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Vegetarian Diet A-L Tips

Read these 73 Vegetarian Diet A-L Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Vegetarian tips and hundreds of other topics.

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These large soybeans are harvested when the beans are still green and sweet tasting and can be served as a snack or a main vegetable dish, after boiling in slightly salted water after 15-20 minutes. They are high in protein and fiber and contain no cholesterol. Edamame is more often found in Asian and natural food stores, shelled or still in the pod.

What is hummus?


Hummus is a popular Middle Eastern dish commonly enjoyed today. If you're planning on hosting a social event, hummus dip makes a simple and satisfying appetizer that you can lay out for your guests to enjoy all night long. If you're not in the business of preparing items such as these from scratch, pick up a box of easy hummus mix (available in original or Spinach Parmesan) and make it in a snap.

Hummus (hummous), is available packaged. This wonderful Middle Eastern spread is made from chick peas and tahini. It´s also simple to make yourself. This is a common vegetarian "transition" food as almost everyone loves it at first bite.

What is a lacto ovo vegetarian?

Lacto Ovo Vegetarian

A lacto ovo vegetarian eats no meat, fish, or poultry but does include dairy products and eggs to some extent in the diet.

What are legumes?


Legumes are a large group of plants that produce seed pods that split along both sides when ripe. Legumes commonly used for human consumption include beans, lentils, peanuts, peas and soybeans.

What is chayote?


Chayote is a pale green gourdlike fruit used as a vegetable in Southwestern cooking. White, bland flesh can be prepared in any way suitable for summer squash, such as stuffing and baking or raw in salads. Called mirliton in the South and christophene in France.

What is couscous?


Couscous is essentially a very tiny pasta. It is made of durum wheat that has been ground, steamed and dried. It is available in refined or whole grain forms and cooks quickly (in about five minutes). Couscous is used in Middle Eastern, North African, and Mediterranean foods.

What are amino acids?

Amino Acids

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein molecules. Of the numerous types of amino acids, the body requires 20 different ones, 11 of which are made in the body, 9 of which must be taken in from the food we eat so they are called the "essential amino acids". Amino acids are also important in making enzymes and some of the hormones that regulate body processes. The essential amino acids are Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan, Valine, and Histidine. The non-essential amino acids are Glycine, Glutamic acid, Arginine, Aspartic acid, Proline, Alanine, Serine, Tyrosine, Cysteine, Asparagine, Glutamine.

What is brewers yeast?

Brewers Yeast

Brewers yeast is derived from the fermentation of beer. A recommended supplement that contains all of the essential amino acids, no fat, B- complex vitamins, and a great variety of minerals.

What is basmati rice?

Basmati Rice

Basmati rice is a flavorful, long-grain rice from India. It is available in white or brown.

What is horseradish?


Horseradish is an ancient herb with spiky leaves and white, pungent roots. Often grated and used in sauces or as a condiment. Bottled white horseradish is preserved in vinegar; bottled red horseradish is packed in beet juice.

What is dulse?


Dulse is a flavorful, purple sea vegetable with a nutlike taste.

What are flaxseeds?


Flaxseeds are tiny, oval-shaped brown seeds, also called linseeds. Bland in flavor, they are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Very high in fiber. Vegans sometimes use a slurry of ground flaxseeds and water as an egg replacer in baked goods.

What are antioxidants, and how are they helpful?


Antioxidants are elements that basically search out and destroy free radicals (see definition on free radicals). Antioxidants are derived from a variety of products. Plants are a plentiful and powerful source of antioxidants. For example, the antioxidant flavonoids in milk thistle target the liver. Those in ginkgo are reportedly attracted to the central nervous system, including the brain. Probably the most well-known plant antioxidants are carotenoids, the yellow pigment found in many fruits and vegetables. Of the many hundreds of carotenoids found in our food--primarily fruits and vegetables--many are antioxidants. Beta-carotene is the most abundant and well known carotenoid. Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, have all been shown to be very effective antioxidants. Many minerals such as selenium, zinc, copper, and manganese have been shown to have antioxidant properties.

What is chinese cabbage?

Chinese Cabbage

Chinese cabbage has a large oval head with tender, thin, crinkled leaves that shade from white at the bottom to light green at the tips. It is mild in flavor and crisp in texture. Also called Napa cabbage.

What are free radicals?

Free Radicals

In the normal course of metabolism, your body produces small, high-energy particles that have a single electron in their outer shell (such molecules are unstable because electrons prefer to be paired). These are called free radicals, and they can be very damaging in their search for another electron. Free-radicals continuously attack cells, inciting virtually every chronic disease you can think of - clogged arteries, heart attacks, cancer, diabetes, cataracts, arthritis, and all the degenerative brain diseases such as Parkinson's, ALS, and Alzheimer's are all associated with free radicals.

What is a jicama ?

Jicama (HEE-kah-mah)

A jicama is a large, beet-shaped Mexican root vegetable with thin brown skin and crisp, white flesh. Can be eaten raw or cooked. The taste is between an apple and a pear, but not as sweet.

What is coriander seed?

Coriander Seed

Coriander seed is the dried, ripe fruit of a coriander plant, a relative of parsley. Coriander leaves are also known as cilantro or Chinese parsley. The seeds and leaves are not similar in flavor.

What is arborio rice?

Arborio Rice

Arborio rice is a short-grain rice from Italy used to make the classic Italian dish of risotto. Arborio's high starch content gives the dish its characteristic creamy texture.

What is cardamom?


Cardamom (KAR-duh-muhm) is a relative of ginger native to India. This aromatic spice is used widely in Scandinavian and Indian cooking. It comes ground or in a pod containing small black seeds. The pods can be easily crushed with a mortar and pestle to release the spicy-sweet seeds.

What is arame?


Arame is a dried sea vegetable with wiry black threads or strands. Available in natural food stores.

What are cannellini beans?

Cannellini Bean

Cannellini beans are large, white Italian kidney beans. Available dried and canned.

What is flaxseed oil?

Flaxseed Oil

Flaxseed oil is a tremendous vegetable source of essential fatty acids. Reports show 80% of Americans are deficient in essential fatty acids. Using cold pressed flaxseed oil on salads or other foods that are not cooked (you cannot cook with it because heat makes flaxseed oil rancid) can be a good addition to the diet and is recommended for anyone attempting to lose weight. The flaxseed , due to the significant amounts of omega-3 essential fatty acids, has recently been reported to help prevent and treat heart disease and prevent blood clots.

What are bean thread noodles?

Bean Thread Noodles

Bean thread noodles are bland, translucent noodles made from ground mung beans, also called cellophane or glass noodles. They must be soaked before cooking. Look for them in Chinese grocery stores and some supermarkets.

What is amaranth?


Amaranth is a tiny yellow-brown grain that has been cultivated since the Aztecs first grew it over 6,000 years ago. It can be cooked as a cereal or used to replace rice.

What is arrowroot?


Arrowroot is a fine white powder from a tropical plant. It functions as a thickener and may be used to replace cornstarch, which is more refined than arrowroot.

What is a lacto vegetarian?

Lacto Vegetarian

A lacto vegetarian eats no meat, fish, poultry, or eggs, but does include dairy products to some extent in the diet.

What is hydrolyzed vegetable protein?

Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP)

Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) is a protein obtained from any vegetable, including soybeans. The protein is broken down into amino acids by a chemical process called acid hydrolysis. HVP is a flavor enhancer that can be used in soups, broths, sauces, gravies, flavoring and spice blends, and canned and frozen vegetables.

What is lignin?


Lignans are a plant version of the human hormone estrogen. Lignans have recently been shown to be important in preventing and fighting different types of cancer, especially breast cancer.

Why is basil an important addition to my diet?


Basil is a great herb to add flavor to just about anything you are cooking, but also has many other benefits that may cause you to add it to your diet. It is known to reduce blood pressure and ease the symptoms of emphysema and bronchitis. Basil also makes a good natural insect repellent when rubbed on your skin.

What is balsamic vinegar?

Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar is a red-brown Italian vinegar that has a sweet-sour flavor. It is made from white Trebbiano grapes and aged in wooden barrels. White balsamic vinegar is made from Italian white wine vinegar and the boiled down musts (crushed pulp and skins) of white grapes.

What is asiago cheese?

Asiago Cheese

Asiago cheese is an Italian cheese with a mild, delicate tang and a thin, supple yellow rind. Originally ewe's milk, now usually made of cow's. Parmesan or Romano are suitable substitutes.

What is fiber?


There are two types of fiber- Digestible and Indigestible. Both are types of complex carbohydrates. The human digestive tract lacks the enzymes to break down these carbohydrates into a form that can be absorbed and used for energy.

What are Jalapeno chilis?

Jalapeno Chili

Jalapeno chilis are smooth, dark green chili peppers one to two inches in length with a rounded tip. Seeds and stems are extremely hot and should be removed.

What is bulgur?


Bulgur is also called wheat pilaf. It is made from wheat berries that have been pearled, steamed, dried, cracked and toasted. It is a staple in Eastern European and Middle Eastern dishes.

What is curry?


Curry is a catchall term meaning a number of hot spicy dishes from India. Curry powder is a blend of dry herbs and spices used in curry dishes. Thai curry paste is a blend of fresh and dry herbs and spices.

What is arugula?


Arugula is a bitter, peppery salad green resembling radish leaves, also called rocket.

What is barley?


Barley is a small white grain common in North African and Asian cuisine. It is available hulled or pearled; hulled barley has more fiber, while the pearled variety is more common. Barley has a mild flavor and a chewy texture.

What is agave nectar?

Agave Nectar

Agave nectar is a sweet syrup made from a cactus. This is a great alternative to honey. It comes in dark and light varieties. The dark version is similar in flavor to molasses. Use as you would any liquid sweetener.

What is ghee?


Ghee is a highly clarified butter that has been simmered for many hours until the milk solids and impurities have separated, and are then strained out.

What is celeriac?


Celeriac is the knobby brown root of a celery variety cultivated specifically for its root. Also called celery root.

What is daikon?


Daikon is a large, white Asian radish with sweet, fresh flavor.

What is brown rice syrup?

Brown Rice Syrup

Brown rice syrup is made from sprouted sweet rice. This sugar substitute is less sweet than white sugar or honey. Keep this in the refrigerator after it is opened.

What is hoisin sauce?

Hoisin Sauce

Hoisin sauce is a thick, brown sauce made from soybeans, garlic, spices and chili peppers used to flavor Chinese dishes. Available in cans and jars or bottles. After opening, canned hoisin should be transferred to a glass container for storage in the refrigerator.

What is garam masala?

Garam Masala

Garam masala is a North Indian blend of dry-roasted ground spices used to add spicy heat to dishes. Typically, it includes black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, cardamon, dried chilies, fennel, mace, nutmeg and other spices. Available in specialty markets.

What is bok choy?

Bok Choy

Bok choy is also known as Chinese white cabbage. It is available in several varieties and tastes milder than cabbage. It may be substituted for cabbage in recipes.

What is converted rice?

Converted Rice

Converted rice has been steamed before milling, so vitamins that would otherwise go out with the bran are sealed in the grain yielding a more nourishing rice. The process also makes the rice slick, so the grains don't stick when they cook. It is not the same as instant rice, which has been fully cooked and then dehydrated.

What is canola oil?

Canola Oil

Canola oil is the market name for rapeseed oil. Mild flavored and lower in saturated fat than any other oil.

What is agar?


Agar is an odorless, tasteless sea vegetable. Use in flake form as a thickener and to replace gelatin, which is a slaughterhouse by-product. The best technique for using agar is to let it soak for a few minutes in water or flavored liquid, then heat it until it dissolves (about 5 minutes). You can then blend this agar into any recipe where you would use gelatin.

What is bouquet garni?

Bouquet Garni

Bouquet garni is a bunch of herbs tied together or placed in a cheesecloth to flavor soups, stews and broths. The classic trio is parsley, thyme and bay leaf. Tie the bouquet garni string to the pot handle for easy removal of the herbs.

What is chard?


Chard is a hearty green with crinkly leaves and silvery stems, also called Swiss chard. Good source of vitamins A and C and iron.

What is hominy?


Hominy is dried white or yellow corn kernels with the hull and germ removed mechanically or by soaking in slaked lime. Available canned, ready-to-eat or dried. Ground hominy is called hominy grits in the South; Native Americans call hominy posole, which also is the name of a Southwestern stew containing hominy.

What are chickpeas?


Chickpeas are also called garbanzo beans. These versatile light-brown beans have a nutty flavor. They are available dried or canned.

What is champagne vinegar?

Champagne Vinegar

Champagne vinegar is a pleasantly pungent vinegar made from champagne. Available in most specialty food shops.

What is fennel?


Fennel is a crisp, fragrant vegetable with a mild licorice flavor. Its edible bulb and stalks can be used like celery, and its seeds can be used for seasoning.

What is cane syrup?

Cane Syrup

Cane syrup is a thick, very sweet syrup made from sugar cane. Used in Creole and Caribbean cooking. An English brand, Lyle's Golden Syrup, is available in specialty markets.

What is egg replacer?

Egg Replacer

Egg replacer is a substitute for eggs in baking. Usually a mix of powdered starches and leavening agents, this product is sold in a box and acts as a binder. Do not confuse this type of product with Egg Beaters, which contain eggs.

What are adzuki beans?

Adzuki Beans

Adzuki beans are small brown beans with sweet flavor. Used in Japanese cooking, especially for bean-paste sweets.

What is escarole ?


Escarole is a member of the endive family of leafy greens with a mildly bitter flavor. Although used mainly in salads, it is excellent briefly cooked in soups and main dishes.

What are capers?


Capers are flower buds of a Mediterranean shrub that are pickled and used as a condiment.

What is kombu?


Kombu is a wide, thick dark green sea vegetable. Used in making soups and for cooking with beans.

What is black bean sauce?

Black Bean Sauce

Black bean sauce is a pungently flavored bottled Chinese condiment made from fermented black beans, rice wine and garlic. Sometimes also flavored with chilies.

What is hijiki?

Hijiki (hee-JEE-kee)

A black sea vegetable sold in strands. Also called hiziki. Hijiki expands fivefold after soaking and cooking. Can be used in salads, casseroles, noodle and rice dishes, soups and stews.

What is chutney?


Chutney is a sweet, spicy jamlike condiment served with Indian curries. Made with fruit, often mango, and vinegar, sugar and spices.

What are Kalamata olives?

Kalamata Olives

Kalamata olives are purple-black olives often slit to allow wine-vinegar marinade in which they are soaked to penetrate. Packed in olive oil or vinegar.

What is aspartame, and what are the health risks associated with it?


Aspartame (also known as Nutrasweet), after being introduced over 20 years ago has been accompanied by controversy and a cloud of confusion ever since. Since Aspartame was first conceived as a chemical weapon by the department of defense, there would seem to be credible information supporting the potential negative health effects associated with its use. Reported symptoms of excess aspartame may include severe headaches, nausea, vertigo, insomnia, loss of control of limbs, blurred vision, blindness, memory loss, slurred speech, mild to severe depression often reaching suicidal levels, hyperactivity, gastrointestinal disorders, seizures, skin lesions, rashes, anxiety attacks, muscle and joint pain, numbness, mood changes, loss of energy, menstrual cramps out of cycle, hearing loss or ringing in the ears, loss or change of taste, and symptoms similar to those in a heart attack. At least thirty independent doctors and scientists have conducted research on the adverse effects of aspartame or have compiled supporting data against its use. In 1991, the National Institutes of Health listed 167 symptoms and reasons to avoid the use of Aspartame.

What is kudzu?


Kudzu is a white starchy powder made from the root of the kudzu plant. Used for thickening soups, sauces and puddings.

What is belgian endive?

Belgian Endive

Belgian endive is a whitish-green, cigar-shaped head of bitter greens closely related to chicory.

What is lecithin?


Extracted from soybean oil, lecithin is used in food manufacturing as an emulsifier in products high in fats and oils. It also promotes stabilization, antioxidation, crystallization and spattering control. Powdered lecithins can be found in natural and health food stores.

What is brown rice vinegar?

Brown Rice Vinegar

Brown rice vinegar is an amber-colored vinegar. This light vinegar is made from brown rice instead of white rice. This can be stored at room temperature in a sealed container.

What is glutinous rice flour?

Glutinous Rice Flour

Glutinous rice flour is flour milled from high-starch glutinous rice, also called sweet rice flour. Prized for its chewy texture, it is used mainly in dim sum and Chinese desserts. Do not substitute rice flour.

What are black-eyed peas?

Black-eyed Peas

Black-eyed peas are a small, tan Asian legume with a black circular "eye," introduced to America via the African slave trade. Available fresh or dried. Also called cowpea as it was originally grown as animal fodder.

What are alfalfa sprouts?

Alfalfa Sprouts

Alfalfa sprouts are seeds of alfalfa, a plant grown as animal fodder, sprouted for human consumption. Popular on salads and in sandwiches.

What are lentils?


Lentils are simply small legumes. They are available in different colors and are useful in many different recipes.

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Guru Spotlight
Linda Handiak