I ran across a fun article the other day of HuffingtonPost.com, ranking 19 of the most popular vegetarian foods or dishes, from worst to best. The article is lighthearted and a little tongue-in-cheek, just what we need amid the hustle of the holidays.
HuffingtonPost took a look at the 19 most popular vegetarian foods and ranks them from best to worst not as far as health, but as far as taste, fun and a few other subjective variables. A few of my favorite vegetarian foods ranked inexplicably low and some of my least favorite foods did very well. Take a look and see if your faves made the list and where. Bear in mind, the article does include foods containing eggs or cheese.
19. Any kind of fake meat.
I was happy to see this one ranked the worst, since I find fake meat creepy and tasteless. Nods were given to Morningstar Farms for their “chicken nuggets” and breakfast “sausage” though.
18. Rice and beans.
I have to agree with the article, which says,
When you first become a vegetarian, rice and beans is just wonderfully delicious. After about a year, the taste of the two together becomes increasingly bland. After two years, the thought of just having this is laughable: There are so many better options.”
I was sorry to see this one ranked so low. Quinoa is my favorite food discovery of the last year or two. But HuffPost says,
We love quinoa! The only problem is that every non-vegetarian seems to think this trendy food is all we eat and now it’s become a super-stereotypical vegetarian food. Newsflash: We really don’t eat it every single day.”
No, I don’t eat it every single day, but I do eat it several times a week; as a hot cereal, in place of pasta and as an addition to soups and stews.
16. Spring rolls.
As the article says, just a bunch of veggies wrapped and fried. But they sure are yummy.
15. Bean-centered dishes.
Yeah, I have to agree. Even after you manage to accrue twenty different recipes using ten different kinds of beans, they still get old after a while. There are plenty of other high-fiber foods out there that offer many of the same nutrients, even if not in the same quantity.
I’ve never been much of a fan, so I’m okay with tofu ranking pretty low, although the article was very complimentary about tofu’s taste, texture and versatility. Like beans, it’s just gotten old.
13. Eggplant Parmesan.
This is a wonderful thing that exists because it allows vegetarians to understand the pleasure of chicken or veal parmesan without having to break their eating choices. Plus, eggplant has such a similar consistency to meat, it’s really hard to tell the difference (in our opinion).”
The authors acknowledge that Parmesan does contain rennet so it isn’t actually vegetarian.
12. Tofu Scramble.
Like I said, I don’t really care all that much for tofu, but I do appreciate that this breakfast dish is available in many non-vegetarian eateries.
11. Veggie Burger.
I love that the article distinguishes real veggie burgers made with real veggies from the rather distasteful commercial ones.
As the article says,
Pasta will never let you down when it comes to options.”
I no longer eat eggs, though I did start out as a lacto-ovo vegetarian. Eggs were a huge help to me while I tried to figure out how to eat a plant-based diet without going hungry.
8. Peanut Butter & Jelly
Sometimes it feels like guac was made just for vegetarians. Its the one thing that makes Mexican food very special for us. How many times have you asked, ‘Can I substitute guacamole for the meat?’ And it’s always a better choice.”
Potatoes do add heft to a plant-based menu, with their comforting, filling starch content.
5. Bagel and cream cheese.
The go-to breakfast sandwich for vegetarians that eat dairy.
Some of you will laugh at me, but I’ve never tried it. Maybe I should get around to that.
3. Grilled cheese.
This was a mainstay for me back in the beginning as well.
I love burritoes and I agree that they’re one restaurant food that is just as satisfying without the meat. I also love that I can join non-vegetarian friends for Mexican food without making everyone else change their plans because of my diet.
The top vegetarian food, according to the list, is pizza. If you eat cheese, you probably agree. I usually don’t, but about twice a year I’ll have a slice or two of authentic pizza when I visit my cousins in Brooklyn. And I love every bite.
So did your favorite vegetarian food make the list?