Play with your food: Creativity is key to making healthy, non-meat meals

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(NaturalNews) Whether you're already a vegetarian, thinking of becoming one, or simply seeking to add more non-meat options to your diet, several foods exist that are satisfying from both a nutritional standpoint and a taste and texture perspective. Many people already know that "non-meat" need not be synonymous with "bland"; in fact, the ways of enjoying this dietary lifestyle involve much more than consuming plenty of nuts and seeds.

For example, when Zoe Lintzeris, an editor at The Huffington Post who is a flexitarian, decided to try a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet for a brief time, she was in awe of the range of creativity in non-meat choices (1). She said she "immediately started gathering any and all vegetarian recipes," including "black-bean burgers, different takes on pizza and salads, and grain-based dishes." So intrigued by the wide range of options, Lintzeris wrote, "Who knew that going vegetarian would result in some personal culinary innovation?"

Creativity key in making non-meat meals

Indeed, embracing some creativity is important. Sure, eating an array of beans, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables are ideal, but often the key in enjoying them even more so is in the preparation.

For example, Andrew Hall, a plant-eater, suggests using vegetables in soups, rather than just eating them in salads or as a stand-alone snack. (2) He's also a fan of thinking differently, adding, "Almost anything can be turned into a sandwich." He explains that veggie burgers and roasted vegetables are ideal when it comes to creating meals and sandwiches with a flavorful, dense texture. He feels that there is always "lots of room for improvisation and experimentation."

Other ways to bring creativity to the table include using humus not only as an appetizer, but as a butter substitute on a roll (3), mixing quinoa with vegetables (4), and adding beans to salads or whole-wheat pita bread. Even slicing the food differently can impart a new texture and therefore lead to a somewhat new taste experience; a spirooli, for example, is a great kitchen tool that cuts squash into long, pasta-like strands.

Approximately 7.3 million United States adults enjoy a vegetarian diet, with reasons ranging from food safety issues and animal welfare to weight loss and weight maintenance. (5)

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About the author:
Raw Michelle is a natural health blogger and researcher, sharing her passions with others, using the Internet as her medium. She discusses topics in a straight forward way in hopes to help people from all walks of life achieve optimal health and well-being. She has authored and published hundreds of articles on topics such as the raw food diet and green living in general. >>> Click here to see more by Michelle

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