So as I have mentioned before I do not follow a vegan diet, or even a vegetarian one for that matter. I do, however, eat a largely plant-based diet. When I came across this post on FitSugar about nutrients that vegans are often lacking in, I took interest and figured some of you would too!
Above is the list of nutrients that FitSugar claims vegans may be deficient in: Iron, Zinc, Vitamin B12 and Omega-3’s. After looking at the RDAs for each nutrient versus how much can be found in the various vegan foods listed, it is obvious that this is a legitimate concern. I eat 1-2 TBSP of ground flax seed every day as well as 2 TBSP of walnuts so it is safe to say that I get plenty of the good ol’ omega-3’s. I am also on the right track with getting my B12 seeing as I have gotten into the habit of consuming at least 2 TBSP of nutritional yeast every day. My nemesis are iron and zinc. Even when I used to eat a lot of meat, I’ve always had a problem getting enough iron. Growing up, we only ate red meat (the most bioavailable source of iron for our bodies) once a week if that due to my Dad’s history of heart problems. I have always been prone to anemia– so I need to make a conscious effort to avoid it. Though I don’t often eat red meat, I do eat turkey, chicken, etc. which are also sources of iron.
I just found this little chart to be quite helpful and figured some of you would too…especially those of you who do eat a strictly vegetarian/vegan diet.
My lunch today helped to incorporate some of these nutrients:
Vegan “Fried Mozzarella”
I will not lie to you– these don’t taste exactly like fried mozzarella. But that is because they are not fried and have no cheese in them. I’m not a magician, people. I will say, though, these make a nice healthy substitute and are pretty darn tasty.
- 2 oz. baked tofu (I used Soy Boy smoked tofu but an Italian flavored baked tofu would work nicely.)
- 1 TBSP nutritional yeast
- 1 generous TSP Italian seasoning (I used Mrs. Dash Salt-Free Garlic & Herb)
- Olive oil cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 375*
- Slice 1 of the packaged blocks of baked tofu on the diagonal to form two triangles. You will be using one of these triangles (approx. 2 oz.) return the other to the package.
- Slice the triangle lengthwise to form 4 thinner triangles of tofu.
- In a small bowl, mix your nutritional yeast and Italian seasoning.
- Lightly spritz each of the tofu triangles on both sides with olive oil spray.
- One at a time, put the triangles in the mixture and toss, gently pressing tofu down to make sure it is fully coated.
- Place coated triangles on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with olive oil spray.
- Spray tops of triangles with more spray.
- Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, flipping once halfway through.
- Serve with marinara!
I highly suggest seeking out the Soy Boy smoked tofu for this recipe. The smoked flavor and texture is similar to a smoked cheese– so it adds a lot to this recipe. This is a nice little healthy snack and a great way to incorporate some of those B12s and iron!
I’m off to get a little snackaroo and do some homework– tonight might be another double dose workout kind of night! Spinning, perhaps?
What is your favorite “bar food” appetizer? Mine was always fried mozzarella…I am a cheese lovin’ gal! Now I try to avoid the fried kind!