Cooking School

101 vegetarian recipes

By: Fran Berkoff, registered dietitian

Tomato Spinach Chickpea Simmer<br>Photography by David Scott Author: Canadian Living Credits: Tomato Spinach Chickpea Simmer<br>Photography by David Scott

Cooking School

101 vegetarian recipes

By: Fran Berkoff, registered dietitian

These days, it seems most families have at least one member who is following a vegetarian diet. People become vegetarian for a variety of reasons, from ethical and environmental concerns to health concerns or even because it can be a less expensive way of eating.

What does it mean to be vegetarian?
There are different types of vegetarian, including strict vegans who eat no animal products at all. Some people, although not vegetarian, choose to eat less meat or no red meat but still eat fish or chicken. Most people fall in between these two extremes.

There is no question that many vegetarians enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Their diets tend to be lower in fat, higher in fibre and full of nutrient-rich, health protective fruits, vegetables and grains.

Health benefits

Some evidence shows a lower rate of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, some cancers and obesity among vegetarians. Other studies suggest that many vegetarians are more active, maintain a healthy weight and abstain from smoking and alcohol, factors which may also account for their good health.

But just because you're vegetarian doesn't necessarily mean you will enjoy all these benefits. It still takes some care and planning. Some research suggests it may be more what vegetarians do eat rather than what they don't eat that provides the health benefits.

Fruits, vegetables and grains are known to offer protection against disease. It may be possible that non-vegetarians who eat the same healthy amounts of these foods get a similar health benefit. Both vegetarians and non-vegetarians still have to watch their fat intake to further ensure good health.

Keeping a balanced diet
When you give up animal products, you eat much less fat, especially saturated fat, but if you add back lots of other fatty foods (fried veggie burgers for example, or snack foods like chips, doughnuts or pastries) you will lose out on some of the benefits.

It's important to replace the nutrients you miss out on by eliminating animal products. The more restricted your diet is, the more care you must take. A lacto-ovo vegetarian (one who eats dairy products and eggs) generally has no trouble meeting her nutritional requirements, while a strict vegan (one who totally avoids animal products) must take greater care.

Page 1 of 3 -- Read on for more about the best sources for getting the nutrients you need, as well as 101 delicious vegetarian recipes

The following nutrients deserve some attention:

PROTEIN
It's a myth that vegetarians don't eat enough protein. If you replace the animal protein with vegetable proteins such as beans, soy foods, tofu, nuts and nut butters, eat dairy products and eggs and/or properly combine grains, legumes and vegetables, you will get ample protein.

Healthy combinations include: legumes + grains (examples: peanut butter and bread; split pea soup and bread; rice and tofu; rice and red beans; falafel and pita); grains + nuts or seeds (examples: granola with nuts; pasta with pine nuts); legumes or any grain or vegetable + dairy products (example: macaroni and cheese).

IRON
Non-meat sources of iron include lentils, kidney, garbanzo, pinto and white beans, dried fruit, egg yolks and iron-enriched cereals, grains and pastas. Unfortunately, the iron in vegetables and grains isn't as well absorbed as the iron in meat.

But, if you eat these foods with a food containing vitamin C such as oranges, grapefruits, strawberries or peppers, it will be better absorbed. Also, tea or coffee with a meal can interfere with iron absorption, so it's better to drink juice or water. If you rely heavily on plant foods to get iron, you should eat even more of these foods to make up for the poor absorption.

CALCIUM
If you eliminate dairy products, choose alternative calcium sources. There is calcium in tofu (make sure you buy the kind made with calcium), fortified soy and rice beverages, fortified orange juice, kale, dark green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach and bok choy and nuts such as almonds and Brazil nuts.

Because the calcium in many vegetables, such as spinach and beans, is not as available to your body, it may be necessary to take a calcium supplement if you eliminate all dairy products and all calcium-fortified beverages. This is especially true for young women.

VITAMIN D
Besides fluid milk, vitamin D is found in fortified soy and rice beverages, some fortified orange juices, egg yolks and fortified margarines. This vitamin is also produced when your body is directly exposed to sunlight.

ZINC
Non-animal sources include soy products such as tempeh, miso and tofu, soy and rice beverages, soybeans, beans, lentils, wheat germ, nuts and grains. Dairy products and eggs are good sources for lacto-ovo vegetarians.

VITAMIN B12
This vitamin is found only in animal foods. A strict vegan should eat B12 fortified foods like fortified soy or rice beverages or look to supplements.

If you do decide to become vegetarian, become knowledgeable about your food choices. Include legumes, soy and lentils in your diet. Hummus, bean dips, lentil salads or veggie burgers are tastes to try.

Vegetarian food options

There are lots of interesting foods to buy like vegetable burgers, vegetarian burritos, meatless lasagna, lentil soups and falafel. Eat two to three servings of dairy products a day. Cheese, yogurt and milk add valuable calcium, vitamin D and protein.

If you aren't drinking milk, drink calcium-enriched soy or rice beverages. Eat your five to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables, the more colourful, the better. Eating those rich in vitamin C (oranges, berries, kiwis, peppers) with fortified breakfast cereals improves the absorption of iron that's in the cereal.

Your food choices are personal and it's important to find the path that works best for your beliefs and your well-being. Whether you're a vegetarian or a carnivore, follow healthy eating guidelines and you'll increase your chances of good health.

Page 2 of 3 -- Read on for 101 delicious vegetarian recipes

Antipasto Salad
Asparagus and Orange Salad with Ginger Dressing
Avocado and Bibb Lettuce Toss
Barley Salad with Tomatoes and Corn
Beet and Arugula Salad
Beet, Orange and Watercress Salad
Crunchy Broccoli and Feta Salad
Fennel, Mushroom and Walnut Salad
Grilled Portobellos on Bean Salad
Grilled Vegetable Salad with Tarragon Dressing
Tabbouleh Salad
Vegetable Tofu Salad
Warm Broccoli Salad

 

Breakfast and Brunch
Baked Breakfast Frittata
Baked Persian Omelette
Broccoli Scramble Quesadillas
Corn and Leek Tart
Grapefruit, Avocado and Watercress Salad
Minty Warm Rice and Vegetable Salad
Singapore Rice Crepes with Scrambled Eggs and Curried Vegetables
Spinach, Mushroom and Tomato Omelette with Feta

Soups
Autumn Leek and Carrot Creamed Soup with Chive Oil
Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup with Tofu
Carrot and Lots of Garlic Soup
Citrus Mushroom and Tofu Soup
Lentil Vegetable Soup
Lima Bean Tomato Soup
Moroccan Red Lentil Soup
Pear and Celery Soup
Vegan Bean Soup
Vegetable Miso Soup
White Bean and Kale Soup

Lunch
Baked Macaroni, Tomatoes and Cheese
Baked Tofu with Braised Baby Bok Choy
Broccoli and Cheese Soufflé
Cheesy Pita Pockets
Easy Cheese Soufflé
Tomato Spinach Chickpea SImmer

Appetizers, snacks and hors d'oeuvres
Artichokes with Roasted Garlic Mayonnaise
Asparagus Frittata Bites
Balsamic Grilled Leeks and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Balsamic Mushroom Toasts
Beets with Feta
Biryani-Inspired Vegetable Rice
Brie, Pear and Onion Strudel on a Bed of Greens
Cheesy Spinach Squares
Eggplant Bundles
Feta-Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes
Lacy Potato Latkes
Mushroom Red Pepper Pleated Puffs
Olive, Pepper and Asiago Pinwheels
Rosemary Ricotta Crostini
Zesty Pepper Roll-Ups

Main courses
Asparagus Goat Cheese Toss
Aubergine and Pasta Charlotte
Black Bean Quesadillas
Braised Shallots and Squash Stew
Bucatini with Roasted Garlic and Cherry Tomatoes
Bulgur-Stuffed Acorn Squash
Corn and Tomato Rice Casserole
Cumin Carrot Tofu Patties
Eggplant and Potato Ragout with Feta Topping
Eggplant and Spinach Lasagna
Golden Onion Tart
Lemon Parmesan Linguine
Lentils and Tomato Sauce with Pasta Shells
Linguine with Broccoli and Cherry Tomatoes
Mushroom Cheese Soufflé
Mushroom "Steaks"
Pasta Bow Ties with Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce
Pasta with Lemon and Spinach
Pepper Corn Paella
Polenta with Mushroom Ragout
Polenta with Sautéed Spinach and Red Peppers
Potato-Crust Pizza
Risotto Primavera
Roasted Jerk Tofu
Roasted Leeks with Fennel Tomato Concassé
Roasted Vegetable Lasagna
Spaghetti Squash with Mushroom and Pearl Onion Ragout
Squash and Caramelized Onion Lasagna
Squash and Kale Phyllo Pie
Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Tagine
Tex-Mex Corn Pizza
Tex-Mex Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie
Tofu and Broccoli in Peanut Sauce
Vegetable Curry
Vegetable Penne
Vegetarian Cabbage Rolls
Vegetarian Tortellini Bake
Wild Rice and Broccoli Casserole

Sandwiches, Burgers and Wraps
Bean and Vegetable Pitas
Bulgur and Mushroom Burgers
Chickpea Burgers
Curried Lentil Burgers with Coriander Yogurt
Eggplant Pockets
Egg Salad Sandwiches
Falafels
Fried Green Tomato Sandwiches
Grilled Vegetable Submarines
Mushroom Cheddar Vegetarian Burgers
Perfectly Plump Pinwheel Roll-Ups
Tomato Croque Monsieur
Vegetarian Hummus Burgers

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101 vegetarian recipes

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