I know it makes me a terrible person. I know it means I practically don’t qualify as a liberal 20-something in this day and age. But no, I’m not a vegetarian. Maybe one day, who knows? But right now, I’m still a shameful, self-confessed carnivore. But hey, that doesn’t mean I’m some sort of cavewoman – I still love veggie food!
Back in the ‘50s, when it was all meat-and-two-veg, most people couldn’t imagine being presented with a plate of food that didn’t have a speck of animal carcass on it. But we’re not in the dark ages anymore! You can enjoy a varied diet these days without being stuffed into some sort of foodie box, and that’s the how I feel most of my eating habits go.
I love a Sunday roast or a bacon sandwich, sure, but I also love a whole load of vegetarian dishes, mostly because they taste delicious! There are also an insane amount of benefits to eating veggie food, and even if you don’t make a habit of it you can definitely reap these benefits by putting the steak knife down and going part-time veggie every now and then.
It’s usually healthier- not always, of course, because even if you’re vegetarian cheese is still a thing and there’s no escaping that. But if you’re substituting a beef burger for an extra helping of vegetables, that’s definitely a positive count towards your Five a Day. Also, if you’re counting the calories, you can cut out a ridiculous amount of fat if you get rid of meat, and doing away with pre-packaged, processed food in favour of fresh veggies will lower your salt and sugar intake too!
There’s more to veggie food than just the health benefits, of course. You can usually save a bit of cash if you don’t buy as much meat and pick up some loose fruit and veg instead and, obviously, you’re doing your bit towards animal welfare and helping the environment.
So, even if you’re a hardcore meat-eater, why not consider choosing vegetarian alternatives for just a couple of days a week? The difference to your health, nutrition and budget could be huge!
If you want to get an idea of how to swap a traditional meaty meal for its veggie twin, check out my recipe for vegetarian chilli and baked potato here. Looks good, doesn’t it?