Introduction

There are several levels of vegetarianism.  Often times, we hear of being a vegetarian as one who care deeply for animal rights and care for animals.  But like most things in life, it is not and either or situation. On one side are the omnivores who eat anything, and the opposite side of the spectrum are vegans who do not eat any animal products.  According to the web site of the Mayo Clinic, between these two ends of the spectrum are:

  • Lacto -vegetarian diets exclude meat, fish, poultry and eggs.  Dairy product such as milk, cheese, yogurt and butter are included.
  • Ovo-vegetarian diets exclude meat, poultry, seafood and dairy products, but allow eggs.
  • Lacto-ovo vegetarian diets exclude meat, fish and poultry, but allow dairy products and eggs.
  • Pescatarian diets exclude meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs, but allow fish.
  • Pollotarian diets exclude meat, dairy and fish, but allow poultry
  • Vegan diets exclude meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products.

A flexitarian diet is primarily plant-based but includes meat, dairy, eggs, poultry, fish and meat occasionally or in limited quantities. The 3 easy to prepare and nutritious recipes listed below are delicious!

#1 Simple Asparagus with Pine Nuts and Pimento

Serving for 4

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 to 1 1/4 pounds of fresh asparagus
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup diced pimento
  • 1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts

Directions

  • Rinse asparagus and remove the tough ends
  • Using a large skillet, bring water and salt to a boil and add asparagus
  • Cover and steam until color is bright green – approximately 2 to 3 minutes
  • Remove from the skillet, drain and arrange on a platter
  • Sprinkle with lime juice
  • Garnish with pimento and pine nuts
  • Serve warm or chilled

Nutrition Information

Approximately 50 calories per serving.

#2 Simple and Easy Pasta and Pepper Primavera

Serving for 4

Recipe Ingredients

  • 4 ounces dried multi-grain spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon canola or olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 16 ounce package frozen stir-fry vegetables
  • 1 15 ounce can white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 ounce shaved Parmesan cheese

Directions

  • Cook pasta following the instructions on the package.  When cook, drain and set aside.
  • In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat and add garlic, stir and cook for about 30 seconds or until the garlic turns slightly brown. Add the frozen vegetables and continue cooking for another 2 minutes.
  • Add beans, white wine, lemon juice, thyme, salt (to taste) black pepper, and crushed red pepper.
  • Bring to boil, reduce heat and cook uncovered until vegetables are crisp-tender.  Stir occasionally.
  • Remove from eat and stir in butter.
  • Add pasta to the vegetable mixture in the skillet.
  • Mix gently to combine the pasta with the vegetable
  • Serve in pasta bowls and sprinkle Parmesan shavings to taste.

Nutrition Information

Approximately 300 calories per serving.

#3 Simple and Quick Zucchini Stuffed with Mushrooms and Chickpeas

Serving for 4

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 pack (approximately 4 ounces) of button mushroom, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin, or to taste
  • 1 small can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 lemon juiced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Grease a shallow baking dish
  • Scoop out the flesh of the zucchini.
  • Place the flesh in a blender and chop. Set aside.
  • Place the zucchini shells in the baking dish
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat, Saute the onions for 5 minutes until golden brown.
  • Add the garlic and saute for several more minutes and then add the chopped zucchini flesh and mushrooms.
  • Stir into the mixture the coriander, cumin, chickpeas, lemon juice, pepper, parsley and salt.
  • Spoon mixture into zucchini shells
  • Bake in preheated oven until zucchini are tender.
  • Serve hot.

Nutrition Information

Approximately 110 calories