Lancashire Times
A Voice of the North
2:15 PM 14th May 2021

Healthy Heart Tips In National Vegetarian Week

Dr Helen Flaherty, Head of Health Promotion at Heart Research UK says that during National Vegetarian Week (10th to 16th May) what better time to try out a meat-free diet.

Dr Helen Flaherty
Dr Helen Flaherty
A vegetarian diet can be a great way to add colour, texture and variety and it is also generally lower in saturated fat and higher in fibre, which is great news for your heart. We provide tips for getting you started with a healthy vegetarian picnic.

Meat alternatives

Meat is high in protein and finding alternatives can be challenging. There are many meat substitutes available in shops and supermarkets that can add variety to your picnic. Some meat substitutes, such as vegetarian sausage rolls and Scotch eggs are high in fat and salt and should only be eaten in small quantities. Try swapping meat and fish for protein-rich vegetarian foods in your picnic, such as tofu, beans, pulses, unsalted nuts, seeds, eggs and reduced calorie yoghurts.

Include a variety of foods

If you do not eat a wide variety of vegetarian foods, you could miss out on essential nutrients, such as iron, calcium and vitamin B12. Try to include vegetarian foods from each of the food groups shown in the Eatwell Guide in your picnic.

Find healthy picnic recipes

Look online for healthy picnic recipes that include wholegrain foods, low-fat dairy products, unsalted nuts, seeds, beans and pulses and plenty of fruit and vegetables. You can find recipes and information about hosting a picnic at Heart Research UK’s Big Scottish Picnic webpage:

Meanwhile staff and residents at one of Barchester Healthcare homes, Boroughbridge Manor in Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire, were also celebrating National Vegetarian Week.

They were treated to an interactive virtual cookery demo courtesy of chef, Alex Connell, from Vegetarian for Life.

Chef Alex whipped up some tasty, healthy vegetarian snacks in a live, interactive cookery demo. Much to residents’ delight, Boroughbridge Manor’s head chef Anthony, had prepared the same recipes so that residents could try all the dishes.

Residents sampled delicious, light and summery veggie dishes including Borlotti bean and dill pate, Greek fritters with Tzatziki and Coronation 'chicken' pastries. All finished off with a sweet and simple but totally yummy banana bread.

Alex says “It was an absolute pleasure to be able to prepare these dishes for the Barchester residents and even more so because they got to taste them, despite my not being able to be there in person. Thanks to all the chefs in Barchester homes across the country who supported me to deliver this really lovely activity.”

General Manager, Krzysztof, said: “This was a virtual cookery demo with a difference, it was brilliant that our residents were able to taste the recipes as they were being prepared. It was a really enjoyable afternoon, we’re so grateful to Alex and Vegetarian for Life.”