Vegetarianism is at the forefront of healthy living. It’s no surprise there are so many more vegetarian and vegan food options across restaurants and dining halls nationwide. But there’s one serious catch– salads.
To some, these dishes are an easy way to slide into the vegetarian way of life. To others, salads are a steaming pile of your worst nightmare. But no need to fear! Take it from me, a fellow vegetarian who avidly avoids these bland, leafy fixtures, it’s perfectly easy to go vegetarian without relying on salads. Here are some life-saving facts to help you live the #nosalad life.
- You seriously don’t need that many veggies.
Sometimes, it may seem fruits and veggies are the main entrees of a vegetarian meal. However, it’s still important to be healthy and to balance your meals. You still need all food groups represented on your plate, including loads of healthy vitamins. Eat a proportionate amount of carbs, proteins, veggies, and fruits to keep up a healthy lifestyle. You might want to try pasta or sandwiches that have both carbs and veggies to keep you full. And of course, don’t forget dessert.
- Ask for substitutions in your meals instead of (reluctantly) going for the salad.
One thing all vegetarians absolutely abhor is walking into a restaurant with no vegetarian options, save the bland garden salad. If this happens to you, don’t panic! Try to ask the server if they can substitute a meat portion for veggies (or tofu!) or any other side. If worst comes to worst and you are in a deli with a ham and cheese sandwich staring at you, just take the meat out of the sandwich– trust me, there’s no harm done.
- Avoid fake meat.
If you are just a novice vegetarian, it’s easy to stray to the dark side: fake meat, aka tofu’s evil twin. However, it’s best if you just dive right into vegetarianism instead of tricking yourself to get into it. You don’t need fake meat to avoid salads; it’s not doing anyone any favors. Try getting your protein from other sources like nuts and lentils and incorporating these ingredients into soups or spreads. There are plenty of recipes online to help you try this, too.
- Be spicy!
Okay, so maybe you don’t want to avoid the veggie-overload that much or you’re afraid boring food. No worries! it’s high time to spice things up. Try adding different spices and herbs to your meals to enhance the taste, which should add some more pizzazz to your meals. Not only will you become a pro at vegetarian cooking, but you’ll also enjoy the outcome as well. This is an easy way to get you hooking on vegetarianism (and it’s a lot better than fake meat!)
- Try some ‘weird’ grains
Look, I’ll admit that I never heard about polenta, couscous or quinoa before my mom told me about it. Although I personally don’t eat these sorts of grains, they are definitely a plus to add to your meals and much healthier than your average bread. You can also find these grains in (surprise, surprise) vegetarian burgers. If you are really, really looking to avoid fake meat, give these burgers a try! Pair this up with some shallow-fried sweet potato fries, and you’ll be hooked on the #nosalad life!
When all is said and done, completely avoiding fruits and veggies isn’t the best thing to do to stay healthy. But there are still a lot more options in your dining hall that won’t make you feel like you’re eating in a rabbit’s gourmet restaurant. Be bold with your foods and the #nosalad life will find you soon enough.