First of all, what is a ‘flexible vegetarian’? It’s simple really, a flexible vegetarian is someone who wants to cut down on the meat and fish they eat, eating it only occasionally. Here’s a look at why would you chose to eat like this…

The Flexible Vegetarian

The Flexible Vegetarian

A chance to explore vegetarianism

You might be inspired to embrace vegetarian once or twice a week but not ready to give up eating meat and fish altogether. Being a flexible vegetarian gives you the chance to experiment and give it a try on the occasional days, and then go full-time if it’s a diet you feel can work for you.

No rule’s diet

Life is dominated by rules. So when it comes to the food you’re eating or the recipes you are cooking, being ‘flexible’ is about being ready, relaxed and able to adapt to different circumstances. It’s about what suits you at the time.


Cutting down on meat has a number of health benefits including the reduced risk of diabetes, cancer, heart disease and obesity. By simply reducing your meat intake can give you a chance to improve your health without having to cut it out. Its more than possible to have a balanced diet by increasing plant based proteins in our diet and reducing meat consumption.


Cooking with meat and fish at home can prove to be pretty expensive, so rather than opting for cheap poorer quality meat or fish on a daily basis, save some cash. This can then be spent on better quality items on occasional either when cooking at home or when eating out.

Good for the planet

Mass meat production has a huge impact on the environment. Research suggests that the livestock sector could be responsible for around half of global greenhouse gas emissions. The solution for improvement is to cut back on our meat consumption rather than cut out all together.


Choosing more sustainable ingredients to cook with is easier than you think. Plant-based proteins are available in abundance and it’s amazing just how versatile they are in recipes.

Vegetarian cooking has moved on an awful long way from a dry nut roast and stodgy bean burger.

Not a faddy diet

Flexible vegetarianism isn’t a new ‘trend’ it’s been around for ages – we’ve just not labelled it. How many times have you spoken to a vegetarian who ‘falls off the waggon’ when a bacon sarnie is on offer!

It’s just more acceptable to admit it now there is a title attached to it. Don’t go beating yourself up about it, it’s ok to have a little bit of what you fancy if you’re a flexible vegetarian.

Never ending choice of recipes

Last but by all means not least you can have such a fantastic choice of recipes if you are a flexible vegetarian. Not wanting to blow my own trumpet but you can find loads of amazing recipes in my new cookbook The Flexible Vegetarian! Recipes are designed so that they work alone as a balanced dish, or offering you the option of adding meat or fish. Why not have a Pearl Barley and Sweet Potato Stew on Tuesday night, and spice up the rest with some chorizo for Wednesday’s lunch. Or make a Sunday brunch of American Pancakes with Tofu ‘Bacon’ for you, and real bacon for your partner.

There are plenty of dishes in my book to suit all occasions, moods, tastes and guests.

The Flexible Vegetarian by Jo Pratt, is published by Frances Lincoln and is out now.