Vegetarian bees…what the hell do you eat?!?!

posted 7 months ago in Wellness
Post # 2
Member
290 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2021

I’m a vegetarian and my boyfriend eats meat. I also love cheese and eggs. I can’t live off tofu either. I don’t like milk so we do almond milk. I do most of the cooking during the week, so he eats a lot of meatless meals and doesn’t mind because they’re tasty and meat substitutes! We used to get a lot of the frozen Gardein, Morningstar stuff too but that’s got tons of salt and very little nutritional value.

So we stopped buying frozen and microwaveable crap and started cooking. We had a crockpot and now use an instant pot for most of our meals. I google vegetarian meals and the recipes we’ve done are all fairly quick, easy, and decently healthy. I also have a few cookbooks for vegetarian recipes or that have vegetarian sections. We’ve made lentil sloppy joes, kale veggie lasagna, vegetables and quinoa, potatoes and veggie bake, rice bean burritos, tater tot casserole, and yummy pasta dishes. We also pack an apple and baby carrots with our lunches. Sometimes I’ll add in cookies or something else that’s not healthy at all.

There’s so many recipes and options for meatless meals. We also like to make Impossible or Beyond Burgers at home from the grocery store for dinner as a splurge. The recipes we make at home we get anywhere from 2-4 meals out of. We spend around $100/week on groceries and that includes organic for some things!

Post # 3
Member
528 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

I’m no longer vegetarian, but we eat a lot of veg meals for health reasons (and, bonus, it saves money).

 

-Sweet potato tacos. Roast some diced sweet potatoes, then put them in some tacos with black beans, avocado, and any other toppings you want. 

-Big salads, with veggies and black beans in them.

-Bean and veggie stews.

-Make a breakfast hash (we love sweet potatoes with kale/onion/spices), top with a few baked/fried eggs. 

-Grilled cheese and soup/salad.

-“Plate of slop”, which is much tastier than it sounds. We’ll do some sort of base (rice, quinoa, plantain tostadas), throw on some protein like beans, throw on some roasted veggies, top with some sort of sauce. 

We’re boring, but it’s nice having solid stand-ins. IMO, the best veg meals are the sort of standard/boring ones. 

Post # 4
Member
1130 posts
Bumble bee

kittymoon777 :  there’s a blog called wolves and rabbits with the best vegan food. Try to use beans, lentils, quinoa, etc. in main dishes to increase protein. 

Post # 6
Member
357 posts
Helper bee

Please explain how this statement/behavior would be different for a meat-eater:

And then I’m rushing to get ready for work and I’m like “okkkk nevermind, string cheese and a special K bar it is!”

There’s no shortcut to being healthy. Convenience = processed foods. Processed foods were invented for convenience. You can’t have it both ways. Being vegetarian doesn’t automatically mean you’ll eat healthy. But think about it, there aren’t that many convenient meat snacks anyway like oh I’ll grab a chicken thigh on the go.

Maybe try “And then I’m rushing to get ready for work and I’m like “okkkk nevermind, apple and banana it is!” 

The key to eating healthy is to eat real, whole, foods (unprocessed), which means fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains (rice, oat, soy, legumes). There are plenty of healthy options, but they may not be the most convenient. You have to choose whether healthy or convenient is more important to you.

My fave on-the-go foods are fruits (mandarin oranges, bananas, apples), veges (carrots, grape tomatoes), hard boiled eggs, granola, nuts/trail mix, yogurt cups (but I hate that its so much single use plastics, choose environment or convenience), tuna/sardines in cans (I’m not vegetarian). 

There’s so much more in vegetarian life than fake meats and cheese.. especially if you eat eggs. Eggplants, tofu, quinoa, chickpeas, mung beans, lentils etc.

Here’s one of my most favorite (vegan) recipe:

Red lentil and pumpkin curry soup

<div class=”wprm-recipe-ingredients-container wprm-block-text-normal”>
<h3 class=”wprm-recipe-header wprm-recipe-ingredients-header wprm-block-text-bold”>INGREDIENTS</h3>
<div class=”wprm-recipe-ingredient-group”>

    <li class=”wprm-recipe-ingredient”>1 Tbsp olive oil ($0.12)
    <li class=”wprm-recipe-ingredient”>1 yellow onion ($0.31)
    <li class=”wprm-recipe-ingredient”>2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
    <li class=”wprm-recipe-ingredient”>1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger ($0.10)
    <li class=”wprm-recipe-ingredient”>15 oz. can pumpkin purée ($2.00)
    <li class=”wprm-recipe-ingredient”>1 cup dry red lentils ($1.34)
    <li class=”wprm-recipe-ingredient”>6 cups vegetable or chicken broth* ($0.78)
    <li class=”wprm-recipe-ingredient”>1 Tbsp curry powder (or to taste) ($0.30)

</div>
</div>
<div class=”wprm-recipe-instructions-container wprm-block-text-normal”>
<h3 class=”wprm-recipe-header wprm-recipe-instructions-header wprm-block-text-bold”>INSTRUCTIONS</h3>
<div class=”wprm-recipe-instruction-group”>

    <li class=”wprm-recipe-instruction”>
    <div class=”wprm-recipe-instruction-text”>Dice the onion, mince the garlic, and grate the ginger (use a small hole cheese grater). Sauté the onion, garlic, and ginger in a large pot with the olive oil over medium heat until the onions are soft and transparent.</div>

    <li class=”wprm-recipe-instruction”>
    <div class=”wprm-recipe-instruction-text”>Add the pumpkin purée, red lentils, broth, and curry powder. Stir to combine.</div>

    <li class=”wprm-recipe-instruction”>
    <div class=”wprm-recipe-instruction-text”>Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow it to come to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down and simmer on low for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 20 minutes the lentils should be soft and the soup slightly thickened.</div>

    <li class=”wprm-recipe-instruction”>
    <div class=”wprm-recipe-instruction-text”>Taste to adjust the curry powder or salt as needed, then serve.</div>

</div>
</div>

Post # 7
Member
152 posts
Blushing bee

It’s really about making the time to do it.  Like you mentioned, smoothies and avocado toast look great but by morning time you’re just trying to get out the door.  I find that my dietary habits improve and stay consistent when I make a conscious effort to wake up a little earlier, to give myself that time to make a thoughtful meal.  And to schedule enough time throughout the week to actually go to the grocery store and have a constant rotation of fruits and veggies in the house.  There are plenty of recipes out there but actually taking the time out to make them is the hard part.  No one has to convince me that a vegetarian meal is delicious, and I’d gladly eat it if it was hot and ready waiting for me when I got home from work, but any home cooked mealed, vegetarian or not, takes some prep and cook time.  So that’s where the real discipline comes in.  Cooking a whole nice meal every night, especially after work can feel really tedious at first, but it’s really gratifying when you stick to a solid schedule and start feeling good about yourself.  If you cook enough at once, you could have leftovers for a few days, so a big meal you make on a weekend could be your lunch for the work week.  I like refrigerator oats for breakfast and usually just make a bunch of those the night before so I have a few days worth of breakfasts.  I also love smoothies and sometimes I’ll prep all my fruits and veggies the night before, like peel/chop and put into a container so it’s all ready to throw into the blender when I wake up.  I’ll also do this pre-prep thing for dinner veggies sometimes, have all my veggies cut and ready to go so that cooking dinner doesn’t feel like such an undertaking at the end of the day.  Start small and see if you can go a whole week just replacing one meal a day with something really veggie heavy.  Just adding a smoothie every morning can do wonders for your health, even if you changed nothing else.  Good luck!

Post # 8
Member
91 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2018

Start cooking! We buy a ton of fresh veggies at our local market and just look up easy recipes on pinterest to use the ingredients (whoever gets home first or is hungry first). We usually cook about 4 times a week, the rest of the time we eat leftovers and kr we eat out. Some of the recipes turn out great and are a win and we save those and reuse, others don’t turn out great but still edible and that’s how we learn. My H and I have been vegetarian for about a year now and honestly, I don’t miss the meat at all. So many options, you just need to start experimenting!

Post # 9
Member
729 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: London, UK

I am a carb-heavy, cheese loving vegetarian too. I mainly rely on meat substitutes, but honestly I am getting sick of them and I know they are just processed. So I’m trying to eat less of them! My partner is a carnivore but at home now we mainly eat veggie. Some of our go-to meals are:

– Omelettes
– Pasta with homemade tomato sauce with loads of veggies
– Shakshuka (I make it differently every time but a favourite is with courgette and chickpeas with a sprinkle of crumbled feta)
– Falafel pittas with salad, tzatziki and houmous
– Stir fries with either teriyaki or black bean sauce plus loads of veggies and tofu, with either noodles or rice
– Chilli made with kidney beans, haricot beans, courgette and mushroom served over a roasted sweet potato
– Curries made with butternut squash, broccoli and green beans with sides such as onion bhajis/samosas/naan
– Breakfast for ANY meal with scrambled eggs, veg sausages, baked beans and garlic mushrooms

 

Post # 10
Member
290 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2021

kittymoon777 :  The kale lasagna is my favorite. I’ll have to post the recipe when I get home. We keep our favorite recipes in a drawer in the kitchen island and we pick what we feel like making that upcoming week. Sometimes I’ll add the “beef” crumbles so it’s like a meat lasagna. And yes Beyond Burgers are THE best but they stink up our kitchen so bad when we cook them in our skillet. Worth it. 

Lunchtime for me. Second day homemade mac and cheese with Italian breadcrumbs with cut up Lightlife boiled vegetarian hot dogs!

Post # 11
Member
8056 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

kittymoon777 :  we are not vegetarian, but I have been trying to cut back on the meat a bit for health/cost reasons and lately I’ve made:

rice and beans

stuffed peppers (using the leftovers from rice and beans)

roasted eggplant with kale, tomatoes, and tzatziki

lentil soup

veggie fritattas/omelets

so many salads

pierogies

plus the not as good for you pasta, pizzas, etc. 

The instant pot has helped me a lot since it’s super easy to do the rice/beans and the soups. My snacks are nuts, cheese, hardboiled eggs, fruit (primarily apples, bananas, clementines, and berries), and raw veggies (cucumber, peppers, carrots, celery). 

I cook 3-4 weeknights and then plan for a leftover/freezer meal night. I have a full time job and a toddler so nothing can take more than 30 minutes if I want to avoid hangry meltdowns (for me and the toddler lol). Keep breakfast easy – it’s yogurt or toast plus some fruit most mornings in our house. Lunch is usually leftovers. Whenever you cook MAKE DOUBLE. You can then either have it for lunch or stick some in the freezer for later. That lentil soup I made last week took me 30 minutes start to finish. We had it for dinner along with garlic bread that night and I have 2 jars for future dinners waiting in my freezer. 3 meals for half an hour of effort is pretty darn great in my book. 

Post # 12
Member
453 posts
Helper bee

For one thing, let your boyfriend prepare his own meals. Why are you the designated food provider in your house? I’m vegetarian and my fiance isn’t. But I’m not rushing around trying to prepare two meals at once because I make dinner for myself and he makes dinner for himself, just like he did before we met. Sometimes we decide to share a meal, but that usually happens on weekends, when we have more time to go grocery shopping together and pick up ingredients for a veggie-friendly meal that we’ll both enjoy. During the week, we each take care of our own meals.

To answer your main question, I do eat a lot of frozen food, but that’s because I hate cooking, not because I’m vegetarian. I try to find healthy frozen food though (yes, it does exist). Lean Cuisine meals, for example, generally have a good balance of carbs, fat, and protein. Amy’s also has a lot of good vegan options. I include a Boca burger as part of my breakfast every morning (each burger is only 70 calories, with 13 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber). I eat as many fresh fruits and veggies as I can. I’m not going to lie, I love peanut butter sandwiches. If you make it with whole wheat bread, it’s fairly healthy. My meals are simple because I’m lazy, but that doesn’t mean they have to be unhealthy or entirely processed.

When I do cook, I often use recipes from Kitchen Treaty (https://www.kitchentreaty.com/), which is a great blog with recipes for vegetarians who live with meat eaters. My favorite one is the creamy pumpkin baked rigatoni. My meat-eating fiance loves it, and I’ve made it for my whole family to share at Thanksgiving, and it’s always a big hit (none of them are vegetarians). There are lots of good recipes out there, but if you don’t want to cook every day, you don’t have to. Just find healthy versions of food you already love.

Post # 13
Member
2802 posts
Sugar bee

I stopped being vegetarian after 10 years for the same reasons. It helps a bit – I find it easier to stay full with less work and don’t get as many cravings for bad foods – but it has its limits. You still need to cook if you want to avoid processed foods. (I still eat Vegetarian like 90% of the time)

Have you looked into ‘Hello Fresh,’ or ‘Blue Apron’? My SILs and Mother-In-Law swear by those programs for easy, healthy cooking. It lets you have imaginative meals without having to come up with any ideas or do any of the shopping.

Other tips
– Nutritional yeast! Good on everything and lots of protein and b vitamins
– Grains and legumes are your BFFS, stock your cupboards and try out combos
– Stirfry veg with chickpeas/beans and quinoa/rice
– Pasta with broccoli or arugula
– Beans and rice (one of the best non-processed complete proteins for vegetarians)
– Tabouleh made with quinoa and chopped almonds
– Pita pizzas (mini pizzas on whole wheat pita with lots of veg and light cheese)

Also, cooking two meals is craziness. Your boyfriend can eat vegetarian or he can cook for himself. Most of my exes basically became vegetarians while I was dating them even though I didn’t do all the cooking.

 

Post # 15
Member
4937 posts
Honey bee

We have cut back on the amount of meat as well. So preparing ahead is key. You can batch cook and put meal portions in Tupperware ahead of time. I put healthy snacks in baggies and it is as easy as grab and go. I buy mini carrots,  berries, snap peas, dried garbanzo beans. All good snacks. 

We do salads for dinner most nights we have greens mixed, shredded carrots, some craisins, capers, dried garbanzo beans or fresh, radishes, feta if you do cheese, tomato sometimes cucumber. Each part is pre prepared so I just need to rinse the lettuce and mix. 

You can make quinoa woth onions and bell peppers with some chickpeas and lots of flavor spices to your liking. This one is vegan and cook in mushroom broth for flavor.  

I use the konjac noodles woth stir fry and you can add in any veggie you like. So delicious. Can be made vegan too just watch the sauces some have oyster. So soysauce is a good option. You can buy pre shredded veggies for a stir fry mix.  

 

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