Vegetarianism is a dietary lifestyle that excludes meat, poultry, seafood, and any other animal products. Instead, it emphasizes plant-based vegetarian foods that include fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. People follow a vegetarian diet for various reasons, including health benefits, ethical concerns, and environmental sustainability.
Vegetarian foods, including protein, iron, calcium, and vitamins, can provide all the necessary nutrients for a healthy and balanced diet. They can also be delicious and diverse, offering a range of flavors and textures that can satisfy any palate. From traditional vegetarian dishes like tofu stir-fry and veggie burgers to creative plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy foods, vegetarian foods offer culinary possibilities.
15 Vegetarian Foods
Here are 15 vegetarian foods that are both delicious and nutritious. Perfect for people practicing vegetarian diets.
- Lentils – a great source of protein, iron, and fiber, lentils can be used in a variety of dishes, from soups and stews to salads and side dishes.
- Chickpeas – also high in protein and fiber and popular vegetarian recipes, chickpeas are a versatile ingredient that can be used in curries, salads, hummus, and more.
- Quinoa – a complete protein source, quinoa is a versatile grain that can be used in salads, as a side dish, or even in desserts, making it ideal for vegan diet.
- Spinach – packed with iron and other important nutrients, spinach is a versatile green that can be used in salads, smoothies, and cooked dishes. This is a great substitute for fried rice.
- Sweet potatoes – a great source of vitamins and fiber, sweet potato can be roasted, mashed, or used in a variety of vegetarian meals, from soups and stews to desserts.
- Tofu – a plant-based protein source, tofu can be used in a variety of dishes, from stir-fries and curries to desserts. Squeeze a little bit of lemon juice to add spike to the taste.
- Tempeh – another plant-based protein source, tempeh is made from fermented soybeans and can be used in a variety of dishes, from sandwiches to stir-fries.
- Mushrooms – rich in umami flavor, mushrooms are a great meat alternative that can be used in soups, stews, and stir-fries. Add this to your vegetarian dinner recipes to make a healthy vegetarian diet.
- Avocado – a great source of healthy fats, avocados can be used in salads, sandwiches, or as a topping for toast.
- Nuts – a great source of protein and healthy fats, nuts can be used in salads, trail mix, or as a snack.
- Seeds – packed with nutrients, seeds can be used in salads, smoothies, or as a topping for yogurt.
- Oatmeal – a hearty breakfast option just like brown rice, oatmeal can be topped with fruit, nuts, or other toppings for a nutritious and filling meal.
- Edamame – a soybean snack that is high in protein, edamame can be served as an appetizer or added to vegetarian chili salads and stir-fries.
- Hummus – made from chickpeas and tahini, hummus is a delicious and nutritious dip that can be used as a spread or topping for sandwiches and meatless recipes.
- Nutritional yeast – a vegan alternative to cheese, nutritional yeast can be used as a seasoning for popcorn, pasta, and other vegan recipes.
10 Foods To Avoid When Following Vegetarian Diet
Here are 10 foods to avoid when following a vegetarian diet:
- Meat – you should not eat meat, including beef, pork, chicken, and fish, if you are following a vegetarian diet.
- Poultry – Aside from avoiding eating meat, chicken, turkey, and any other poultry should be avoided.
- Seafood – Vegan diets exclude fish and shellfish.
- Gelatin – a protein obtained from animal tissues, gelatin is commonly used in jellies, marshmallows, and other products.
- Broths made with meat or poultry – soups and stews made with meat or poultry broth should be avoided.
- Worcestershire sauce – a sauce made with anchovies, Worcestershire sauce should be avoided.
- Lard – a type of fat obtained from pig tissue, lard should be avoided.
- Bacon bits – made from pork, bacon bits should be avoided.
- Gravy made with meat or poultry – gravies made with meat or poultry broth should be avoided.
- Parmesan cheese – a type of cheese made with animal rennet, Parmesan cheese should be avoided by strict vegetarians.