Photo: Tom Werner (Getty Images)
People who don’t eat meat have a reputation for being…preachy. With “Hug a Vegetarian” Day right around the corner, we advocate for the celebration of vegetarians and vegans, despite their pressure to give up meat. Instead of a hug or forsaking meat, a better way to celebrate “Hug a Vegetarian” Day this Sept. 28 is by going meatless for a day.
Created in 1949 by PETA, “Hug a Vegetarian” Day was established in honor of those who choose an animal cruelty-free life. According to a 2016 Harris poll, 3.2 percent of males in the U.S. and 3.4 percent of females are currently vegetarian. Similarly, One Green Planet reports the American vegan population (people who don’t consume or wear any animal products) has increased from 1 percent in 2014 to 6 percent in 2017.
If you’ve never gone meatless before, it’s actually a lot easier than you think. Here are some healthy, quick and easy recipes that will make eating vegetarian a breeze.
For breakfast, instead of bacon or sausage with eggs, why not try a delicious overnight oats recipe? It’s easy to make, high in fiber, filled with protein and is perfect for anyone on the go.
- 1/3 cup steel cut oats
- 1/3 cup of Greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup of almond milk
- 1 scoop of vegan protein powder (like Orgain)
- Toppings (such as berries or nuts)
- Combine the oats, yogurt, milk and protein powder into a shaker cup the night before.
- Wake up and shake the cup, then top it off with some nuts and some fruit.
Source: Men’s Health
There are plenty of meatless options for lunch and dinner that pack a lot of protein and flavor into a quick but delicious meal. One of those is a good vegetarian chili. The great thing about chili is that you can make a batch and have a couple servings left over for future meals.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 3/4 cup chopped carrots
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 cup chopped green pepper
- 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 3/4 cup chopped celery
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh mushrooms
- 1 can whole peeled tomatoes with liquid
- 1 can kidney beans
- 1 can kernel corn
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
- Heat the oil in a saucepan and throw in the onions, carrots, and garlic; sauté until tender. Add green and red pepper, celery, and chili powder. Cook until all the veggies are tender.
- Add the mushrooms and cook for 4 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, kidney beans, and corn. Season with cumin, oregano, and basil. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium. Once boiled, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Protein Pumpkin Pie Pancakes
For those of you who crave sweets, try this interesting take on pancakes. It’s just in time for pumpkin spice season, for those of you who get basic like that. It’s also vegetarian and provides 5 grams of fiber and 19 grams of protein.
- 2-3 tbsp butter, for frying
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 cups vanilla protein powder (I used whey protein)
- 1 tsp pumpkin spice (or a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Mix all of the ingredients together. Heat pancake griddle (or pan) to medium heat and coat with cooking spray.
- Pour small scoop of batter onto hot griddle or pan. Cook each side for 3 minutes. Serve with syrup and vegan butter.
Source: The Girl On Bloor
Come Sept. 28, experiment with these simple recipes or venture beyond them. Hugging a vegetarian is a great concept, but taking “Hug a Vegetarian” Day a step further and choosing to eat like one is a wonderful experiment. You could even do both!
Feel free to drop a comment below with other vegetarian options that are cheap, quick, and easy!