There is often a misunderstanding when it comes to the word vegetarian. Many people believe that it means a person who does not eat meat. This is not the case. A Flexitarian diet, for instance, is semi-vegetarian, who occasionally eats meat, poultry, or fish. They are also called partial vegetarians.
A vegetarian diet can be one of the healthiest diets you can follow for your lifestyle. Whether you want to improve your fitness, lose weight, or enjoy healthier meals, this blog will give you everything you need to get started with a vegetarian diet!
Vegetarianism Is A Personal Choice
People following this diet should not be judged. There are many reasons why someone might choose a vegetarian lifestyle, and it is therefore essential that other people's choices must always respected.
What does being a vegetarian mean? Vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, or poultry therefore, all kinds of meat will be off-limits for vegetarians. Meat substitutes are sometimes used.
Why Should You Be A Vegetarian?
There are many benefits of being a vegetarian. Meat is often high in saturated fat and cholesterol, leading to heart disease and other health problems. A vegetarian diet is low in these unhealthy fats and contains healthy plant-based proteins, fiber, and antioxidants.
Studies have also shown that vegetarians are less likely to develop cancer than meat-eaters and tend to weigh less than those with a meat-intense diet. Therefore vegetarian foods like veggie burgers will have many health benefits over their meaty counterparts. However to learn more about being healthy, we suggest you read What Does It Mean to Be Healthy?
What To Eat As A Vegetarian?
The vegetarian diet is very diverse, and no foods are off-limits. In fact, there are so many ways to eat a vegan meal plan that you may have trouble deciding what to put on your plate. Healthy eating starts today.
Here's a quick guide to some of the most popular veggie dishes:
Vegetarian Protein Sources
A vegetarian diet can be healthy and fulfilling if you make smart food choices. For example, eggs are an animal-based source of complete protein, but they can also contain high cholesterol levels, which means that too many will lead to health issues like heart disease.
While there is no vegetarian equivalent for meat, there are some ways that you can get the required nutrients found in meat without eating meat or dairy. A well-planned vegetarian diet needs protein.
- Eggs and cheese
- Nuts and seeds
- Quinoa. (Quinoa is a gluten-free, whole-grain carbohydrate and a whole protein.)
- Pulses. (Pulses include all beans, peas, chickpeas, and lentils and is an edible seed that grows in a pod. It is a cheap, low-fat source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals and counts towards your recommended 5 daily portions of fruit and vegetables)
- Tofu. (Tofu, better known as bean curd in English, is a secondary soy milk product. Prepared the soy milk by coagulating the milk and then pressing the resulting curds into solid white blocks of varying softness. It is naturally gluten-free and low in calories. Tofu contains no cholesterol and is an excellent source of iron and calcium. Gypsum, also called calcium sulfate, is the most widely used coagulant in making tofu.)
- Tempeh. (Tempeh is a soy-based food, sometimes used as an alternative to meat. It is rich in vitamin B12 and is a complete source of protein. All nine essential amino acids your body needs for healthy bones and muscles can be found in Tempeh. Tempeh is a fermented product, and fermented foods are easier to digest and provide healthy gut bacteria)
- Edamame beans. (Edamame beans are whole, immature soybeans, sometimes referred to as vegetable-type soybeans. Edamame beans are naturally gluten-free, low in calories, contain no cholesterol, and are an excellent source of protein, iron, and calcium.)
Did you know? Put beans in a glass container and cover with warm water about 2 inches (5 cm). Stir in the activator (vinegar), cover, and leave in a warm place 12 to 36 hours. If soaking longer than 12 hours, change the water and activator every 12 hours. Fermentation & boiling also reduces phytic acid.
How Long Does It Take For Someone To Become A Vegetarian?
Becoming a vegetarian takes time to transition into a full-time, meatless eater. Many people go through several stages before finally becoming an official vegetarian – but this doesn't mean they're any less committed! Some common steps include removing beef first, then chicken later.
How To Handle Social Situations As A Vegetarian?
Being a vegetarian can be difficult when eating out with friends or attending social events. There are a few things you can do to make sure your dietary restrictions don't get in the way of enjoying yourself.
-Bring a dish to share: This is always a great way to ensure that there will be something for you to eat when going out.
-Visit restaurants that cater to vegetarians: Many restaurants have vegetarian-specific menus or can easily modify dishes to make them vegetarian.
-Ask for help: don't be afraid to ask the restaurant to prepare something special. Most people will be happy to accommodate you!
Living as a vegetarian doesn't mean you're limited to a few boring options when it comes to food. In fact, there are many types of vegetarian diets and thousands of delicious recipes available online and in cookbooks.
The Benefits Of Being A Vegetarian
The Health benefits of being on a vegan diet are numerous and well-documented. According to the American Dietetic Association, vegetarians have lower rates of heart disease, obesity, hypertension, type II diabetes, and some forms of cancer.
- Reduces your risk of heart disease, obesity, hypertension, type II diabetes, and some forms of cancer
- Lowers rates of cholesterol levels and blood pressure
- Helps you maintain a healthy weight without counting calories or restricting portion sizes
How To Stay Healthy And Maintain Your Weight As A Vegetarian
A vegetarian diet can be healthy and help you maintain weight, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Becoming a vegetarian need not be stressful.
- Be sure to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet; these will provide you with the nutrients you need while keeping calories low and supplying the needed dietary fiber.
- Avoid high-fat foods like grilled cheese, bacon, and cream sauces; they'll not only add excess calories but are also not very healthy.
- Try to eat moderate amounts of protein, about .36 grams per pound of body weight each day should be enough. Good sources of vegetarian protein include legumes (beans, lentils, peas), tofu, nuts, and seeds.
- Drink plenty of fluids each day
- Have a fruit-smoothy each day
- Add lemon juice to your water for a refreshing drink.
- Rely on beans and whole grains as the basis of most meals.
- Vegetable protein can be easy to add to your diet. Substitute meat with high-protein vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and orchard.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables each day. Aim for about five servings per day. Make sure you're getting at least one serving of citrus fruit daily. Citrus will help ensure that you get enough vitamin C in your diet.
- In addition, aim for between three and four servings from the leafy green family; these foods are full of antioxidants that can reduce inflammation throughout the body and strengthen immune function by enhancing cell repair abilities.
- Cow milk can be substituted for rice, soy, coconut, and Almond milk, among others.
Substitute Your Diet With Vitamins
Vegan diets need special care as they will obtain a lower body mass index. substituting your diet with vitamins can be a good way to stay healthy. a multivitamin may be needed during and after your new healthy vegetarian diet.
Taking a vitamin D supplement & vitamin C will help your immune system.
Bone health is essential, and an excellent supplement to maintain bone health is recommended.
vitamin B 12 (particularly soy and rice beverages and breakfast cereals), or take a vitamin B 12 supplement to avoid a deficiency, which can cause neurological problems and pernicious anemia.
Iron. Studies show that in Western countries, vegetarian diets tend to get the same amount of iron as meat eaters. But the iron in meat (especially red meat) is more readily absorbed than in plant foods, known as non-heme iron. The absorption of non-heme iron is enhanced by vitamin C and other acids found in fruits and vegetables. Therefore remember to include high vitamin C foods or take a vitamin C supplement in your vegetarian diet.
Dairy Foods When It Comes To Being A Vegetarian
Dairy foods such as cheese, milk, and other dairy products are often an important part of vegetarian diets. However, vegetarianism is not one diet set in stone because vegetarian foods can vary quite a bit from vegetarian to vegetarian.
Milk does work well in many vegetarian recipes, but many vegans cannot or choose not to drink milk. To stay healthy when you are avoiding dairy, it's vital that you make sure your diet includes enough calcium and vitamin D. Some non-dairy sources for these include almonds, broccoli, oranges, beans soybeans, fortified juice, tofu, bok choy, collards, kale (World's Healthiest Foods).
How To Transition Into This New Plant Foods Lifestyle Smoothly?
Start off small. Reduce your meat intake by one portion a week, and increase your vegetable intake by the same amount. Gradually replace different foods with plant-based alternatives until you're 100% vegan!
You may also consider taking supplements or adding nutritional yeast to your vegan diet. Yeast is a good source of Vitamin B12, which can be challenging for new vegans to obtain from their diets as it's usually only found in animal products such as meat.
How To Make The Switch To Vegetarianism Easier On Your Body?
Start by gradually removing meat from your diet – begin by eating meatless meals two or three times per week. Once you feel comfortable with this change, try going utterly meatless for a day or two each week, giving yourself time to adjust to each step.
The change can be slow or fast, depending on how quickly you want to become a vegetarian. Some people are ready for an extreme lifestyle shift overnight, but others may take months to feel comfortable with their new diet plan!
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Include plenty of plant-based proteins in your diet. Vegetarians are healthier than meat eaters.
Different Types Of Vegetarianism
There are many types of vegetarianism. It's essential to find one that fits your lifestyle and needs. If you're not sure where to start, here are a few common types:
Eat eggs and drink milk. Vegetarians cut only MEAT out of their diet. Most vegetarians fall into this category.
Lacto Ovo Vegetarians
Lacto Ovo vegetarian diet is a primarily plant-based diet that excludes meat, fish, and poultry honey but includes dairy and eggs. “Lacto” refers to dairy products, while “ovo” refers to eggs. Lacto Ovo vegetarianism is one of the easy diets to try out.
Lacto vegetarians eat dairy products but no eggs or other animal products.
Ovo vegetarians consume no eggs but eat chicken, fish, and other seafood.
Pescetarians include eggs and dairy products, but they also eat fish and shellfish.
Vegans do not consume any animal products or byproducts, including honey. Also known as a complete vegetarian. Vegans also don't consume dairy products. When you decide to be a full vegan, keep an eye out for hidden animal ingredients in your store-bought foods.
Flexitarians are semi-vegetarians, eating primarily plant-based foods but occasionally eating meat, poultry, or fish. Most people don't see flexitarians as veganism, particularly vegans.
A Raw Vegan
Someone who follows a diet that consists of, you guessed it, all raw foods. This means eating fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and grains in their natural state – uncooked and unprocessed.
Vegetarian Meals: Recipes
Use this excellent conversion calculator to convert your recipes to your preferred measurements from weight to volume.
Lentils With Rice Or Bread
- 14 ounces dry brown lentils rinsed.(1.75 cups)
- 2 carrots, grated
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 onions, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed or as to taste.
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (Optional)
- ¼ teaspoon yellow curry powder (Optional)
- 4 cups cooked brown rice.
This is ideal for a vegan diet.
- Fill a large pot with lightly salted water; add lentils and bring to a rolling boil. Cook until slightly softened, about 15-20 minutes.
- Heat olive oil in the same pot over medium heat; add onions and garlic. Cook and stir until onions wilt and become transparent, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add carrots and lentils and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until carrots are soft but still firm. (Add enough water to the pot to keep the lentil mixture from drying out) Pour off extra water.
- Sprinkle cumin, cayenne, curry powder, some extra salt, and pepper over lentils; stir until heated through and fragrant. Serve over rice. Healthy eating at its best.
Vegetarian Chili Recipe
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt, divided
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 2 tablespoons chili powder*
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoon smoked paprika*
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 large can (28 ounces) or 2 small cans (15 ounces each) of diced tomatoes with their juices.
- 2 cans (15 ounces each) of black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can (15 ounces) of pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups vegetable broth or water
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnishing
- 1 to 2 teaspoons of sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar, or lime juice to taste
- Garnishes: chopped cilantro, sliced avocado, tortilla chips, sour cream or crème fraîche, grated cheddar cheese, etc.
This is ideal for a vegan diet.
- In a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil until shimmering. Add the chopped onion, bell pepper, carrot, celery, and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine and cook, occasionally stirring, until the vegetables are tender and the onion is translucent about 7 to 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and oregano. Cook until fragrant while constantly stirring, about 1 minute.
- Add the diced tomatoes and their juices, the drained black beans and pinto beans, vegetable broth, and bay leaf. Stir to combine and let the mixture come to a simmer. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally and reducing heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer for 30 minutes.
- Remove the chili from the heat and discard the bay leaf. For the best texture and flavor, transfer 1 ½ cups of the chili to a blender. Blend until smooth (watch out for hot steam), then pour the blended mixture back into the pot. (Or, you can blend the chili briefly with an immersion blender or mash the chili with a potato masher until it reaches a thicker, more chili-like consistency.)
- Add the chopped cilantro, stir to combine, and then mix in the vinegar to taste. Add salt to taste. Plus, minus a ¼ teaspoon more at this point.
- Divide the mixture into individual bowls and serve with garnishes of your choice. This chili will keep well in the refrigerator for about 4 days. (you can freeze it for longer-term storage).
Quinoa Salad With Chickpeas, Feta, And Spinach
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 (15-ounce) can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 4 ounces baby spinach (about 4 cups), coarsely chopped
- 2 ripe tomatoes, cored, seeded, and chopped
- 3 scallions, chopped
- 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
This is ideal for a vegan diet.
- Rinse the quinoa in 3 changes of water in a bowl, rubbing the grains and letting them settle each time before pouring off the water (if the quinoa does not settle, drain in a large fine-mesh sieve after each rinse).
- Cook the quinoa in a medium saucepan of boiling well-salted water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain well in a sieve and let cool.
- In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas, spinach, tomatoes, scallions, and cooled quinoa. Add the feta, lemon juice, and olive oil and toss gently but thoroughly to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Vegetable Soup With Lentils
- 90g dried red lentils (½ cup)
- 2 carrots, quartered lengthways, then diced
- 3 sticks celery, sliced
- 2 small leeks, sliced
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tbsp vegetable bouillon powder
- 1 heaped tsp ground coriander
This is ideal for a vegan diet.
- Put all the ingredients into a large pan. Pour over 6½ cups boiling water, then stir well.
- Cover and leave to simmer for 30 mins until the vegetables and lentils are tender.
- Ladle into bowls and eat straightaway, or if you like a thick texture, blitz a third of the soup with a hand blender or in a food processor.
Grilled Vegetables With Quinoa
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 sweet red pepper quartered
- 1 sweet yellow pepper quartered
- 1 zucchini cut lengthwise in 1/2-inch thick strips
- 12 asparagus spears trimmed
- 1/2 cup Light feta cheese crumbled
- 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seed
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce minced
- 2 teaspoons liquid honey
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 avocado
Soak quinoa in cold water for 3 minutes; drain in a sieve. In a saucepan, bring 1-1/2 cups salted water to a boil; stir in quinoa and return to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until no liquid remains 12 to 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and fluff with a fork; cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Spread on a small tray and let cool for 10 minutes.
Chipotle Vinaigrette: Whisk together oil, vinegar, and chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, honey, cumin, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
In a large bowl, toss together red and yellow peppers, zucchini, asparagus, and 3 tbsp of the vinaigrette until coated. Place on greased grill over medium heat; close lid and grill until charred and tender, 4 to 6 minutes for asparagus, 10 to 12 minutes for peppers and zucchini. Cut into large chunks and return to bowl.
Add the remaining dressing, quinoa, half of the feta cheese, pumpkin seeds, and cilantro; stir until incorporated. Sprinkle with remaining feta. Serve immediately. Add avocado on top
Roasted Beets In Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 pounds fresh whole beets washed and stems removed
- 1½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons finely diced red onion
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a roasting pan with foil. Cover with another piece of foil, and roast until easily pierced with a fork — about 1 hour for medium beets, longer if the beets are large.
- Let beets cool slightly; peel and cut into bite-sized chunks while still warm. Place beets in a mixing bowl and lightly toss with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, red onion, and salt. Place in a shallow serving bowl. Top with chives and parsley.
Zucchini Pasta With Tomato Sauce
- 4 zucchinis (about 4 cups, cut into thin noodles with a vegetable spiralizer)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 4 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
- 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon chopped basil
- Parmesan cheese for garnish if desired
- Add oil to a large saucepan. Add onion and fry for 2-3 minutes until tender.
- Add garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Add in crushed tomatoes, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a light simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add zucchini noodles to the sauce and cook for 2-3 minutes or until tender.
- Stir in basil and Parmesan cheese.
- Season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve immediately. Healthy eating at its best.
Falafel Burgers Made From Dried Garbanzo Beans Or Canned Chickpeas
- 1 cup dried garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
- 1/2 sweet onion, chopped into 4 pieces
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped (Can sub for parsley if you don't like cilantro)
- 1 tbsp chickpea flour
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
If Deep Frying
- 1 qt vegetable oil
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
For the Burgers
- 4 burger buns (or put on lettuce wraps as an alternative)
- any other favorite burger toppings
- Soak dried chickpeas overnight.
- Drain chickpeas from water and lay them out on a towel. Thoroughly pat them dry. Get as much moisture out as possible.
- Add chickpeas to a food processor with the remaining ingredients.
- Pulse, scraping down the sides often until left with a thick batter.
- Split the mixture into 4 and shape each into a patty shape.
- *If you want thinner patties, you can shape them into more.
For Deep Fried Falafel Patties (Traditional)
- Heat oil in a deep fryer or heavy-bottomed pot and increase the temperature to 350 degrees F.
- Add the baking soda to the oil.
- Drop falafel patties into the oil and cook for 2 1/2-5 minutes. Turn around to ensure golden brown on all sides.
- Remove from the oil and lay on a towel-lined plate to remove excess oil. Repeat with remaining patties.
- Heat a little oil in a skillet and add patties.
- Turn them around for 5-7 minutes, ensuring that all sides are golden brown.
- Alternatively, if you want to deep-fry but only have a skillet, you can add enough oil to a heavy bottom skillet or Dutch oven and fry for a few minutes like above.
Air Fryer Method (Oil Free)
- Place the falafel patties inside the air fryer at 350 degrees F and cook for 15-20 minutes, turning halfway. It should be a golden brown color on the outside. May have to do in batches.
Baked Method (Oil Free)
- Place the falafel patties on a baking sheet and into a preheated oven at 350 degrees F. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning halfway. It should be a golden brown color on the outside.
Serve on burger buns or lettuce wraps with your favorite burger toppings. Also, great with fries or vegan turmeric garlic rice on the side.
Serving: 1falafel burger | Calories: 331kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 894 mg | Potassium: 589 mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 168 IU | Vitamin C: 7 mg | Calcium: 145 mg | Iron: 5 mg
**Nutritional facts are just estimates. Please utilize your own brand nutritional values to double-check against our estimates. Oil values not included.
For the sauce:
- 1 1/2 pounds cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 generous cup of chopped onions
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling the noodles
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped (about 4 teaspoons)
- 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste (2 cups jarred prepared tomato sauce)
- 1 (28-ounce) can crush tomato
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon sugar
For the lasagna:
- 2 (10-ounce) boxes of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed in a clean towel for excess moisture
- 1 pound lasagna noodles (16 to 20 noodles)
- 1 (15 or 16-ounce) container of ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 pound shredded Pecorino or Parmes and cheese (about 1 cup)
- 1 pound shredded Mozzarella cheese (about 4 cups)
Sauté the mushrooms:
- Place mushrooms in a large (6 to 8 quart) sauté pan on high or medium-high heat. Stir them with a wooden spoon or shake the pan occasionally. You may hear them squeak.
- Sprinkle salt over the mushrooms. The mushrooms will sizzle and then start to release water. (Note that you are not adding fat at this point to the pan; this method of cooking mushrooms in their own moisture is called "dry sautéing.)
- Once the mushrooms release water into the pan, stir in the chopped onions. Cook until the mushrooms are no longer releasing moisture and the mushroom water has boiled away, about 5 minutes more.
Make the sauce:
- Add the olive oil to the mushrooms and stir to coat. Sauté the mushrooms and onions for about a minute. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Stir in the tomato paste, and cook for a minute longer. Reserve 1 cup of the tomato sauce (it will go in the bottom of the casserole dish) Put the remaining cup of tomato sauce into the pot with the mushrooms. Add the large can of crushed tomatoes and one cup of water.
- Stir in the thyme, sugar, and red pepper flakes. (If you are using dried basil instead of fresh, add it now.) Bring to a simmer, lower the heat and simmer on a low simmer for 20 minutes.
Boil and drain the lasagna noodles:
- Once the sauce is simmering, salt the boiling pasta water, and add the dry lasagna noodles to the boiling water. (The water should be at a vigorous, rolling boil.) Stir gently, ensuring the noodles are not sticking to each other. Set the timer for 8 minutes, or however long is indicated on the package of the noodles. Cook uncovered on a high boil.
- When the noodles are ready (al dente, cooked through but still firm to the bite), drain them in a colander, and rinse them to cool them with cold water. As you rinse them, gently separate them with your fingers so they don't stick together.
- Prepare a couple large cookie sheets or baking sheets by spreading a tablespoon of olive oil over the baking sheets.
- Place the lasagna noodles on the sheets, gently coating them with olive oil and spreading them out. This will help keep them from sticking to each other while you finish the sauce and prepare the layered casserole.
Assemble the lasagna:
- Turn off the heat on the stovetop for the sauce. Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
- Spread the one cup of reserved tomato sauce over a large (preferably 10x15-inch) casserole dish. (If your casserole dish is smaller, you may need to add another layer as you go through this step.)
- Place a layer of lasagna noodles down over the tomato sauce, slightly overlapping. (For our 10x15-inch dish, we ultimately fit 3 layers of 6 noodles each, with 2 extra noodles on which to nosh.)
- Sprinkle half of the ricotta cheese over the noodles and half of the defrosted, drained, and squeezed-out spinach over the ricotta.
- Sprinkle half of the mozzarella cheese over the spinach and just a quarter of the pecorino cheese.
- Then spoon 1/3 of your mushroom sauce over the mozzarella. Sprinkle half of the fresh basil over the sauce.
Repeat the layers:
- Repeat the layering process. Place the second layer of noodles over the sauce. Spread the remaining ricotta, spinach, and mozzarella over the noodles. Sprinkle another quarter of the pecorino along with the mozzarella. Top with another third of the mushroom sauce and the remaining fresh basil.
- Layer your final layer of lasagna noodles over the sauce. Spread the remaining sauce over the lasagna noodles, and sprinkle with the remaining pecorino or Parmesan cheese.
Cover with foil and bake:
- Pull out a sheet of aluminum foil large enough to cover the casserole dish. Spread a little olive oil over the inside of the piece of foil (the side that will have contact with the lasagna). Place the foil over the casserole dish and crimp the edges.
- Bake at 350 °F for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake uncovered for 25 minutes.
- Take the lasagna out of the oven when done and let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting to serve. Once made, the lasagna will last a week in the fridge.
Nutrition Facts Servings: 8 to 10
Cremini mushrooms (also spelled "crimini") are Agaricus bisporus mushrooms, the same type of mushroom as portobellos and white mushrooms. Their stage of maturity is the only difference. Crimini mushrooms have a mild flavor and a meaty texture.
Healthy eating at its best. There are many reasons for becoming vegetarian. Some people want to live a more sustainable lifestyle, while others just want to improve their fitness and overall health or even to help with weight loss.
Being a vegetarian can provide health benefits such as better heart health and blood sugar levels.
Animal welfare is also a part of becoming a vegan. Being on a purely vegetarian diet and eating plant-based foods will require a substitute for animal protein.