, and rinse them to cool them with cold water. As you rinse them, gently separate them with your fingers so they don’t stick together.
  • Prepare a couple large cookie sheets or baking sheets by spreading a tablespoon of olive oil over the baking sheets.
  • Place the lasagna noodles on the sheets, gently coating them with olive oil and spreading them out. This will help keep them from sticking to each other while you finish the sauce and prepare the layered casserole.

Assemble the lasagna:

  • Turn off the heat on the stovetop for the sauce. Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
  • Spread the one cup of reserved tomato sauce over a large (preferably 10×15-inch) casserole dish. (If your casserole dish is smaller, you may need to add another layer as you go through this step.)
  • Place a layer of lasagna noodles down over the tomato sauce, slightly overlapping. (For our 10×15-inch dish, we ultimately fit 3 layers of 6 noodles each, with 2 extra noodles on which to nosh.)
  • Sprinkle half of the ricotta cheese over the noodles and half of the defrosted, drained, and squeezed-out spinach over the ricotta.
  • Sprinkle half of the mozzarella cheese over the spinach and just a quarter of the pecorino cheese.
  • Then spoon 1/3 of your mushroom sauce over the mozzarella. Sprinkle half of the fresh basil over the sauce.

Repeat the layers:

  • Repeat the layering process. Place the second layer of noodles over the sauce. Spread the remaining ricotta, spinach, and mozzarella over the noodles. Sprinkle another quarter of the pecorino along with the mozzarella. Top with another third of the mushroom sauce and the remaining fresh basil.
  • Layer your final layer of lasagna noodles over the sauce. Spread the remaining sauce over the lasagna noodles, and sprinkle with the remaining pecorino or Parmesan cheese.

Cover with foil and bake:

  • Pull out a sheet of aluminum foil large enough to cover the casserole dish. Spread a little olive oil over the inside of the piece of foil (the side that will have contact with the lasagna). Place the foil over the casserole dish and crimp the edges.
  • Bake at 350 °F for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake uncovered for 25 minutes.
  • Take the lasagna out of the oven when done and let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting to serve. Once made, the lasagna will last a week in the fridge.

Nutrition Facts Servings: 8 to 10

Cremini mushrooms (also spelled “crimini”) are Agaricus bisporus mushrooms, the same type of mushroom as portobellos and white mushrooms. Their stage of maturity is the only difference.  Crimini mushrooms have a mild flavor and a  meaty texture. [46]

Conclusion

Healthy eating at its best. There are many reasons for becoming vegetarian. Some people want to live a more sustainable lifestyle, while others just want to improve their fitness and overall health or even to help with weight loss.

Being a vegetarian can provide health benefits such as better heart health and blood sugar levels.

Animal welfare is also a part of becoming a vegan. Being on a purely vegetarian diet and eating plant-based foods will require a substitute for animal protein.

Answers And Question

What Are Some Of The Challenges You Face When Becoming A Vegetarian?

It can be challenging to become a vegetarian because it requires many changes to your diet and lifestyle.
Some of the challenges you might face include:
-Learning about and planning meals that are both nutritious and satisfying
-Finding alternatives to meat, cheese, and eggs for protein
-Figuring out what to do when dining out or traveling
-Avoiding processed foods that may contain hidden animal ingredients
-Dealing with social pressure from friends and family members who don’t understand or support your decision

How Do You Ensure You Get All The Nutrients Your Body Needs?

First, eat a variety of different foods. This will ensure that you’re getting a wide range of nutrients. second, make sure you’re eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. These are nutrient-rich foods and are essential for good health. Third, try to limit processed foods and sugary drinks. These foods are low in nutrients and can hinder your ability to get all the nutrients you need. Finally, if you’re concerned about not getting enough specific vitamins or minerals, talk to your doctor about taking a supplement.

References

  1. britannica; vegetarianism
  2. vegsoc: Vegetarians don’t eat fish, meat or chicken
  3. mayoclinic; Nutrition and healthy eating
  4. mayoclinic; Nutrition and healthy eating
  5. mayoclinic; Nutrition and healthy eating
  6. clevelandclinic; 13 of the Best Vegetarian and Vegan Protein Sources
  7. clevelandclinic; 13 of the Best Vegetarian and Vegan Protein Sources
  8. mayoclinic; Nutrition and healthy eating
  9. clevelandclinic; 13 of the Best Vegetarian and Vegan Protein Sources
  10. clevelandclinic; 13 of the Best Vegetarian and Vegan Protein Sources
  11. clevelandclinic; 13 of the Best Vegetarian and Vegan Protein Sources
  12. livestrong; How to Reduce the Phytic Acid in Beans
  13. livestrong; How to Reduce the Phytic Acid in Beans
  14. the nourishing gourmet; REDUCING PHYTIC ACID IN GRAINS AND LEGUME
  15. mashed; Tips For Dining Out As A New Vegetarian
  16. mashed; Tips For Dining Out As A New Vegetarian
  17. mashed; Tips For Dining Out As A New Vegetarian
  18. greenqueen; Plant-Based Siblings
  19. thetreetop; Do Vegans Have a Higher Risk of Autism?
  20. thetreetop; Do Vegans Have a Higher Risk of Autism?
  21. thetreetop; Do Vegans Have a Higher Risk of Autism?
  22. thetreetop; Do Vegans Have a Higher Risk of Autism?
  23. thetreetop; Do Vegans Have a Higher Risk of Autism?
  24. milkyplant; BENEFITS OF CHESTNUT MILK
  25. harvard; Vitamin D
  26. clevelandclinic; 5 Ways Vitamin C Keeps You Healthy
  27. harvard; Vitamin D
  28. clevelandclinic; 5 Ways Vitamin C Keeps You Healthy
  29. clevelandclinic: The Advantages of a Vegetarian Diet
  30. usdairy: Dairy Foods And Vegetarian Diets 101
  31. mayoclinic.; Nutrition and healthy eating
  32. theminimalistvegan: How To Transition To Veganism
  33. theminimalistvegan: How To Transition To Veganism
  34. nutriciously: How to Transition to a Vegan Diet & Lifestyle
  35. nutriciously: How to Transition to a Vegan Diet & Lifestyle
  36. theliveinkitchen: How to Become a Vegetarian
  37. mayoclinic: Nutrition and healthy eating
  38. food: ONION LENTILS AND RICE
  39. ambitiouskitchen: Actually, the Best Vegetarian Chili Ever
  40. ambitiouskitchen: Actually, the Best Vegetarian Chili Ever
  41. budgetbytes: SPINACH CHICKPEA AND QUINOA SALAD
  42. cookingclassy: Lentil Soup (Italian Vegetable)
  43. thefoodiephysician: QUINOA WITH ROASTED VEGETABLES
  44. joyfoodsunshine: Roasted Beets Recipe
  45. veganricha: EASY VEGAN FALAFEL BURGER RECIPE
  46. inspiredtaste: Easy Vegetable Lasagna

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