Going meatless? Here are five tasty options for you to choose from

Whether you're a vegetarian or simply looking for a healthier choice, locating meat-free options can be a challenge.

Dear meat lovers, there’s more at steak to consuming that beef burger than you know.

A campaign in which people eschew meat from their diet once a week has become a trend in recent years thanks to its health benefits. Dubbed “Meatless Monday”, the initiative first took off in the United States in 2003 before catching on in Belgium and the United Kingdom.

According to research from Duke-NUS Medical School, it revealed that people who consume more red meat are 23 percent more likely to get diabetes, compared to those who eat less of it. This is a cause for concern for Singaporeans, especially as each person consumed an average of 77 kg of meat in 2015 compared to the global average of 41.3 kg.

Local institutions have sprung into action to encourage Singaporeans to eat less meat. One such organisation is Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, which became the first hospital here to encourage the meatless initiative this March. At the three dining halls of Yale-NUS, fully vegetarian lunches are served once a week.

The Republican Post brings you five vegetarian options from campus and around Woodlands. Mondays just got a whole lot healthier.


Soon Long Sin Vegetarian Food

Address: Woodlands North Plaza, Blk 883, Woodlands Street 82, #02-472
Opening Hours: 6:30am ~ 9pm (Mon-Sun)
Price Range: $2 – $5
Expect a long queue in the morning because this stall is popular for its diverse options. I highly recommend their food to those who have never tried vegetarian cuisine, as the stall’s familiar dishes will ease your fears.

Local breakfast staples like nasi lemak, fried beehoon and prata are bestsellers in the morning, and for good reason. The dishes use meat substitutes such as thin strips of potatoes stir-fried with chili paste, and curry cooked with mock-mutton.

Contrary to your typical salad stall, it offers a wide selection of vegetarian iterations of common Zi-char (affordable chinese-style food) dishes like Lor Mee, Sweet and Sour Pork Rice and Kway Chap for dinner.


Tanaka Vegetarian Food

Address: Woodlands Street 31, Blk 306A
Opening Hours: 6am to 9pm
Price Range: $3 – $5
A stone’s throw away from Marsiling MRT station, Tanaka Vegetarian Food has been touted as one of the most popular vegetarian stalls in the Marsiling-Woodlands area.

The vegetarian chicken rice is a crowd-favourite among vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike for its fragrant rice, crispy mock-chicken drizzled with savoury soy sauce and tender steamed vegetables.

Other Singapore food delights also feature heavily here, such as Laksa, Wanton Mee and Fried Carrot Cake. These dishes taste like the real deal, despite the fact that they are cooked with mock-meat.


Shakesalad Vending Machine

Address: Republic Polytechnic, Near E3 building
Opening Hours: 8am – 10pm (Mon-Sun)
Price Range: $6 – $10
For those who are constantly on-the-go but can’t afford to leave campus, this is your best bet. The choice of salads here ranges from their best-selling Caesar salad, healthier-choice Mesclun salad, chopped salad and kale salad.

I recommend the chopped salad for its delightful combination of fresh green baby spinach, crumbles of rich feta cheese and quinoa lightly covered in tangy lemon and spicy pepper dressing.


The Crowded Bowl

Address: Republic Polytechnic, Level 3, Lawn Food Court
Opening Hours: 9:30am to 4:30pm (Mon-Fri)
Price Range: $1.80 – $4.00
Enjoy a regular salad bowl for just $3 here. A bowl of salad comprises of a bed of lettuce, one main and two sides. Add an additional side for just $1.00.

The stall’s serves up to three side dishes a day, with options such as mock meat, steamed pumpkin, and scrambled eggs to choose from. Dressings include Balsamic Vinaigrette, Japanese Sesame, and Orange Marmalade.

For a filling main, take your pick from the aromatic Olive Fried Rice to Fusilli Pasta mixed with parmesan and olive oil.

I personally recommend a combination of the pasta in tomato gravy, mock-meat, stir-fried corn, and Japanese sesame dressing.


Vegetarian Stall

Address: Republic Polytechnic, E-Canteen
Opening Hours: 9:30am to 4:30pm (Mon-Fri)
Price Range: $2 – $4
If you are looking for something cheap, this is definitely the best choice for you. At just $2, you can have a simple and satisfying meal with low-calorie food choices.

This stall provides a decent amount of plant-based mock meat options that are low in calories. If you visit the stall during term break, you can even order Tze Char dishes such as claypot noodles, crispy noodles with gravy and fried rice, priced from $3 onwards.