Mushroom, mushroom, mushrooms

There are many types of mushrooms, they add flavour, substance and can make you jump for joy.

Mushrooms

Adding mushrooms to your meal can make it very delicious but obviously there are poisonous mushrooms to you cannot simply eat the mushrooms you find in the forest (or your garden), without checking them properly.

Mushrooms:

  • generally grow on the ground or on rotten trees
  • show up at certain times, for example a week after rains
  • can be distinguished by their shape, colour and the type of underside

The underside of mushrooms can have a frill shape or a sponge shape. So next time you want to identify a mushroom, check the under side of it too. Remember to check with mushroom experts and to learn which mushrooms you can pick in your area. Poison is no joke, but delicious, safe mushrooms add flavour and texture to a vegetarian dish.

 

What about Protein as a Vegetarian?

For many vegetarians, a common question asked of them is, “What about protein though?” Eating a healthy, wholesome, plant based, one can get all the protein needed.

Vegetable stir-fry with cashews
Vegetable stir-fry with cashews

Adding nuts will increase your protein intake in a meal. For example, only 60g of cashew nuts will meet your daily protein recommended amount (*Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.)

Other good sources are legumes, such as beans and lentils.

There shouldn’t even be a question about whether you can get enough protein as a healthy vegetarian. Perhaps one could ask about getting a balanced diet, with enough roughage and nutrients (see a story about getting a balanced vegetarian diet which does not solely consist of cake).

-Graham

graham@thevegetarianman.com

My First Steps as a Vegetarian

Your first steps as a vegetarian can be daunting, but with a few tips, it is much easier to follow.

Spinach quiche, thevegetarianman

Spinach quiche, thevegetarianmanVegetarian meals as a bachelor used to be quite haphazard. I decided to explore alternatives. This is the story of that journey.

I used to eat a lot of meat, perhaps twice what I should have, even if I followed the most generous of the mainstream eating guides. I started to read up on eating in a  healthier way. This lead me to learning more about the vegetarian diet and the reported benefits of it. I soon found that there seemed to be three key themes. These were:

The animal cruelty is easy enough to understand. We raise animals artificially, fattening them up, and then slaughter them to eat. This seems unfair and wrong. (But then, what about protein? I’ll cover that in the next post “What about protein“).

Okay, what about waste reduction? Yes, the inefficiency of the meat industry is well documented. The amount of grains needed to fatten up animals is excessive, with a lot of waste incurred when compared to us just eating the grains efficiently.

Lastly, and perhaps the deciding factor for me personally, was that eating a lot of meat has been found to increase the chances of one getting diseases, such as suffering from cancer or heart attacks.

After reading further into the matter, I found that the vegetarian diet was the best step I could take. I started as a week-day vegetarian until I was happy that I could be healthy on a vegetarian diet alone (see the article on Weekday vegetarians, flexitarians, ovo-lacto vegetarians, vegans and more).

So if you’re thinking of eating more vegetarian food, I would say, go for it, just remember to continue to eat healthy vegetarian food (I ate cake and poor food when I first started as a vegetarian, so avoid that by reading “Cake is not the best vegetarian food“).

 

-Graham

graham@thevegetarianman.com