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Old 09-21-2008, 05:08 PM
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Calling all vegetarians!!!

I stopped eating meat about 2 months ago, and food is beginning to become EXTREMELY boring to me. I've basically been subsisting on pasta, more or less... Does anyone have any meatless meal suggestions? I am all for trying new dishes and new things. I'd love recommendations for veggie-burgers, hotdogs, that kind of stuff as well.

Thanks so much for your opinions and help!
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Old 09-21-2008, 05:11 PM
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I'm not strictly a vegetarian or anything but due to my limited culinary experience and distrust of my skills in cooking meat, I've sort of become one! One thing I've managed to do is make a pretty good tofu and veggie stir fry...I think you can get the tofu pre-cubed, even. For fake hotdogs, I like the Smart Dogs (I think that's what they're called?) but i haven't really tried any other kinds of fake meat...for the fake cheese you have to be careful because most brands put casein in it (which is precisely the ingredient milk-allergic people such as myself need to avoid! Brilliant) but there's a Vegan Gourmet brand that makes some good products...

I'll be waiting for suggestions too, because I really need to learn to cook things besides pasta and stir-fries!

(with that, I'm off to tackle the epic pile of dishes that's preventing me from getting any cooking done...)
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Old 09-21-2008, 05:26 PM
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I'm not a vegetarian but I'd suggest eating lots of beans (there are so many different ones) and chick peas.
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Old 09-21-2008, 05:28 PM
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my favorite meatless brand is Morningstar. pretty much any of their products are great, with the exception of those beef/chicken stir fry strip things. ick.
the fake-bacon (facon, lol) is tdf - makes awesome blts! the crumbled meat stuff is perfect for making chili, tacos, putting in hamburger helper tofurkey brand stuff is great as well, they make a "roast" thing which i eat at holidays, and they have a good turkey style cold-cut which is perfect for sandwiches.
my fav hotdog substitute are the smart dogs, and morningstar makes great corndog style things!

i've been a veggie for about 10 years, and you definitely have to consult some good cookbooks to build up your recipie box. lots of asian food is vegetarian, and there are tons of good veggie cookbooks. you basically have to structure your meals the same way, its just that the protien is just going to be different.

feel free to pm me if you'd like any personal sort of suggestions

Last edited by kate425; 09-21-2008 at 05:31 PM.
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Old 09-21-2008, 05:33 PM
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morning star corn dog
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Old 09-21-2008, 05:34 PM
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I'm not a vegetarian now, but I was for 7 years. There are tons of great options besides pasta...some of my favs:

-lately realllly into brussel sprouts- steam them and then slice them up and saute with shitake mushrooms and red onions, add a bit of olive oil and balsamic
-boil quinoa with some tomato paste and water, then put it in a whole wheat tortilla with vegan taco meat sauteed with mushrooms and onions, and some cheese if you like. Basically, quinoa is really great because it has a nice texture and you can prepare it in many different ways.
-stir frys with tofu, broccoli, mushrooms, zucchini, bok choy (basically any vegetable), add some soy sauce, and put on top of brown rice
-soups-- one of my favorites to make is this really hearty mushroom vegetable barley soup- the barley makes it pretty filling, and I also add extra veggies to it

I have a couple of good vegetarian/vegan cookbooks:

-Veganomicon
-Vegan with a Vengeance
-Mollie Katzen's Vegetable Heaven
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Old 09-21-2008, 05:41 PM
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Beans and edamame are yummy (edamame is a staple school lunch for me!).
Do you like veggies? I buy a lot of frozen veggies and eat them for dinner with a whole grain and beans.
Boca burgers are a standby easy dinner...
I eat the most boring meals ever now that school is in full swing and i'm too tired/lazy to prepare much of anything.
i've been doing a lot of almond butter & preserves on ezekiel bread for dinner.
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Old 09-22-2008, 12:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcano View Post
I stopped eating meat about 2 months ago, and food is beginning to become EXTREMELY boring to me. I've basically been subsisting on pasta, more or less... Does anyone have any meatless meal suggestions? I am all for trying new dishes and new things. I'd love recommendations for veggie-burgers, hotdogs, that kind of stuff as well.

Thanks so much for your opinions and help!
VegWeb.com - Vegan Recipes and Cooking Tips

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Old 09-22-2008, 01:58 AM
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I've been veg for over 16 years and I'm a foodie that adores good eating above everything. Contrary to other suggestions, I buy cookbooks and food magazines that aren't specifically vegetarian, since they usually have lots of great recipes in them. Some may be veg side dishes, others that do contain fish or meat, I modify to my liking.

I would also try being more adventurous when it comes to produce. There's terrific produce in the US so try out some of the vegs that aren't that usual and you may find a new favorite. Asian markets and such stores are great as well.
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Old 09-22-2008, 06:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kate425 View Post
my favorite meatless brand is Morningstar. pretty much any of their products are great, with the exception of those beef/chicken stir fry strip things. ick.
the fake-bacon (facon, lol) is tdf - makes awesome blts!
Agreed. Particularly the Morningstar spicy black bean burgers. Yummy! Their bacon is great, too. Oh, and the buffalo wings? Divine. I got my non-vegetarian parents addicted to those.

I think the best veggie pepperoni is made by Yves. It's found in the refrigerated section near the tofu, usually.

My favorite ground beef substitute is made by Quorn. I got a non-vegetarian friend to try it, and she said that if someone served it to her and didn't tell her what it was, she would have just thought it was very lean ground beef. Perfect for tacos and chili, and all the other things that call for ground beef.
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Old 09-22-2008, 07:07 AM
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My favourite cookbook is the vegetarian student cookbook. It's really easy and has a focus on cheap healthy food - not a lot of meat substitutes, which are really expensive.

One recipe I really like involves steaming cabbage, kale, carrots, broccoli, and sliced extra firm tofu. When cooked, serve on hot brown rice with a sauce of 1 tsp tahini, 1 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp soy sauce, 1-2 tsp water, and sprinkle with pine nuts. It's easy and delicious.

I also like sauteed green beans with maple mustard sauce and quinoa. Cook quinoa as per directions. Heat some oil in a pan, saute green beans (frozen is fine) and sliced extra firm tofu. Prepare a sauce of 3 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp balsamic vinegar, 1/2 tsp dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp honey or maple syrup, stir into beans, serve on quinoa.
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Old 09-22-2008, 02:55 PM
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Thank you SO very much!!! I appreciate you sharing your resources and experiences. I unsuccessfully went vegetarian for almost a year more than a decade ago. I feel like this time it's for good. Thanks again!
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Old 09-22-2008, 03:11 PM
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I'm having the same problem. I'm trying to cut out meat but I don't know how to cook anything else. Quinoa and lentils? I can't even find them in the grocery store, let alone figure out how to cook them! Mac and cheese, veggie pizza, and split pea soup are my staples.
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Old 09-22-2008, 03:13 PM
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^I was a veggie up till age 23, and vegan for 5 of those years, then for the past 4 years I've been eating meat again...I just went back to the veggie lifestyle a few months ago.
I am trying to be more balanced about it now, not freaking out and asking about ingredients every time there's a potluck, etc. But I definitely feel a difference in my digestion. It was the best in late summer with all the delicious produce.
I am currently in love with roasted eggplant with garlic.
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Old 09-22-2008, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dana View Post
I'm having the same problem. I'm trying to cut out meat but I don't know how to cook anything else. Quinoa and lentils? I can't even find them in the grocery store, let alone figure out how to cook them! Mac and cheese, veggie pizza, and split pea soup are my staples.
Most vegetarian cookbooks tell you how to cook those things, or you can google them. I find that vegetarian cooking is actually a lot easier because you have more wiggle room between raw and burnt - there's less of a risk of getting food poisoning or burning your food IMO.

"vegetarianism for dummies" and "the vegetarian student's cookbook" are both really good resources for cooking n00bs. If you're eating mac and cheese and veggie pizza all the time, you're going to get nutritional deficiencies due to an unbalanced diet, not due to the vegetarianism itself.

As for where to get quinoa, lentils, etc... you can get lentils in the bean section of the supermarket, and quinoa and other grains at any bulk store.
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Old 09-22-2008, 03:27 PM
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^^ I still eat meat, I'm just trying to cut back. I think my breakfasts and lunches are pretty good for the most part. Dinner is the problem. I get home at 5 or 6 absolutely starving and just want to make something quick and easy.

Pizza is pretty balanced though, right? Veggies, dairy, and bread?
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Old 09-22-2008, 03:53 PM
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MY favourite thing to make is Veggie Shepherd's pie. It is totally easy too.

Here is my recipe

Use a casserole dish like one of those ones you make Lasagna in.

You need:

5 fair size sweet potatoes (you can use any potato, but sweet potatoes are better for you)
Two packages of Veggie Ground round
Veggies (you can use anything you want, but I would say at around two pounds, I love to open a bag of frozen veg and maybe add in some fresh mushrooms.
2 cans of campbells mushroom gravy

start boiling the water with the sweet potatoes first. Wash them well and leave the skin on for extra nutrients, but cut out the yucky parts.

in a big non-stick frying pan, start cooking the ground round first. Add cayenne pepper and garlic to taste (if you are feeling lazy use garlic powder) or any other spices you like.

Once the ground round has cooked, add in the veg. Add in the veg and stir.

preheat the oven to 375

When the potatoes finish boiling, mash them up. IF they are regular potatoes, you may want to add soydrink or margarine to get them more fluffy, but you do not need to add anything to sweet potatoes.

put the veg and ground round mixture spread out on the pan.

Then pour in the two cans of mushroom gravy.

Then put the potatoes on top.

Cook for 40 minutes.

Feeds four very well.
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Old 09-22-2008, 03:55 PM
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did you know vegetarians are 6 times more likely to develop brain shrinkage, thought to be due to deficiency of vitamin B12. at least, i think thats what it is


ETA: yes, i remembered right: B12

Last edited by Imhotep; 09-22-2008 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 09-22-2008, 04:31 PM
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^ A B12 Deficiency can eventually lead to anemia which one of the signs is the inability to absorb information, so yeah, you are right to a certain extent.

Jamiesons make an excellent 1200 Mcg B12 vitamin that is time-released and is a good substitute for when you are not eating enough food that contain B12.

B12 in not only found in meat however.
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Old 09-22-2008, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by brody View Post
^ A B12 Deficiency can eventually lead to anemia which one of the signs is the inability to absorb information, so yeah, you are right to a certain extent.

Jamiesons make an excellent 1200 Mcg B12 vitamin that is time-released and is a good substitute for when you are not eating enough food that contain B12.

B12 in not only found in meat however.
i said brain shrinkage, and meant brain shrinkage. ie atrophy
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Old 09-22-2008, 04:57 PM
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LOL. yeah, OK, I Googled the study you are talking about.
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Old 09-22-2008, 05:24 PM
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One my most favorite veg recipes is an Indian eggplant dish that I modified to include zucchini or red potatoes, if I have them handy. And you don't have to use all the spices if you're not a fan!

So many different versions of the recipe, not including all the various spellings. Here's a smattering from Google:

BAINGAN BHARTA

Baingan Bharta Vegetarian Concoctions
holy cow!: Baingan Bharta with Whole-Wheat Naan
Baingan Bharta (Eggplant Curry) - Allrecipes
Baingan Bharta recipe - ifood.tv
Bawarchi: Contributions: Baigan Bharta
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Old 09-23-2008, 12:45 AM
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^^ I still eat meat, I'm just trying to cut back. I think my breakfasts and lunches are pretty good for the most part. Dinner is the problem. I get home at 5 or 6 absolutely starving and just want to make something quick and easy.

Pizza is pretty balanced though, right? Veggies, dairy, and bread?
I see what you mean, but fail to see what it has to do with meat.

If you want something quick and easy, use frozen veggies, or veggies like broccoli that only cook for a few minutes. Toss with pasta, a little olive oil, parmesan, roasted pine nuts. Or cook a lot of brown rice, or bulgur etc, freeze portions. Easy to heat up and eat with any frozen veggies etc.
I love also baked veggies from the oven (toss in live oil, mix with garlic and salt, bake in oven until ready. Works best with potatoes, zucchini, aubergines, bell peppers. Inbetween you can relax, or take a shower, walk the dog...while the veggies get ready on their own).
Casseroles are also super easy. Tons of great recipes on vegweb.

Whole wheat pizza with extra veggies on top is good too, of course. Just not your regular pizza- lots of empty calories, not enough veggies.
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Old 09-23-2008, 01:42 AM
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I am vegetarian for the most part ( I go on and off on chicken now and then) but I hardly cook. I eat out mostly and there is tons of vegetarian, not so boring choices if you eat out. Meditteranean/Greek and Indian offer lots of vegetarian options. So does Thai and Mexican and ofcourse pizza. Mediterranean food is by far the most healthy and balanced one if you are vegetarian. Indian is ok but it can be loaded depending on what you decide to eat. Lots of veggie choices in Italian and Mexican as well. It gets a tad bit more difficult if you are a vegan vs vegetarian. I can be a vegetarian but never be a vegan (I still like my cream in the coffee and milk in the tea LOL). Actually Vietnamese has some vegetarian options too (I love the veggie spring rolls).
Since I eat out mostly, I can manage between eating at different ethnic restaurants. Oh, I missed out Ethiopian food. They have lots of vegetarian choices as well.
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Old 09-23-2008, 03:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imhotep View Post
did you know vegetarians are 6 times more likely to develop brain shrinkage, thought to be due to deficiency of vitamin B12. at least, i think thats what it is


ETA: yes, i remembered right: B12
I'm a nutrionist and most of the people I've encountered with pernicious anemia were not vegans but regular eaters who for different reasons lacked the intrinsic factor. Most vegans/vegetarians are knowledgable about nutrition and know if they need any kind of supplement, as opposed to the average Joe.

There are a multitude of different reasons why one would want to cut down on the meat. People with rheumatism or arthritis for example often get a lot better on a vegan diet.
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This is the recipe for The Leon Restaurant Superfoods salad. It's absolutely delicious!

1 cup broccoli, cut into small pieces
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 avocado, cut into small cubes
1/4 cucumber cut into small cubes
1/2 packet feta cheese, crumbled
handful of toasted seeds (I'm partial to pumpkin and sunflower)
Small handful of chopped parsley and mint
Dressing: Whisk together 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 tablespoons good olive oil, salt and pepper

Cook broccoli al dente, throw in peas at last minute. Drain and rinse under cold water.
Mix everything together in a large bowl. Voila!
Quantities can be varied according to taste.
Note: Salad keeps well for a few days without dressing and avocado (simply add these before serving), so good for packed lunches/picnics etc..

Leave out the feta if you're going vegan.
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