Is vegetarian food weird?

I took my daughter grocery shopping the other day as she wanted to pick up some food for a sleepover at our house and wanted to have some ‘good’ snacks.  Now of course her idea of ‘good’ snacks vs. my idea of ‘good’ snacks differs slightly but she put most of what she wanted into the grocery cart. Once we got home she happily announced that now her friends would see we had ‘normal’ food in our house.

Normal? When I questioned her what she meant by this she replied that we don’t have normal food in our house as most people don’t have almond, soy and pea milk in their fridge, they don’t have tofu, tempeh and seitan and they most definitely don’t have miso and nutritional yeast.

I suppose the average meat-eating household does not have these foods because they are most likely not following a vegetarian diet.  These are foods that vegetarians eat and though they may not be mainstream they are all part of a healthy vegetarian diet.  That’s not to say you have to have all of these foods on hand all the time.

If you aren’t quite sure what these foods are here is a brief description:

Non-dairy beverages come in so many different varieties; soy milk, almond milk and now a pea protein milk. I wrote about this in this blog post if you want more details.

Tofu, tempeh and seitan are all vegetarian-based proteins that. I wrote about the different types of tofu in this blog post and I explained a little bit about tempeh.  Seitan is sometimes called wheat gluten and is made from the protein in wheat flour. It is a good stand-in for meat in dishes and it absorbs flavour very well.

Miso is a Japanese fermented soybean paste that is used to make soup. I also use it in salad dressings.

Nutritional yeast is a yeast powder that has a cheesy flavour and can be used by vegetarians and vegans as a cheese substitute. It is also a great source of B vitamins and protein.

So there you have it. The scoop on some of those weird vegetarian foods. Do you have any of these in you house? Please let me know so I can tell my daughter we aren’t the only ones.

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