Vegetarian Meal Planning

By C Casey

How do you plan your meals? If you're a vegetarian, you likely already know a little something about meal planning. While there are a lot of options for vegetarian meals, the primary market focuses on including meat.

An important part of our meals is the nutritional value. Vegetarian meal planning is a great way to incorporate a lot of vitamins and minerals into our diets without sacrificing taste.
Many people are designating a day of the week for meat free meals. You may be concerned about getting all of the nutrition that you need from meat and animal protein but vegetarian meals can be very high in protein.

Vegetarian meals provide:

• Variety: Trying out different foods, increasing variety in your meals.

• Nutrients: Vegetarian food is high in fiber, legumes (beans/peas), vegetables and fruit. These are great sources of natural nutrients for a healthy diet.

• Low Fat: A vegetarian diet is naturally low in fat.

Often these are exotic recipes taken from different cultures where vegetarian food is a part of their culture and are a normal way of life.

Vegetarian food excludes animal meat and fish. Usually animal protein from egg and dairy sources are included in vegetarian meal planning. Everyone needs protein to stay healthy. Going vegetarian for a few meals a week is a great way to expand your meal repertoire and really get creative with fresh ingredients. Expanding your palate to include the different spices common in other countries will make each meal an adventure.

You can find vegetarian recipe books at the local library or at most bookstores. There are tons of great recipes that are also budget- friendly on the internet. Indian and Asian cuisines include many great vegetarian meals as it is a big part of their respective cultures. Add some diversity and excitement to your diet this week with a vegetarian meal or two!

Yeast Free Cooking is a great recipe book for the vegeterian. Its focus is unique as it is designed specifically for health related reasons - not just feeding a family of four. You'll also find great ingredient alternatives. You certainly won't see THAT in most recipe books!