Vegetarian for a day
Have you ever considering taking up a vegetarian diet? If not, why not try being a vegetarian for a day – and boost your nutritional, ecological and ethical karma.
Some people turn to a vegetarian diet because they want to eat less animal protein, due to ethical or ecological concerns, because they don’t like the taste or for health reasons. Vegetarian cuisine is delicious, practical and varied, as well as being good for your health, so as long as you choose the right products.
Here is Doctissimo’s guide to going vegetarian. To get the best out of vegetarian food, you should know a few guidelines about nutrition, and have some handy tips up your sleeve. Valerie Cupillard and Garance Leureux, vegetarian and organic cuisine experts and authors, give some useful advice for you to follow.
A vegetarian diet: combining foods to get protein
You often hear about protein, but what is it exactly? A protein is composed on 23 different amino acids that bind together to form a complete protein.
Animal proteins give the body essential amino acids, and are what we call complete proteins. If you don’t eat meat or fish, you’ll need to get these complete proteins another way. Animal by-products, like eggs and cheese, contain these complete proteins but also a large amount of fat. So, to avoid consuming too much of these, and therefore too much fat, make sure you get a combination of proteins from cereals and vegetables as well. This will provide the body with all the complete proteins it needs.
“We recommend eating around three times as much cereal as vegetables,” explains Garance Leureux, who manages an organic shop and is the author of vegetarian cookery books. “The proteins found in pulses, nuts and seeds are effective in contributing to complete proteins,” she explains.
Examples of well-balanced meals include slices of wholegrain bread with crudités with hummus, or in a super-vegetarian protein rich sandwich, ratatouille with chick peas or red kidney beans and rice, corn tortillas with red kidney beans, vegetables, tomato sauce, lentils, brown rice and chick peas, rice and tofu, white beans on wholemeal toast, chick peas and couscous…. The choice is large.
In conclusion; to create a complete vegetarian dish, put together cereals, lots of raw or cooked vegetables, and a few different pulses and nuts or seeds. If you want to eat eggs or cheese, you can replace one of the foods listed with one of these.
Here’s one of culinary innovator, consultant and author Valerie Cupillard’s extra grains of advice for eating pulses: “Cook up a large batch so you can serve them cold the next day, by themselves or in a salad, and if you have enough left for another meal, mix them into a vegetable soup.”
Copyright © 2011 Doctissimo
- ■Hot chocolate with almond milk or green tea, or an infusion with thyme and acerola
- ■Flatbread made with Kamut flour or a little pancake with prune syrup, or a scone with a hazelnut-based spread (or sesame spread)
- ■Dried fruit (prunes, dates, mango, pineapple and cranberries) added to muesli
- ■Alternative: 1 soft-boiled egg (or scrambled egg or omelette made with an oatmeal liquid), and sunflower seeds
- ■Pistou soup (containing vegetables, a pulse, coco beans, grain, little pasta shapes and a base made from ground nuts and seeds or parmesan).
- ■Alternative: quiche with courgettes (make the pastry with olive oil)
- ■Chocolate mousse made with tofu
- ■Fresh fruit, fruit juice or fruit smoothie
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