Mushrooms in the Vegetarian Diet

It’s a rare occasion when my salad doesn’t contain mushrooms, and I usually toss them in the cooking pot with pasta to blanch for the last couple of minutes, making them a part of my pasta primavera. They make a mean gravy, too.

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Recipe: Spicy Pumpkin-Currant Bread with Pepita Butter

This is a particularly tasty version of the pumpkin bread that pops up virtually everywhere this time of year.

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Recipe: Dolmas (Stuffed Grape Leaves)

This was one of my favorite vegetarian recipes when I was in my teens. Mom didn’t make it often because of the time involved with prepping the grape leaves, then stuffing and rolling them – but I couldn’t really blame her. She worked part time and had me and my two younger brothers to deal with plus a household to run. So, it was quite a treat when she did make them.

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Dairy and Eggs in the Vegetarian Diet

While strict vegetarians consume no animal flesh or products, lacto-ovo vegetarians do drink milk and eat cheese, eggs and butter while avoiding animal flesh.

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Recipe: Pumpkin Pancakes with Fresh Blueberry Sauce

I’ve never been a pancake fan – sweet breakfasts weren’t my thing, especially anything involving maple syrup. But these are pancakes like no other. Neither they nor the sauce that goes over them are overly sweet. You actually taste pumpkin and blueberry, not sugar and sugar. The whole grain flour makes them very filling, so you don’t have a sugar crash mid-morning.

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Hidden Animal Ingredients

Reading the ingredients list on prepackaged foods can be a nightmare, particularly if you have no idea which of those ingredients might be a hidden source of an animal product, much less how that product was taken from the animal itself. As a vegetarian, you will have to decide what level of animal product consumption you are comfortable with.

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Legumes – The Beans

Beans are an excellent source of carbohydrates, fiber and protein, as well as other vitamins and minerals necessary for a healthy diet. Paired with grains, they provide all of the essential amino acids necessary for complete protein in the vegetarian diet. There are many bean varieties to choose from:

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Recipe: Chimichuri Sauce

This spicy sauce hails from Argentina and is an excellent way to perk up an otherwise uninspired bowl of brown rice.

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Recipe: African Yam & Peanut Soup

I was an adult before I grew to appreciate the sweet potato. My mother used to eat it mashed with margarine and brown sugar, which horrified me to no end (I don’t have much of a sweet tooth unless dark chocolate is involved). Combined with savory ingredients, however, I discovered that this nutrient-packed vegetable is absolutely delicious.

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Vitamins in the Vegetarian Diet, Part 2: the Water-Soluble Vitamins

Water soluble vitamins do not require protein carriers and travel more freely in the bloodstream and the lymph system than do the fat-soluble vitamins. They are discharged through the urine and rarely become toxic. It’s easier to become deficient in the water soluble vitamins, as the body stores them in smaller amounts.

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