Because of the upcoming Easter holiday, millions of people are observing Lenten dietary practices. In fact, all the major religions of the world all set dietary restrictions to do with meat. However, health, environmental/economic and ethical factors often figure into limiting, if not excluding, meat from your menu.
Changing a habit is difficult regardless of the reason; so here are some easy make-at-home and dine-out options.
Italian cuisine has lots of non-meat options. , , have choices to please everyone. offers vegetarian chili, soups and a page full of healthy items.If you are looking for soups on a cold day try or . in Eastgate.
Chains are becoming more vegetarian conscious. Panera labels its soups “V” for vegetarian. , and let you quickly pick and choose your ingredients. If you still crave the deep fried flavor (of french fries, if not the burger) Burger King and Applebee’s both have a veggie patty served like a traditional burger.
Cooking at home has never been easier. Check out traditional grocery chains or health food stores like Whole Foods or Mustard Seed. If you are at Giant Eagle or Heinen’s look for vegetarian options in two places. Brands like Amy’s are usually in the cold/ frozen organic area, then Morning Star (made by Kellogg's) is in the main freezer aisle. There are vegetarian counterparts for corn dogs, many flavors of hamburgers, burger crumbles, ribs, bacon and deli meats.
The trick to cooking is to add the meat last. For example if you are making spaghetti sauce or chili, brown your onions and simmer all the ingredients like you usually do. Add the meat substitute and finish cooking minutes before serving.
A newer option that is non-soy based is a mycoprotien by Quorn. Their Gruyere “chicken” fillets, or cranberry and goat cheese fillets are not only true in flavor and texture, but prepared in such a way that serving a special dinner is easy.
There are many compelling reasons to modify your meat consumption. Try some new options this spring and you’ll be amazed by the variety of choices.