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Simple delicious vegetable recipes
One way to promote a vegetarian, vegan or low-meat diet is to share delicious vegetable recipes. Many people are open to vegetarian diets, for reasons of its lower environmental impact (including carbon footprint, water use and land degradation) and for obvious animal welfare reasons - however, vegetarian foods that many people have experienced are not sufficiently enticing. Time constraints are also a factor - the bigger the time investment in learning to find or prepare vegetarian food, the more likely the person will delay the decision, perhaps indefinitely.
Identifying delicious vegetarian foods can help. This is subjective of course, but these are some foods that many people find delicious and deeply satisfying:
- Nuts - raw or in cooking
- Coconut - fresh, and as coconut cream
- Tahini - used raw or in cooking
- Good quality stock - including "faux" stocks that mimic the amine flavors of meat, but with only natural ingredients and no MSG. Massel is an example of a brand available at Australian supermarkets, which is vegan and free of MSG.
- Olive oil
- Fresh herbs
- Fresh-picked vegetables. The fresher the vegetables, the better they taste, especially for salad greens and sweet corn. This is not intuitive to someone raised on processed food, but many vegetables are best used on the day you buy them or pick them. If that's not practical, at least make it as quick as you can, especially for green leafy vegetables and broccoli. (Root vegetables, onions, winter squash and cauliflower are more forgiving - see Vegetables that store well.)
- Salt - be aware of your individual health requirements, but salt has a big impact on flavor. (For many people it is not harmful, but for some it can be one factor in high blood pressure.)
- Soy sauce - natural source of amino acids for flavor. Comes in varieties with differing flavors
- Yellow bean sauce - also called white soy sauce, a very light Thai style soy sauce with a distinctive flavor. Can be a replacement for fish sauce as a table sauce. Look for it in an Asian food store that has a good range or which specializes in Thai products.
- "Vegetarian stir-fry sauce" (Lee Kum Kee brand), flavored with mushrooms and soy, is a convincing alternative to oyster sauce. You may actually find it tastes better (especially if oyster sauce has unpleasant overtones to you). In Western countries yYou will probably be able to find this in any Asian food store that sells Chinese sauces.
Vegetarian recipe search engines
Several recipe search engines exist. (They rely mainly on computer algorithms, so they may not filter the vegan and vegetarian recipes correctly. Be sure to double-check.)
FoodieView's Vegetarian Recipe Search Engine lists high-rated recipes first. Recipes with more than a 4 or 4.5 star average and a large number of ratings are very promising!
Where recipes are not rated, be careful - just because a recipe is on the internet, doesn't mean it will taste good!