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What are the Best Vegetarian Cooking Tips?

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  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 16 September 2016
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Many people decide to become vegetarians before they consider vegetarian food preparation. To maximize on the benefits of being a vegetarian, it is best for people to take vegetarian cooking seriously. This does not mean that it should not be enjoyable or creative. Serious vegetarian cooking simply means ensuring the best combinations of foods are prepared in the best way.

The manner in which fruits and vegetables are prepared can drastically affect the nutritional value they provide. Vegetarian cooking should follow the general principles of healthy food preparation. For example, the occasions on which foods are fried should be limited.

Cooking times should also be as short as possible. The reason is because the more these items are cooked, the more their benefits are reduced. Generally, fruits and vegetables offer the best nutritional benefits when they are in their natural form. Many nutritional professionals say steaming is the best method of cooking vegetables.

Another key vegetarian cooking tip is mixing cooked and raw items. Many people are not interested in raw diets despite the nutritional benefits. When this is the case, instead of trying to eat everything raw all of the time, it is best to add some raw ingredients to cooked dishes. Examples include a salad as an accompaniment to pasta or raw nuts sprinkled into oatmeal.

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Vegetarians are often presented with challenges when they live with people who eat differently. For example, many people tend to reuse cooking oil. When a vegetarian lives alone, such a habit is not likely to be problematic. When a vegetarian lives with others, however, there is the risk that cooking oil could be used to prepare meat. It is best for vegetarians who live with others to either label some used oil as vegetarian only or to abstain from cooking with used oils.

If there are certain foods that a person likes to eat that violate her vegetarian commitment, she should try to find substitutes. For example, many people like bacon on their loaded baked potatoes. If a vegetarian is accustomed to eating this dish with bacon, she may want to try vegetarian bacon to prevent the craving for it or the feeling of a missing flavor.

To prevent nutritional deficiencies, it is important for vegetarians to plan meals that include sufficient amounts of nutrients. This is one reason why creativity is an important part of vegetarian cooking. Another reason that creative vegetarian recipes are important is because they can help a person remain committed to her decision to abstain from meat.

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bagley79
Post 4

There are a lot of great vegetarian recipes online and I have found many inspiring ideas when I have read different blogs. I make a nut pate made with soaked walnuts, pecans and seasonings like garlic and a little bit of ginger.

This is a great spread for crackers, toast or anything you would use peanut butter for. I also love to put walnuts and berries in with my oatmeal for breakfast. This is a high protein, high fiber meal that keeps me full and satisfied until lunchtime.

I also have a juicer which I don't use as often as I should just because you have to clean it every time. One of my favorite things to make with this is a green drink that has celery, kale, spinach and tomatoes in it.

It tastes better than it looks, as it is hard for some people to get past drinking something that is bright green.

julies
Post 3

I would not call myself a vegan or a vegetarian, but I am making a conscious effort to eat less meat all the time. I just have never really cared for the taste or texture of meat, and feel better if I get protein from other sources.

I do know that I could never handle a totally raw food diet though. I enjoy many snacks this way, but know I couldn't replace every meal with only raw food.

The key for me to be successful with eating less meat is to make sure I have plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and lentils on hand. Nuts also make a great meat substitute and I have even made "taco meat" from beans and nuts that ended up tasting really good.

Mykol
Post 2

I use a dehydrator for many of my fruits and vegetables. I like to slice up some strawberries and a mango or two and put them in the dehydrator overnight. They are done by morning and taste great added to my cereal or alone as a snack.

I have also used the dehydrator to make kale chips and sweet potato chips. With the right amount of seasoning, these can be hard to resist. The key is to get them crunchy so you feel like you are eating a chip.

These are about the only kind of chips I keep around the house, so my kids are used to them, and they are so much better for them than regular chips.

I have found that simple vegetarian cooking takes less time to prepare than the meals I used to make. Clean up is also easier and I feel like I am providing healthier meals for my family.

John57
Post 1

Shortly after I eliminated meat from my diet, I took a vegetarian cooking class which gave me all kinds of ideas and recipes to try that I would have never thought of before.

I try to take a course similar to this about once a year to learn some new recipes and interact with others who are also choosing a vegetarian diet.

I know my friends and family who are not vegetarian often wonder what I eat if I don't eat meat. When they come to my house for a meal, and I fix them a vegetarian meal, and they are usually pleasantly surprised.

Many dishes can be made with half meat and half without. This is an easy way I have found to please everybody if I don't want to totally eliminate the meat for those who think they must have meat with every meal.

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