This week (11th – 17th May) is National Vegetarian Week; a chance to shine a spotlight on some of the potential benefits of a vegetarian diet and provide a chance to broaden your culinary horizons.
What is a vegetarian diet?
Studies estimate that almost one in five of the global population follow a vegetarian diet, but what foods are on the menu for veggies? And is a vegetarian diet restrictive?
A simple definition of a vegetarian is somebody that does not eat meat, fish or poultry. Although, the variety of different vegetarian diets mean that some vegetarians are more relaxed about what they eat, whilst others follow a stricter plant-based diet.
An increasingly popular choice is the flexitarian diet, which avoids fish, meat and poultry most of the time, but doesn’t completely remove them from your diet.
Whichever type of vegetarian diet someone follows, the reality is that they have an abundance of choice.
The wide variety of fruit and vegetables as well as grains, nuts, seeds and plant-based meat substitutes means that a vegetarian diet shouldn’t be lacking choice or, most importantly, flavour!
Should I go Vegetarian?
There are many reasons why someone may opt to follow a vegetarian diet. There are potential health benefits including weight loss and more stable blood sugars, there are ethical and environmental benefits linked to climate change (with some estimates suggesting that a plant-based diet means two and a half times less carbon emissions than a meat-based diet), and some people follow a veggie diet for religious reasons.
We know that a vegetarian diet isn’t for everyone. But, did you know there are a variety of celebrity supporters who have pledged their support for vegetarian diets; national treasure Stephen Fry and the Hairy Bikers have thrown their support behind National Vegetarian Week and lots of other well-known faces including Ariana Grande, Joaquin Phoenix and Forest Whitaker all follow some form of vegetarian diet.
Meat-free recipe ideas
If you’re inspired to swap out meat for a veggie alternative or perhaps you’re already veggie and are looking for new recipes, why not try a Tofu Rogan Josh with Chilli Rice that really packs a punch, or a Bangin’ Bolognese.
If you’ve got more of a sweet tooth why not indulge in a chocolate, peanut butter and avocado pudding or a decadent white chocolate cheesecake with a rhubarb compote.
If you’ve got a favourite veggie dish why not tell us about it on social media? Share your culinary favourites with us on Facebook or Instagram and we’ll share our top picks.
If cooking and hospitality is your passion why not check out our hospitality apprenticeships.