What do vegetarians eat?

Fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables (Photo credit: nutrilover)

… Food. I’ve been a vegetarian for about 15 years and I’m so used to eating vegetarian food that I’ve had trouble coming up with a good answer on the spot. I’m a lacto-ovo¬†vegetarian (I don’t eat meat but I do consume dairy and eggs) so other vegetarians may have either a stricter or less strict list of things they eat. I eat grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, milk, eggs, cheese…

A meal with meat taken out isn’t usually a complete meal anymore, but there are several alternatives. I’ll try most things, but just because it doesn’t contain meat doesn’t mean I’ll like it, and I hate olives. (Olives are not food to me.) So here’s a series of lists of some of my favorite things to eat.

Breakfast

  • two eggs with pepper, hash browns with ketchup, wheat toast with jelly
  • banana or other piece of fruit if I’m in a hurry
  • oat & honey, peanut butter, or dark chocolate & cherry granola bar
  • toasted English muffin with butter and jam
  • oatmeal with fruit & nut trail mix mixed in
  • pancakes topped with fruit
  • waffles topped with honey

Snack

  • apple with peanut butter
  • chips and guacamole
  • crackers and cheese
  • chocolate and pretzels
  • hummus with pita bread
  • baby carrots with Italian dressing
  • peanut butter & chocolate or blueberry smoothie

Lunch

  • penne pasta with creamy pesto, artichokes, and sun-dried tomatoes
  • avocado salad
  • pesto tortellini
  • cheese ravioli
  • generic spaghetti rings
  • peanut butter & jelly sandwich
  • sandwich made with homemade bread, avocado, cucumber, cheddar, raspberry chipotle sauce, and mayo

Dinner

  • pineapple & green chile pizza
  • pesto pizza topped with artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, and pine nuts
  • caprese panini
  • macaroni and cheese with mexicorn mixed in
  • veggie tacos (soy protein or wheat gluten, etc. in place of ground beef)
  • cucumber sushi, avocado sushi, and green chile sushi (sushi refers to the rice, not raw fish)
  • cheese enchiladas with an egg on top and whole beans on the side (refried beans are sometimes cooked with lard)

Dessert

  • warm chocolate pudding with raspberries
  • peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips
  • chocolate cake with rainbow chip frosting
  • Ben & Jerry’s ice cream
  • apple crumble
  • apple turnover (make sure pastry is not made with lard)
  • apple pie (make sure pastry is not made with lard)

As for drinks, I like water, herbal tea, lemonade, and watered down fruit juices (except for orange juice, which I love to drink fresh-squeezed with lots of pulp) so they last longer and have less sugar per glass. I don’t like the taste of coffee but I do like coffee ice cream and I avoid caffeine after noon. My favorite sodas are lemon/lime and root beer.

People become vegetarians for a variety of reasons. Some choose it for health reasons. Some people just don’t like the taste of meat. Some people become vegetarians because their partner is a vegetarian and it makes meal planning easier. Some people are vegetarians because meat is too expensive. I’m a vegetarian because I’d rather not take the life of an animal unnecessarily.

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