Vegetarians: the long & the short of it.

Going vegetarian is slightly different to vegans, some people in this camp are happy to go with some cheese or even fish.

Vegetarian food is a broad term in the food industry. So for the purposes of this blog, let’s just say “anything with vegetables and diary”. Okay. Now that that’s sorted let’s talk dishes.

We all like to mix up our lunch a bit during the week. Devon and tomato sauce sandwiches has it’s limits (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Reducing meat out of your day can be super easy. The varieties are endless. Antipasto without meats, crudites (yummy cucumber batons), roasted vegetable foccacia and salads with oodles of noodles. How about risotto balls, brushetta and vegetable lasagna? The list just keeps rolling on and on. The good news about choosing this road most travelled, is that everywhere you go around the world, there will be many dishes made and created from just vegetables. Vietnamese, Malayasian, Middle Eastern, Turkish – these all have amazing food with a vast number of vegetable-only meals.

Hands up if remember eating your Brussel sprouts.

Personally, I did eat my brussell sprouts. They were cooked very lightly and drisled over with lemon and quality olive oil. But that wasn’t everyone’s experience (clearly!). So if that wasn’t you – have you ever watched the Vicor of Dibley, the one where Dawn French tries to stick 10 of them in her mouth? If you did see it (the Christmas Special for those who are interested) then you know what I’m talking about. There are nice sprouts and then there are the ones that you eat because you have to. Regardless of how you eat your sprouts (or didn’t), the humble vegetable is starting to take centre stage. Even in michelin star restaurants like L’Arpège in Paris where they previously worked with mainly meats/game, L’Arpège is now a place to visit because the Chef creates spectacular dishes from only vegetables.

There is a clear need for people to pay attention to vegetables because it’s a cleaner, healthier way to live. Reducing the number of animals that are needed to service a meat orientated world is a good thing for the environment (less emmissions from livestock). It’s definitely worth considering vegetarian options when eating out (if you’re not a vegetarian already). Here are the main ways that anyone can benefit:

1. Regular bowels. I don’t know about you, it’s at the top of the list because it’s something that I believe just happen without much input. That’s sadly not true. It’s only when it doesn’t work like clockwork the little voice chimes in with “oh-oh”. Vegetarian meals are a good way to not have to go through those moments because vegetables make you regular. It’s a no-brainer.
2. Healthy arteries = healthier heart. Eating vegetables and grains has high levels of vitamins and minerals, high fibre foods, with low cholesterol and low in saturated fats. All means that your heart doesn’t have to work so hard (like it does with meats and fatty foods).
3. Strong bones. The addition of diary will provide calcium that our bones need to stay strong. As we grow older we also may need to add a light exercise routine to build muscle around our strong bones to protect them even further.
4. Reduction in animal food related diseases. It’s no surprise that many animal based meats contain issues (like Mad Cow Disease).
5. In the cases of women, metabolism and regularity of hormones can be improved significantly by a vegetarian diet. Consult your doctor to find out if this applies to you.
6. You’ll save money. Especially if you grow your own herbs! If you’re a student on a budget or just started paying your first mortgage, it’s a good financial decision as well as a healthy one. Planting your own vegetable garden is also a pleasure to do if you have the time.
7. Variety is the spice of all vegetarian food. There are literally hundreds of ways to eat our veggies. You’ll never have to look very far to find a dish that appeals to all your senses.

We hope these points have given you a few ideas about the good side of being a vegetarian, even if it’s just for the day. Our team at Cafe Axxess admire all the preparation and thought that is put into vegetable dishes. We also like to learn from the best so we can bring you local vegetarian foods are fun and delightful as well. Come into our cafe or browse our online catering menu to try our latest creations.

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