Transitioning to vegetrarian

Discussion in 'Culinary Delights' started by Allusion, Aug 2, 2016.

  1. Allusion

    Allusion just your friendly neighborhood allusion

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    Hi there, :)

    I think this would be the proper place to but this thread, but it seems kinda dead.

    My boyfriend and I have finally decided to try a hand at becoming vegetarians-
    as you probably know, i love to cook,
    but all of the recipes online seem super duper fancy,
    and while that may be nice some of the time, i need some realistic meals.

     
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  2. Cloudyblue

    Cloudyblue Well-Known Member

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    I found this c: http://www.countryliving.com/food-drinks/g1186/vegetarian-recipes-0309/
     
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  3. saturnvmk

    saturnvmk Guest

    I CAN TALK A LOT ABOUT THIS!
    (i'm vegan)
    (i was vegetarian in high school, vegetarian for part of college, and have been vegan for ... a good 4 months)

    PS i wrote all of the below and realized that wasn't really your question but hopefully the blogs at the bottom help!

    the hardest part for me in the transition was figuring out what foods i find filling and what foods i need to feel healthy/awake/strong. you kind of learn what the go-to alternatives for the meat products are and develop favorites. i keep a list of favorite recipes and will mix them up or feel "inspired" by them even if i don't want to make the whole complicated dish. it's really easy to get in a habit of specific vegetarian dishes and foods, but sometimes that can lead to missing out on different vitamins or important sources of proteins (and new foods). my budget also changed - in high school, my mom did the grocery shopping. in college, i had a dining hall. now, in grad school, i buy my own ingredients and food.

    i think the easiest thing to do is give you an idea of what i eat and then you can see if you would like to incorporate any of this or if it's feasible for you (keeping in mind i'm on a grad school budget):
    1. breakfast: green smoothie (frozen spinach, frozen kale/chard, frozen mango, frozen pineapple, cucumber, water/lemonade) - i make this in a vitamix sunday night and make enough for M/T morning, then tues night for W/R morning, and so on. i eat this every morning. alternative breakfasts can be granola with almond or soy milk (i am allergic to nuts, so i use rice milk), some toast with yummy jam, etc.
    2. snacks: i have a habit of wanting to snack. i'm just like ughhh flavors in my mouth pls. i eat the small to go bags of baby carrots, apple slices (always), strawberries/blueberries, frozen grapes. this is a great time to eat a handful of nuts (i'm allergic so i pass) for the fats, oil and protein. cucumber, some bean salad, etc.
    3. lunch: i have a tendency to buy soup at whole foods or the local vegetarian soup place and freeze them. i bring them to my office and a 16oz thing can last two days. i also was making a lot of "bowls," which are really popular in the vegan/vegetarian community. i buy a huge box of arugula and put in some of the following - chickpeas (canned, rinsed, great for protein), sauerkraut/beet slaw (great amino acids and probiotics), cucumbers, mint, cilantro, lemon, avocado, peppers. it's very green, as you can imagine. there are TONS of recipes on bowls.
    4. here is where my friend would say to tell you to eat toast with peanut butter, apples with peanut butter, etc. you want to get in some sugar or protein to keep you awake. guacamole with carrots or celery, etc. AVOCADO TOAST IS BAE <3
    5. dinner: this totally depends. sometimes i heat up soup and heat up frozen vegetables (again, grad school lol). other times i make zucchini noodles with a light avocado sauce. i freeze a lot of things - sundays i'll make yummy veggie burgers (the blogs below have great recipes).

    the most important thing i'll say is that flavor matters. it's really easy to get used to making the same vegetarian thing over and over again. you don't have to! making grilled tempeh with a side of coleslaw, avocado, and corn (example) for lunch can be SUPER yummy if you season properly and make enough. i usually make enough on sunday to last me the week and stagger lunch/dinner to make it more fun. you can make lentil meatballs and freeze them, for example, and serve with zucchini noodles and pesto sauce. or you can make 4 peppers (scoop out the inside) and add tofu crumble, onion, etc. to make stuffed peppers and eat them through the week. i own a hand mixer to make soups in the winter and make a lot to freeze (squash, pea, etc).

    i have the following items in my kitchen at all times:
    - chickpeas
    - tahini
    - avocado oil
    - tofu (buy firm cubed)
    - hummus
    - tofu
    - you should have nuts
    - siracaha sauce
    - tea
    - vegan popcorn
    - snap pea crisps
    - whole wheat couscous
    - rice vinegar
    - vegetable stock
    - beans
    - quinoa
    - chia seeds (filling)

    my favorite blogs (they all have meal/recipe plans if you google):
    - naturally ella
    - oh my veggies (awesome recipe plans but need some time to cook)
    - cookie and kate
    - oh she glows
    - earthyandy (her instagram is goals)
    - if you google "thekitchn vegetarian" some options will come up

    favorite instagram accounts:
    - tallulahalexandra
    - veganfoodspot
    - living_veg
    - mississippivegan
    - oh she glows
    - veganmammy
    - the plant feed
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2016
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  4. mark

    mark 10 mins late to everything

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    I'm not a vegan or a vegetarian, but I love to explore and try new things. I made a vegan meal yesterday and my family of four (my dog can't eat this sorry) loved it and theyre taking it to work tomorrow. It was really easy, if a 15 year old can do it, you can too lol.

    Here's the link: http://www.veganricha.com/2016/07/vegan-lo-mein-soba-noodles.html

    (I added flour and water to thicken the sauce since it was too much of a liquid IMO but its preference)

    If you want to adjust the amount of servings (this is 2 servings) search it on yummly.com
     
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  5. saturnvmk

    saturnvmk Guest

    that looks delicious and i am going to try this weekend
     
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  6. Allusion

    Allusion just your friendly neighborhood allusion

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    @saturnvmk
    thank you so so so so so so much, tbh you answered a lot of the questions i had, <3 thank you so much, im doing research now
    @mark
    YUMMMMMM
     
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  7. ElloPopet

    ElloPopet Well-Known Member

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    I was raised vegetarian, so I've never really had meat, so I have absolutely no good transition advice. Howeverrr, I do have some recipes that my meat-loving friends seem to enjoy, so that might help you with the transition :)

    Eggplant "meatballs," which are totally fantastic, http://allrecipes.com/recipe/18088/aunt-marys-eggplant-balls/ (and if you don't like eggplant, these are also pretty amazing http://thealmondeater.com/2016/02/buffalo-cauliflower-quinoa-meatballs/)
    Roasted cauliflower is one of my favorite snacks, here's a basic recipe that you can add pretty much anything you want to http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/roasted_cauliflower/
    This curry is absolutely amazing http://vikalinka.com/2013/09/26/chickpea-and-butternut-squash-curry/
    Pintrest is also a great place to find vegetarian recipes.

    I've found that a lot of new / transitioning vegetarians tend to limit themselves to pasta-based dishes, which they eventually get sick of and revert back to eating meat. With that in mind: explore! There are tons of ways to cook tofu, seitan (which is absolutely amazing in the protein department), tempeh, and all the other meat-substitutes that are out there. I've found that you can take just about every recipe and replace the meat with another protein

    Also this:
    I was totally hesitant about trying tofurkey products (I didn't start eating them until I started college), because I figured they'd be funky and weird tasting (which some of them admittedly are), but the roasted tofurkey "bird" with stuffing is AMAZING, some of their deli slices are also great (peppered is my favorite -- here's a link to their website, it lists their products and they have recipes and stuff too http://www.tofurky.com)
    Morningstar Farms has some tasty products, it's considered the "junk food" of vegetarian products (which isn't necessarily an unfair statement)
    Boca is a bit better, their spicy chik'n patties have been my absolute favorite chicken-ish sandwich patty for as long as I can remember. My meatty friends have said that it tastes similar to real chicken, so that might be a good transition food as well :)

    Good luck with everything! I'm always down to share recipes / offer advice on swapping in meat substitutes for certain recipes, so if you ever have any specific questions, feel free to pm me :)
     
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  8. Allusion

    Allusion just your friendly neighborhood allusion

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    Omg you guys have been so helpful, @ElloPopet thankyou so much!!!!
     
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