October is Vegetarian Awareness Month and encourages us to eat more vegetarian meals, not necessarily to give up meat. While vegetarian lifestyles take many forms, health experts agree that these lifestyles are associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, obesity and certain cancers. This is likely due to vegetarian meals’ abundance of vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals found in vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains and legumes. Learn how to prepare plant-based meals and try these simple ways to eat more vegetarian meals.
- Eat vegetables for breakfast with this Mushroom, Ricotta and Spinach Egg Muffins recipe or try a smoothie filled with fruit, nuts, whole grains and veggies.
- Add fresh or dried fruit to cereal, pancakes and toast.
- Load sandwiches or wraps with plenty of of veggies like tomatoes, spinach, peppers, cucumber and mushrooms like this Portabella Mushroom Wrap.
- Add extra veggies to your pizza or even top with a peppery green like arugula.
- Swap meat for beans in soup, chili or tacos like this Moroccan Bean and Pepper Stew or Black Bean Tacos with Roasted Peppers and Onions.
- Soy-based meat substitutes like tofu or crumbles are great substitutes like in this Mediterranean Great Grain Bowl.
- Take advantage of hearty vegetables like eggplant, mushrooms and winter squashes like this recipe for Butternut Squash and Chipotle Chili with Avocado.