Whether you have been a vegetarian for years or are just in the mood for something meat-free this evening, we’ve got you.
Vegetarian diets continue to increase in popularity. Reasons for following a vegetarian diet are varied but include health benefits, such as reducing your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.
That said, a common concern about vegetarian diets is that they may lack sufficient protein. However, many experts agree that a well-planned meatless diet can provide all the nutrients you need, including protein.
The South African Poultry Association notes that there are many good sources of protein for the vegetarian, like beans and lentils, but did you know that the egg – one of few animal products that many vegetarians allow in their diet – delivers substantially more nutritional benefit than plant-based protein sources?
The association notes that one whole egg offers up 7g of protein which equates to about 13% of the average women’s daily protein needs.
“But there is an added benefit: eggs are a ‘complete protein’, meaning that the high-quality protein in an egg contains all of the nine amino acids we need. Amino acids are essential building blocks for protein, called essential because our bodies cannot make them on their own. Interestingly, foods that contain some but not all the essential amino acids are called incomplete proteins, and these include nuts, seeds, beans and some grains.”
“Eggs are also a source of key nutrients that may otherwise be low in the vegetarian diet, like vitamin B12. This is because animal foods like meat, chicken, and fish are the only sources of vitamin B12. One large egg provides 44 % of our daily B12 needs,” they say.
Whether you choose to be vegetarian some of the time or all of the time, go with eggs as part of a healthy and balanced vegetarian diet. Below is a recipe that you can also try making courtesy of the association.
Egg salad with zucchini and wild rocket
30ml olive oil
350g zucchini/baby marrow, sliced
30g wild rocket
6-8 eggs (boiled to your preference)
2 spring onions, sliced
100ml olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
1 tsp crushed garlic
½ tsp dried chilli flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
Slice the zucchinis in quarters lengthways. To char the zucchini, use a large skillet, sauté in olive oil over medium to high heat, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
In a flat salad dish or platter, layer the wild rocket leaves, zucchini, halved boiled eggs, and sliced spring onion.
For the dressing
In a glass jar, add olive oil, juice of one lemon, garlic, dried chilli flakes, salt and pepper to taste.
Shake and dress the fresh salad just before serving.
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