Some say that vegetarianism is fashionable, although I do not like to put it in the same bag of gastronomic trends. In any case, it does seem that we are experiencing a greater visibility of vegetarian food, and more and more people are interested in this dietary option, which is actually a way of life. If you also want to take the first steps in vegetarianism, do not miss these 17 recipes to get started without suffering in the attempt.
I never get tired of repeating that vegetarian and vegan recipes are equally valid for someone who eats everything. Anyone can enjoy a good dish without meat or fish at any time, and options like these are perfect so that we do not miss them at our table. And it is that there are two fundamental points to enter vegetarianism without failing: to get really tasty dishes and to achieve the balance of necessary nutrients.
Cauliflower fillets with chimichurri sauce
Legume dishes, some traditional and others not so much
Humble but fabulous legumes are a big part of the foundation of a vegetarian diet. They play a fundamental role since they have many more nutrients than vegetables, provide energy and protein that combined with cereals constitute complete meals. They also enrich dishes, are satisfying and comforting, and can replace meat in all kinds of dishes.
With legumes we can prepare traditional spoon dishes From which we will eliminate cold cuts and meats, such as the green lentil stew with bulgur or the vegetarian chili, complete and very nutritious, ideal for the cold days that lie ahead. To make them tasty, you have to use good raw materials, quality vegetables and legumes, and especially bet on the use of spices and aromatic herbs. Nor should we forget to use a good broth and extra virgin olive oil.
But there is life beyond stews and stews, and we have many recipes that demonstrate the potential of legumes. We can be inspired by Mexican cuisine, with dishes like curried lentil tacos or great vegetarian burritos. Another very simple and versatile option are the lentil medallions with yogurt sauce, also perfect to take away or to take as if they were falafel.
Tofu, a staple of vegetarian cuisine
Tofu has always aroused some skepticism and can lead to a major disappointment if the first time it is tasted it has not been cooked well. Keep in mind that there are different types, with different textures, and that by itself it has no flavor. It has a lot of proteins and in its firm variety it is ideal to use as a meat substitute, for example cooked on the grill, as a filling for sandwiches or sautéed. The easiest thing is to cut it into cubes and marinate it or cook it with a good aromatic sauce, like the delicious tofu in black garlic sauce.
Tofu Squash Broccoli Stir Fry is a good example of how it can be paired with any veggie in a pan or wok, and can be enriched with rice or pasta, as in the Tofu Pepper Stir Fry Rice Noodle Dish. By itself too we can serve it as an aperitif or snack, in small pieces that we will serve with dipping sauces, such as crunchy tofu with sesame bites.
Vegetables for everyone
Vegetables are probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a vegetarian diet. There is so much variety and so many ways to cook them that it would be difficult to make a very limited selection. But when starting vegetarianism we can bear in mind that, to get the most out of them, try to choose seasonal products and respect their cooking times. No one wants a blandurrio zucchini.
What’s more we can be creative when serving any vegetables. Skewers and pichos, for example, are a very attractive way to present vegetables, like these balsamic mushrooms. Another classic way to enrich vegetables is to fill them in the oven, for example some zucchini stuffed with goat cheese and pesto. And to dress the vegetables for a real party, nothing better than savory cakes, like a pumpkin, quince and gorgonzola quiche or a puff pastry with vegetables and feta cheese.
Recipes to surprise
Surprise in a good way, of course, both ourselves and potential guests. And is that sometimes the vegetarian host suffers a bit thinking about the dishes he can offer if he receives diners who do not share vegetarianism. But these recipes are so original and tasty that what matters less is that they do not contain meat or fish.
Individual bites such as spinach, tomato and cheese tartlets are precisely very suitable for parties and gatherings at home, as a snack or informal first course. Pasta lovers will forget about meat with recipes such as vegetarian vegetable lasagna or whole wheat pasta with vegetables, and we cannot forget that we can prepare fabulous pizzas like vegetarian calzone.
Extra: basic preparations
To all these recipes we can add a series of basic preparations that every vegetarian should add to their cookbook – and if you are not, you should too -. The vegan diet goes a step beyond vegetarianism, but it doesn’t hurt to have the step-by-step of a great vegan at hand. Also essential for those allergic to eggs or for those who resist traditional homemade mayonnaise.
To prepare canapés or to fill sandwiches and savory doughs there is nothing like a good vegetable pate, nutritious and healthy, like cashew butter, which can also be prepared with almonds or peanuts. Lastly, you need to know how to cook tofu properly before starting any recipe.
Getting started in vegetarianism does not have to be a nightmare or anything complicated, especially if we are looking for varied, simple and tasty recipes with which to fill our daily menus. With these 17 recipes it will not cost you anything to take your first steps in vegetarian nutrition, they will inspire you and you will soon master all the secrets of meatless cooking, even if only sporadically.
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