Veganise your diet

Friday, 26 October 2012

Veganise your dietOne of our vegan readers asked for easy ways to help her with her vegan diet. We thought we’d oblige, and found these great tips from Shape.

Vegan meals have been linked to a boost in calorie burning. That may be one reason why an Oxford University study of nearly 38,000 adults found that meat-eaters had the highest BMIs for their ages and vegans the lowest, with vegetarians and semi-vegetarians in between.

Weight control aside, there’s a lot of buzz about veganism, but even if you aren’t interested in giving up meat, fish, and dairy completely, eating plant-based meals more often can definitely benefit your health and waistline. Trouble is a lot of people don’t know where to start. Here are three simple tricks for transforming omnivore dishes into veggie delights – without using processed faux meats and cheeses:

Replace meat with beans or lentils


In nearly any dish – from tacos and fajitas to stuffed peppers, pasta dishes, soups and stir-frys – you can simply replace 85g of meat, poultry or seafood with a half-cup of beans or lentils. These hearty replacements provide protein, minerals, and bonus fiber, and that satisfaction factor that keeps you fuller longer and delays the return of hunger. Great options include black bean tacos, veggie chili with kidney beans, veggies sautéed in extra-virgin olive oil tossed with whole-grain pasta and cannellini beans, lentils tossed with pesto served with sautéed veggies and whole grain cous cous, soups made with vegetable or tomato broth, veggies, barley and fava beans, and edamame stir-fry over brown or wild rice.

Swap eggs for tofu


Tofu scramble is one of my favorite weekend breakfast meals, because it’s filling and fast. Just sautée veggies of your choice (I love fresh spinach, onions, red bell peppers and mushrooms) in extra-virgin olive oil with garlic until tender, then add extra-firm organic tofu (cut into 2.5cm cubes or crumbled) to heat through. Serve with whole-grain toast and avocado, or whole corn tortillas, pico de gallo and guacamole. It’s also fantastic with curry seasoning and roasted red potatoes. Sliced extra-firm tofu also makes a terrific replacement for an egg in a breakfast sandwich, and when crumbled it’s a perfect alternative to hard-boiled eggs in egg salad made with mustard-y vegan mayo.

Trade dairy for ‘creamy’ plants


My husband is a huge, huge fan of cheese. I’m sure he’ll never give it up, but since we met, he has expanded his food horizons (and lost 22kgs), and he now truly enjoys dairy-free items such as ice cream made from coconut milk, and creamy dressing made from tahini. In the right combinations, ingredients like roasted and mashed cauliflower, pureed nuts and seeds, avocado, silken tofu, and coconut can mimic the rich flavor and velvety texture of dairy products. I completed a vegan, organic culinary program several years ago, and I was blown away by how just how creative you can get with plant-based foods and how satisfying they can be.

Are you vegan, vegetarian, part-time plant-based eater or hardcore carnivore? Share your thoughts…

Written by Cynthia Sass, this article originally appeared on Shape.com.

Image: Zoon Team/Shutterstock.com

Other articles you may be interested in:
Go green get lean
Should you be drinking non-dairy milk
Warm veggie salad
Eat yourself pretty with these recipes
Detox delusion

Written by

Megan Kakora has helped launch the websites of, and been the online editor for, some of South Africa’s biggest glossy magazines. She believes in less-is-more, except when it comes to her collection of nail polish colours.
Megan on Google+

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  1. Sue1N

    My husband decided a while back to cut out meat from his diet for a few months. He felt healthier and his constant heartburn and indigestion disappeared.

    4 years ago •

  1. Kickass

    won’t be able to do vegan, love my meat…

    4 years ago •

  1. Mpoyif

    I’m afraid I can’t live without chicken and the occasional steak

    4 years ago •

  1. ricebunny

    I don’t knoq how ppl do it as I could never

    5 years ago •

  1. Mpoyif

    I know it’s a healthier option but it doesn’t sound very appetising

    5 years ago •

  1. Humphreys

    Nice tips but i’m gonna have difficulty trading my red meat for something else…..

    5 years ago •

  1. JamieBaby

    Great article. I am not a vegetarian however I do not eat a lot of meat either.

    5 years ago •

  1. mahomed

    I’m toooooo lazy to eat my veggies

    5 years ago •

  1. CharlieW

    I love food – won’t be able to cut anything out. But I must start making smarter choices. Thanks for the tips :)

    5 years ago •

  1. Anita

    Great article, i am trying the vegetarian thing, but it is difficult

    5 years ago •

  1. BeautyBloggess

    I love meat but would love to try some of these tips.

    5 years ago •

  1. DIVA

    Thanks for the article, but I want both thevergies and meat in my food.

    5 years ago •

  1. Angelisha

    Chickpea burger/sandwiches_
    A number of nourishing ingredients mingle in this baked vegan burger. Though it’s tasty enough to be eaten plain as a side dish, it’s makes a great sandwich as well. Either way, try it with Quick Tartar Sauce, whose recipe follows.
    Makes: 8
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 medium onion, minced
    1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
    1 large celery stalk, strings removed and diced
    16-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    1/4 cup wheat germ or quinoa flakes
    2 tablespoons whole wheat or other whole grain flour,
    or garbanzo flour
    2 teaspoons salt-free seasoning blend
    1/2 teaspoon curry powder
    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
    Juice of 1/2 lemon
    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
    Heat the oil in a medium-size skillet. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent. Add the carrot and celery and sauté until all the vegetables are tender and golden.
    Combine the vegetable mixture with the remaining ingredients in a food processor. Pulse on and off until the mixture is evenly and finely chopped, but don’t puree.
    Drop by heaping 1/4 cup portions onto an oiled nonstick baking sheet (or better yet, a baking sheet lined with baking parchment) and flatten gently. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping each burger after 20 minutes. Serve on bread or rolls or on their own; either way, they’re made even more delicious with Quick Tartar Sauce, following.
    ____________
    QUICK TARTAR SAUCE
    Makes about 2/3 cup
     
    1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
    1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
    1 to 2 teaspoons prepared mustard, or to taste
    Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and stir together until well blended.

    5 years ago •

  1. Angelisha

    Black beans, diced mango, and avocado taste heavenly together in this delicious salad. Fresh, perfectly ripe mangos are best, of course, but they’re not always in season and occasionally unreliable. Once in a while I like to take the guesswork out of mangos and use canned (organic), which is akin to using canned pineapple—you know exactly what you’re going to get.
    Serves: 6
    One 15- to 16-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
    1 medium avocado, cut into 1/2-inch dice
    1 medium mango (or one 15- to 16-ounce can, drained), cut into 1/2 inch dice
    1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
    2 scallions, thinly sliced
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    2 tablespoons lime juice
    Minced fresh cilantro to taste, optional
    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
    Mixed baby greens
    Combine all the ingredients in a serving container. Stir together and serve on a bed of mixed baby greens.

    5 years ago •

  1. Angelisha

    YELLOW SPLIT PEA-COCONUT SOUP

    Dishes in southern India frequently include the use of coconut. You can enjoy this soup recipe on its own or serve it as a South Indian “sambar” or “kootu” over rice.
    Serves: 4
    1 cup yellow split peas
    4 cups water
    ¼ cup coconut oil
    1 teaspoon turmeric
    ½ teaspoon ground ginger
    ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
    1 medium onion, chopped
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic
    ½ cup grated coconut
    Simmer the split peas in the water until soft and breaking apart, about 45 minutes.
    Heat the coconut oil in a separate medium sauté pan, and add the turmeric, ginger, and cumin seeds, stirring until the seeds just begin to pop. Turn the heat down to low and sauté the chopped onion and garlic until lightly brown. Toss in the grated coconut and combine.
    Add the sautéed mixture to the split peas, bring to a simmer, and serve.

    5 years ago •

  1. Angelisha

    GOLDEN CURRIED PEA OR RED LENTIL SOUP

    Serves: 8 or more
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 cup finely chopped onion
    2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
    2 to 3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
    8 cups water
    1 pound dried yellow split peas or red lentils, rinsed
    1/3 cup raw brown rice or barley, rinsed
    2 bay leaves
    1 tablespoon good-quality curry powder, more or less to taste
    1/2 teaspoon turmeric
    1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
    Pinch of nutmeg
    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
    Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and sauté over medium-low heat until golden.
    Add all the remaining ingredients except the salt and pepper. Bring to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer gently until the peas are mushy, about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
    When the peas are done, adjust the consistency with more water as needed, then season with salt and pepper. Discard the bay leaves and serve. This soup thickens considerably as it stands; thin with additional water as needed and adjust the seasonings.

    5 years ago •

  1. Angelisha

    Yummy Taco Salad
    Incorporating all the lively flavors of tacos, this tasty salad is quick and easy to prepare, and is a great choice when you’d like a hearty main-dish salad.
    Serves: 4 to 6
    4 to 6 corn tortillas, allowing 1 per serving

    2 medium firm ripe tomatoes, diced
    1 large green bell or red bell pepper, cut into short strips
    1 small avocado, diced
    1/2 cup black olives, chopped
    1 cup grated vegan cheddar cheese
    15- to 16-ounce can pinto or black beans, drained and rinsed
    Mixed baby greens or dark green lettuce, torn, as needed
    Dressing:
    1/3 cup tomato sauce or good-quality ketchup
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    2 tablespoons lime juice, or more, to taste
    1/2 teaspoon chili powder
    1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    Freshly ground pepper to taste
    Cut the tortillas into strips about 1/2  by 2 inches long. Heat a large skillet and toast the tortilla strips over medium heat, stirring frequently, until they are dry and crisp. Set aside to cool.
    Combine the remaining salad ingredients in a serving bowl. Use greens or lettuce as needed, according to the number of servings needed.
    Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and stir together until well blended. Pour over the salad, toss well, and distribute to individual serving bowls. Divide the tortilla strips among each serving, scattering them over the top of the salad as a garnish.
    Note: For a shortcut, simply use good-quality stone-ground tortilla chips, crumbled, in place of the tortilla strips.

    5 years ago •

  1. Angelisha

    3 Bean Salad
    Adding pasta to the popular three-bean salad combo gives it a contemporary twist.
    Serves 6 to 8
    Dressing:
    1/4 cup vinegar
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
    1 tablespoon honey
    1/4 teaspoon each: paprika, oregano, and thyme
     
    8 ounces pasta, any short shape
    2 cups fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths,
    or thawed frozen cut green beans
    1 cup canned pink or kidney beans; drained and rinsed
    1 1/2 cups canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    2 large celery stalks, diced
    1/2 medium red bell pepper, diced
    1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, and stir together. Set aside.
    Cook the pasta in plenty of rapidly simmering water until al dente. Drain and rinse until cool, then drain well again.
    Meanwhile, steam the green beans in a medium saucepan with a small amount of water until tender-crisp. Drain and rinse under cool water.
    Combine the pasta, green beans, and dressing with the remaining ingredients in a serving bowl, and toss well. Cover and refrigerate until needed, or serve at once.

    5 years ago •

  1. Angelisha

    This recipe for the baked tofu frittata would traditionally be considered a breakfast dish, but I’ve made it for dinner many times. If you do want to make it for breakfast but it seems like it would be too time consuming to put together in the morning, you can prepare and assemble it the
    night before and leave it in the fridge overnight. Then just pop it in the oven when you wake up!
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 small red onion, diced
    1 zucchini, diced
    6 to 8 crimini mushrooms, chopped into small pieces
    1 package firm or extra firm tofu
    3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
    1/2 cup non-dairy milk
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    1/2 teaspoon dried basil
    1/4 teaspoon turmeric
    1/2 teaspoon cumin
    Sea salt and pepper to taste
    1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
    1 tomato, diced
    2 scallions, chopped
    1/4 cup kalamata olives, chopped
    Preheat oven to 375º F. and lightly grease a small casserole dish.
    Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 3 minutes, until it softens. Add the mushrooms and zucchini and cook for about 5 more minutes, until the vegetables become soft. Season with a little salt and pepper.
    In a food processor, mix together the tofu, non-dairy milk, nutritional yeast, cornstarch, basil, turmeric, cumin, 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt, a few pinches of black pepper and the red pepper flakes, if you’re using them. Process until smooth.
    Fold the vegetables into the tofu mixture and spread into the casserole dish. Top with the chopped tomato, scallions and olives.
    Bake for 40 to  45 minutes, until the frittata is firm and golden brown. Slice and serve — this makes 4 servings if you’re not very hungry, and two servings if you are!

    5 years ago •

  1. Angelisha

    Here’s a simple and tasty spring dish.
    STEWED WHITE BEANS WITH FRESH TOMATOES
    Tomatoes and navy beans are a companionable pair, especially if you use the optional vegan sausage/soya to bridge their flavors. Serve with a simple potato dish and a big colorful salad.
    Serves: 6 to 8
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
    3 large celery stalks
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    3 cups cooked navy beans (or two 15-to 16-ounce
    cans, drained and rinsed)
    2 pounds ripe flavorful tomatoes, diced
    2 tablespoons natural granulated sugar
    2 teaspoons sweet paprika
    1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
    2 links vegan sausage, thinly sliced, optional
    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
    1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs of your choice
    (try a combination of parsley and basil)
    Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent. Add the celery and garlic and continue to sauté until all are golden.
    Stir in the beans, tomatoes, sugar, and seasonings. Add 1/2 cup water. Bring to a simmer, then covered and cook over very low heat for 15 to 20 minutes.
    If you’re using the soya, sauté the slices in a separate, lightly oiled skillet until golden on most sides, stirring occasionally.
    Stir the sausage slices into the stew, then season with salt and pepper. The stewed beans should have a thick, stew-like consistency, not soupy, but if you’d like a bit more liquid in the dish, stir in a bit more water. Just before serving, stir in the fresh herbs. Serve in shallow bowls.

    5 years ago •

  1. Angelisha

    It doesn’t matter what type of diet you choose, a little nutrition-know-how is always needed. Omnivores have to strive for food choices that reduce their intake of saturated fat and cholesterol and that maximize compounds that might fall short like fiber, folate, antioxidants, and potassium. Vegans need to give a little bit of extra attention to vitamin B12, calcium, and vitamin A. And omnivore or vegan, everyone needs to identify good sources of vitamin D, and maybe omega-3 fats.
    Here is a quick guide to meeting nutrient needs on vegan diets:
    Eat at least 3-4 servings of legumes every day
    These foods—which include beans, soyfoods, and peanuts—are the richest sources of protein among plant foods. It’s possible to meet requirements for essential amino acids without legumes, but they definitely make it a lot easier. A serving of legumes is just ½ cup of cooked beans, tofu or tempeh, 1 cup of soymilk, 1 oz of veggie meat, or 2 tbsp peanut butter. (Note: other types of nuts don’t count toward servings of legumes, but they are still good for you as you’ll see below.)
    Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables (and lots of them)
    Fruits and veggies are the only good sources of certain nutrients and they are packed with phytochemicals, which may reduce disease risk. Choose both cooked and raw vegetables in your diet since both have benefits. Include a serving of a vitamin C-rich food at every meal to boost absorption of iron. Good choices are broccoli, kale, collards, swiss chard, bell peppers, cauliflower, citrus fruits, strawberries, and potatoes. Make sure your diet also includes foods that provide beta-carotene which is a precursor to vitamin A—dark yellow winter squash, pumpkin, carrots, leafy greens, sweet potatoes, and cantaloupe.
    Aim for around 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day
    While older studies suggest that vegans could need less calcium than those who eat meat, newer research challenges that idea—so vegans should aim for the RDA. You don’t have to hit that number on the nose every day, but try to eat 6 to 8 servings of foods that provide about 100 to 150 milligrams each of well-absorbed calcium: ½ cup firm tofu made with calcium-sulfate, ½ cup fortified soymilk or other plant milks, 2 tbsp almond butter or tahini, ½ cup cooked kale, bok choy, turnip, collard or mustard greens, ½ cup fortified juice, 2 navel oranges, or 1 tbsp blackstrap molasses. If you fall short in your intake, it’s okay to make up the difference with a low-dose supplement, but try to get most of your calcium from food.
    Choose supplements or fortified foods that provide vitamin D, vitamin B12 and iodine.
    Don’t take chances with vitamin B12; it’s not true that you can get enough from unwashed organic veggies or fermented foods. Opt for a chewable or sub-lingual (the kind that dissolves under the tongue) B12 supplement providing 25-100 micrograms every day. Or include two to three servings of foods fortified with at least 1.5 micrograms of B12 in your daily menu.
    If you live in a warm, sunny climate and you spend time outdoors during the middle of the day, chances are that you don’t need to worry about vitamin D. But everyone else—and this includes omnivores as well as vegans—needs a supplemental source of at least 600 IUs of vitamin D. Vegans can choose supplements of vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) which comes from plants.
    Iodized salt remains the most reliable source of this mineral for everyone. (People who eat dairy foods get enough only because milk is contaminated from iodine-containing cleaning solutions.) It’s possible to get adequate iodine from either land or sea vegetables, but the amounts are so variable that it makes better sense to consume about ¼ teaspoon of iodized salt every day or an iodine supplement providing around 75 micrograms several times a week.
    Meet needs for the essential omega-3 fat alpha-linolenic acid
    Although only a handful of plant foods contain alpha-linolenic acid, it’s easy to meet needs. You can do so by eating 3 to 4 servings per day of any combination of the following: 1 teaspoon canola oil, walnut oil, or ground flaxseeds; ½ teaspoon hempseed oil; a few drops of flaxseed oil; 1 walnut half; 1 cup tofu or tempeh.
    Consider a supplement of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids
    The long-chain omega-3 fats—DHA and EPA—which are commonly associated with fish oils, are a complicated story. Technically, you can manufacture these in your body from alpha-linolenic acid. But the ideal conditions and diet for doing so haven’t been identified. It’s not clear that anyone actually needs these fats in their diet, but to be on the safe side—and especially if you suffer from depression or are at risk for heart disease—you might want to take a vegan supplement providing 200 to 300 milligrams of DHA (or DHA/EPA combined) a few times a week.
    Choose healthy fats
    Vegan diets are naturally low in saturated fat and free of cholesterol—a big advantage. It’s still a good idea to give some attention to choices regarding sources of fat. Nuts are high-fat foods with demonstrated health benefits, and they are also good sources of minerals like zinc. As long as you aren’t allergic to them, a serving or two of nuts every day is a great fit to healthy vegan eating. One-quarter cup of whole nuts or 2 tbsp nut butter equals a serving.  If you cook with added fat or use it in dressings, choose extra-virgin olive oil or canola oil since both are good sources of healthy monounsaturated fats.
    Go for whole grains
    There is no dietary requirement for grains, but eating 5 servings a day or so (1/2 cup whole grains, pasta or a slice of bread is a serving) is helpful for meeting iron and zinc requirements.  They are also good sources of protein and fiber. Include a serving or two of whole grain bread made with yeast in your diet since iron and zinc are especially well-absorbed from yeast-leavened foods.
    That’s vegan nutrition in a nutshell.

    5 years ago •

  1. Angelisha

    Vegetarian Paella
    This is an easy dish to make, and the results are splendid. Using quick-cooking rice, you can have a magnificent one-dish meal in about 30 minutes, whether for busy weeknights or a leisurely weekend meal.
    Serves: 6
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    1 medium onion, chopped
    2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
    1 green bell pepper, cut into 2-inch strips
    1 red bell pepper, cut into 2-inch strips
    2 cups diced ripe tomatoes
    One 15-ounce can vegetable broth
    1 teaspoon saffron threads, dissolved in a small amount of hot water (see Note)
    One 6-serving portion quick-cooking brown rice, uncooked
    1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    One 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
    1 1/2 cups frozen green peas, thawed
    1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
    Heat the oil in an extra-wide skillet or stir-fry pan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes.
    Add the green pepper, and half of the red pepper (set aside the rest for garnish), and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
    Add the tomatoes, vegetable broth, rice, seasonings, and 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
    Stir in the artichoke hearts, peas, and half of the parsley. Check if rice is completely done; Add a small amount of water to cook further if needed, or to add a bit more moisture to the mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Cook just until everything is well heated through, about 3 minutes.
    Transfer the rice mixture to a large, shallow serving container, or serve straight from the pan. Garnish with a concentric circle of the reserved red pepper strips, and sprinkle the remaining parsley over the top. Serve at once.

    5 years ago •

  1. Angelisha

    EIGHT EASY WAYS TO GET YOUR FAMILY TO EAT VEGETABLES

    There are children who devour plates of crunchy salads and gobble up steamed broccoli, like it was candy, but what do you do if your kids refuse to eat anything green? Children need the vitamins and minerals vegetables provide. Vegetables from the cabbage family are exceptional sources of calcium, vitamins A and C, and beta-carotenes, especially kale and collards. Rather than trying to get your child to eat food she doesn’t like, fix the vegetables in a way that she will enjoy.
    Don’t load your child’s plate with huge helpings that may be overwhelming. Give him a little and let him ask for more. Encourage your child to taste each dish but don’t force her to eat more if she doesn’t like it. Best of all, set a good example. If you are eating healthy, chances are your children will also.
    GROW THEM
    Spring is here. Time to plant those vegetable gardens. Even a small plot or a few containers will work. If you haven’t gardened before, choose plants that are easy to grow and provide a big yield, like green beans, zucchini, lettuce, kale, or tomatoes. Let your child pick out the seeds and help with the planting, watering, and harvesting. Last summer, my two-year-old daughter would beg for a green bean every time we walked past the garden.
    MINCE THEM
    A food processor is a great investment. It can puree baby food, mix up cookie dough, and mince heaps of vegetables in seconds. Place washed and dried greens, cabbage, broccoli, carrots, etc. in your food processor with the metal blade and chop very fine. Minced vegetables can be added to soups, rice, mashed potatoes, spaghetti sauce, pesto, pizza, pasta dishes, potato or pasta salads — just about anything. Add them to food you know your family likes. They’ll hardly notice a taste difference. Once vegetables are minced, they will keep only a few days in the refrigerator. No problem – make a big batch and freeze it. Lay the minced vegetables on a baking sheet and place in freezer. After a couple of hours, transfer to a freezer container. They will keep frozen for months. Just take a handful out anytime you need it.
    DIP THEM
    Kids love to dip things. Give them raw or steamed carrots, celery, bell peppers, cucumber slices, zucchini, broccoli, and cauliflower. Use hummus, salad dressing, cream cheese, peanut or almond butter, tahini, vegan yogurt or mayonnaise, pureed tofu with herbs, or even ketchup for dipping.
    TOP THEM
    Sprinkle a little nondairy grated cheese on your child’s vegetables and watch them disappear. Even a little Earth Balance or sesame oil can make a big difference. When I was young, my Mom’s crumb topping was such a hit, my siblings actually fought over brussel sprouts. Crumb Topping: Melt 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil and mix in 1/2 cup breadcrumbs. Crumble over vegetables.
    PUREE THEM INTO SOUPS
    If your children won’t eat chunks of vegetables in their soup, puree it in your blender or food processor. Try blending your favorite vegetable, bean, or chicken soups. You’ll be surprised how delicious they taste. My kids call them smoothie soups and like to drink them from a cup. Pureed soups are a soothing way to nourish a sick child who doesn’t want to eat.
    BAKE THEM
    Bake Zucchini Muffins, Squash Bread, Carrot Cake, Pumpkin or Sweet Potato Pie using whole grain flour and a small amount of agave nectar, maple syrup, or sugar to sweeten. Try savory goodies like Broccoli-Cheese Muffins or Zucchini Cornbread. Add minced veggies to bread, pizza crusts, rolls, muffins, etc.
    DRINK THEM
    Vegetables in smoothies? You won’t even taste them. Try this combination – I call it the Everything Smoothie: Place 1 1/2 cups apple juice, 1/2 apple (cored and sliced), 1/2 orange (peeled), 1/2 raw sweet potato or 1 carrot (sliced), 1/4 cup chopped kale or cabbage, 1 banana. Puree together. Makes 2 to 3 servings.

    5 years ago •

  1. Angelisha

    I’m a Vegetarian/vegan… I totally love this article….

    5 years ago •

  1. Tasha

    I would love to go vegetarian, but never know what to do. I have cut meat intake quite a lot, now just puting a bit for flavour. I also don’t really like taste of beans much, so it becomes a bit more difficult, but I never looked in to possibility of lentils instead of meat. Sounds like a plan.

    5 years ago •

  1. Chicara

    I think I could easily swap out certain meats. I’m not a big red meat eater anyway. :)

    5 years ago •

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