It’s National vegetarian week this week; the annual awareness-raising campaign promoting inspirational vegetarian food and the benefits of a meat-free lifestyle. Celebrated by the Vegetarian Society since 1992, the Week is now an established event that gets bigger and better every year.
A huge range of organisations from small businesses to big corporations, schools, community groups and individuals all across the UK get involved and everyone is invited to join in and make the Week a success.
Iron comes from wholegrain cereals, sesame seeds (try crisp breads with sesame seeds already in them, tahini or sesame seeds whizzed into smoothies or sprinkled onto cereal) leafy green vegetables (the number ones are broccoli and kale), molasses (use instead of sugar for baking or put into smoothies), pulses such as lentils and kidney beans (warming lentil soup is satisfying and bursting with iron!) and some dried fruit; especially apricots – keep a bag close by and snack on them throughout the day or soak overnight and serve as a compote for breakfast.
Having a glass of freshly squeezed fruit juice, such as orange which is high in vitamin C with your meals will help your body to absorb the iron.
There are many non-meat sources of protein such as nuts, beans, eggs, soya products, pulses and dairy.
To get a complete protein you need to combine legumes with grains, nuts or seeds.
Meals such as chick pea curry with rice, noodles with sesame seeds, beans on toast, hummous and pitta bread and split pea soup and whole grain bread are simple examples of how you can eat a balanced and nutritious vegetarian diet. Add lots of fresh fruit, vegetables and salads and you’ll be bouncing with energy!
Over on Eco Salon, they shared “10 easy, tasty vegetarian meals that you’ll make again and again” and I have to say, they all look delicious and several of them are indeed, the kinds of recipes I find myself cooking again and again.
Maybe you fancy trying just one vegetarian meal this week – let me know what you’re going to eat and whether you enjoy it. If you’re stuck for inspiration, there is a recipes section on the National Vegetarian Week website and you can find out if any events are taking place local to you with their events finder.