October is Vegetarian Awareness Month

National Vegetarian Awareness Month October 2015

Photo taken from foodandnutrition.org

Did you know that not only is October Breast Cancer Awareness month, but it’s also Vegetarian Awareness Month! So while you’re rocking your pink this month, try rocking a little more green in your diet!

Did you know that a vegetarian diet can improve your body both mentally and physically? According to Science Daily, sticking to a vegetarian diet can lead to lower blood pressure, lower levels of cholesterol, better heart health and can even lower rates of cancer!

Being a vegetarian (or vegan) can also make you smile more! According to researchers at the University of Arizona in a study for the Nutritional Journal state, “vegetarians reported significantly less negative emotion than omnivores.”

Not only is being a vegetarian healthier for you, it’s pretty trendy among some of your favorite celebrities! Did you know that Ariana Grande, Paul McCartney, Anne Hathaway and Mike Tyson are all vegetarians? And Ellen DeGeneres and Bill Clinton are both vegans! Even Brad Pitt has joined the Veggie Club!

However, going from eating an omnivore diet to a vegetarian one can be a difficult transition! The Monday Campaigns Inc. has launched an international campaign in 2003 called Meatless Mondays. It’s a campaign that challenges everyone, young and old, singles, families and communities to eat the vegetarian diet at least every Monday. It gives you a chance to reset any unhealthy habits from the weekend and kick starts your week in a healthy manner. Meatless Monday is a great way to ease into the vegetarian diet and can improve your health with this one small weekly change!

Being vegetarian doesn’t have to mean tofu, salads and stir fry! Here are two amazingly delicious (and easy to make!) vegetarian meals that will make you say, “Meat who?” Share your favorite easy vegetarian recipe in the comments below!

Real Simple’s Butternut Squash Pizza

(perfect for a quick fall Friday night dinner that even the kids will love!)

Real Simple’s Butternut Squash Pizza found on blog.chefuniforms.comRecipe:

  • 1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled
  • 1 small yellow onion, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rings
  • 3tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1-pound package refrigerated pizza dough
  • 1tablespoon cornmeal
  • 1tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2cup fresh ricotta

 

 

Directions:

  • Heat oven to 400° F.
  • Cut the squash into 1/2-inch-thick slices, then cut each slice into 1-inch chunks. Place the squash and onion on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil, season with the salt and pepper, and toss. Roast until tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Increase oven temperature to 450° F. Roll the dough out 1/4 inch thick. Clean the baking sheet and sprinkle it with the cornmeal. Place the dough on top. Scatter the squash and onion mixture over the dough, sprinkle with the thyme, and add dollops of the ricotta. Bake until golden, about 25 minutes. Slice into wedges.

 

Jane’s Vegetarian Chili by Cooking Light

(a chili so good you won’t miss the meat at all – plus less than 300 calories per serving!)

Jane's Vegetarian Chili from myrecipes.com found on blog.chefuniforms.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups water, divided
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (15 1/2-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (16-ounce) can cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

 

Directions:

  • Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add 3 cups water and next 8 ingredients (through cannellini beans), stirring to combine.
  • Combine remaining cup of water and tomato paste in a bowl, stirring with a whisk until blended. Stir tomato paste mixture into bean mixture. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Ladle soup into bowls. Top with cheese, if desired.

In celebration of Vegetarian Awareness Month, did you try any delicious meatless recipes? We would love to hear about the ones you enjoyed the most!

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