Becoming a Vegetarian? Eggs Make the Transition Easier

Making the switch to a vegetarian diet has become popular, particularly among young people. There are many personal benefits to taking the leap, and according to the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, those who heavily reduce or cut out their intake of meat appear to have a lower risk of death from heart disease. They also have lower LDL cholesterol levels and blood pressure, reduced rates of type 2 diabetes, and even reduced rates of cancer compared to non-vegetarians.

Cultural benefits include introducing yourself to a variety of new dishes you perhaps wouldn’t have thought to try previously — and their recipes will make the transition less stressful. It’s easier than you think to explore and discover culturally infused South Asian, East Asian, and Middle Eastern cooking practices that value vegetarianism — all with healthy eggs from Ontario and all in the comfort of your own kitchen. Utilizing certain ingredients such as tofu or eggs for protein is also important for maintaining overall health, as they will also help to curb cravings and keep you fuller for longer.

What people can struggle with however is sticking to their vegetarian commitment.  This requires some discipline, therefore create incentives for yourself, particularly when you’re beginning. One of the easiest ways to make a dietary change is to plan your meals in advance, this way you’re never short of the ingredients you need to create that delicious dish you’ve been looking forward to trying, like this simple veggie and egg fried rice. This colourful dish can be ready in 30 minutes, if you have leftover cooked rice available.

To use this recipe, start by beating eggs with 1 tbsp of water in a small bowl, followed by heating 1 tbsp of oil in large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Then add the eggs and leave flat for about 2 minutes, tilting pan to spread, until they’re cooked through. When they’re ready, remove them to a plate and coarsely chop.

Heat the remaining oil in the same skillet adding carrots, red peppers and snow peas, stir-frying until softened. Then combine soy sauce, chili-garlic sauce and sesame oil, adding it to the skillet with rice and stir-fry for about 5 minutes or until the rice is heated through. To finish, stir in your egg pieces with some green onion and serve warm.

For something with a milder flavour, an herbed egg salad wrap is a great lunch option for vegetarians on the go. In a medium bowl, mash eggs with a fork or pastry blender adding seasonings, celery, mayonnaise to taste, lemon juice and green onion. Then simply divide the egg salad mixture among tortillas, rolling and slicing in half. Serve with vegetable sticks, a garden salad, or homemade fries for something more filling. Leftover egg salad can also be spooned onto crackers with a sprinkle of paprika as a snack.

Whether you’re choosing to go vegetarian for the health benefits, to play a small role in helping the environment, or other reasons, eggs can make this transition easier. They’ll fill you up, provide you with complete protein, and can even act as a meat substitute in many of your favourite meals.

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