Padma Lakshmi: I'm Mostly Vegetarian Off of 'Top Chef'

The cookbook author and 'Top Chef' host gives tips for making plant-based meals.

When she's not judging all that bacon-wrapped goodness during Top Chef Quickfires, Padma Lakshmi reveals that she's mostly a vegetarian. During a segment on Huffington Post Live, the Top Chef host sang the praises of having a plant-based diet as part of Morningstar Farm's Veg of Allegiance initiative which asks people to substitute meat with protein-rich veggies for a few meals a week.

"It's really good for your health but it's also good for the planet," Padma says of the campaign. "It takes us many more resources to produce the meat than the vegetable equivalent."

And making the switch can impact more than just the environment. "It also makes your skin more beautiful. It makes you healthier. Your hair, your eyesight. All of those things," the former model says.

Calling herself a meat-eater who grew up a vegetarian, Padma thinks it's important for people not to feel intimidated by cooking the occasional vegetarian meals. She recommends using the Internet as a great resource. "Try a new recipe in the weekend, when you're not stressed, when you don't have four hungry mouths to feed, and make it a fun activity," she suggests.

She also clarifies that the pledge doesn't have to go to extremes. "I like to eat a steak once in a while, a roast chicken once in a while, a burger now and then. But I think for a regular diet, you don't need that much meat," she explains, suggesting lentils, beans, and black-eyed peas as excellent sources of protein.

"Eating vegetarian is actually also more economical," she adds. "It's hard to get organic vegetables that are lower priced. But a bag of beans or lentils, which gives you a lot of protein, costs less then the same equivalent weight [of meat]."

[Source: Huffington Post]


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