An increasing number of people have switched to a vegetarian diet recently for various reasons. Some of them decide to go vegetarian because they love animals and they don’t want to contribute to their suffering and exploitation. As numerous research studies have shown that eating red and processed meat is positively associated with the risk of cancer, many people embrace vegetarianism as an attempt to do something good for their health. No matter what your motivation for going meatless is, it’s important to understand that you can still enjoy all kinds of delicious meals. Although meat is one of the core ingredients of Australian cuisine, new trends have brought countless vegetarian variants to almost any popular Aussie dish.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that meat pies are considered the national dish of Down Under. Believe it or not, but the cruelty-free, vegan pie in the making of which no animals were harmed was declared Australia’s best pie by the Baking Association of Australia in 2016. Seitan, wheat gluten frequently used for preparing mock duck, is the main ingredient and serves as a substitute for meat. Different spices and veggies give zing to these flaky pastries, which means that even die-hard meat fans won’t feel that anything is missing.
Once you give a tofu and vegetable stir-fry a chance, you’ll easily forget about adding chicken cubes to it. Tofu provides a full flavor, while shiitake mushrooms and sugar snap peas add crunchiness. This is a healthier twist on the popular Australian meal, and instead of regular vegetable oil, you can use peanut oil, olive oil, or grapeseed oil. All these three oils are low in saturated fats and high in monounsaturated fats, which means that they practically help reduce the levels of cholesterol, and in turn, the risk of heart disease and a stroke. Finally, in order to prepare a healthy stir-fry, the ingredients you use have to be processed carefully in order to retain their nutrients. A non-stick ceramic titanium cooking surface, such as the one used to make Scanpan cookware, is the best way to make sure that your meals are packed with vitamins and minerals.
Nothing says Australia better than this fluffy, meringue-based dessert garnished with fruit pieces and a dollop of whipped cream. Luckily for those who want to get rid of animal products in their diet, an egg-free variant of this Australian Christmas Day staple exists. Canned chickpea liquid is an excellent and pretty convincing egg white substitute, and all you have to do is whisk it with some sugar and cornflour, and pop the mixture into the oven. Instead of dairy whipped cream, you can use coconut cream or non-dairy Chantilly cream.
Aussie burgers are another extremely popular dish, and although it seems impossible to make them without beef, a lentil-mushroom combo works perfectly. Not only is such a veggie burger tasty, but it’s also completely healthy. Chia seeds, oats, and various spices, including oregano, basil, smoked paprika, and thyme promise a gourmet main course which won’t clog your arteries. Paired with the usual toppings and some baked potato chips, these lentil-mushroom burgers taste like the real stuff.
Grilled pineapple is a wonderfully light, warm dessert, especially when eaten with some dairy-free ice cream. It’s also easy to make, and all you have to do is mix together brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and some rum. Pour this mixture over the pineapple sliced into rings, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Finally, barbecue pineapple rings until they’re dry on the outside.
Chicken rolls are popular Australian snacks inspired by Chinese spring rolls. Generally speaking, this dish is already heavily based on vegetables, but some people tend to add chicken or eggs to make them richer and more nutritive. Instead of these animal-based products, you can improve the flavor of your Chiko rolls by stuffing them with various veggies such as celery, cabbage, kale, carrot, green beans, rice, brown lentils, and some onion.
Macadamia pesto pasta
Although most people can’t imagine their pasta without Parmesan, macadamia pesto can make up for the removal of this traditional Italian hard cheese from the picture. Macadamia nuts are indigenous to Australia, and they’re not only very tasty but also extremely healthy since they contain antioxidants, vitamin B1, and magnesium, not to mention that they’re cholesterol-free.
As you can see, you don’t have to use any meat or animal products in order to prepare delicious, healthy Australian dishes and all it takes is some creativity.