Like any individual, I have my favourite foods. Unfortunately, mine happen to be items I cannot eat every day – raspberries, watermelon and nachos. After I came to that realization (and yes, I did try to only eat these items when I first became vegetarian), I decided it was time to experiment and try new foods. Like I mentioned in my first blog post, part of becoming a vegetarian means you need to figure out how to not become a carbaterian. So after many years of experimenting I have found my four staples that help me make any meals into healthier vegetarian options: cauliflower, spaghetti squash, and chickpeas. Below, I will go into further detail of why these items are my favourite and provide you with links and pictures to my personal favourite recipes.
In my opinion, cauliflower is the best vegetable out there. Not only can it be eaten as a healthy vegetable, it can be turned into the perfect carb substitute. My fiancée and I use cauliflower in stir frys, as a raw veggie, as a pizza crust, or when we are craving a potato-like dish. By using cauliflower as a carb substitute, you are saving 30 g of carbohydrates per cup. It was in 2011 that I first found this out thanks to Lauren Conrad’s Cauliflower Crust Pizza recipe and I have been hooked on cauliflower ever since. To see images of the Cauliflower Pizza and the recipe please check out the gallery below.
Spaghetti Squash is another carb replacement that my fiancée and I have fallen in love with. It can be baked, boiled, steamed or even microwaved and is a great pasta substitute. It is low in calories with an average of only 42 calories per cup. Whenever the urge for pasta strikes me, I use spaghetti squash. It is easy to prepare and always makes for a great dinner. Although there are endless recipes to be found on the internet, there are two that have become my personal favourites. The first is the basic how-to recipe on Martha Stewart’s website and the second one is a Southwest Spaghetti Squash Recipe found on Christina Salus’ website. To see images Spaghetti squash and the recipes please check out the gallery below.
Cheakpeas are, or should be, a staple in every vegetarian’s diet. They are a good source of fibre, protein and folate and can be used as a substitute for meat. Chickpeas can be used to make hummus, soups, stews, salads, and roasted as a snack or many other options. Chickpeas are great as a substitute or as the main item in a dish. I use them to make fresh hummus at the start of every week and also add them in a lot of weeknight dinners. Chickpeas can make for great plan ahead dinners and can be stored in the fridge for up to two days. Vegangela has lots of great recipes that include chickpeas with their Vegan Mexican Chickpea Salad being my favourite. To see images of Chickpeas and the recipe please check out the gallery below.
So those are my personal favourite super foods. Quinoa is another one that is extremely versatile as well that many vegetarians enjoy. What are your personal favourites?