Minerals in the Vegetarian Diet: Trace

Trace minerals are present in very small amounts in the body; however they are vital to your health no matter how small the needed amount. Fortunately, they are widespread throughout many foods.

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Why Vegetarian?

There are several reasons why people decide to become vegetarian.

1) Animal welfare. Factory farming is insanely cruel, not to mention dangerous for those of us who consume the end-product. Even organic, free-range animals that are killed as humanely as possible are still being killed for our consumption. If you have a problem with that, becoming vegetarian makes perfect sense.

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Recipe: Calabacitas con Huitlacoche

On the one hand, the word calabacita means zucchini. On the other hand, it is also the name given to various Mexican or South American side dishes that include zucchini (or some type of squash), corn, and cheese as the staple ingredients.

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Recipe: Lasagna Roll-Ups

This is a post-church potluck vegetarian recipe my mother came up with as self-defense against homemade stuffed shells. If you have ever tried to stuff anything into those jumbo pasta shells, you know exactly what I mean. They shoot out of your hands like torpedoes, they drop in the sink or on the floor, your hands are covered in cheese goop, and by the time you’re done you’ve lost your appetite and never want to see a stuffed shell again.

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The Mediterranean Diet for Vegetarians

The Mediterranean Diet evolved from the research of a University of Minnesota professor named Ancel Keys, Ph.D. Beginning in 1958, Dr. Keys and colleagues studied how the diets and lifestyles of roughly 12,000 men from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds influenced their incidences of heart disease.

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Nuts in the Vegetarian Diet

Nuts and seeds are a major source of protein in the vegetarian diet, as well as a very good source of most of the B vitamins, the antioxidant vitamin E, and many of the major and trace minerals, such as copper, iron, manganese, and zinc.

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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: Cuban Black Beans & Rice

When I was a kid in Florida, my father was occasionally called on to be a guest preacher at various churches throughout the state. Florida has a large Cuban population, and for some reason he was in demand at their churches, where he would often preach through an interpreter. While my younger brother and I loathed sitting in church (we could recite Dad’s two sermons backwards and forwards), we always looked forward to visiting those churches and were especially well-behaved because of the huge potluck lunches afterward – with all the black beans and rice you could eat!

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Winter Squash in the Vegetarian Diet

Winter squash is called such due to the fact that it is harvested later on in the year, into the fall, when the skins are thick and hard – as is the flesh. Winter squash does not make for good raw eating. It is, however, very flavorful when cooked – much more so than the summer varieties. The seeds are an excellent source of protein and quite delicious when toasted with a few choice seasonings.

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Native American Food in the Vegetarian Diet

Many of the foods we consume today were introduced to the early European explorers and later settlers by the native inhabitants they soon displaced.

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