It is the usual time of the year when we wind down and eat (more!) in this festive season. Unlike in previous years where conversations may have centred around live races ticked off the bucket list, this year’s chats may be about virtual runs, rediscovering Singapore and exploring the trending types of diets.
We are fortunate to have eased into Phase 3 just a few days ago, and this means that we can now have a gathering of 8 persons to celebrate the new year. With more runners turning to plant-based or meat-free alternatives, we would need to be mindful when we dine out and do takeaway home deliveries if we were to host them.
Let us have a quick recap of the different types of vegetarianism and meat-free options out there.
- Vegan: Vegans do not eat any animal products or by-products, eggs and also dairy. This would perhaps be the purest form of vegetarianism.
- Lacto Vegetarian: Lacto-vegetarians do not eat red or white meat, fish, fowl or eggs but they do consume dairy products such as milk, yoghurt and cheese.
- Ovo Vegetarian: Ovo-vegetarians do not eat red or white meat, fish, fowl or dairy products but they do consume egg products.
- Lacto-ovo vegetarian: Lacto-ovo vegetarians do not eat red meat, white meat, fish or fowl but they do consume dairy and egg products.
- Meat-free alternatives: There are many brands out there today including Impossible Foods, Quorn and Beyond Meat, just to name a few. In recent years, there is a movement towards foods that appear to be friendly to the environment and may be the response to our nation’s food security too.
Here are 5 plant-based or meat-free alternatives to cater to the different types of eaters. These foods are available from the many food delivery apps, or if you are feeling like Jamie Oliver, you can buy the ingredients and whip up a feast at home.
#1: For the Vegan
Appetisers can range from the basic green salads, and you can fancy things up to bruschetta, spring rolls, stuffed mushrooms and hummus with carrots, celery or anything that can be dipped. The mains may include vegan thai green curry, vegan chili with quinoa and vegan cauliflower steaks with rice or potatoes. Complete the course with mouth watering desserts including grilled pineapples, vegan chocolate truffles or coconut chia pudding.
#2: For the Lacto Vegetarian
Examples that include dairy products would be vegetarian stuffed peppers loaded with cheese, veggie teriyaki stir fried noodles and vegan lasagna.
#3: For the Ovo Vegetarian
With eggs but excluding dairy products, give these few dishes a try: tofu steaks with tartar sauce, Thai egg fried rice and avocado toasts.
#4: For the Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian
With dairy and egg products now in the mix, the widen options include omelette, egg salad sandwich and spaghetti with meat-less ball topped with grated parmesan cheese. End off with yummy desserts including chocolate sponge cakes and banana slices with almond butter.
#5: For the Meat-free Lover
There are more players jumping on the scene locally recently. Nature’s Charm and Gardein are quickly moving into the space occupied by Impossible Foods and Quorn. From initial burger patties, the products these days include fishless fillets, sausages, nuggets and crabless cakes - a fun take on traditional names, with pun intended. From major supermarkets to established online grocery stores, you can easily find them to cook your own meatless meals at home.
Ring up your running buddies. Invite them to your home this festive season to celebrate a plant-based meat-free start to the new year!