Vegetables have long-since evolved from being the lukewarm green lumps that children push around their plates in avoidance. Vegetarianism is quickly rising as a popular way of life among young people. Previously seen as a somewhat unhealthy diet, people are now discovering the benefits of cutting meat out of their meal plan.
Let’s start off with the most impactful benefit of going vegetarian: it’s good for the environment.
“By going vegetarian, we can reduce the impact of climate change, rainforest destruction, and pollution, while saving water and other precious resources.In fact, raising animals for food produces more greenhouse gas emissions than all of the cars, planes, and other forms of transportation combined” Chooseveg.com reported.
Climate change is an incredibly prevalent issue in today’s society as our planet’s condition deteriorates. Besides buying local, drying your clothes outside instead of with a dryer, recycling, and supporting charities dealing with climate change like the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, one can reduce carbon emission and thus contribute to the wellbeing of the planet by becoming a vegetarian.
Appealing to those who are are soon-to-be college students and need to learn how to eat on a budget, vegetarianism can be a cheaper way of eating, and is obviously much healthier than living on a diet of Cup-O-Noodles and Oreos. One can save hundreds of dollars yearly if they live off a vegetable-based diet instead of shopping for a main meat for every meal. Meat is a surprisingly expensive component to meals, and it isn’t even necessary to make a healthy meal.
There are some who argue that vegetarianism does not provide enough nutrients to be a healthy diet.
“If you’re going on a vegan or a vegetarian diet, you especially have to watch how you eat and make sure you still get the same proteins and vitamins you would get from certain types of meat” said Culinary teacher, Chef Huff.
So, anyone considering making the switch to a vegetable-based diet needs to keep in mind that they still need a healthy amount of protein. Some good non-meat protein sources include soybeans, quinoa, eggs, spinach, guava, beans, peanut butter, greek yogurt, almonds, cashews, and vegan protein powder.
There are many more protein alternatives than those listed above, making for seemingly endless possibilities of vegetarian meals.
“It’s not the healthiest thing, but I love a good grilled cheese with an arugula salad with fried goat cheese” said junior and vegetarian Abby Rouch.
Expanding on Abby’s meal suggestion, here are some more vegetarian meals to try.
Healthy zucchini muffins
Avocado pesto toast
Gluten-Free banana oat waffles
Chickpea spinach salad
No-Bake pita pizza
Curried tofu wraps
Snacks and Appetizers
No-Bake almond oat energy bites
Crispy seasoned vegetable chips
BBQ mushroom sliders
Kale and black bean burritos
Spicy black bean soup
Lemon-Parsley bean salad
Try one of these 12 recipes, or some of the many more you can make with vegetarian ingredients, next time you have the opportunity to cook