Know what’s vegetarian? Pasta, cookies, ice cream, bread, and all those other delectable treats that are chock full of carbs and sugars. But that doesn’t mean you should eat it. So this one’s for the vegetarians who are too tired to cook up veggies after a long day at work and call in a pizza instead, who order iceberg lettuce covered in ranch dressing and cheese when dining out, who claim, “There’s not much else I can eat, and I’m a picky eater!” Bollocks.
You’re an adult and a vegetarian now, so here are some delicious, easy ways to replace those high-calorie, nutrient-sucking snacks.
Sure, it seemed like a great replacement for lunch at the time. Better, at least, than those unappealing browning bananas on the counter. Kudos for good intentions, but we know you’re not about to eat a banana without a little push. Wait, what does ice cream even have to do with bananas? Behold: banana soft serve! It’s creamy and rich without any actual cream or other add-ins. Just freeze a banana until it’s hard, cut it up, and throw it in the blender. No tricks here. Add dark chocolate flakes for a slightly sweet twist.
What may seem like the toughest item to replace is actually the easiest. Tofu shirataki noodles are flavorless fiber noodles with hardly any fat or calories, conveniently located right next to the tofu at the grocery store. Another option is brown rice pasta, also full of fiberand an excellent replacement for that white pasta topped with loads of cheese you’ve been cooking for dinner more nights than not. Even better, you cook all noodles the same, so it’s still an easy meal to throw together.
Instead of heading to your local fast-food joint, take a few extra minutes to replace the potato and subtract the fry oil. First, cut zucchini and yellow squash into thin strips. Then bread the strips by coating them in flour and egg wash, then adding bread crumbs. Place the veggies flat on a sheet pan and drizzle them with canola oil. Put ‘em in for ten minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit, and you’ve got fries with nutritional substance.
Oreos are totally (and surprisingly) vegan, but put them down. Chocolate chip cookies are at least 50 percent butter, and we know how Paula Deen’s doing riding that stick of butter. As a vegetarian, you should be eating some nuts, and what better way than drizzled in chocolate? It’s like a cookie without the stuff that’s bad for you. Grab a few dark chocolate bars and melt them in the microwave. Pour the deliciousness over unsalted almonds, pecan, or walnut halves. Let them cool in the refrigerator. Nom away.
VEG HEAD SUPPLIES
Where to stock up on healthy (and cheap!) veggie goods.
Asian Food Markets
These are your new BFF for the abovementioned Tofu shirataki noodles and other goodies like cheap, cheap tofu. Try the Super 88 Market in Allston and Chinatown, the Hong Kong Supermarket in Fenway, or Ming’s Supermarket in the South End.
A given on any vegetarian’s shopping list. The Copley Square Farmers Market (Tue + Fri 11am-6pm) is a favorite, and there’s also the Union Square Farmers Market (Sat 9am-1pm) and the Charles Square Farmers Market in Harvard Square (Fri 12pm-6pm, Sun 10am-3pm).