National Vegetarian Week

It’s National Vegetarian Week in the UK this week, and there are loads of events and resources out there to encourage anyone who is considering or following a vegetarian lifestyle. My family and I are omnivores, but we are trying to eat less meat, and really enjoy many vegetarian dishes. As a result I’ve been looking forward to National Vegetarian Week for all the inspiration it will provide.

We’ll be focussing on vegetarian recipes this week, both here on The 21st Century Housewife and on The 21st Century Housewife’s Kitchen, so I hope you will join us in exploring the wealth of vegetarian recipe options out there. Even simply reducing the amount of meat in your diet will benefit both your health and the environment, so it is well worth considering.

Whether you want to go vegetarian just for vegetarian week, on a longer term basis, or like my family and I are just looking to decrease the amount of meat in your diet, the Vegetarian Society has some tips to help you get started.

1.Green about going veggie? Then the first thing to do is to get your hands on a copy of the Vegetarian Society’s very aptly named – Going Veggie guide, it’s free and brand spanking new. Call 0161 925 2000 or visit www.nationalvegetarianweek.org for a free copy. Don’t worry if you don’t live in the UK, there is lots of information on their website too.

2.‘ But what will I eat?’ is the cry of the new veggie – don’t worry, there’s plenty out there. Have a think about the meals you already eat. Can they be adapted? Some will even already be veggie.

3.Go shopping – do yourself a favour by buying in some food that you don’t need to make from scratch – veggie burgers, veggie sausages and ready meals can make life much easier until you get to grips with a few new favourite recipes.

4.In the pink – keep healthy by having a balanced and varied vegetarian diet. Our Going Veggie guide has in-depth information. Try to maximise your intake of nutrients by having colourful salads and a glass of orange juice with meals.

5.Pesky animal by-products – in your shopping basket. It’s pretty easy to avoid obvious meat, fish and chicken in food. But there are some sneaky animal by-products such as gelatine, animal fat and fish oils that you need to watch for. Check ingredients or look for products carrying the Vegetarian Society Approved symbol.

6.Explore it – There’s a whole new world of ingredients, cooking styles and cuisine. Go Indian, creating a curry with paneer cheese or Chinese by whipping up a quick and tasty stir-fry with marinated tofu. If you want to really be inspired take a look at the courses on offer at the Vegetarian Society’s Cordon Vert Cookery School byclicking here.

7.Take a look at the Vegetarian Society’s website. Its great for info, keeping up to date and tonnes of recipes. They’ve been around since 1847 so they know a thing or two.

Going Veggie in Seven Simple Steps

If, like my family and I, you don’t want to give up meat entirely, there are even more resources available in addition to these great tips. Try the Meatless Monday website, the UK’s Meat Free Monday website or Graham Hill’s Weekday Vegetarian option.

Also, check out the great weekly Meatless Monday Recipe Carnivals at Hey What’s For Dinner Mom?, Midnight ManiacMy Sweet and Savory and Veggie Converter.

Consider giving up meat, even one day a week, and see the delicious difference it can make in your health, and your life!

Going Veggie in Seven Simple Steps reprinted with the permission of the Vegetarian Society.

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Article by April Harris

April has written 1261 great articles for us.
April is a food, lifestyle and travel writer who lives in Berkshire, England. She shares inspiration, tips and trends for anyone who loves food, cooking, entertaining, fashion, travel and the finer things in life at her blog, AprilJHarris.com.
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