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Vegetarian Food = Awesome Eats Without the Meats

protein rich vegetarian food

You don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy vegetarian food. Carnivores who enjoy vegetarian food at least once a week can reduce their risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer. Additional benefits include being earth friendly since copious amounts of fossil fuel and fresh water is used to process meat from farm to table. In fact, there’s an international movement called “Meatless Mondays” that encourage people to enjoy vegetarian food on Monday, because people will be more prone to make health conscious decisions for the rest of the week.


Easy Steps to Enjoying Vegetarian Food

  1. Create a vegetarian food list. Add pulses, a protein rich vegetarian food, that has twice as much protein as wheat, oats, barley, and rice. (see tips below)
  2. Search for vegetarian food recipes you’d like to try. For simple, delicious, and well tested recipes, visit www.pulsecanada.com/food-health/recipes or search your favorite website for recipes using beans, lentils, peas, tofu, soy, quinoa, nuts, and seeds.
  3. Reserve a spot on your fridge for a vegetarian grocery list to remind yourself of your commitment to go meatless at least once a week.


Tips on Cooking Pulses

  • “Pulse” is the term for edible seeds of legumes (plants with a pod), such as lentils, beans, dry peas, and chickpeas, but does not include fresh green beans or peas.
  • Similar to pasta, pulses can double or triple in size while cooking. Make sure you use a large enough pot when boiling legumes.
  • Pulses should be cooked slowly so their seed coats remain intact. Follow cooking time guidelines for the pulse you are cooking (see reference: www.pulsecanada.com)
  • Pulses are considered done when they are cooked until tender
  • Freely add fresh or dried spices, herbs, and seasonings while cooking
  • Avoid adding salt and acidic ingredients such as tomatoes, vinegar, balsamic, citrus until the pulses are fully cooked because acids slow the cooking process
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More Tips on How to Add Pulses to Your Diet

  • Maintain a variety of legumes in your pantry – try different colors because we truly ‘eat with our eyes first!’
  • Store canned legumes on hand in case you’re in a hurry
  • Replace meat with legumes in soups, salads, rice and pasta dishes
  • Cook lentils into your favourite pasta sauce in addition to meat or as a substitute
  • Add hummus along with cheese and vegetables into a tortilla or place into pita
  • Season mashed legumes with spices to create low fat, high fibre spreads and dips