There are many reasons people choose to become vegetarian. Some become vegetation for environmental, ethical, philosophical or religious reasons. Other people choose this lifestyle to benefit their health, as circulatory system diseases and cancer have been linked with excessive meat consumption.
• 8 cups Brazil nuts, soaked
• 2 cups carrots, shredded
• 1 lemon, juiced
• 2-3 tablespoon garlic powder
• 2 tomatoes
• 4 tablespoons celery seed
• 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
• 1/4 cup dried onion
• 1/2 cup raw tahini
• 2 tablespoons slippery elm powder
• 2 tablespoons cold pressed olive oil
• Himalayan Crystal Salt to taste
Soak the Brazil nuts overnight, drain off water and set aside.
In a food processor combine the Brazil nuts, shredded carrots, tomatoes, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, olive oil and spices until mixed thoroughly.
Shape into burger patties and dehydrate on nonstick dehydrator sheets for 2-4 hours. Carefully remove the nonstick dehydrator sheets and continue drying for another 2-4 hours.
Place burgers on lettuce or in a cabbage leaf and top with avocados and tomatoes.
Variation One: Shape the burger and place in a 325 degree Fahrenheit oven for 15-20 minutes.
Variation Two: Shape the burger and place in a pan with a little oil and cook each side until it has a nice color, about 5 minutes on each side.
How do you become a vegetarian? You would think the answer is as simple as “just stop eating meat.” Like many things in life, making a change in diet is simply not that easy.
When you make a dietary change to limit meat, one of the first things you need to decide is why you are making the change and what kind of vegetarian you want to be, as there are several varieties to choose from.
Nearly three million Americans eat vegetarian meals two to three times a week. These types of vegetarians are called flexitarians – or people who eat a mostly vegetarian diet.
Strict vegetarians do not eat any meat. There are other vegetarian types who do eat some meat such as fish. These types of vegetarians are called pescatarians. There are also lacto-ovo vegetarians who consume milk and eggs in addition to their vegetarian lifestyle.
Vegans will not partake of any animal products or foods that contain them such as milk or cheese. Although some vegans will eat honey and others won’t because they feel that an animal makes it.
Vegetarian raw foodists eat foods that have not been heated more than 115 degrees Fahrenheit as they believe it cooks all the nutrients out at high temperatures.
Once the decision of what type of diet has been made, then comes the fun part of exploring food.
Many people miss the meat and don’t know what to eat when they first change their diets. There are many ways to substitute meat. Most markets have a selection of meat substitutes, like the rice based tempeh, wheat protein, soy and nut based products. I would caution against using too much soy in your diet, as I have mentioned in previous articles. Mushrooms and eggplant are also good meat substitutes.
When cooking, make sure to season the food with the same spices used when making your favorite meat dishes. Poultry seasonings, cumin, coriander, black and red pepper are commonly used to flavor meats. If there are questions about what spices should be used look at a recipe for the meat you want to substitute and use those same spices.
Humans have a tendency to sabotage changes that they may see as threatening or life changing. It is important to create a good support system, such as family, friends, online communities or potluck groups.
When preparing food for a group, there really is no need to cook two meals for you and for non-vegetarian family or friends. Find a hearty vegetarian recipe. If it is spiced correctly and tastes good, people will not miss the meat. The other option is to remove part of the dish being made before the meat is added.
Some of the biggest hurdles are social events. If you are going out to a restaurant call ahead of time to make sure they offer vegetarian or vegan options. If you are going to an event offer to take a main dish or if a friend wants to cook for you have some simple recipes ready that they can follow.
When making any change in life, don’t forget to be patient with yourself and family. Don’t give up. Most people don’t succeed in becoming a vegetarian overnight. But as you learn and prepare wonderful, colorful and bountiful vegetables it will become easier.