Healthy options inspired by vegetarian cooking are often the most important consideration for those who are convinced that amino acids and the types of protein common in the fleshy foods we eat from animals are unnecessary, possibly detrimental to our wellbeing.
There is no universal agreement about which foods from the plant kingdom (and which cooking methods) are most suitable for a vegetarian to consume. There are some who have allergies and cannot eat meat products. They have little or no choice other than to follow a prescribed diet based upon vegetarian cooking to ensure their good health.
Then there are those who embrace the vegetarian lifestyle for any one of a number of valid reasons which may be based on religious beliefs or other ethical considerations. In recent years, many have come to believe that raising stock animals on farms, fattening them up and killing them in order to provide food on our tables is unacceptable and as a consequence of this they prefer to eat an exclusive diet of vegetables. For the purists, these people consider themselves Vegan rather than Vegetarian.
Belief in the tenet that all life is sacred is central to certain religions, the best example being Buddhism. It is therefore no surprise to discover that Vegetarianism is a natural part of their day-to-day life pattern.
One group of vegetables are gathered from the farms and gardens where they grow fully ripened and ready to eat. These are given the convenient label of”salad vegetables”.
Vegetables with a more solid consistency, such as potatoes and other root vegetables, cannot be enjoyed in a raw state and must therefore be cooked. Stewed, steamed and baked recipes are the most popular: a purist might not wish to fry or roast vegetables as there is a possibility that the oil used for this method of cooking could potentially come at least in part from animal sources.
For this reason alone, it is no exaggeration to say that the choice of the most appropriate sauces to accompany the ingredients is possibly the most important section of any recipe books dedicated to Vegetarian Cooking.