October is Vegetarian Awareness Month, and since many of the community members we serve follow vegetarian eating patterns, we want to recognize them!
There are many myths surrounding the vegetarian diet, including a plant-based diet can’t meet our nutrient needs. However, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, vegetarian diets (including vegan) that are varied and well thought out are nutritious and balanced and can provide a wealth of health benefits to support overall well-being.
A common misconception about vegetarians is that it’s simply the absence of meat in one’s diet; however, vegetarianism is a spectrum. Some people are meatless but still eat eggs or dairy, while others completely eliminate all animal-based products in their diet. This is known as a vegan eating pattern.
Another myth about vegetarian diets is that they don’t provide enough protein. Vegetarians can easily reach their protein needs by incorporating a variety of plant-based foods throughout the day. Soy and soy products, legumes, quinoa, seitan, buckwheat, and seeds are just some of the many sources of plant-based protein. Eggs and dairy products also offer plenty of protein for those who still include these foods in their vegetarian diet.
One other belief about vegetarianism is that plant-based meals are boring, but this is far from true! See for yourself — try out our popular vegetarian recipe featured below. Please note this recipe may contain allergens.
Korean Fried Cauliflower
8 tablespoons gochujang sauce 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ cup sesame oil 5 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ cup brown sugar ¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons soy sauce 5 tablespoons cold water
2 tablespoons water 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds 1 lime, wedged
1 ½ tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar 2 scallion stalks, trimmed and finely chopped
Vegetable oil (for frying)
STEP 1: In a bowl, combine gochujang sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, soy sauce, water, toasted sesame seeds, and unseasoned rice vinegar. Mix well. Set aside.
STEP 2: Place vegetable oil in a pot or electric fryer and heat to 275°F (135°C).
STEP 3: In a bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, and baking soda.
STEP 4: Whisk the cold water into the flour mixture for a few seconds.
STEP 5: Toss the cauliflower with the flour mixture, then carefully drop into oil.
STEP 6: Fry cauliflower until light golden. Remove from oil and increase temperature to 375°F (190°C).
STEP 7: Fry the cauliflower again until dark golden brown and crispy.
STEP 8: Place in a bowl and toss with gochujang sauce mixture.
STEP 9: Garnish with lime wedges and scallions and serve.