We have all seen it and those of us who eat meat have all done it. We have scanned the menu in a restaurant and discarded the token ‘vegetarian’ dish as somehow inferior. For vegetarians, when going out to a restaurant it is very much a case of you get what you are given.
So why is there this stigma about vegetable based meals? It is all in the name. Vegetarian.
By categorising a dish as suitable for a particular demographic, it immediately alienates those who do not associate themselves to that group. This means that those of us who are not vegetarian miss out on some great food, because by removing meat from a dish, you encourage creativity through which you add flavour.
Why should we be trying vegetable recipes?
Flavour. The flavour of a dish seldom comes from the meat, it most often comes from the vegetables, herbs and spices that we add to the meat. For example, a classic Italian dish such as pasta puttanesca, is flavoured with olives and capers, whilst many of our favourite South East Asian dishes are typically based on chilli, garlic and ginger and Spanish dishes are built on tomatoes.
Take a curry for example, (another word that categorises dishes incorrectly but we will leave that for another day!) what happens if you take out the chicken or the lamb? You replace it with seafood, or tofu, vegetables and lentils. There are is a wealth of choices available, so why limit ourselves?
Next time you do your weekly shop, perhaps try to have at least one dish without meat in it and you never know, you might just create a family favourite!
You will find that all of our recipes simply state what they are and do not pigeon hole themselves for particular diets and meat dishes will always show a vegetarian friendly alternatively so that everyone can enjoy them!