Introduction to Vegetarianism

Learn about the basics of vegetarianism with these articles.

Becoming vegetarian
If you’re thinking about becoming a vegetarian, changes you’ll need to make to your diet and your life can seem overwhelming. Don’t worry! There are some techniques to help you make the switch without going crazy.

Vegetarian food pyramid
The vegetarian food pyramid provides guidelines to the daily amounts of different foods needed for a healthy vegetarian diet.

What is a vegetarian?
Even if you don’t know any vegetarians yourself, you’ve probably heard the term. What exactly does it mean? What foods do they and don’t they eat? The answers are here!

Who are vegetarians?
While some people make the choice to become vegetarian due to ethical or other reasons, many others are vegetarian or semi-vegetarian in keeping with their religion, culture, or standard of living.

Why be a vegetarian?
There are a number of reasons that people choose vegetarianism – learn about them here.

Food and Recipes 

Adaptable Vegetarian Recipes
Meals with a mixed group of vegetarians and non-vegetarians can require a lot of extra effort from the cook. However, you can save a lot of work by making similar dishes for both groups – a vegetarian version and a meat version. Here are some vegetarian recipes that lend themselves easily to meat additions.

Cooking Terms
If you’re fairly new to cooking, you might run into some terms, often in French, that you don’t recognize. It’s rarely as complicated as it seems – take a look at these explanations of common cooking techniques.

Cooking Tips and Techniques
Step-by-step instructions for common cooking techniques.

DinnerDinner Recipes
If you’re looking for ideas on what to have for dinner, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some recipes for vegetarian main courses, soups, salads, and side dishes you can mix and match to make a delicious vegetarian meal.

Easy Recipes
New to cooking, or just too tired to make an effort? Here are some super easy recipes, with simple directions like “cut, chop, blend, stir, and boil” – very little effort and no thinking required!

Fat and Oil: the good, the bad, and the unhealthy
For decades, common nutritional wisdom proclaimed that fat and oil were bad, bad, bad. In recent years, nutritionists and doctors have determined that not all fat is bad; in fact, some of it is not only good for you, but essential.

Glossary of Vegetarianism and Vegetarian Cuisine
A work in progress, this glossary will eventually contain definitions of and additional information about hundreds of terms related to vegetarianism and vegetarian cuisine.

Gourmet recipesGourmet Recipes
If you’re having a dinner party or some other event where you’re hoping to impress people (especially if those people aren’t vegetarian), try these gourmet vegetarian recipes – guaranteed to look
beautiful and taste delicious.

Mock Cheese and Dairy Products
For many potential vegans, cheese is the hardest thing to give up. It’s a lot easier once you learn how to make delicious vegan cheeses as well as substitutions for butter, cream, milk, and eggs.

Plant-based meatMock Meat Recipes
Some vegetarians avoid mock meat recipes, while others swear by them. If you’re in the latter category, or if you’re just interested in trying some vegetarian and vegan versions of typical dishes, take a look at these mock meat, chicken, and fish recipes.

Vegan proteinProtein
There is a popular misconception that meat is the only real source of protein, and thus that a vegetarian diet is inherently unhealthy due to a lack of protein. It is impossible to overstate how untrue this is.

Being a vegetarian or vegan doesn’t mean you can never again make any recipes that call for beef broth, eggs, or gelatin. These and many other animal products can be replaced with vegetarian- or vegan-friendly ingredients.

Sugar alternatives
You might think that sugar is perfectly fine for vegetarians. In fact, the most common types of sugar are often filtered through bone char.

Tofu is a vegetarian replacement for meat, eggs, and cheese, made from curdled soymilk pressed into blocks. It comes in several varieties, can be eaten fresh or cooked in many different ways, and is an excellent source of protein.

Vegetarian Aphrodisiacs
You probably know that oysters are an aphrodisiac, but as a vegetarian, that doesn’t do you much good. Here are some vegetarian aphrodisiacs to consider for Valentine’s day or some other occasion for a romantic meal.

Recipes for kidsVegetarian Recipes for Kids
Deciding to give up certain foods and become a vegetarian yourself is one thing, but it can be difficult to convince your kids to do the same. How can you encourage kids to eat healthy, vegetarian meals? Try some of these fail-proof recipes.

Related Features

Dealing with Meat Eaters
One of the issues faced by many vegetarians is dealing with non-vegetarians. While it’s true that some vegetarians will make comments and try to “convert” meat eaters, I think the majority of us see it as a personal choice and accept that some will choose to eat meat and others don’t. For some reason, many meat eaters are unable or unwilling to reciprocate in kind, and take it upon themselves to attack or try to “knock some sense into” vegetarians.

Dealing with Vegetarians
If you’re not a vegetarian, the thought of cooking for or eating with someone who is may seem rather daunting. In fact, it’s really not that difficult, if you follow a few simple guidelines and use common sense.

Do you know what organic means, and how it applies to you? Whether you are a vegetarian for ethical, health, or environmental reasons, organic products complement your beliefs and goals.

Vegetarian Restaurants
Though I can’t hope to ever have a definitive list of vegetarian restaurants, I do travel quite a bit and thought it might be interesting to share information about vegetarian restaurants that I have actually been to. This list includes vegetarian and vegan restaurants, as well as restaurants that are not entirely vegetarian but have a nice vegetarian selection.