The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Vegetarian cuisine

(Redirected from Vegetarian diet)

Vegetarian cuisine is cookery of food that meets vegetarian principles. This means food free from ingredients for which an animal must have died, such as meat, meat broth, cheeses that use animal rennet (some vegetarians will eat all cheeses and others none, because of its milk content), gelatin (from animal bones), and for the strictest, even some sugars that are whitened with bone char (e.g. cane sugar, but not beet sugar).

Although not essential, certain special ingredients such as tofu and TVP have often been associated with vegetarian cuisine. Although tofu and TVP play a key role in many 'mock meat' dishes, a person can be vegetarian for life and never touch them.

Ignoring the different types of vegetarians (e.g. ovo-lacto vs vegan), one can roughly divide vegetarian cuisine into two categories:

  • Meat analogues, which mimic the taste, texture, and appearance of meats, and are used in a recipe that traditionally contained meat. Meat analogues vary in quality and similarity to meats, and may be bought commercially or made at home.
  • Traditional meals that have always been vegetarian.

Many vegans will simply also use analogues for dairy and eggs in traditional Western recipes. These analogues are both commercially available and homemade from recipes. But just as lacto-ovo vegetarians might never touch meat analogues, some vegans may eat, for example, traditional Chinese or Indian dishes that were vegan before the term even came into popular usage.


Cuisine that uses meat analogues

These are vegetarian versions of popular dishes that non-vegetarians enjoy and are frequently consumed as fast food, comfort food, transition food for new vegetarians, or a way to show non-vegetarians that they can be vegetarians while still enjoying their favorite foods. Many vegetarians just enjoy these dishes as part of a varied diet.

Some popular mock-meat dishes include:

  • Veggie burgers (burgers usually made from grains, TVP, seitan, tempeh, and/or mushrooms)
    • In some cases, one can order a burger made without any mock-meat at all, see: "burgerless burger"
  • Veggie dogs (usually made from TVP)
  • Mockmeat or 'meatyballs' (usually made from TVP)
  • Orange 'chicken' (usually made from seitan, tofu or TVP)
  • Jambalaya (with mock sausage and mock chicken, usually made from TVP, seitan, or tempeh)

See also the last section of Chinese Buddhist cuisine. Mycoprotein is another common base for mock-meats, and vegetarian flavorings are added to these bases, such as sea vegetables for a seafood taste.

Cuisine that is traditionally vegetarian

These are some of the most common dishes that vegetarians eat without substitution of ingredients. Such dishes include, from breakfasts to dinnertime desserts:

  • Pancakes, waffles, cereals and oatmeals, French toast, granola bars, donuts, muffins
  • Potato salad, egg salad, baba ganoush, grilled cheese sandwiches, pita-wraps or burrito-wraps, vegetable pilafs, baked potatoes or fried potato-skins with various toppings, corn on the cob, smoothies
  • Most salads
  • Spanish foods such as tumbet and many polentas and tapas dishes
  • Latin American foods such as salsa & guacamole with chips, rice & bean burritos (without lard in the refried beans), many quesadillas, bean tacos, some chilaquiles and bean-pies, chili (no 'con carne'), black beans with rice, chiles rellenos
  • Italian foods such as most pastas, many pizzas, eggplant rotini, eggplant crostini, bruschetta, many risottos
  • Continental cuisine such as ratatouille, braised leeks with olives and parsley, many quiches, sauteed Swiss chard, vegetable-stuffed mushrooms, sauteed Brussels sprouts with mushrooms and squash
  • Many Greek dishes
  • Many Ethiopian dishes
  • Mideastern food such as falafels, hummus dips, matzo ball soup, minted-yogurts, and most couscouses
  • Indian foods such as pakora, samosa, khichris, raitas, rasam, bengain bharta, channa masala, some kormas, sambars, & jalfrezis, saag aloo, bindi subji, Punjabi chole, and many South Indian wraps such as dosas
  • Chinese (and other far-Eastern) dishes based on the main ingredients being mushroom, noodles, eggplant, string beans, broccoli, rice, and/or mixed vegetables
  • Japanese foods such as tempura, edamame, name kojiru, and vegetable sushis and sashimis
  • Creole and Southern foods such as hush puppies, okra patties, rice and beans, or sauteed kale or collards
  • Many desserts, including pies, cobblers, cakes, brownies, cookies, truffles, rice-crispy/peanutbutter treats (from gelatin-free marshmallows, or marshmallow fluff), pudding, rice pudding, ice cream, creme brule, etc.

Outside links

Recipe resources:

Last updated: 08-07-2005 18:31:02
The contents of this article are licensed from under the GNU Free Documentation License. How to see transparent copy