By Hannah Blaze
Vegetarianism/Veganism has become quite a growing trend within the past few years, and odds are, you probably know of someone who has decided to partially or completely ditch all animal products. Now I know that to some people this may seem like one of the most absurd actions you could possibly make, but as a vegetarian for over a year now, I can assure you that it’s nowhere near as hard as you may think. Although I’m not expecting everyone reading this to suddenly drop everything and go meat free, I hope you can at least be open minded enough to think about making a few conscious meal replacements that will make a difference in several ways.
First thing’s first, going vegetarian is not only extremely beneficial for your health, (studies show a balanced vegetarian diet can lead to lower risks of things such as heart disease, certain cancers, and type 2 diabetes) but it’s also amazing for the planet. Now I could ramble on and on about this topic for a very long time, but by cutting out a few meals with meat you could dramatically reduce carbon dioxide emissions, as well as water waste. Simply choosing not to eat a pound of beef saves an amount of water equivalent to 6 months of showers (crazy, right?).
By deciding to eliminate just a few meals of meat a week and choosing meat alternatives, you could really help make a difference in yourself and our Earth! Here are a few of my personal faves:
1. Black Bean Burgers
(Courtesy of @onagoesvegan via Instagram)
Black bean burgers are by far my favorite food on this planet. Black beans are not only tasty, but they’re low in calories and fat, and high in protein and fiber! Add a scoop of guac on top of a black bean patty and pair with your favorite toppings, and I can guarantee you’ll never want to go back to beef.
2. Cauliflower Nuggets
(Courtesy of @edgyveg via Instagram)
A new trend that I have been seeing so many people in the vegetarian/vegan community doing lately is using cauliflower as a meat alternative. Now I know that it definitely does not have the same taste and texture as chicken does, but dip little pieces of it into some batter and fry them up, and you have a great and delicious vegetarian alternative! Although fried foods may not be the healthiest for you, cauliflower is packed with so many vitamins and minerals that you don’t even have to feel all that guilty!
3. Chickpea Salad
(Courtesy of @berlinandcoconuts via Instagram)
Trying to create easy and delicious vegetarian sandwiches that were not PB&J was quite a struggle for me for awhile. However, I finally came across a recipe that is a true 10/10. Simply drain a can of chickpeas, mash them up until they’re slightly broken up and mushy, then add in a generous spoonful of mayo and two scoops of guac and stir! Throw this on two pieces of toasted bread and your taste buds will truly be in vegetarian heaven.
Finding delicious meat alternatives has never been so easy and I truly recommend them to all. I promise that your tummy and the Earth will thank you!!