With Christmas now over, you’ve probably had enough of eating left over turkey and ham. So I suggest you start the New Year by adopting a vegetarian diet. Now I know for some of you this maybe a drastic change, but speaking as a vegetarian, I can assure you that it’s nothing to be afraid of.
You can gradually ease yourself into it by giving up meat for a day and then increasing it up to a week. This will help you to adjust to your new lifestyle, until your ready to give up meat for good.
If you’re worried about missing out on any nutrients normally found in meat, then log onto http://www.vegsoc.org/vhealthy for lots of vegetarian ideas and nutritional advice.
Health food shops are also a good source when it comes to offering a wide variety of meat alternatives, plus all the major supermarkets now have meat free sections.
You don’t even have to give up eating out, as there are plenty of vegetarian restaurants to choose from. So to kick start you off, I’ve put together some vegetarian ideas for you to try.
Save yourself some time and have your food delivered to you by Fruit for Thought. Fruit for Thought offer 100% organic, totally vegetarian all British Hampers – with free same day delivery to London office addresses! They offer a variety of different hampers including: Office Fruit Boxes, Fruity Extras, Dairy, Nuts dried fruits and snacks.
And to encourage you to eat more fruit they have launched their ‘Eat More Fruit’ campaign. You can have a 25 piece mixed fruit box for only £9.50, delivered free of charge to your London office.
Keep up to date on any special offers through Twitter@Fruit4Thought.
Going out for a meal isn’t a problem, this restaurant is very veggie friendly.
Tibits is a vegetarian restaurant tucked away in a little road just off Regent Street. And I can promise you that it’s a vegetarian’s idea of heaven!
The food is set out like a buffet and there’s so much to choose from that you’re going to be spoilt for choice, plus they have desserts to die for. The staff are friendly and very helpful, should you have any specific dietary requirements.
You pay for your food according to its weight, which makes it really good value for money.
If you should ever need a reason to start the New Year as a vegetarian, then Tibits is your answer.
Celebrity diners include Stella McCartney, Alan Davies, Leona Lewis and Lisa Snowden.
12-14 Heddon Street – off Regent Street London W1B 4DA 0207 758 4110 http://www.tibits.co.uk
A Recipe Idea
If you fancy yourself as bit of a Jamie Oliver, keep yourself warm during winter with this vegetarian recipe idea.
Gingery Spinach Soup with Tofu Serves 4
2cm/3/4 inch fresh root ginger
3 tablespoons groundnut oil
1 stalk lemon grass, trimmed. Discard outer layer if it is tough or use ½ teaspoon five-spice powder
1 litre vegetable stock, fresh if possible
2 bay leaves
375g/13oz fresh spinach
400mls coconut milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Drain and pat the tofu dry with kitchen paper. Cut tofu into 2cm slices then cut across into cubes. Peel and finely chop the shallots. Peel and finely grate the ginger.
Heat the oil in large deep frying pan or casserole dish. Working in batches, if necessary, add tofu in a single layer and fry them, turning occasionally for 8 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper and repeat with the remaining tofu.
Trim, peel and finely chop the lemon grass. Add to the frying pan and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in the vegetable stock and add the bay leaves. Bring to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile wash spinach and remove any coarse stems. Roughly chop the leaves. Stir into the soup with the coconut milk. ** Simmer for 10 minutes. Return the tofu cubes to the soup and simmer for 5 minutes longer.
Season. Remove bay leaves before serving.
Serve immediately so that the bright green colour is retained.
Don’t worry if you’re not good in the kitchen, these ready meals will taste just as good.
Quorn offer a variety of meat alternatives, that I’m sure would fool any meat eater. I’d recommend you give these a try.
Both are available in most major supermarkets.
Quorn Satay Skewers (12) £2.49
Quorn chicken style pieces are only 19 calories per skewer, so feel free to totally indulge yourself. For a lunch time meal idea: you can either have it cold or heat it in the microwave for 2½ minutes. Then simply add it to your salad and voila you a veggie healthy lunch time meal.
Quorn Goujons £2.49
These chicken-style fingers are coated in breadcrumbs to give it that added extra flavour. They make for a healthy alternative to your usual take away chicken McNuggets and can be served as a main meal when accompanied with vegetables.
A Delicious Dessert
Ditch the diet for a day and try this delicious dessert.
Limey Baked Cheesecake- www.lactofree.co.uk
Creamy, citrus, and fruity and it comes all in one mouthful. A serving of this cheesecake also contains approx ¾ of one of your 5 a day and the cheese filling provides valuable calcium.
Serves 6 – 8
For the base
175g/6oz digestives, light brand (Gingernuts can also be used if light brand of digestives not available)
45ml/3tbsp sunflower or light olive oil
For the filling
450g/ 1lb Lactofree Soft White Cheese
2 large eggs
100g/4oz caster sugar
Grated zest of 2 limes and juice from 1
For the topping
400g/14oz strawberries, dehulled and sliced thickly
3 passion fruit, halved and pulp removed
Icing sugar for a light dusting
You will need a 20cm/ 8in inch loose based, spring-form tin.
Pre-heat the oven to 180C/ 350F/ Gas Mark 4.
Place the biscuits in a processor and pulse until they become crumbs. Place in a bowl, add the oil and mix together well. Spoon into the base of the tin and level off flat to form the base for the cheesecake. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the base is lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
Reduce the oven temperature to 160C/300F/Gas 2. Meanwhile place all the filling ingredients into a large bowl and beat together until smooth. Pour onto the cooled base and return to the oven for approximately 45 minutes.
Allow to cool (the cheesecake may get a slight crack as it cools). Place in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
Toss the strawberries with the passion fruit pulp.
Carefully remove the cheesecake from the tin before serving – it’s easier to leave the cheesecake on the base and place on a serving plate. Spoon over the strawberries and passion fruit and dust with icing sugar just before serving.