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National Vegetarian Week 14-20 May

The Healthy EmployeeBlood pressure & heart disease National Vegetarian Week 14-20 May

National Vegetarian Week 14-20 May

National Vegetarian Week runs from 14th – 20th May, so we are encouraging you to go veggie for this week if you usually eat meat. There are a couple of cons when it comes to going vegetarian such as a lack of nutrients including Omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin B12. As well as this, choosing to avoid meat can mean that you could make unhealthy vegetarian food choices, negating the potential health improvements available. We do not advocate a specific diet, but simply that moderation is key. However, there are a number of pros that you could benefit from, reducing your risk of certain health conditions if your diet is filled with well-rounded vegetarian food choices.



  • Lower cardiovascular disease risk
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Longer life expectancy
  • Better weight control due to a likelihood of a high intake of low calorie foods including fruit, vegetables and beans
  • Improves colon health
  • Improves heart rate
  • Reduces risk of kidney stones
  • Lowers risk of diabetes


Below we have a full days vegetarian menu including 3 main meals and 2 snacks for you to enjoy. If any of these choices don’t take your fancy, simply replace it with an alternative vegetarian recipe, all of which can be view here.


Winter Warming Porridge

If you’re short on time in the mornings, prepare this the night before, it makes cooking time much faster.

Porridge is a tasty and filling breakfast that is quick and easy to create each morning. Adding a pinch of cinnamon will give that taste of sweetness you may be craving without any added sugar. Adding a dollop of natural yogurt will also make your porridge thicker and creamier, making the most of your dish and giving you the fuel you need for the best start to your day.


  • Handful of dried porridge oats
  • ½ tsp.cinnamon
  • Equal amounts of semi skimmed milk and water- about 1 mugful

Suggested toppings:

  • 1 heaping tbsp: individual or mixed chopped pecans, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews or whole sunflower, sesame, pumpkin, shelled hemp seeds or linseeds
  • 1 tbsp of plain yogurt (cow, goat, sheep, soy)
  • 1 tbspof red berries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries


Recipe developed by Sharyn Singer


  1. By combining the porridge oats, cinnamon, skimmed milk and water. Cook the porridge on top of the stove until desired consistency
  2. Use any of the suggested toppings from the ingredients list to add a finishing touch to you porridge to make it extra tasty



Apple and Peanut Butter Slices

This is great for anyone who has a sweet tooth. Aim for a peanut butter that doesn’t contain any rubbish (100% roasted peanuts is best – you can roast and blend your own in a matter of minutes!). This snack will feel like a real treat at your desk.

Serves 1


  • 1 apple
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 30g dried fruit of choice


  1. Carefully core the apple. Place it on it’s side and slice through the circumference by cutting ½ cm wide slices
  2. Divide the peanut butter equally between the slices of apple and sprinkle with dried fruit
  3. Eat singularly or pair together to make fruity peanut butter sandwiches



Boiled Eggs with Creamy Pancetta Soldiers

With a good dose of healthy fat, this dish is perfect for a late brunch or light lunch.

Serves 2


  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • ½ ripe avocado, cut into chunky wedges
  • 50g pancetta rashers


  1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Carefully drop the eggs into the water and boil for 5 mins for runny yolks, boil for a little longer if you prefer your yolk less runny
  2. Whilst the egg is boiling, heat the oil in a medium frying pan and wrap each avocado wedge in pancetta. Fry for 2-3 mins over a high heat until cooked and crispy
  3. Serve the eggs once cooked and use the avocado wedges as soldiers


Kale Crisps

These crisps really hit the spot if you have a craving – the crunchiness will help to quash this! They can be adjusted to suit your pallet with a wide range of herbs and spices.

Serves 2


  • Approximately ½ bunch fresh curly kale
  • ½ tbsp. olive oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ lemon zest

Optional seasoning:

  • â…› tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder


  1. Remove the stems from the kale leaves before washing and drying (ensure you dry them thoroughly) and tear into large pieces
  2. Preheat the oven to 150C and line 2 baking trays with parchment paper
  3. Add the kale to a large bowl with olive oil, toss together so the leaves are fully coated
  4. Sprinkle in any further spices you wish to add and toss to combine and coat evenly
  5. Spread the kale leaves equally in a single layer onto the baking sheets
  6. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until crispy
  7. When baked, remove from the oven and leave to crisp up for several minutes – this makes all the difference
  8. If any are leftover, store in an air tight container as they can become stale quickly


Salmon Parcels with Courgette Pesto Ribbons

Excellent for weight loss, this dish will provide you with all of the energy and fuel you will need to keep you going but refrain from filling you up on stodgey carbohydrates such and pasta or potatoes, leading you to the inevitable blood sugar crash.


  • 4 salmon fillets (4oz each), remove skin
  • ½ stick celery- julienned (cut into match stick sizes)
  • 1 inch piece of fennel – julienned
  • 2 inch piece of leek -julienned or 1 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 2 tablespoons each fresh parsley and coriander, chopped
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 4 slices of lemon, cut in halves
  • 4 tablespoon water
  • 4 teaspoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 pieces parchment or baking paper, large enough to wrap salmon fillets
  • 4 wooden toothpicks
  • 1 medium or 2 small courgettes sliced lengthwise with a potato peeler -16 thin slices


Serves 4, Recipe developed by Sharyn Singer


  1. Preheat oven to 180C
  2. Lay 4 courgette ribbons on each parchment paper and top with fillet of salmon, divide vegetables into 4 portions and put along top of salmon, then sprinkle with parsley and coriander, add lemon juice and water and finish with olive oil, salt and pepper
  3. Bring sides of parchment together and fold or scrunch so that parcel is completely closed. Use a cocktail stick to hold it together by spearing it through the parchment into the salmon.
  4. Place into a baking dish and bake for 20 min
  5. To serve, place onto plate and remove parchment, letting juices drain onto plate

To discuss our Employee Nutrition Services, call 07778 218009 or email Anna.

The Healthy Employee
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