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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Adapt Your Recipes to Vegetarian For Health and Weight Loss

Posted by Chantel M. Article contributed By
Permanent weight loss is easier with healthy vegetarian meals. Why? A plant based diet plan is low calorie and fills you up with high fiber foods. And fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains contain more anti-oxidants than meat, dairy, and eggs.
Eating the most nutritious foods means quick weight loss without hunger. Not ready to go full time vegetarian? Studies show that eating a few meatless meals every week can lower the risk of heart disease and may even prolong life.
So how can you adapt your favorite recipes to omit the meat? Here are 5 ways to cut the meat and increase the health benefits of your meals:
1. Stir-frys are healthy, quick, and satisfying. Substitute firm tofu, tempeh, nuts, and sesame seeds in place of chicken, beef, and seafood. Use a variety of colorful vegetables like pea pods, red bell peppers, zucchini, broccoli, and carrots for a super-charged meal. Serve with brown rice instead of white rice for a hearty, nutty taste and more fiber.
2. Substitute cooked legumes like beans and lentils for the meat in casseroles, stews, soups, and chili. Try red kidney beans in chili or stew, lentils in spaghetti sauce or stuffed cabbage rolls, and refried beans in burritos, tacos, and enchiladas. Black beans and rice make a filling main dish. Spice them up with some fresh salsa, and add avocado for healthy fats.
3. Skip the meat and add more chopped vegetables in pasta sauces, pizza toppings, soups, stews, and other mixed dishes. Vegetables like portabella mushrooms and eggplant are thick and satisfying. Use soy-based cheese instead of dairy-based cheese for added anti-oxidants.
4. Substituting for eggs and dairy in recipes can be tricky, so experiment to find the right consistency and binding agents for each dish. For example, try tofu, soymilk, soy cheese, and soy yogurt in recipes that call for dairy products. Replace ricotta cheese in lasagna with crumbled tofu. Buttermilk is a snap to make by mixing 1 cup of soy milk with 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Use soymilk when making puddings and mashed potatoes.
5. Fruit smoothies make outstanding breakfasts or lunches, especially on hot days. Skip the dairy base and enjoy a thick, creamy fruit smoothie made with soft tofu, soymilk, or fruit juice.
Seek out vegetarian recipes on the internet. There are countless sites with creative recipes to wean you off meat. You'll be healthier and slimmer if you can eat a few meals a week without meat, dairy, and eggs.
Diane Gilabert lost 30 pounds by following a whole foods, plant-based diet. Get some of Diane's easy vegan recipes at

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