Post # 17
Seconding the recommendations for beans, legumes, tofu/soy products, etc. They’ve got a lot of great products like soy chicken strips in grocery stores now, which helps a lot. You can just substitute the soy meat for the real stuff in most recipes. It’s not everybody’s cup of tea, but I’ve found it to be a lifesaver.
Post # 18
@Mrs. Star: I honestly don’t even really like meat all that much haha. I just eat it because I guess I just always had. I don’t think I’ll miss.
@KCKnd2: Haha that’s hysterical! Love it!
@inspiredcreations: I’ve honestly never really found anything I didn’t like… except for cake! I hate cake! lol But I love icing 🙂 I did clean out the fridge and I was in shock at everything haha And PB&J is my fav. I use all natural peanut butter and sometimes I do it with bananas. Yummm
@peasantsong: I love the farmers market around here. I actually spend 100 for 2 weeks worth of food for both my Darling Husband and I(that includes dog food and such too). If Darling Husband wants something special he buys that haha. That is great you have been since 12! And who doesn’t love mac n cheese and bagels haha
@seevan07: Haha I will keep that in mind! Thanks!
@lizahbee: I will def do that!
All you bees are so helpful! Thank you 🙂
Post # 19
I was vegetarian about 15 years ago for a couple of years, over the past 2 months I have slowly turned back to it. I am more flexitarian at the moment, having eaten meat about twice a month. I also struggle to find what meals to make at the moment, my Fiance is going flexitarian also for the first time in his life. I have been making vegetarian pastas, I made a sunday roast (with no meat), just veges & vegetarian gravy. We also make vegetarian curry with tofu. We still eat seafood & fish at the moment but only 1-2 meals a week, the rest is vege. I am reading with interest the other suggestions listed above.
Post # 20
I was raised vegetarian and have never eaten meat. I find a lot of great recipes on pinterest and searching around on the internet. I make a ton of vegetable stews and soups in the crockpot, as well as different kids of veggie pizzas. A great cookbook is How to Eat Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman. Some staples in my kitchen are hummus, greek yogurt, couscous, rice noodles, smartdogs, fresh mozzarella cheese, soups, whole wheat pizza dough, and lots of different veggies. Good luck to you:)
Post # 21
@traveller: Yummm Curry! Anything with curry is amazing!
@hill22785: Whole wheat pizza dough I will need to do… yumm! I did do the tortilla pizza last night too! Very yummy
Post # 22
If you like to cook, check out the Vegetarian Bible recipe book. It has a huge varietiy of styles/ethnicities. So far, everything I’ve tried in it has been fantastic.
Post # 23
Yay! Good for you!!
How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman is a great, versatile cookbook. If I had to recommend one cookbook, this would be it. (I like hill22785‘s slip in the title name – How to Eat Everything Vegetarian is kind of hilarious.)
If you’re using fake meat products, I have to put in a HUGE plug for Field Roast brand veggie sausages. I vastly prefer them to any other fake meat products I’ve ever found.
Also, this will be a great resource: Chowhound Vegetarian and Vegan Board.
Post # 24
- Wedding: September 2014 - Garden outside our church
I’m vegetarian! Have wanted to be since I was 6, have been successful at it since I was 21 (hard to believe that’s 12 years now!). My sweetie jumped on the bandwagon with me, and now no longer has to take cholesterol or hypertension medications. My only advice is to actually eat vegetables–when I first switched to complete veggie-ism, I gained about 20 pounds because I didn’t consider food choices, as long as they didn’t have eyes. Yeah, pasta, cheese, desserts became staples. I, too, love cooking, but it just takes so darned long for a veggie main dish compared to “throw some flesh on the grill”. I suggest chosing one day a week to have the crock pot cook whatever kind of legume suits your fancy and then using that for the base for the next week. That way you can avoid some of the excess sodium and other unwanted ingredients in the canned preparations. Also, be careful with the soy-based meat alternatives–the excess plant estrogens messed with me for a while.
Post # 25
I’m a… I guess you call it flexitarian? Or something? By which I mean it’s been about 2 years since i’ve cooked meat, but I’ll eat it when we go out sometimes. I find that I use a lot of tofu and beans, especially chick peas- I think I’m addicted to them, seriously! You’d be surprised how many childhood favorite dishes that involve chicken taste great when you sub in chick peas instead- casseroles especially. Try making it a game- bet yourself that you can’t come up with a whole week’s worth of dishes that don’t have meat. Then when you “win” the game, challenge yourself to another! Also, look for ethnic recipes- I’ve gotten pretty decent at Indian cooking since making the switch. As for recipes, I adore this blog: http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/ . Good luck!
Post # 26
@DrMrsCol: I do LOVE pasta! haha I recently switced everything to whole grain as well… not white bread or pasta allowed in the house haha
@future mrs Q: Indian food is one of my fav’s!
I’m about to make the leap into tofu… which i know I already really like. But can someone explain the different firmness levels for me? and what/how to cook it?
Post # 27
- Wedding: June 2012 - Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards
I’m a pescatarian (I will eat seafood) and I have gotten my carnivore husband off meat at dinnertime (huge feat, IMO) by using substitutes from Morningstar, Boca, and the like.
I don’t like red meat, but he does and making chilli or meat sauce with a substitute helped him get on board. 🙂
Post # 28
@Mrs. Mink: I’ve started doing this for Darling Husband too! He is coping considering he works long hours and doesn’t have time to cook! haha He actually usually doesn’t notice until I say something!
Post # 29
Crash course on tofu:
It can be helpful to think of tofu as “similar to cheese,” in the sense that tofu is kind of like a cheese made out of soy milk. Silken tofu has more moisture in it, so it will behave kind of like cottage cheese and cream cheese in recipes, while the firmer types are a little more like drier cheeses that have their own shape and solidity.
Firm and Extra-firm are good for stir-frying. They usually come packaged in water inside a plastic “blister” container. You can pop these directly into the freezer and keep them indefinitely (just be sure to use right away once you thaw them). The texture of tofu will actually improve (becomes chewier and easier to crumble) from freezing and thawing.
Before cooking water-packed tofu (whether frozen/thawed or just from the fridge) be sure to drain thoroughly, and press it between two plates to squeeze out the excess water. Tofu is very absorbent, so if you toss it straight into the pan from the package, it will bring a lot of extra water with it. Most recipes will turn out better if you squeeze out the extra water first. (Also, keep tofu’s absorbency in mind when cooking in oil. Like eggplant, it can absorb a lot of oil – and a lot of extra calories! – if you’re not paying attention.)
Firm and Extra-firm tofu can usually be substituted for one another in recipes if one is called for but you only have the other on hand. The same is true for soft and silken. Don’t try to substitute soft/silken for firm/extra firm or vice versa, though. (And silken tofu will come in soft/firm/extra firm varieties – but all of them are still pretty soft. Extra firm silken tofu will not be a good substitute for firm or extra firm regular tofu.)
One of my favorite things to do with silken tofu is to use it in place of yogurt to make smoothies. It yields such a rich, creamy texture – just delicious! That would be a super easy first recipe for getting your feet wet with tofu.
You might also check out the cookbook 101 Things to Do with Tofu (Donna Kelly & Anne Tegtmeier). It’s a small, inexpensive, spiral-bound cookbook with lots of creative tofu-based recipes.
Post # 30
@KCKnd2: Thank you so much! I will be buying that book 🙂
Post # 31
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
Welcome. My favorite cookbook is Veganomicon. You do not need to make all the recipes vegan. If something calls for you to make a ricotta cheese subsitute, I just use ricotte chesse. Number one piece of advice about tofu: always drain and press it. I usually cut a block into 8 pieces and out them between two cutting boards at a low angle into a baking dish to collect the liquid and then stak cans on top of the cutting board. I let it press for about an hour and then let it marinade in whatever marinate is appropriate for the recipe for minimum an hour, but longer if I have the time.
Field Roast products are amazing. I hate fake meats, but Field Roast doesn’t try to immitate a meat flavor. It just is what it is, which is delicious. We eat the celebration roast for holidays and use the franks, sausages, and sandwich slices all the time. They are kind of expensive, but they are very filling and high in protein, so if you might normally eat 2 hotdogs, you would only want one, maybe 3-5 slices of deli meat would be more like 2 of the Field Roast slices.