Ready to Go Meatless? Here’s Why You Should (+ 4 Yummy Recipes).

Avocado on white

Becoming a vegetarian is a big decision that many people make because of compassion for animals, health concerns or just food preferences. I myself have been a vegetarian for several months and it has impacted my life in a very positive way! I find myself with more energy, a clearer complexion and a healthier heart. Also, it’s a great feeling knowing that what you’re eating is cruelty-free and got to you without any living creatures being harmed in the process.

Going vegetarian and removing all meat from your diet is a wonderful thing, but you should know the facts before you take the plunge. It’s important to make sure you’re still getting sufficient protein, which can be done by eating more whole grains, beans, low-fat dairy products, nuts and seeds. Vegetarian diets can also lack calcium, which can be obtained through milk, yogurt, cheese, leafy greens and fruit.

Make veggie noodles quickly and easily with our microplane spiral cutter. Just insert and twist!

Make veggie noodles quickly and easily with our microplane spiral cutter. Just insert and twist!

As long as you take precautions and make sure you’re getting plenty of nutrients from foods other than meat, being a vegetarian has nothing but benefits! Aside from giving you clear skin, a healthier heart and increased energy, cutting meat from your life can help you keep your weight down, live a longer life and save money on grocery bills. Vegetarianism also helps the environment by reducing pollution. And most importantly, you’ll save the lives of hundreds of animals! Giving up meat is good for you and great for animals, so please, consider making the change in your life today!

Here are 4 delicious meatless recipes to get you started:

Avocado Fries
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 avocados
  2. 1 egg
  3. 1 cup bread crumbs
  4. 1/2 tsp. salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Mix together the bread crumbs and salt in a small bowl.
  3. Cut avocados in half, remove the pit and slice them vertically into 1-inch wedges.
  4. Carefully scoop wedges out of the peel with a spoon.
  5. Coat each wedge in egg and then in bread crumbs.
  6. Place wedges on a baking sheet.
  7. Bake 12-15 minutes.
Lehman's Country Life http://blog.lehmans.com/
Chilled Cantaloupe Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 1 large cantaloupe, chilled
  2. 1/3 cup orange juice
  3. 4 lime wedges
Instructions
  1. Seed the cantaloupe and cut into 1-inch chunks.
  2. Place cantaloupe and orange juice in a blender and puree until well blended.
  3. Squeeze lime juice over soup and serve cold.
Lehman's Country Life http://blog.lehmans.com/
Sweet Potato and Apple Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tsp. olive oil
  2. 1 onion, minced
  3. salt and black pepper
  4. 4 sweet potatoes
  5. 3 apples, 2 cups vegetable broth
  6. pinch ground nutmeg
  7. 1 cup blue cheese
  8. 1/3 cup walnuts
  9. crackers
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot on medium heat.
  2. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into 3/4-inch pieces.
  3. Peel and chop up one apple; thinly slice the other two.
  4. Add the onion, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper to the oil and cook 6-8 minutes or until soft.
  5. Add the sweet potatoes, chopped apple, broth, nutmeg and 1 1/2 cups water.
  6. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered for 12-15 minutes.
  7. Transfer to blender and puree until smooth.
  8. Garnish soup with blue cheese and walnuts. Serve with crackers.
Lehman's Country Life http://blog.lehmans.com/
Mediterranean Stuffed Tomatoes
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. 1/3 cup quinoa
  2. 8 tomatoes
  3. 1/2 cup chopped artichoke
  4. 1/2 cup feta cheese
  5. 15 thinly sliced olives
  6. 1 T. olive oil
  7. 2 cloves fresh garlic (minced)
  8. sea salt
Instructions
  1. Cook quinoa: measure out 1/3 cup quinoa and rinse under running water for 1 minute, then pour into a pot and add 2/3 cup water. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15-18 minute. Remove from heat, let sit for a few minutes, then fluff with a fork.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Core the tomatoes and set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together the cooked quinoa, feta, artichokes, olives, olive oil and garlic.
  5. Add salt to taste.
  6. Lightly grease a baking dish and brush the tops of the tomatoes with olive oil.
  7. Use a spoon to stuff the tomatoes with quinoa mixture.
  8. Top each with more feta.
  9. Bake for 15-20 minutes and serve.
Lehman's Country Life http://blog.lehmans.com/
Editor’s Note: Allison Ervin is currently a junior in high school. She blogs for Lehman’s Country Life on topics relating to how today’s youth can live a simpler, healthier life. The opinions expressed here are her own.