Saturday, April 4, 2009

Easy low-fat vegetarian recipes for people trying to lose weight

While people who eat a vegetarian diet typically eat better than meat eaters, if they eat too many carbohydrates or dairy products that are high in fat, even vegetarians might find themselves in the situation where they want to loose weight. Luckily, there are several easy, low-fat vegetarian recipes out there for people who are trying to lose weight.

One easy fix if you are a vegetarian trying to cut back on calories is to switch from frying a lot of your foods to grilling or roasting your meals. Even using recipes that call for stir-fry instead of deep frying can make a big difference in the number of calories and the amount of fat you get in your diet. Also, instead of using recipes that call for cream, half-and-half, or full-fat cheese, you can often substitute skim or low-fat milk, evaporated or soy milk, and low-fat cheese in your favorite recipes. You won’t notice a difference in the flavor, and you’ll be cutting your fat intake significantly. However, make sure not to cut fat completely from your diet since there are “good” fats out there that are good for your heart and helps you have enough energy to get through your day. In small amounts, olive oil is a great choice to use instead of butter in many recipes, including things like pasta, salad dressings, and even stir-fries. Also, use some almonds, walnuts, or other nuts in your meals for the same reason. Try mixing some walnuts into a light pasta sauce, chop a few cashews to sprinkle over your vegetable stir-fry, or add some almond slivers to your dinner salad.

One great example of easy low-fat vegetarian recipes that you might enjoy if you’re trying to lose some weight is a healthy vegetable stir-fry. Heat a very small amount of olive oil in a wok or skillet. Add some washed green vegetables to the wok. Some great options include baby spinach, bok choy, green onions, broccoli, and cabbage. Then, add some salt, a little bit of water, a crumble of cashews, and stir fry until the vegetables are cooked. Serve over some brown rice, and sprinkle some soy sauce or chili paste over it if you want a little more flavor. This particular stir-fry is high in iron, which is essential to keep your energy up throughout the day. Of course, if you want a little more variety, add some baby corn, carrots, water chestnuts, pea pods, bamboo shoots, and any other type of bite-size vegetable that you can think of.

Another option for easy, low-fat vegetarian recipes is garlic mushrooms and rice. Briefly sauté sliced button mushrooms, shallots, minced garlic cloves, and some rosemary in a very small amount of olive oil. Add a little bit of white wine, a bay leaf, and a little bit of tomato puree to the pan, and stir well. Stir in some brown rice and thyme. Add a little bit of water to this dish and bring to a boil. Then, cover and simmer until the rice is cooked. Before serving, make sure you remove the bay leaf as it is a choking hazard. Serve this dish sprinkled with some almond slivers. This recipe can also be seasoned with a little bit of soy sauce or chili paste if you need a little bit more flavor, but the garlic should give it a nice taste on its own.

Of course, no matter what changes you make to your diet, if you’re serious about losing weight, make sure to add exercise to your routine. Cutting calories and fat alone isn’t enough to lose weight in a healthy manner.

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