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Vegetarian Diet M-Z Tips

Read these 43 Vegetarian Diet M-Z 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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Monosodium Glutamate Flavor Enhancer

According to the following ingredients ALWAYS contain monosodium glutamate,a flavor enhancer recognized by the FDA as "naturally occurring."("Natural" means that the ingredient started out in nature.) Those sensitive to MSG need to read the labels on packaged "healthy snacks" and watch for the following; glutamate, Glutamic acid, Gelatin, Calcium caseinate, Textured protein, Monopotassium glutamate, Sodium caseinate, Yeast nutrient, Yeast extract, Yeast food, Autolyzed yeast, Hydrolyzed protein(any protein that is hydrolyzed). Hydrolyzed corn gluten, Natrium glutamate (natrium is Latin/German for sodium.)

What is a pesco-vegetarian?


A pesco-vegetarian is a vegetarian who includes fish in their diets, but no other forms of meat.

What is seitan?


Seitan is also called wheat meat. This meat substitute is made of wheat gluten which has been simmered and marinated in soy sauce and spices. Used in Asian and Middle Eastern dishes, it is available in Asian food markets as mien chung or yu mien chung.

What are scallions?


Scallions are also known as green onions or spring onions. These are young tender onions which have a mild flavor. Both the stems and tops are edible.

What is maple sugar?

Maple Sugar

Maple sugar is maple syrup which has been dried and crystallized into sugar.

What is saffron?


Saffron is a pungent, aromatic, brick-red spice from threadlike stigmas of a purple crocus flower. Buy threads rather than ground saffron, which has much less flavor.

What is miso?


Miso is a salty, flavorful, fermented paste made of soybeans and salt; used as a seasoning.

What are pine nuts?

Pine Nuts

Pine nuts are seeds from the pine cones of certain evergreens. Their mild, pinelike flavor is enhanced by toasting. Also called Indian nuts, pignolias or pinons.

What is silken tofu?

Silken Tofu

Silken tofu is a white, easily digestible curd made from cooked soybeans. Silken tofu is Japanese-style and milder in flavor and higher in protein than regular, Chinese-style tofu. Silken tofu is available firm or soft in 10 1/2-oz. aseptic packages.

What is rice milk?

Rice Milk

Rice milk in a nondairy milk that may be used just like cow's milk, over cereal or in recipes. Rice milk tastes much like skim dairy milk. It comes in a variety of flavors.

What is yuba?


Yuba is made by lifting and drying the thin layer formed on the surface of cooling hot soymilk. It has a high protein content and is commonly sold fresh, half-dried and dried. In the U.S., dried yuba sheets (called dried bean curd, bean curd sheets, or bean curd skin) and u-shaped rolls (called bamboo yuba or bean curd sticks) can be found in Asian food stores.

What is natto?


Natto is made of fermented, cooked whole soybeans. Because the fermentation process breaks down the beans' complex proteins, natto is more easily digested than whole soybeans. It has a sticky, viscous coating with a cheesy texture. In Asian countries natto traditionally is served as a topping for rice, in miso soups and is used with vegetables. Natto can be found in Asian and natural food stores.

What is a vegetarian?


A vegetarian is a person who eats no meat, fish, or poultry and no by-products from those sources.

What is mirin?


Mirin is a mild, sweet seasoning liquid made from fermented sweet rice. It may be used to replace white wine or sherry in recipes.

What is tahini?


Tahini is similar to peanut butter. This paste is made from sesame seeds. It is frequently used in Middle Eastern dishes, such as hummus.

What is rennet ?


Rennet is an enzyme used in the production of cheese. Much rennet is found in the intestines of newly slaughtered calves. However, some companies now make cheese with a rennet derived from a fungus. Cheese manufactured with this method is often labeled "vegetarian" and is the preferable method.

What is a tomatillo?


A tomatillo is a fruit, also called a Mexican green tomato. It is related to tomatoes and gooseberries. Tomatillos resemble small green tomatoes, but have a peppery husk. They have a lemony flavour with apple and herb overtones.

What is nori ?


Nori is paper-thin, crispy sheets of pressed sea vegetable. Usually used for Japanese sushi rolled around rice or crumbled as a garnish. Rich in protein, calcium, vitamins, iron and minerals.

What is soy yogurt?

Soy Yogurt

Soy yogurt is a nondairy yogurt made from soy milk and active bacteria cultures.

What are somen noodles?

Somen Noodles

Somen noodles are white or beige Japanese noodles made of wheat flour. They are thinner than udon noodles, and therefore cook faster.

What is quinoa?


Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a small seed used as a grain, but is essentially a fruit. It was first cultivated by the Incas and has a nutty flavor. This seed contains all essential amino acids. It should be rinsed thoroughly before cooking.

What is tofu?


Tofu is also called bean curd. It is produced from soy milk in much the same way that cheese is produced from cow's milk. Tofu comes in firm, extra-firm, and soft or silken varieties. The firm and extra-firm varieties are best for emulating the texture of meat; the silken and soft recipes are best for desserts and dressings.

What are udon noodles?

Udon Noodles

Udon noodles are beige or cream-colored flat Japanese noodles which are thicker than somen noodles. Made from wheat or brown rice flour, udon noodles may be used in place of linguine.

What is matzo meal?

Matzo Meal

Matzo meal is a meal made of unleavened bread that has been finely ground. Traditionally served for Passover, matzo makes great dumplings (matzo balls) for soup.

What is textured vegetable protein?

Textured Vegetable Protein

Textured vegetable protein is a fibrous-textured soy product that resembles meat. Available in granules (mince) or chunks.

What are mung beans?

Mung Beans

Mung beans are small beans with yellow flesh and green, yellow or black skin. These beans most commonly are used for sprouting. Dried mung beans can be used in many dishes without presoaking. Mung beans also are ground into flour which is used to make noodles.

What is soy nut butter?

Soy Nut Butter

Soy nut butter is a creamy paste made from soy nuts and oil. Available in natural food stores.

What is nutritional yeast?

Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast is an inactive, good-tasting yeast with no leavening capability. Yellow in color, nutritional yeast comes in flake or powder form and has a cheesy flavour. Use in recipes, or try substituting it for parmesan cheese over pasta. Note: do not confuse with brewer's yeast, which is a white powder with a bitter flavour.

What is sorghum?


Sorghum is a thick, dark brown syrup used as a sweetener. It contains iron, which is not generally found in refined sweeteners.

What is tempeh?


Tempeh is an Indonesian soybean product made of fermented, presoaked and cooked soybeans. It has a strong flavor and may be fried, steamed, boiled, baked or grilled.

What is masa harina ?

Masa Harina

Masa harina is a Mexican corn flour used to make tamales and corn tortillas. Flour is made from sun- or fire-dried corn kernels soaked in limewater overnight then ground.

What is turmeric?


Turmeric is the ground root of a plant related to ginger. It has a bitter, pungent flavor and an intense yellow orange color. It is used in curries and is what gives American mustard its bright yellow color.

What are soy grits?

Soy Grits

Soy grits are similar to soy flour except that the soybeans have been toasted and cracked into coarse pieces, rather than the fine powder of soy flour. Soy grits can be used as a substitute for flour in some recipes. High in protein, soy grits can be added to rice and other grains and cooked together.

What is soy sauce?

Soy Sauce

Soy sauce is a dark brown liquid made from soybeans that have undergone a fermenting process. Soy sauces have a salty taste, but are lower in sodium than traditional table salt. Specific types of soy sauce are: shoyu, tamari and teriyaki. Shoyu is a blend of soybeans and wheat. Tamari is made only from soybeans and is a by-product of making miso. Teriyaki sauce can be thicker than other types of soy sauce and includes other ingredients such as sugar, vinegar and spices.

What are shiitake mushrooms?

Shiitake Mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms are meaty textured mushrooms that can be grilled, broiled or stir-fried. If purchased dried, they need to be reconstituted either before or during cooking.

What is tamari?


Tamari is a naturally fermented soy sauce.

What is a vegan?


A vegan is someone who eats no meat, fish, poultry, eggs, or dairy products and who also avoids the use of animal products, including wool, silk, leather, and any nonfood items made with animal by-products.

What is soy milk?

Soy Milk

Soy milk is a nondairy milk that may be used just like cow's milk, over cereal or in recipes. It comes in a variety of different flavors and either fortified or unfortified. It can also be purchased unsweetened. Be sure to use plain soy milk in savory recipes and save the vanilla for your sweet recipes.

What are shallots?


Shallots are small, mild-flavored onionlike bulbs.

What is polenta?


Polenta is a cornmeal mush that is a staple in Northern Italy. It is eaten hot like porridge or cooled and cut into squares that are sometimes grilled.

What is soy flour?

Soy Flour

Soy flour is made from roasted soybeans ground into a fine powder. There are three kinds of soy flour available:
- Natural or full-fat, which contains the natural oils found in the soybean;
- Defatted, which has the oils removed during processing;
- Lecithinated, which has had lecithin added to it.

What is millet?


Millet is a tiny, round grain that is yellow in color. Millet is used in Indian, African and some Asian dishes.



As soybeans mature in the pod they ripen into a hard, dry bean. Most soybeans are yellow. However, there are brown and black varieties. Whole soybeans (an excellent source of protein and dietary fiber) can be cooked and used in sauces, stews and soups. Whole soybeans that have been soaked can be roasted for snacks and can be purchased in natural food stores and some supermarkets. When grown without agricultural chemicals, they are referred to as organically grown soybeans.

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Guru Spotlight
Linda Handiak