Vegetarians eat specific things and don’t eat other things, right? Well, mostly. If you know any vegetarians, you may have realized that there are variations to all the definitions. Here’s a handy little summary, the results of our own research and the way we define things in Fix-It and Forget-It Vegetarian coming out on May 1.
The most widely accepted definition for a vegetarian is: a diet without any meat/poultry/seafood. Usually vegetarians eat honey, eggs, and other dairy products.
Some people call themselves “pescetarians” and will eat seafood along with a vegetarian diet.
But then there are vegans (pronounced “VEE-genz”). Vegans do not eat any animal products at all – no meat/chicken/fish and no dairy or honey. They only eat plants. Most vegans also extend the definition to a lifestyle free of animal products.
If all your ingredients come straight from your garden, it’s easy to know that a baked potato is vegetarian and vegan. However, if you’re like most of us and you buy some ingredients at the grocery store, it gets harder to tell if something is actually vegetarian.
Q: Are marshmallows vegetarian?
A: Not usually. They frequently contain gelatin which is made from animal bones. Anything that has gelatin in it is not vegetarian.
Q: Is Worcestershire sauce vegetarian?
A: Not always. It’s usually made with anchovies.
Q: What about cheese? Is it vegetarian?
A: Some is, some is not. Many cheeses are made using rennet, which is an animal product. Read the label if you’re cooking for a strict vegetarian.
Q: Oh dear. Now I’m nervous about cooking for vegetarians. What should I make?
A: We collected great recipes from home cooks in Fix-It and Forget-It Vegetarian! Together, we compiled menus too, so you know how to make a satisfying vegetarian meal for lots of different occasions. Don’t worry: love is still the primary ingredient for success!