It all started on a cafeteria food line at SUNY Albany in 1997, my freshman year of college. I was underwhelmed by the dining options available so I took my tray and meandered over to a section called the “Garden Patch.” I remember it all so vividly as a girl with long dreadlocks and patchwork pants introduced me to my first chickpea salad and garden burger.
Vegetarian/vegan food has come a long way since those early years. But even then I knew that this was a lifestyle I was meant to follow.
I was told on more that one occasion that giving up meat meant that I was obviously going through a phase and that it wouldn’t last. Seventeen years later, I’m proud to say that I have discovered a world of foods beyond just the ordinary and meat substitutes that could convince any die-hard carnivore that being a vegetarian is so much more than just a diet of greens and berries.
I’m not going to bombard you with PETA videos and slaughterhouse madness. I’ve never been that kind of vegetarian. But there are a lot of positive health and environmental implications of incorporating a plant-based diet, including:
- A reduced risk of cancer, obesity, diabetes, and heart problems
- Less consumption of large amounts of water for livestock production means less depletion of natural resources
- Reduced carbon footprint as well as air and water pollution.
As you may recall, I was invited to attend an InStyle event with Single Edition Media at the end of last month. In a room full of bloggers (I have to assume that most were not vegetarians), Gardein wowed guests with their vegetarian fare (I know, because several bloggers came over to tell me so!).
What’s more—they even offer a professional online cooking school to help you impress your guests year-round with their meat substitutes!
Why not do something good for yourself this holiday season and make guilt-free recipes your guests will rave about? Don’t believe me? Here are just a few easy-to-assemble appetizers that you, too, can make quickly in the kitchen: gluten-free beefless tacos with roasted corn, black beans, and roasted poblano peppers; gluten-free rosemary pecan crusted chick’n skewers with cipollini onion aioli; turk’y cutlet with stuffing, cranberry sauce, and mashed potatoes; or fishless filet and chips with French fries and lemon wedge.
Is your mouth watering yet?
Who says vegetarians miss all the fun? I’ll be preparing this sucker for the holiday season myself:
Have you ever had a meat-free Thanksgiving? Tell me about it in the comments below!
This post is sponsored by Gardein. All opinions expressed herein are entirely my own. I was compensated for this post.