3 Weeks to become vegetarian


You want to eat a vegetarian diet but you feel lost and do not know how to do it? Do not panic! Here is a progressive program developed with Emeline Bacot, dietician-nutritionist, to vegetate your plate.

Mathieu Blard

A week to discover a more vegetal diet

To change the plate at home

For some time now, you have been thinking of becoming a vegetarian, like 10% of French people. Yet, every time you plan to actually change your diet, a thousand questions assail you. How to do it? Are there risks of deficiencies? Is it possible to have fun without meat? To succeed to cook varied? "The first step, it is to change food quietly, at home, says Emeline Bacot, dietician-nutritionist, one avoids to confront immediately outside and the eyes of others" . Often, new vegetarians find themselves alone in front of the intrusive remarks of their entourage on their mode of feeding.

This first week is a discovery phase. "It's time to test and discover new foods." We often do not know about legumes (lentils, peas, beans, beans) and oilseeds (almonds, walnuts , hazelnuts, pine nuts, pistachios) We consume a little bit, becoming a vegetarian is the opportunity to discover how to prepare them! "says the dietician. Soon, foods that seemed strange to you: watercress powder, kombu, amaranth, peanuts and other mung bean sprouts, will have no secrets for you. No need to mess up immediately. Many vegetarians first began by limiting their consumption of meat for example, before gradually adapting their dietary practices.

The mistake to avoid: "Most of the time, people who have trouble replacing meat tend to compensate with dairy products in large quantities, which is harmful to health," warns Emeline Bacot. A balanced omnivorous classic meal consists of vegetables, cereal products and a protein food (meat, fish, eggs). "This last part is replaced by legumes.The vegetarian type meal consists of vegetables at will, a cereal product and / or legumes or eggs, for those who consume them ".

Unsuspected Foods Containing Products of Animal Origin: This discovery phase can also be a time of unpleasant surprises. Many products of animal origin are hidden in foods that can not be imagined. Pork gelatin is found in light dairy products because it has a densifying effect.The cochineal, a small insect, is also used to make the coloring, called E120, because of its red color when crushed. You have to look at the labels. Surprising also, to make some alcoholic beverages, swim bladder of fish, beef or pig glue to clarify the liquid are used.

A week to change larder

Now is the time to replace canned cassoulet with legumes, cereals and other oilseeds. A milestone for a lasting change in diet.

Legumes: "The ideal is to fill the pantry with a multitude of different legumes," says Emeline Bacot. They are the basis of a healthy vegetarian or vegan diet. These beans, beans and other starchy foods are bought dry, in jars, flour ... There are also pasta. The goal is to have a maximum of choice to vary the pleasures. Roasted chickpeas, lentil stews or panzanella of white beans are waiting for you!

Good for morale: Legumes make you happy! By promoting the production of serotonin, these foods have a positive effect on well-being, against depression, irritability and even nerve pressure.

Cereals: They exist in different forms: pasta, millet, quinoa, oats, buckwheat ... The most important thing is to vary the pleasures.

Tip: It is possible to prepare large quantities of cereals and legumes in advance at weekends to save time on weekdays. These foods can be kept for several days. Do not hesitate to freeze if you can.

Vegetables: They will be an ally of weight. Cook them in the most varied and tasty way possible. Ideally, set your sights on seasonal and organic vegetables.

Oilseeds are sold whole, but also mashed (almond, peanuts, cashew nuts ...) They can be used for spreading, making sauces, for pastries, for example.

The flours, too, are numerous: buckwheat, but also lupine, nutmeg or coconut. Not to mention the alternatives: almond powder, maize starch ï s or potato ... It's all about knowing the right dosage, for example:

50 g of almond powder + 50 g of starch = 100 g of wheat flour

100 g of mashed potatoes = 100 g of wheat flour

50 g of oat flakes + 50 g of starch = 100 g of flour wheat

100 g of quinoa = 100 g of wheat flour

100 g of legume purée = 100 g of wheat flour

Oils: "For cooking and seasoning, focus olive oil If you still eat eggs and dairy products, the coconut oil should not be used as the sole fat, but it supports very well the cooking, it is very digestible and its acids Saturated fats are not harmful like those of palm oil.It's good to use Omega-3-rich oils every day, such as flax, hemp, and camelina. "However, they can only be used with raw vegetables because omega-3s do not support heat and can not be cooked.

Emeline Bacot's advice: Eat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and / or coconut + 1 tablespoon of omega-3 rich oil per day

Indulge yourself: Whatever the type of diet, fatty sauces are to be avoided, it is important to leave room for taste, for which the spices and herbs are the best allies. " For the tofu nature, which is bland, it can be prepared in marinade, or cook it with vegetables. "And for the greedy, no worries! There are excellent vegetarian burgers, delicious pizzas without meat, or many fruit fritters

One week to make your favorite dishes with vegetarian sauce

Revisit your classics: Now that your pantry is full, it's time to attack typical dishes, such as veal blanquette

Emeline Bacot recipe: "The calf can be replaced by textured soy protein. It is a dry food that must be hydrated. The whole can be cooked in different ways, by making it come back with vegetables, small onions or rehydrate it in a well flavored broth. A lactofermented soy cream, which has the same texture of a thick cream will do the trick.

Many dishes can be revisited with the "veggie" sauce, such as couscous, quiche or even fallafel. For Bolognese, simply replace the ground meat with vegetables, a mixture of cereals and legumes or flavored tofu mixed with vegetables. You can prepare a bourguignon with seitan, tofu and shallot. "

Pastries: Many vegetarians take the step of veganism. the pastry stage is important. " It is possible to make delicious cakes without eggs, provided you know their role in the recipe! "Says the dietician.Some are there to inflate, like whites mounted in snow.You can replace them with yeast. When used as a binder, simply use applesauce, flour or starch like arrowroot for example, which have the same effect.Lupine flour can also replace eggs, in Emulsifier Dairy products have no other use than to give a slight taste and liquefy water or a vegetable drink replaces them very well.

The test of the restaurant: Here can -being come the most difficult test for any neo-veggie: that of the restaurant or the canteen. " Often, the waiter offers you a plate with vegetables, fries and a pasta mixture.It's not balanced at all. "Few solutions exist." The brewery or business canteen remains a black spot. When you can, it is better to focus on vegetarian restaurants. But no worries, a gap is not serious. Just catch up on what we missed at the next meal.