I transitioned about 2 years ago. To be honest, I no longer even view meat as food – I see it and it kind of disgusts me.
I think one of the bigger obstacles is finding restaurants. But…I live in a suburban, blue collar area and we still have options. Check out Asian restaurants – Chinese and Thai come to mind. You can substitute tofu in for the meat in just about any Thai dish and still come up with something amazing. Pad Thai and Pad ka prow are some of my favorites. As for Chinese, vegetable lo mein or most chicken recipes can be adapted using Tofu instead.
We make black bean burgers a lot. om nom nom.
Spinach pies and quiches also go over well in our house.
Falafel sandwiches are another great addition if you’re into Middle Eastern food (check out restaurants near you, too – several meals tend to be vegetarian-friendly).
Mushroom caps fried with balsamic vinegar can also make a main dish – slap it on a bun and you’re good to go. 😀
PETA has a carrot hot dog recipe – never tried it, though. Could be good for those days when you miss having some meat and want to recreate it.
Botanas are another option if you’re up for Mexican (just get some vegetarian refried beans for them). The same goes with enchiladas and the like. I occasionally make veggie tacos – fry some bell peppers and onions up, put them into a corn tortilla, and give it a generous heaping of guacamole for dinner. Omnom. Om nom.
That aside, check out the Wells Vegetarian Thanksgiving guides. They publish each year through the New York Times. Some of them are involved, some are simple, but that can give you several side dish and main dish ideas. I made one of their tempeh meatloaves one year; it was pretty good.
Failing that, on a lazy night, hit up a health foods store. For the holidays, we usually buy a “Celebration Roast” from Field Roast. I’m also not above occasionally getting into the processed faux meats from Gardein or Morningstar. I’m a fan of Gardein’s chicken tenders and beefless tips. With the beefless tips, I often stir fry them with bell peppers and onions…
Then add some Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce or bibigo Korean pineapple BBQ sauce (they sell the latter in my regular supermarket here, in the Asian/World Foods aisle).