October 19, 2021 by D.Fathia
Updated October 19, 2021
Is vegetarianism about tasteless foods?
Whether for religious, moral, or health reasons, abstaining from eating meat is a practice that has been around for centuries, in different parts of the world. The label vegetarianism first came to be used in vogue, 1847. Three years later, the first American Vegetarian Society was established by William Alcott.
The movement started to gain popularity and even take action in the political arena. Yet, it was not until the year 1972 that a cookbook was published to celebrate the tasty meatless recipes, by Anna Thomas.
People who adhere to the principles of this movement because of religious obligations must know for sure what are they allowed to eat and what they are not allowed to even touch. For other, however, who are looking for a medical miracle, might find help in The Vegetarian Epicure, or in this blog for that matter.
I am definitely not a vegetarian person, but I like to join friends and the global community to celebrate this movement each October.
To go vegan for one day each week during October, to have a vegan meal each now and then, to cultivate a small garden, to raise awareness about the benefits of vegetarianism, and maybe share thought on more sustainable food options that will not affect the environment seem excellent things to do.
Research and test studies have proved that eliminating or at least reducing consumption of meat and other animal products could be highly beneficial for certain health conditions.
This eating practice might reduce blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and stabilize blood sugar. It can be a positive factor in promoting heart health and enhancing other conditions.
Besides, avoiding meat means avoiding huge cattle raised for slaughter and hence decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, and preserving natural resources such as water; all of which contribute greatly to climate change.
To cut a long story short, vegetarian foods are of plant-based origins. The label itself connotes this. Of course, some variations of this eating doctrine do allow the consumption of certain dairy products and even meat or fish.
If you are not a Brahmin, an Indian caste forbidding meat, or you are not adhering to vegetarianism for moral reasons such as cruelty towards animals, then you have a wider choice of foods to pick from.
Like with all special diet foods, it can be hard to figure out what you can and cannot eat, especially with multi-ingredient products and processed foods. The vegetarian way is a bit straightforward. If it is of plant origin, eat it, if it is not, leave it.
So, here are your best choices if you are deciding to go vegan:
Fruits: Fresh fruits are everyone’s favorite, but you will need to eat even more than before. Bananas, oranges, apples, pears, different types of berries, melon, avocados, and literally whatever fruit you can find is good for you.
Vegetables: I know most people hate them because they might taste bad or even smell bad, but you need to come to terms with vegetables. Find creative ways to cook and eat your vegetables. Carrots, onions, leafy greens, broccoli, and others are on the list. It seems payback time for all the veggies you threw away when you were a kid.
Grains: these were the pillar of our ancestors’ diets and look how healthy they are now! Oats, barley, rice, wheat, and quinoa are your best options.
Beans: peas, lentils, black beans, chickpeas, and other tiny colorful beans are essential for your vegan diet.
Nuts and seeds: you don’t need to go vegan to crack a nut, but you definitely need to follow the footsteps of squirrels if you are shifting diets. You can have trail mixes for breakfast or as a snack. A handful of almonds, walnuts, cashews, and whatever you prefer of seeds or nuts will surely benefit you greatly.
These special diet foods might seem limited, but they can make wonderful and tasty dishes.
Tip and recipes to try:
Avoiding meat is not an obligation, at home; it is rather an option. We do love our meat-less dishes so much that they are usually present on the table from time to time. These recipes were inherited from our ancestors as they sometimes lacked the means to buy expensive fish and meat. They are delicious, though, and definitely worth trying.
My favorite dish, which would really introduce you to the depths of Tunisian cuisine, is rice with leafy greens.
- 500 grams of rice
- 2 small bundles of Parsley
- 1 small bundle of green chard
- 2 small bundles of dill
- 2 big Tomatoes
- 1 big potato
- 1 Onion
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons of chili powder
- Spices and olive oil
First of all, you need to wash the rice with warm water and then rinse it perfectly. Leave it aside and cut the parsley, green chard, and dill. Wash them carefully and rinse them. Cut the potatoes, tomatoes, and onion into small pieces. Ground the garlic. And finally pour all ingredients into a large bowl. Add spices you like, salt, 10 tablespoons of olive oil, tomato sauce, the chili powder, and mix them well. Then steam cook the mixture. It will take about 45 to 50 minutes to cook, or you can check when the rice becomes soft and turn off the stove.
Overall, you can prepare various plates with just vegetables, beans, and grains. If you are not familiar with this cooking and do not like the taste of veggies, then you can maybe add a few spoons of harissa paste to your plate. It will add flavor and pleasure to your seemingly tasteless special diet foods.
Sauté veggies are the best option to go for. Try to avoid frying because it is neither healthy nor delicious. If you had to fry something, then use olive oil or other healthy oils of plant origins.
Opt for salads; you can prepare hundreds of different salads out of what you are allowed to eat. Use ground herbs to garnish and lemon. It is the perfect combination.
The bottom line, vegetarian foods are not tasteless options; many chefs will test otherwise. If you are embracing vegetarianism, have faith and explore the possibilities you have.