The vegetarian diet has existed for hundreds of years and many of those who practice this form of a diet do it for several reasons. For most, its religious, others practice it for health reasons and some for environmentalism. Veganism however is a more recent form of diet and many practice this for reasons including health, environment and animals.
In this article, we are going to show you how different veganism is from vegetarianism as well as give you some easy examples of meals for both.
For our readers that have thought of transitioning to either, this will be the one for you.
So, what does being a vegetarian really mean? In simple terms, a vegetarian is someone who doesn’t consume meat, poultry, or by-products of animal slaughter. Basically, this diet contains vegetables, fruits, seeds and grains among others. Depending on the path you choose to follow, it can also include eggs and dairy.
Veganism on the other hand is a type of vegetarianism of the strictest form. A vegan diet does not include ALL form of animal product including the flesh as well as any ingredient derived from animals. This includes dairy, eggs, gelatin and the likes. Simply, a vegan diet is plant-based. I know it seems like there wouldn’t be much left to eat but trust us, you have abundance of options.
What is the difference?
An easy way to differentiate the two is essentially that vegetarians don’t consume animal meat and vegans don’t consume anything animal related, whether it is meat or any other product that can be gotten from an animal.
For a non-vegan or non-vegetarian, transitioning to either, most people opt to begin with being a vegetarian as they don’t want to completely give up on animal products. Once they are comfortable with going all the way, it is easier to switch from a vegetarian to a vegan. In fact, research has shown if done right, many people can barely taste the difference between a vegan meal and a non-vegan meal.
For our readers who wish to explore either of these diets, here are some simple meals for both.
Tomato and Basil Pizza (Margarita)
I bet you didn’t think of vegetarian when ordering Margarita pizza huh?
This is one of the yummiest types of pizzas with an incredible, rich flavor. Some prefer adding fresh, sliced tomatoes for a rich and heavy tomato-based flavor. With the sharpness of the basil, you are bound to lick your lips. If you want to make things more interesting, you can add corn kernels as a topping as well.
Yes, we said it. This is a creative way of using vegetables. All you need to do is oven bake your breaded cauliflowers or any vegetable of your choice and throw in some lettuce, cilantro on a taco bed of some avocado (mashed) spread. You can as well take a different path and substitute the taco with the classic chapati or paratha available in supermarkets.
There you have it! Yes, this is a purely vegan meal and you can’t deny that it sounds mouth-watering.
We can all admit that you can’t go wrong with pasta! And yes, it is served with a sauce too.
Instead of your traditional creamy sauce, this one includes cauliflower (as a white base), cashews, onion and garlic powder for flavoring and lastly, olive oil and vegetable broth for sauteing and simmering respectively. Of course, the cauliflower and cashews are blended in this recipe for the creamy element of our pasta sauce.
This goes well with legume noodles and voila! A delicious alfredo pasta that is again, plant-based and therefore, purely vegan.
Lentil and vegetable stew
Just like any other stew usually made with chicken or meat, substitute that with pre-boiled lentils. The same basic ingredients of onions, garlic, stock, salt and pepper are used for this stew. With the addition for vegetables and lime juice in the stew, this can be topped with a spoon of yogurt and cilantro and can be enjoyed with either rice, naan or chapati.
Can’t you already taste the amazing flavors of this vegetarian stew in your mouth? Yum.
Gluten-free Vegan Lasagna
Lasagna is known to being comfort food and this simple dish will shock you the right way. A great stand in for the traditional pasta sheet is either zucchini or eggplant (thinly sliced). What about ricotta you ask? Mashed tofu of course. When seasoned well, tofu can make a great substitute for this ever-flavorful cheese. You can get tofu in any supermarkets near you.
Sauteed onions, garlic, mushrooms and bell peppers for a mixture of flavors and filling for your lasagna. Layer your ingredients with tomato sauce and bake for 30 minutes. If you are able to find non-dairy cheese, use it as additional topping for your lasagna.
A healthy version of lasagna never tasted so good!