Ok vegetarians... help me out here

  1. Alright, I had turkey last night for dinner.
    I've decided this would be my last meal with meat, and I'm officially going to be a vegetarian. This is mostly because of my recent experience with abused dogs, the beached whale stuff, and almost hitting a deer on my way home from my sister's house last night. I've decided that I can't really call myself an animal lover and act all compassionate if I'm still eating meat. I feel kind of hypocritical.
    Not that me eating a veggie burger would have prevented any of the above from happening, its just the way I feel.
    So... vegetarians.... anything you can think of that will make the transition easier? Right now my idea of a vegetarian main dish is macaroni and cheese , and I'd like to become a little healthier during this whole process (less saturated fat, more whole grains, less processed food, yada yada yada).
    Any tips/tricks? Any good meal ideas? Anything to avoid? I think I'll probably keep eating dairy/eggs for awhile.
    Thanks in advance!
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  2. 34 Comments

  3. by   dianah
    Get yourself a couple of veggie cookbooks (not weird ones, just thumb thru and if you see a few recipes you think might look good, that don't require tons of weird ingredients, that are easy to prepare, then get that one). Best to not make drastic changes all at once ("THIS is vegetarian food??????"), you might be able to just adjust common meat dishes you eat to be veggie. There are a number of meat substitutes you can use, either during the transition or whenever: Loma Linda Fri Chik is good dipped in whole wheat flour and fried in olive oil. We like their Big Franks (comes in a can), my friends prefer another brand. I grew up eating meat so kinda remember what it tastes like, and don't really go for weird-tasting substitutes. Morning Star makes a VERY tasty crumbled "burger" you'll find in the freezer section, that you can use, well, as burger. Boca burgers are good (and low in fat) as . . . Burgers!! There are also sliced luncheon "meats" available, also in freezer section. I'm trying to steer away from fatty cheeses and go more vegan (my kids have LOTS to say about some of the vegan dishes I've tried, and it's not all pretty! I thought they were good!) myself . . . Good luck!!

  4. by   RNinICU
    My daughter and her family are vegetarians. She uses veggie meat substitutes, and says they are as good as most meats. I'm not sure what brands she uses, I will ask her later today.They still eat eggs, dairy, and cheese. They grow their own vegetables and eat a lot of stuff from their garden. She claims she feel s much better physically and emotionally since she stopped eating meat.
  5. by   dianah
    Have to go to work or would have posted more. -- D
  6. by   delirium
    Thanks everyone!
    I'm actually pretty excited about it. I've been surfing the web for vegetarian recipes and have come up with a few that I'd like to try. I usually get recipes from allrecipes.com, anyone else have favorite recipe spots to share?

    Post more when you get home, dianah. Pretty please?

    My sister (although not a vegetarian) has a Vegetarian Times cookbook, but it scared me. There are lots of ingredients I have never heard of (like what the hell is TVP anyway?) and the preparation seems rather intricate and time-consuming. I know I'll never go for that.

    I truly appreciate the help. Thanks.
  7. by   MollyJ
    I would encourage you to get a wonderful classic vegetarian cook book called "Laurel's Kitchen" goes under The New Laurel's Kitchen: A Handbook for vegetarian nutrition and cookery.

    I am not a vegetarian, but I like to eat less meat and I like to eat differently (low fat and flavorful). These are fun recipes.

    Laurel's kitchen is fun to read, "real" --that is, it doesn't ask you to go out and buy a hundred ingredients you'll use once, made for the person who isn't planning to spend the whole day in the kitchen and tasty. It features recipes you could serve to non-vegetarians. It is nutritionally informed: a lot of vegetarian cookery is very high in fat and dependent on cheese for flavor. (who doesn't love Mollie Katzen's [Moosewood Cookbook and Enchanted Broccoli Forrest] cookbooks, but you can gain weight just perusing the book).

    There are great on-line vegetarian web sites too. Try about.com to start with.

    But Laurel's Kitchen is just a nice read and I think she has a small section on becoming vegetarian. I like some of her sandwich ideas (made from mashed, seasoned chickpeas) and soups are great.

    Hubby is on a diet and last night I made spaghetti sauce with Morningstar Farms "crumbles". This is a soy protein based ground beef substitute, found in your local grocery store. I found that it was a little of a seasoning hog and I had to adjust seasonings up a bit, but both of us liked it (son, aged 10 abstained).

    If you read Laurel's kitchen, she would probably encourage you to be lacto-ovo vegetarian. Vegans can have trouble getting Vitamin B and Calcium.

    Some people ease into vegetarianism and eat chicken periodically, rather than going "cold turkey". As my hubby says, if the meat supply becomes more unsafe, there may be more and more vegetarians.
  8. by   dianacs
    I highly recommend Vegetarian Cooking for Dummies. Lots of info and some really good recipes too. Good luck!
    Last edit by dianacs on Aug 1, '02
  9. by   2ndCareerRN
    I am very close to joining you on the vegeterian side. Over the last couple of years my meat eating as gone down considerably. I am going out today to get a new WOK, I figure I can stir fry veggies for most of my meals.
    Anothe recipe site is www.recipesource.com

    bob
  10. by   NurseDennie
    TVP is textured vegetable protein. I don't like that kind of stuff, myself.

    I know a lot of people use meat substitutes, but I don't particularly care to do that. I use tofu a lot, but I like it so I don't ask it to pretend to be a chicken. As a vegetarian, you'll have to pay more attention to protein, and to me tofu is about the easiest way to do that.

    One of my favorite dishes might be a bit too exotic for some, but here it is (oooh, this is making me HUNGRY)

    Nappa cabbage
    BOC CHOY - My favorite taste in the whole world, almost
    you can put in some of the regular green cabbage, too
    Onions
    Green onions for that sharper taste
    1 bottle of Kim Shee (I spelled that wrong, but it's fermented cabbages with hot sauce)
    1 package of FIRM tofu, cubed
    Garlic
    Ginger
    Soy sauce
    Brown sugar

    Stir fry the cabbages with the onions and green onions until they're looking good, then dump in the Kimshee and the tofu. Stir it all around a bit - serve over rice. Yummmmmmmm!!

    If you're still eating eggs, try an eggplant, whole. Boil it until it's soft and then mash it into a frying pan with some olive oil, garlic, onions and ginger, and add a scrambled egg(s - depending on how big the eggplant is) and fry. Again Yummmmmmmmm

    Breakfast is easy, too. I've always made a kind of Japanese breakfast for my family - miso soup with rice (I always have some) and whatever veggies I have on hand - just a little bit. High in protein, Zero fat - gets you started off on the right foot.

    I'm not a fanatic about anything, and I'm definitely not a fanatical or even sentimental vegitarian. I really LIKE this kind of diet, and when I eat meat, Iwant to eat the FAT, so this works well for me.

    Love

    Dennie
  11. by   jevans
    Dennie

    That sounds great very simular to the stir fry I make but I add lots of other veg too and noodles

    The main prob for me is to maintain my hb.
    I tend to drop it quite often dispite eating plenty of leaffy greens and pulses so have to resort to ferrous sulphate supplements.

    Mspurp

    Good luck
    j:kiss
  12. by   live4today
    I had a sister.....God rest her soul as she passed away 11 years ago...she use to make a 'mean' eggplant parmesan casserole! She became a vegetarian as an adult. I love most veggies, but love my fish and poultry too. Not much into beef on a regular basis, but desire a steak and BBQ ribs at least four times a year.
  13. by   LasVegasRN
    I'm sorry, I can't contribute anything. I look at a cow and envision all the delicious cuts of meat I can grill. Moo, baby, moo.
    Sorry. Carry on.
  14. by   delirium
    Nice, Vegas. Thanks for that.


    Thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread. I am now researching all the yummy vegetarian things I can make.... I'm so sick today I can't do much of anything. I have to at least clean the kitchen before I go to work but I don't even feel like doing that.

    Do you ever feel like you're the only one who does anything in your household? Sorry, I'm not trying to be a whiner. I'm digressing... that Vegas must be rubbing off on me.

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