Yum! (Picture: Getty)
Happy World Vegetarian Day and Vegetarian Awareness Month!
#AceFoodNews – Oct.01: In some parts of the world being vegetarian is the norm, and vegetarian food is readily available.
Not always so in the UK.
Even though there’s about 4 million vegetarians in the UK, restaurants can fool you into thinking it’s still the 1970s.
It’s even worse if you go on holiday to Eastern Europe or South America.
And, no, we’re not worried about getting anaemic thank you very much.
Here are 15 things that only vegetarians will understand.
1. You’ll always get your food first on a flight
It might not always be edible, but it’s pretty cool to get priority service once in a while.
Unfortunately this also means you’re stuck with the dirty tray on your lap for absolutely ages until everyone else has been served and finished.
2. Posh restaurants often have the worst vegetarian food
Goats cheese tart, pasta or risotto just doesn’t cut it if you’re paying top price for it.
Many good chefs really let themselves down by not catering better for vegetarians.
Do us a favour – at least cut the prices if you’re going to be this unimaginative.
Mix it up a bit! (Picture: Getty)
3. Wedding food is even worse
No one wants to eat puff pastry with mushrooms in a creamy sauce, or risotto, in a tight dress or suit.
4. People try to convert you to eating meat by talking about the smell of bacon
Yes it does smell nice – but it’s still meat.
If I was that easily swayed I’d have given up being vegetarian a long time ago!
See next point.
5. Most sweets aren’t suitable for vegetarians but bacon crisps are
Nearly all sweets, like Haribo, contain gelatine, but bacon flavoured crisps are totally fine to eat.
Thereby solving the problem in the last point.
Mmm, crisps (Picture: Getty)
6. You don’t have to be a hippy to be a vegetarian
I don’t have dreadlocks, wear tie dye (well not since the early 90s anyway) or practice meditation.
I just don’t want to eat meat.
7. Not all veggie food is bland and healthy
Vegetarian food can be incredibly full of flavour – try one of Ottolenghi’s veggie dishes if you doubt me.
Herbs and spices are invaluable.
It can also be incredibly unhealthy. Think four cheese pizza.
Delicious, yes. Healthy? Not if this is all you eat (Picture: Getty)
8. Vegetarians don’t eat ham
In some countries (notably eastern-Europe and Argentina in my experience) you need to clarify that being
vegetarian means not eating ham, or chicken or fish as well as they’ll just assume that only beef counts.
And it’s quite off-putting picking bits of pink ham out of your cheese toast.
9. Lentils and butternut squash are very, very useful
Curries, pasta sauces and pies – you can turn them into pretty much anything (see my blog, Sneaky Veg for more details).
Unfortunately you too often end up with celeriac, celery and cous cous.
Even Yotam would struggle.
Oh good, more celery (Picture: Getty)
10. People always have an argument about why you should eat meat
Yes, we know that humans are designed to be omnivores – but we still don’t want to eat meat.
Whether we think that farming practices are unethical or we just don’t like the idea of eating dead flesh we’re quite capable of making up our own minds.
11. Complete strangers worry that you’re not getting enough iron in your diet
A bit like being pregnant, some people seem to think that being vegetarian gives them license to quiz you about your health.
Last time I checked I wasn’t anaemic – anyway it’s none of your business!
12. Indian restaurants always have the best choice
Although sometimes the main courses are a bit boring, often all the side dishes are veggie.
And paneer tikka is the best thing ever.
13. Non-veggies panic when they’ve invited you round for dinner
It’s not that hard – just Google ‘vegetarian recipes.’
There’s plenty of options (Picture: Getty)
14. Not too much cheese please
Being served cheese for three courses in a row is neither tasty or good for your arteries
Think of something with vegetables instead.
15. Your choice of holiday destination is governed by what the food will be like
I’ve spent too many time picking out bits of fish from a stew or avoiding things made with shrimp paste.
Now I’ll be checking out local veggie food options before I book any holidays.
Mandy Mazliah is vegetarian mum of three, whose kids all hate vegetables!
She blogs about her efforts to get her kids to eat more veg at Sneaky Veg.
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