The Essentials Of A Vegetarian Diet

Vacherin Mont d’Or (recipe below)
Image by dane brian
This is a super easy, sure to please treat.

"As eagerly anticipated among its fervent followers as Christmas Day is among the townsfolk of Whoville, Vacherin Mont d’Or is a truly seasonal cheese, made from the autumn and winter milk of the same speckled Swiss cows that give us Swiss Gruyère. Unless you smuggle the raw-milk variety past Customs, you’ll have to settle for a fromage made from milk that’s been thermized (like pasteurization-lite). Still, when perfectly ripe and properly oozing, it’s a fairly spectacular thing with a relentlessly barnyard-y aroma. Eat it with a spoon from its sprucewood container with some fruit and nuts, or wrap it in foil, box and all, and pop it in the oven for a no-cleanup-required fondue.

Baked Vacherin

1-lb. wheel of Vacherin Mont d’Or (available at Murray’s Cheese Shop and Dean & DeLuca in limited supply)
2–3 cloves garlic
Splash or 2 of white wine

Preheat oven to 375. (1) Discard the box lid, and prick the top of the cheese’s rind a few times with a knife. (2) Insert garlic cloves into the cheese, and drizzle the wine over the top. (3) Wrap the cheese (still in its box) in a piece of aluminum foil, leaving the top open. Place in oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes. Serve hot with crusty bread for dipping and cornichons, or spooned over boiled potatoes. Serves 4. "

The Essentials Of Becoming A Vegetarian
There’s a lot of interest in vegetarian diets these days, with more and more people making the switch to a meatless existence. Some do it for health , others for social or spiritual convictions, but whatever the reasons, the number of people switching to vegetarian diets is huge. Going meatless is probably a step up from whatever you were doing before, but be aware that there are certain things you need to pay attention to if you plan to go completely vegetarian.
A typical vegetarian diet is low in fat and high in fiber, and that’s good. What a typical vegetarian diet can be deficient in however, is Protein, Calcium, Vitamin D, Iron and B-12. These are things you need to make a point of consuming on a daily basis if you want your body to get the most out of this diet. Let’s go through each one of these, and I’ll tell you which foods have them and how much of that you should be consuming on a daily basis.
Good sources of protein are:
Eggs, Milk, Cheese, Yogurt
Whole Grains
Rotate around. Eat a couple of these foods every day. Then try a couple more the next day, and so on. Doing this should give you enough variety for the week and enough protein for any given day.
Foods highest in Calcium are:
Milk, Yogurt and Cheese
Dried Figs
Sunflower Seeds
Calcium Fortified Cereals and Cereal Bars
Spinach, Kale, Mustard, Collard and Turnip Greens
Bok Choy
You should get 1000 mgs of Calcium a day, which translates roughly into 3 cups of any of the above.
Vitamin D
There are few foods out there high in Vitamin D. It’s probably easier just to take a Vitamin D supplement. 200 units a day should do it.
Foods rich in Iron include;
Breads and Cereals that say “Iron Fortified” on the label
Dark Green Vegetables (see the “Calcium” list)
Prunes, Prune Juice and Raisins
Beans, Lentils, Chickpeas and Lima Beans
Women should get 18 mgs of Iron a day, while men need only 8. There are great lists on the Web of how much iron is in any given food. Try typing ” How much Iron is in Artichokes”, or ” How much Iron is in Chickpeas”, or whatever food you’re interested in. This will give you the lists you need. I won’t list anything here, because there’s just too much information.
Vegetarians who consume dairy products probably get enough B-12 already. Taking a broad spectrum vitamin and mineral supplement wouldn’t hurt, though. Just follow the directions on the label. That said, there’s no point to any of this if what you’re putting in your mouth doesn’t taste good. Recipes for these foods are needed; good recipes that make the person eating them want them on a regular basis. There’s nothing worse than eating something you know is good for you even though it doesn’t taste good. The cleverer minds of this world however, have solved this problem by creating some amazing vegetarian recipes. Simply type into your Search Engine phrases like, “Amazing Vegetarian Recipes” or “Intriguing, Exotic Vegetarian Dishes” or “East Indian Vegetarian Recipes” or “Easy Vegetarian Dinner Recipes”. Doing this will provide you with all kinds of options for recipes!
Taste and nutrition are the keys to successfully keeping anyone on a vegetarian diet. The many food options provided above plus the huge amount of amazing vegetarian recipes on the Web should keep things interesting for quite awhile! Rotate around; try new things; you’ll be surprised at what you take to! Most of all, though, HAVE FUN! Cooking with new ingredients always makes for a more interesting experience in the kitchen, so get ready to enjoy yourself! My best to you in your new culinary adventures!

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