Written by: Anielly Rocha – Intern for the Dietitians of Palm Valley
Vegan diets have been the hot topic in the nutrition world for quite a while, particularly this year when the documentary “What The Heath” came out. A nationwide poll in 2016 found that 3.3% of American adults are vegetarian or vegan (never eat meat, poultry, or fish), and about 46% of vegetarians are vegan (never eat any animal products including eggs and dairy).
A vegan lifestyle is often misunderstood. Its at many times believed that individuals cannot live a healthy lifestyle by excluding animal products from their diet, or on the contrary that an individual can only be healthy if they’re vegan. Quite the opposite to both, vegans can live a healthy lifestyle if their diet is appropriately planned to be healthful and nutritionally adequate. In turn it may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Low intake of saturated fat and high intakes of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, soy products, nuts, and seeds (rich in fiber and phytochemicals) are characteristics of vegetarian and vegan diets that produce lower total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and better blood glucose control. However, there are key nutrients that are harder to consume with a vegetarian or vegan diet because of the exclusion of animal products. Protein, n-3 Fatty Acids, Iron, Zinc, Iodine, Calcium, Vitamin D and Vitamin B-12 are nutrients that need special attention when on a vegan diet. Just like vegans, omnivores can live a healthy lifestyle when planned to do so, we all need to consume the right amount of nutrients regardless of where it comes from.
Whether vegan or not, we can all live a healthy lifestyle when our food is seen as fuel for our bodies and when its not, its consumed in moderation. We don’t push anyone to become vegan or omnivore but we do push all to look into their diet and be mindful about what your body needs to live healthy and without nutrient deficit.
If you need advice on becoming vegan/vegetarian or maintaining a healthy lifestyle while being vegan/vegetarian we are here to help with your nutrition goals!
Here are a few links to reviews of the documentary “What the Health” written by Registered Dietitians which we support!
Dennis S. Carruthers is a guest food blogger who has come up with 5 vegan dinners you can try yourself.
5 Easy Vegan Dinners To Try Tonight
Food is an interesting topic that many are interested in understanding, but with few resources to help them make decisions, most people are forced to stick to old ways of doing things. While preparing a vegan dinner, you need to consider what ingredients you include in your meal as these are what gives you the flavor and benefits you need.
D. Scott Caruthers, who has worked as a food specialist for many years, is among experts who understand how to go about a vegan diet. His passion for culinary arts began at a young age when he used to borrow ideas from his parents, who ran restaurants. In this section, he offers vital ideas to help you prepare highly nutritious and tasty vegan dishes for dinner.
1. Spicy cucumber pickle
The first vegan dinner recipe you need to try is the spicy cucumber pickle, which most of you might not have tried before but would like to know how it is done. The procedure unlike other recipes is straightforward and not many ingredients are needed.
Cucumbers – 2 regular size or 6 pickling
Mustard seeds – 2 tablespoons
Turmeric – ½ teaspoon
Two star anise
Caster sugar – 75 g
Vinegar – 150 ml
You need to cut the pickling cucumbers into two halves lengthways then go further to slice the regular cucumbers across the middle to form fingers. You should then peel them before slicing into shallots. Add the cucumbers and shallots into colander and make sure to sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sea salt then wait 45 minutes before rinsing. Put all other ingredients in one pan and boil the mixture. You need to keep stirring until the sugar dissolves. Place the cucumbers snugly into a jar and pour the liquid. Leave it for few minutes then serve.
2. Lentil tabbouleh
You could also try the lentil tabbouleh, which is as well easy to prepare.
Puy lentils – 200 g
Spring onions – 1 bunch
Cherry tomatoes – 200 g ripe
Fresh flat-leaf parsley – 1 large bunch
Olive oil – extra virgin
Fresh mint – 1 large bunch
Start by rinsing the lentils followed by cooking in salted water till they become tender. Once tender drain and place aside to allow cooling. Mix your trimmed onions and tomatoes with herbs and add four tablespoons olive oil. Finally sprinkle lemon juice, add black pepper and sea salt, then serve.
3. Aubergine dip
Smoked paprika – ½ teaspoon
1 clove of garlic
½ fresh green chilli
Extra virgin oil – 1 tablespoon
Flat-leafy parsley – ½ a bunch
Roast the aubegrine for 45 minutes on a preheated oven at 180 C. Once cool, scoop the augbergine and place into a food processor, and in this add crushed garlic and chopped chilli as well as oil. Also squeeze some lemon juice and sprinkle black pepper and a punch of salt before serving.
4. Watercress soup
Watercress – 3 bunches
400 ml organic stock
Garlic – 2 cloves
With your potatoes peeled and chopped, add them into little olive oil together with onion and garlic and heat till the garlic is translucent. Then add stock to simmer till your potatoes become soft. After this chop the potatoes and include some watercress before simmering for additional 3 or 4 minutes. Pour the items into a blender to liquidize them to a smooth product.
5. Radish pickle
This is probably the easiest of them all yet so tasty and nutritious
Radishes – 1 bunch
Wine vinegar – 2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons caster sugar
Trim and slice the radishes finely then place them into a bowl with sugar and vinegar. You then need to add the radishes before tossing together and adding a pinch of sea salt. Allow the mixture to marinate for 15 minutes then serve.