Post # 1
So I’m switching my lifestyle to vegetarian. I have been starting slowly but wondering if anyone has any advice? Maybe some easily recipes to try? Staples in your kitchen? Going out to eat tricks? Anything that will help 🙂
Post # 3
Good for you! I also gradually turned into a vegetarian, and love it! Feel free to PM me any time.
As far as staples, recipes, etc. – do you enjoy cooking, or do you prefer to spend less time in the kitchen?
I make a lot of hummus (I prefer homemade over most storebought types), and I also make a lot of soups, especially with beans and lentils. I really like Indian and Thai food, both for going out and for when I’m feeling creative – they tend to be very flexible and vegetarian-friendly cuisines. Italian is also usually a good bet.
Post # 4
My first suggestion is to meal plan. Especially when you’re first starting out and you have no idea what to make for dinner, it is so much more helpful to already have it planned out. Look up some vegetarian recipes and give them a try. My second suggestion is to track your intake for a little bit. Using something like My Fitness Pal to track your intake, you can see how you are doing on fulfilling all of your macro and micro nutrient requirements. If you see that you are consistently not getting enough protein or fat or calcium, you will know what kinds of foods you will need to increase in your diet. I’m sure there are other programs you can do this with, I just know that MFP does it because I use it.
Staples in my kitchen are: lentils, quinoa, Morningstar veggie beef crumbles, veggie bouillon, onions and mushrooms.
ETA: I have been a vegetarian since I was 12 years old.
Post # 5
- Wedding: June 2010 - New York Botanical Garden
Congratulations and welcome to the team :). I am just over 16 years in, and love it! The vegetarian family table by nava atlas is a great cookbook, and pinterest always has tons of recipes. I would love more information on what you like to eat already, and I may be able to direct you to some recipes.
As far as staples, we always have beans in the house, as well as tons of different fruits and veggies, so we are never board. We eat a bit of tofu, tempeh, seitan and fake meat products, and I get a lot of protein from egg whites, greek yogurt, cottage cheese and other cheese.
As far as eating out, your options will be more limited, but there is still a whole world of options. Many restaurants will be accomodating and have some vegetarian dish, or will be willing to create one. Be prepared to consider the menu differently though, since you will likely not need whole sections. You can look at the chicken or meat dishes to see what kind of sides they offer with their main courses if you want to try and put something together for yourself.
Also feel free to PM me anytime, and I am happy to help when I can :).
Post # 6
@KCKnd2: Slowly is def better than all at once. I love to cook! And I’ve made hummus before and love it. I will try anythong once when it comes to food… with no meat now of course. Any recipes would be great. Thank you for the support 🙂 Indian and Thai are things I eat all the time now… I also LOVE spicy food!
@peasantsong: I use that app! And that is a great idea to do a plan, thanks 🙂 The morningstar products are always at my house already. So good! And since you were 12?! That’s awesome. I actually have noticed I save money not buying meat(DH still will eat meat though). It was my first meat free shopping trip yesterday and I realized I needed some help with it 🙂
Post # 7
I’m a crazy picky vegetarian with ridiculous texture issues. Two staples I have to recommend are quinoa and lentils! They are so versatile and are really The center of my diet
Post # 8
@hermitcrab: Thank you 🙂 I love pretty much anything food wise. I have been doing mostly natural things with lots of fruits and veggies(We planted a garden). I’ve trained myself to always go for a good snack rather than bad. Eggs I eat almost everyday! I can’t get enough! I make egg burritos whenever I don’t feel like cooking something huge. I love spicy foods or anything with good flavor. When it comes to food I’m not picky haha. I also really like tofu but the different firmness confuses me a little as to what to cook it with. I have a couple tofu recipes but not many.
I’m actually excited to go out to eat, Darling Husband not so much haha. He doesn’t get it but will support me as I’ve been wanting to do this for a very long time(and of course for the rest of my life). I will def buy that cook book!
Post # 9
Something else I’ve found really helpful: being part of a CSA (community-supported agriculture) through our local farmers’ market. Anything like that in your area?
We get a box of freshly-picked produce each week, and the contents change depending on what’s in-season and just been harvested. When the box arrives, it often sends me running to my cookbook collection to figure out what to do with a whole bunch of kale/celery root/kohlrabi, etc. – unfamiliar vegetables, and also just to look for new and creative things to do with familiar vegetables when we get a bunch of it. There are a couple of good cookbooks out there (From Asparagus to Zucchini is one, Simply In Season is another one, Clean Food is another good one) organized by vegetable/type of produce/what’s in season at which time of year. All of that is really helpful.
Post # 11
@KCKnd2: Great ideas! I will have to look up if there is one in our area. That would be great! We did our own garden this year and I have to say it was a very rewarding feeling and the veggies were amazing! I’m going on amazon to order all of these cookbooks now!
Post # 12
- Wedding: October 2009 - Ceremony: The Kraine Theatre, Reception: Midtown Loft & Terrace
I’m a brand, new vegetarian myself (three months in)!
I have found pinterest to be *incredibly* helpful. Here’s my recipe board, if you’re interested: http://pinterest.com/kateophalen/i-m-guess-i-m-a-vegetarian/
I haven’t missed the meat at all so far, my only challenge has been that it is sometimes a little tricky eating out, especially in more rural areas. But Hermitcrab gave some great suggestions, including pairing sides together to make a whole meal, which I sometimes do.
Feel free to PM me if there’s anything else I can help with or if you find any incredible resources to share 🙂
Post # 13
That reminds me, actually … we got a beautiful eggplant in this week’s box, and I think maybe tonight we’ll slice it up, marinate it in balsamic vinegar and grill it. Yum …
Also, reminds me of a funny story: my Fiance is a meat-eater, but has been really great about sampling lots of new vegetarian foods with me (he’ll often just make a single piece of meat for himself to eat on the side, and then we’ll have a vegetable pasta or risotto or soup or something). The first time he introduced me to all of his friends was when we traveled to his hometown to go to one of their weddings. At the reception, he got a little tipsy, and announced in a loud voice in front of everyone, “I LOVE YOU! You make me eat SO many vegetables!” Everyone cracked up!
Post # 14
I second pinterest for recipe ideas! So much easier to get ideas when you can see a picture of the finished product. Also, don’t be afraid to try random things; worst it can be is inedible! Never underestimate the power of PB&J (I make mine almond butter and fruit) in a pinch!
As far as cookbooks, I’ve had great success so far with recipes from The Happy Herbivore. She’s got a blog and cookbooks.
I’ve been a vegan for going on two months and love it; I quit cold turkey (pun intended), so no advice as far as easing in. Just do a cleanse of your fridge/pantry and get rid of temptations. Also, I’m not a huge fan of the meat substitutes tastewise, so I wouldn’t waste your money on them. Embrace your fruits and veggies and they will love you back.
One thing to note is that your taste buds will change; if something doesn’t taste good in the first weeks/months, keep trying it. It took me 3 weeks to get to appreciate kale, and now I’m glad I spent the time finding different ways to prepare it.
Post # 15
@JRL2012: Oh we save a LOT by being an almost meat-free household! My husband is still eating meat, but since I do not cook it and he doesn’t cook very often or very well, we pretty much just buy a small pack of hot dogs or something for him when we go shopping. We spend $60 a week on groceries and have more than enough for a week’s worth of breakfast, lunch and dinner. If we took advantage of the farmer’s market more often, we could probably take that down to $40 a week.
And yes, I’ve been veg since I was 12, but I wasn’t always a healthy one! I’m pretty sure that I survived off of mac & cheese and bagels from ages 14-18!
Post # 16
Yep, I’ve been one since 14, and I’m 29 now. I love it. I don’t cook much, so im a bad example for that, hah. my staples are items from Morningstar farms, quorn, gardein, trader joes, tofurkey, stuff like that. There are many options for going out to eat. Just make sure you say cheese quesadilla clearly because I’ve gotten chicken twice! Yuck! (sorry for poor iPad grammar.)