To the unfamiliar, vegetables (or the complete lack of meat) can be intimidating. Some of us never grew out of our default disgust for veggies, but we all know greens are good for us, both physically and holistically, despite what our inner five-year old says!
Feeling like your worn-out body needs a bit less meat and more of the all-natural, good stuff? Great! There’s no need to go all-out vegetarian right away, though – as with any new venture, approach with baby steps. Train your palate bit by bit! We don’t have to eat a salad for every meal to start enjoying fiber and vitamins – we can work our way up to that.
For now, here are some simple, easy, yet super yummy vegetarian dishes to try:
1. Spinach Lasagna
We all love pasta, but why not have some vitamin C with it? Spinach has three times more vitamin C content than your average vegetable – no wonder Popeye’s obsessed!
Plus, when spinach is layered between oozing cheese, fresh tomato sauce, and al dente sheets of pasta, you’ll hardly miss the meat. Sprinkle a little fresh basil and oregano to the mix (herbs are also good for you!) to add another layer of flavor.
2. Falafel Pita Sandwich
Shawarma? Who is she? One bite of a good falafel and you’ll be swapping it for this healthier, crunchier alternative.
Falafel is an herb and chickpea ball, fried to crispy perfection. The chickpea’s thick and crunchy texture comes with just the right amount of “meaty” bite a carnivore needs. High in calcium and fiber, you’ve even got a high-protein snack all on its own!
If you’re up to it, have it with a mix of diced tomatoes, cucumber, and cabbage topped with a bit of hummus dip for a little added freshness and spice. But if you’re not ready for those veggies, we understand – savor the meatless meatball.
3. Roasted Brussels Sprouts
The most foreign-sounding of the bunch, brussels sprouts might not be too appeasing just yet. But don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!
Drizzle these green little guys with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and then season with salt and pepper before you pop it in the oven. Roast until golden brown and enjoy the nutty-sweetness and crisp but tender caramelized edges that come with fiber, vitamin A, K, C, and B6.
4. Mashed Sweet Potato
No fat, low sodium, and lots of potassium, vitamin C, vitamin A, antioxidants, and fiber – the orange cousin of the more popular white potato packs a punch of sweetness and more of the good stuff!
You can have it as a familiar favorite side dish, mashed with butter, salt and pepper, and a dash of milk. It’s just as creamy, just as comforting, and a notch healthier. Or, if you’re in a hurry, you can even just pop it in the microwave for five minutes, season it with salt and pepper and top it with butter for a quick, nutritious snack.
5. Tofu Sisig
And because we promised to hold your hand through your veggie initiation, here you go, the friendliest of them all, your drinking partner and pulutan classic: the magical tofu sisig!
Sizzling and crispy, this addictive dish follow the same sisig rituals – squeeze that kalamansi, drizzle that Knorr, mix well, and have it with a cup of white rice. Tofu contains all nine essential amino acids and is a good source of iron, calcium, and vitamin B1.
See, that doesn’t look so bad, does it? Use these dishes to give your body a break from all the meat. Or just simply eat them together. It’s all about balance, not deprivation. And veggie skeptic or not, you deserve a meal that will make you feel good inside and out. It’s all about holistic wellness! Oh, and all these choices are cruelty-free!