It’s still the season for comfort food, when chilly temperatures make you crave hot and hearty stews, sauces and casseroles. Comfort food might bring to mind rich, meat-based dishes like beef stew and chicken pot pie, just like Mom used to make, but did you know that vegetarian meals can be just as filling and satisfying? Try incorporating more vegetarian recipes into your diet to explore new flavors and improve your overall health.
A recent study from scientists at Oxford University suggests that vegetarians are 32 percent less likely to be hospitalized or die of heart disease than their meat-eating counterparts.
According to the Dr. Oz Show blog:
Researchers followed a total of 44,561 men and women living in England and Scotland for 11.5 years on average; 34% of those persons were vegetarians. Throughout the study, the researchers assessed the participants’ diet, smoking habits, exercise habits, body-mass index, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
After adjusting for potential compounding factors, like age, alcohol consumption and physical activity, they found that vegetarians had a 32% lower risk of being hospitalized or dying from heart disease. They even found that those who were vegetarians for at least 5 years during the study enjoyed similar heart-healthy benefits.
The blog also says if you are considering a vegetarian or vegan diet, you should be careful to get enough protein and vitamins in your diet: “make sure to include good sources of plant-based proteins in your diet from tofu, quinoa, tempeh, or white beans.” Here are a few delicious vegetarian recipes using some of those healthy ingredients.
Vegetarian Soup with Cannellini Beans and Kale
Cannellini beans, a staple in Italian cooking, are full of protein and iron and are melt-in-your-mouth good in soups and stews. This soup recipe combines the beans with fresh kale, fresh vegetables and herbs and a little bit of spice, and you can prepare it easily in a pressure cooker or on the stovetop.
Stuffed peppers are a snap to make and a great way to feed a hungry crowd. Peppers are often filled with ground meat and rice, but this recipe offers a flavorful and vegetarian alternative: quinoa, carrots, onions, sunflower seeds, dried parsley, dried basil, dried oregano, paprika, dried marjoram, dried thyme and cayenne pepper.
Vegan Slow-Cooker Navy Bean Soup
This soup recipe is perfect for a busy weekday because the slow cooker does all the work. Just soak dried navy beans in water overnight, rinse, then slow-cook with diced tomatoes, carrots, celery, broth and spices (including parsley, paprika and black pepper).
What are your favorite vegetarian recipes? Share them in the comments!